→ What’s next for
, you ask? It’s an interim CMO
, the maker of kits that sidestep the conventional methods of blood collection in favor of push-button devices. Hahn
Flagship in June as CMO of its Preemptive Medicine and Health Security initiative after a topsy-turvy run as FDA commissioner in the Trump administration. Hahn received his share of flak when he
the virtues of convalescent pharma before the emergency use authorizations of the
Covid-19 vaccines, eventually walking back his comments. Conversely, Hahn received kudos for staying resolute on safety followup from clinical trials. A month after his FDA tenure, Hahn joined the board of directors at
’s crew at
as VP of product, putting him in charge of enhancing the user experience for its machine-learning apparatus. Besides his years as Google’s director of project management (helping build the Google App Engine) and as Facebook’s VP of search & profile, he’s familiar with the biotech landscape as a technology fellow and a member of the scientific advisory board at
less-than-satisfying Hunter syndrome data in July. Additionally, Stocky ran the learning platform at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.
→ There’s a CMO shift that has
at Swiss biotech
handing over the keys to VP of medical affairs
. Before making his way to ADC in early 2020, Camardo spent 10 years as an exec at
, where he was SVP of global medical affairs and corporate medical operations, then SVP of Celgene Global Health before the
Bristol Myers Squibb
deal closed. The
its reach into China with its joint venture
Overland ADCT BioPharma
as its CEO in April.
has been named
COO at microbiome player
an upsized $128 million IPO in March — nearly six months after its Series C that
$90 million for CEO Mark Smith’s bunch. The director of business development at
from 1999-2004, Blaustein co-founded and helmed
and later became CEO of
. In his latest gig, Blaustein led business development at
, a Georgia Tech spinout that
for $120 million upfront in February.
→ With a modest $10 million Series B in the hopper and ex-
as executive chairman,
as president and CEO. His predecessor,
, will chair the advisory board. Once in charge of the US internal medicine and oncology franchises at
, Hackman leaves his post as president of US operations with
. Based in Woburn, MA, ReForm Biologics focuses on what they describe as “gentler medicines” for children and the elderly.
→ Accompanying the news that
is undergoing another revamp and trimming its staff
is getting promoted
to COO and
is stepping into the CCO job that Sabella previously held. Sabella’s tenure at Acorda began in 2010 as EVP of commercial development, while Clem has spent a decade himself at Acorda, moving out of his role as EVP of sales, market access, and operations.
’s gene therapy biotech
its C-suite considerably, promoting
to CMO while adding two fresh pickings to the leadership basket: CSO
and chief technical officer
. After stints at
, Meltzer joined Orchard in 2018 as VP of US medical affairs, climbing to SVP of medical affairs, clinical operations and diagnostics. Mavilio, the current CSO at
, is the ex-SVP of translational science for
and will consult at Orchard until he officially begins as chief scientist in January 2022. Loggia spent the last 17 years at
in a number of capacities and since last April had been global head of cell and gene therapies.
→ Padding the C-suite further after the
, CRISPR upstart
— nine months removed from its Series B
— has selected
as CFO. Lange takes the plunge into the biotech world after 12 years at
; since 2019 she had been executive director in JPM’s healthcare investment banking group. You may recall that another Locanabio exec, VP of R&D
, was featured as one of
20 under 40
leaders this year.
’s much-ballyhooed “cancer moon shot” fizzled on the launch pad at
the company with his cell therapy outfit
in December and handed the controls to
. The team
to take shape with
as ImmunityBio’s first chief commercial officer and
, who starts Monday as SVP of global market access. Luu’s clipped reign as CEO of
began in May after stepping in as COO in September 2020, and earlier she led business development within her 10-year stint at cancer vaccine maker
. Schreiner, also a Dendreon vet, had been promoted to SVP, global market access & distribution at
in the spring of 2020.
→ Last month,
’s stock rose by 125% after some initial
in their Phase I study to treat inherited blood disorders — a huge upswing considering the issues they encountered on the market last summer after a Phase II dud. This week, Fulcrum
as chief commercial officer. Hayes has made stops along the way at Bristol Myers,
, and he was recently
’s global head commercial, VP, rare blood disorders.
→ Bedford, MA-based
, developing cancer drugs with a line of attack it calls macrophage repolarization,
has ushered in
as chief development officer. Tubridy, the ex-chief development officer at
, moves on from her double duty as SVP, global programs and chief development officer at
. Verseau, co-founded by
in October 2019.
→ As Tubridy gets started at Verseau,
walks away —
a new chapter as SVP, head of corporate development at New Jersey p53-focused biotech
. Smith, the CBO at Verseau since 2019, is a seven-year Celgene alum who has been a CBO before at
and led corporate development at
. PMV added $53 million to its coffers in a Series D from August 2020 to continue its focus on mutant p53 proteins, an especially tough nut to crack against cancer.
-backed immunotherapy startup
, flush with
in Series B cash,
has picked up
as CSO after he held the same title at
. Tan, a
vet, has also been head of immunology at
. Co-founded by
, Immunitas is trying to push its CD161-blocking antibody
into the clinic and also promoted
to CBO in August.
has been allowed
to pass go on the FDA monopoly board with its IL-2/IL-15 agonist after a three-month
, and the Seattle biotech
has just tapped
as VP and head of research. All Arthur has to do is drive down Interstate 5 from his previous stop,
, where he was senior director & head of cancer biology during his 10 years there. While with
from 2006-11, Arthur was team lead in biomarker discovery for investigational oncology drugs.
has been promoted
to COO at
after serving as SVP, technical operations and quality. The 16-year Biogen alum initially jumped on board at X4 in 2017 in the role of VP, program and alliance management. Back in November,
left Biogen to become X4’s CSO, and a month later the company poached CMO
from Fulcrum. Trials are underway for mavorixafor to treat such diseases as WHIM syndrome (Phase III), Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia (Phase Ib with
) and severe congenital neutropenia (also Phase Ib).
— evaluating its sarcopenia drug
) in Covid-19 patients with severe respiratory failure —
Rob van Maanen
the nod as CMO after
held the fort for a couple months. Mariani had temporarily replaced
and remains on the scientific advisory board. As for van Maanen, he exits the CMO post at mitochondrial disease-focused
to join the Paris-based biotech. Elsewhere, he was a senior medical director during a six-year run at
and the CNS director at
’s biosensor shop
, using its
to catch indications of NASH in patients,
as CMO. Tran says farewell to
, where she was VP of medical affairs, global head, liver diseases, fibrosis and Covid-19. She made the leap to Gilead in 2018 after 16 years both at
and in academia as a professor of medicine at UCLA.
to be its new CMO. Ilaria most recently came from Bristol Myers as part of their development team, and was the executive medical director for clincal R&D for Celgene before that. At the same time, Infinity is moving their consulting chief physician
, a former
acting CMO at Tarus
, to the board of directors.
is taking over
as chief development officer at
after holding executive roles with
Scripps Research Institute
and Pfizer. The sigh of relief you hear may be coming from San Jose after the FDA
Anixa’s IND application for its
-partnered CAR-T immunotherapy in late August; the agency
a clinical hold on it in April.
has picked up
as CEO — taking over for founder
, who will transition to chairman of the board. Pritchard joins the
diagnostics company after holding positions at
POC Diagnostics & Core Reagents
(as SVP of US diagnostics marketing and SVP & lifecycle leader) and
(VP of marketing).
→ Swedish cell therapy biotech
$47 million from a Series B round in July,
as CFO. Michlewicz recently logged two years as CFO of Stockholm-based medtech
, a maker of wearables to help strengthen muscles which lists the exoskeleton glove Ironhand among its products.
has signed on
to Madison, WI peptide drug developer
as CBO. After five years at
where he was elevated to director of corporate strategy, Arman then pivoted to immuno-oncology biotech
in 2019 as VP of corporate development and strategy.
has been named
CMO of Watertown, MA-based
this spring. Hariri, a clinical development leader at
, comes to Eloxx after his time as
’s senior global project head in rare disease clinical development. Helmed by ex-Zikani CEO
, Eloxx is shooting for data in Q4 with its lead candidate
for cystic fibrosis patients with nonsense mutations.
→ It’s full steam ahead with more hires at
as CEO and CSO
three months later, with
the molecular machine biotech as chief people and experience officer. Trotto, who spent 11 years in human resources and global talent acquisition at Bristol Myers, shifted to general manager at
Thrive Earlier Detection
it for a near steal of a $2.5 billion deal last fall. She also led HR at
→ Our Max Gelman just
’s buyout of
last week, and now CEO
as chief legal officer and corporate secretary. Formerly senior counsel at Bristol Myers with 10 additional years at Shire under his belt, Applebaum joins VectivBio from
, where he was chief legal & compliance officer and SVP of regulatory affairs.
→ Palo Alto, CA-based
has plucked up
as chief strategy officer. Rizk joins the company with experience from her time at
, Merck and
as chief human resources officer and SVP. Carmona held a similar position at
and was involved in HR at Shire and
. Rocket ran into some issues back in May when the FDA stalled its Phase I trial for a gene therapy candidate to treat Danon disease, and it wasn’t until August that Rocket was able
the trial back off the ground.
, which is
a robotic pill and pulled in $69 million worth of new funding in December,
as general counsel. Groen, an Amgen vet, most recently served as the company’s regional general counsel for its commercial business in Canada, Latin America, Middle East and Africa.
departs from his role as associate general counsel at
to take on
the general counsel position at
. Last year, the biotech
on CAAR-T (chimeric auto-antibody receptor) cell therapy development. Now it hopes that Gerard’s legal and corporate experience, which also includes a stint at
, will help push more gene therapies through the pipeline.
is leaving his post
to hop aboard
as the company’s first-ever EVP for impact. Welchman served as head of neuroscience and mental health at the Wellcome Trust and previously served as a professor of neural intelligence at the University of Cambridge.
is making his way over
as EVP and therapeutic head, gastroenterology. Plevy brings with him experience from his time as CSO at
. Plevy has also served as VP, immunology research and development at
is taking over the torch
as SVP and head of research & development from retiring exec
at Waltham, MA-based
. Kuchibhatla comes to the company from
PRA Health Sciences
, a subsidiary of
, where he was executive director of global drug development. Prior to his role at PRA, Kuchibhatla was with
QED Pharmaceutical Services
as SVP, operations. Eagling-Vose hails from Oxford University spinout
, where she served as senior director and head of clinical operations. Prior to her role at Vaccitech, Eagling-Vose was project director and director of patient engagement at
the Pennsylvania-based gene therapy developer co-founded by Jim Wilson,
as its new chairwoman of the board of directors. The CEO of
CEO has been a member of the board since February, and was brought on as chairwoman following former chairman
as chairman of the board at synthetic lethality startup
, although Davis will keep his seat on the board. Civik takes this role at the precision oncology player after a year as president and CEO of
, which Amgen
to buy for $2 billion in April.
→ You think Civik is done in this edition of Peer Review? In the words of ESPN college football icon Lee Corso, “Not so fast, my friend!” Civik is also in a new crop of board members at
Pamela Yanchik Connealy
as CFO last week.
Civik are ex-Pfizer CMO
has been elected
chairman of the board at
based in Tel Aviv. The co-founder and former chairman at Spark is now managing director of healthcare ventures at
Ziff Capital Partners
and also chairs the board at upstart
→ Another Spark co-founder,
to the board of directors at Rockville, MD-based AAV gene therapy biotech
, a board member at
and the ex-CFO of
, is also claiming a board seat at Regenxbio.
→ Chaired by CEO (and
to the board of directors. From 2016 until his retirement this year, Sender was CFO at
and is a board member at
a seat on the board of directors at “digital cell biology” company
, a participant in the epic IPO boom of 2020. The ex-president and CEO of
, Kadia is on the boards of
, among others.
the Covid-19 hunt last May,
has brought on
— a leader in the fields of rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis research — to its board of directors. McInnes is currently vice principal and head of college to the College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, Muirhead professor of medicine, and honor consultant rheumatologist at the University of Glasgow in Scotland.
Switzerland-based VectivBio Holding AG is acquiring privately-held Comet Therapeutics, which focuses on the development of drugs aimed at previously untreatable inherited metabolic diseases. With the acquisition, VectivBio will see a significant expansion of its rare disease pipeline.
The CoMET platform gained through this acquisition is aimed at the treatment of inherited metabolic diseases that have a deficit of energy metabolism and depletion of functional Coenzyme A (CoA). The modular technology has the potential to address multiple previously untreatable IMDs by targeting the key cellular dysfunctions that underlie these conditions. This approach is expected to overcome important limitations of standard of care and has the potential to prevent the clinical progression of IMDs, VectivBio said in a statement.
There are already four distinct programs currently in research, with plans to enter the clinic with the first program in the next 18 months, the company added.
Under the terms of the agreement, VectivBio will acquire Comet Therapeutics in exchange for equity and cash, as well as additional milestone payments that were not disclosed.
“The acquisition of the CoMET platform is in line with our core mission of developing disease-modifying treatments for rare severe diseases,” Luca Santarelli, founder and chief executive officer of VectivBio, said in a statement. “The platform’s potential to deliver a pipeline of medicines that target the fundamental molecular pathophysiology of IMDs by unlocking previously inaccessible pathways, would provide us with the opportunity to transform the lives of these patients. We are eager to begin work on our new programs and look forward to progressing our first candidate towards the clinic.”
Elsewhere around the globe:
AlzeCure Pharma – Sweden’s AlzeCure Pharma AB received approval from Swedish regulators to initiate a Phase I study of ACD856 focused on Alzheimer's disease. The Phase I study is AlzeCure's third clinical study with ACD856, the lead candidate drug within the company’s NeuroRestore platform. ACD856 is being developed as a symptom-relieving treatment for disease states where the cognitive ability is impaired. The primary study goal is to evaluate ACD856’s tolerability and safety after repeated dosing, as well as to examine early signals on brain activity.
Meletios Therapeutics – French biotech Meletios Therapeutics announced a financial round that raised €3.8 million to accelerate its research programs aimed at identifying and developing a new generation of antiviral treatments. The financial infusion will allow Meletios to finalize a proof-of-concept study for its first product and will help the company to rapidly launch a first clinical trial, while pursuing the research and development of new innovative antiviral compounds.
TISSIUM – Also based in France, TISSIUM closed a Series C financing round that brought in €50 million from new and existing international investors. The financing will allow TISSIUM to continue to execute on its development plan, funding the company up to the commercialization of its leading nerve repair, hernia repair and cardiovascular sealant products.
CellCarta – Sweden-based CellCarta and Olink Proteomics AB announced a strategic collaboration that will provide Olink with Target 96 & Target 48 to pharmaceutical and biotech customers, advancing targeted protein biomarker quantification in clinical studies. With the acquisition of the first Olink Signature Q100 instruments and the collaborative support of Olink, CellCarta becomes the first global clinical CRO to offer the technology. The Olink platform offers a high-multiplex technique to quantify protein biomarkers that uses minimal clinical sample volume.
AC Immune – Switzerland’s AC Immune SA announced that Roche subsidiary Genentech saw positive data with its licensed anti-tau monoclonal antibody, semorinemab, in mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease. Semorinemab met one of its co-primary endpoints in a clinical study, although a second co-primary endpoint was not met. Safety data showed that semorinemab is well tolerated with an acceptable safety pro no unanticipated safety signals. Semorinemab demonstrated a statistically significant reduction in cognitive decline from baseline by 43.6% compared to placebo.
Immutep Limited – Australia-based Immutep announced its Chinese partner EOC Pharma will expand its clinical trial pipeline for eftilagimod alpha in that country. EOC is preparing to initiate a clinical trial of efti in combination with an anti-PD-1 therapy. The new trial is expected to commence in the first half of calendar year 2022. The new trial builds on the latest promising data presented by Immutep at ASCO 2021 and on EOC’s previously announced Phase II trial evaluating efti in combination with chemotherapy in metastatic breast cancer patients.
Relief Therapeutics – Switzerland’s RELIEF Therapeutics Holding announced additional findings in a Phase IIb/III study conducted by U.S. partner NRx Pharmaceuticals. The study assessed Zyesami (aviptadil) for the treatment of patients with acute Respiratory Failure due to Critical COVID-19. The new analysis shows that patients treated with Zyesami demonstrated improvement in blood oxygen, indicative of improved lung function, within a day of starting treatment. NRx will seek Breakthrough Therapy designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. If granted, RELIEF believes this could confer Priority Review to the aviptadil New Drug Application, when submitted.
FairJourney Biologics – Portugal-based FairJourney Biologics S.A. has relocated into a larger, newly purpose-built research center in Portugal. The new premises support the company’s expansion and plans for further growth. FairJourney Biologics now occupies over 200,000 square feet, with the new premises containing 140 fully equipped laboratories, meeting rooms and social areas, as well as green spaces and leisure areas to promote employee well-being. The state-of-the-art facility will house more projects and industry-leading equipment, enabling the company to support more clients and carry out world-class research into antibody-based drugs.
VectivBio AG has made some significant progress since launching in 2020. In less than two years, the company has had multiple significant financing rounds and completed an initial public offering (IPO), among other accomplishments along the way.
Adding to its list of achievements, on Tuesday the Swiss biotech announced it is acquiring Comet Therapeutics.
Comet works to develop drugs for previously untreatable inherited metabolic diseases (IMD). IMDs are medical conditions caused by genetic defects that interfere with the body’s metabolism. They are often times life-impairing or fatal diseases that have limited treatment options. Comet’s current investors include Sofinnova Partners, INKEF Capital, Canaan and Mission BioCapital.
With the acquisition, VectivBio will gain Comet’s proprietary CoMET platform, which uses innovative chemistry to provide a stabilized CoA precursor and key metabolic intermediates to restore fundamental cellular metabolism.
“The platform’s potential to deliver a pipeline of medicines that target the fundamental molecular pathophysiology of IMDs by unlocking previously inaccessible pathways, would provide us with the opportunity to transform the lives of these patients,” said Luca Santarelli, M.D., founder and chief executive officer of VectivBio. “We are eager to begin work on our new programs and look forward to progressing our first candidate towards the clinic.”
The acquisition is expected to be complete by the end of September. No cash specifics were disclosed at the time of announcement.
VectivBio also announced that it will be hosting an R&D Day in September 21 for investors and analysts. The company will be covering a range of topics including apraglutide’s potential in treating short bowel syndrome with intestinal failure and graft-versus-host disease and an overview of the CoMET platform.
Apraglutide, VectivBio’s lead product candidate, is a next-generation GLP-2 analog that is currently being evaluated in a global Phase III trial. The drug aims to increase the intestine’s ability to absorb fluids and nutrients and minimize the burden of parenteral support.
Just a few months ago, VectivBio announced the closing of its $146.6 million IPO. The company began trading on the Nasdaq on April 9 under the ticker symbol VECT. VectivBio is a spinout of Therachon Holding AG and launched in January 2020 with a $35 million Series A financing round.
"Rare diseases remain an area of significant unmet medical need, where our team's proven track record and entrepreneurial mindset will enable us to have a positive impact,” Santarelli said at the time of the IPO announcement.