BioSpace Movers & Shakers: National Cancer Institute, Evelo, Eagle, ROME & More

Companies from across the life sciences added new executive and financial leaders, as well as scientific and regulatory additions. Here are this week’s Movers & Shakers.

Companies from across the life sciences spectrum add new blood to their leadership teams to guide their organizations through the close of the year and into the future. Companies added new executive and financial leaders, as well as scientific and regulatory additions. Here are this week’s Movers & Shakers.

National Cancer Institute (NCI) – The Biden administration has chosen Monica Bertagnolli, a renowned surgical oncologist, as the next director of the National Cancer Institute. If she accepts the role, she would become the first woman director of the NCI since it began in 1937. Bertagnolli is currently a surgeon at Dana-Farber Cancer Center and a professor at Harvard Medical School. First reported by STAT News, the news came from “two sources familiar with the decision.” The White House has yet to confirm this appointment.

Evelo Biosciences Marella Thorell was named chief financial officer of Evelo. She assumes her role on Sept. 1. She most recently served as chief accounting officer of Centessa Pharmaceuticals. Before that, she was the company’s head of finance. Before that, Thorell was CFO at Palladio Biosciences and held the same role at Realm Therapeutics. Thorell serves as a board member of ESSA Pharma and chairperson of the board of Vallon Pharmaceuticals.

Eagle PharmaceuticalsDebra M. Hussain was named senior vice president, head of commercial at Eagle Pharmaceuticals. She joins from Avacia Pharma where she served as chief commercial officer. Before that, she spent 22 years at Eli Lilly in positions of increasing responsibility.

ROME TherapeuticsJeff Hatfield, chief executive officer of Vividion Therapeutics, was appointed chairman of the board of directors at ROME. Before Vividion, Hatfield served as CEO of Vitae Pharmaceuticals. Earlier in his career, he held multiple senior leadership roles at Bristol Myers Squibb, including SVP of immunology and virology divisions, president of BMS-Canada and head of U.S. market access. Hatfield currently serves on the board of directors of Vir Biotechnology.

InMed PharmaceuticalsMichael Woudenberg was named COO of InMed. He previously served as SVP of chemistry, manufacturing and controls. Before joining InMed, Mike had over 20 years of successful drug development, process engineering, GMP manufacturing and general management experience at various levels of various companies.

MiMedx GroupKate Surdez was named chief human resources officer of MiMedx. She has more than 20 years’ of experience in human resources, most recently serving as head of HR and Vaccinity. Prior to that, she was SVP of HR at Viela Bio. Earlier in her career, Surdez held HR roles at MedImmune/ AstraZeneca, including as Global HR Lead at AstraZeneca.

Codexis, Inc.Stephen Dilly has been named president and chief executive officer. He will assume his duties on Aug. 9. He replaces John Nichols, who is departing the company for family reasons. Nichols will remain on the company board through June 2023 and will serve as a strategic advisor to the company. Dilly most recently served as president and CEO of Sierra Oncology and, before that, was CEO of Aimmune Therapeutics. Dilly has also held executive roles at Genentech, Chiron and SmithKline Beecham.

Entrada TherapeuticsKarla MacDonald was named chief corporate affairs officer. She previously served as the company’s vice president of corporate communications and investor relations. Prior to joining Entrada, MacDonald led communications and patient advocacy for Ipsen. She also held numerous senior roles at Merck, leading international and corporate responsibility communications. Before that, MacDonald set and implemented a communication strategy for Merck Research Laboratories.

Celsion CorporationCorinne Le Goff was named president and CEO. She replaced Michael H. Tardugno, who will continue to serve as executive chairman of Celsion’s board of directors. Prior to Celsion, Le Goff served as the CCO of Moderna, where she led the development of the mRNA platform’s long-term commercial strategy. Le Goff joined Moderna from Amgen, where she served as president of U.S. business. Le Goff is currently a director of Acticor Biotech, Longboard Pharmaceuticals and EuroAPI.

ProKidney Corp.Kerry Cooper was named SVP of medical affairs. Cooper joins the company from AstraZeneca, where he was vice president of the U.S. medical affairs renal division. Prior to joining AstraZeneca in 2018, Cooper worked at Amgen, where he held positions of increasing responsibility, most recently serving as the Nephrology and Bone Global Medical Affairs Therapeutic Area Lead.

Oligomerix, Inc. – William Erhardt, who served as CMO of the company, has been appointed president and head of development and operations. Erhardt joined Oligomerix last year as CMO. Prior to joining Oligomerix, he was SVP, head of clinical development & operations at Pfizer.

Tectonic TherapeuticPeter McNamara, head of research, was promoted to chief scientific officer. Barry Rubenstein was named SVP of people and culture, and Washington Alves was named VP of biologics manufacturing. McNamara joined Tectonic in May 2021 as head of research. Prior to joining, McNamara was head of biotherapeutics and biotechnology at the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation. Prior to joining Tectonic, Rubenstein led HR at Kala Therapeutics. Prior to Kala, he was at AMAG Pharmaceuticals for nine years, where he rose to the position of executive director of HR. Before joining Tectonic, Alves served as senior director, CMC operations at Gemini Therapeutics. He started his career at Pfizer.

Complement Therapeutics – Glycomine CEO Steve Axon was appointed to the Complement Therapeutics board of directors. He previously served as CEO of Prothelia and before that as CBO at Apellis Pharmaceuticals.

Opus Genetics – N.C.-based Opus made several changes to its leadership team. Vikram Arora was named vice president of non-clinical development, Erin O’Neil was named vice president of clinical development and Sarah Tuller was named VP of regulatory affairs and medical writing. Arora joins Opus following 11 years of leadership at Grifols where he led late-stage discovery research and subsequent development aspects of R&D projects. Prior to Grifols, Arora served as director of pharmacology & toxicology at Talecris Biotherapeutics and principal research scientist at Bayer HealthCare. O’Neil currently serves as an attending ophthalmologist at the Center for Inherited Retinal Degenerations and Ophthalmic Genetics at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Prior to joining Opus, Tuller was VP of RA at Disc Medicine. She also held prior roles of increasing regulatory responsibility at companies including Biogen, ImClone, Fresenius, and Baxter.

Insilico MedicineSujata Rao was named SVP responsible for the global clinical development strategy of Insilico Medicine’s therapeutic programs. Prior to joining Insilico, she spent over five years at Eli Lilly, most recently as associate vice president of global clinical development for early and late-stage immuno-oncology assets. Prior to Eli Lilly, she served as immuno-oncology medical lead and oncology scientific advisor at Bristol-Myers Squibb. She also held the role of senior medical director at Onyx Pharmaceuticals.

SalioGen Therapeutics – Privately-held SalioGen made multiple appointments to its leadership team. Cathryn Clary was named SVP of clinical development and chief medical officer. Pat Sacco was named SVP of manufacturing, quality and operations. Joe Senn was named SVP of nonclinical development, Feng Yao was named VP of molecular switch and gene regulation and Oleg Iartchouk was named VP of genomics and biomarkers.