PEOPLE & PROMOTIONS: Pharma employment news

Find out who’s on the move in pharma and biotech

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Mirna Therapeutics
Sinil Kim, M.D., Chief Medical Officer
AUSTIN, Texas—Mirna Therapeutics recently hiredDr. Sinil Kim, M.D. as vice president of oncology and chief medical officer,positions in which Kim will be responsible for directing clinical developmentof MRX34, Mirna's first cancer product candidate, as well as advancing thecompany's micro-RNA pipeline. The company recently achieved an industry firstwhen MRX34 became the first micro-RNA product to enter a clinical trial incancer.
"Dr. Kim joins Mirna at an exciting time in ourcompany's growth, as we have just successfully initiated our MRX34 Phase Itrial and are looking forward to further growth and maturation of ourproprietary micro-RNA discovery platform and preclinical pipeline," said Dr. PaulLammers, president and CEO of Mirna. "The depth and breadth of Sinil's clinicaland regulatory expertise in oncology, as well as his reputation as a respectedindustry executive responsible for successfully developing multiple marketedoncology products, will be of significant value to our clinical team as we worktogether to strengthen our leadership in the development of miRNA-basedtherapeutics as a promising new class of anticancer agents."
Prior to joining Mirna Therapeutics, Kim was mostrecently a senior director at Pfizer Inc. in San Diego, where he served as the globalclinical lead for the Inlyta (axitinib) and Torisel (temsirolimus) programs.Previously, he served as director of clinical oncology at Bristol-Myers SquibbCo.
GNS Healthcare
Howard Weiner, Maria Pia Sormani & Philip DeJager, SAB Members
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—GNS Healthcare announced June 3 thatDr. Howard Weiner, Dr. Maria Pia Sormani and Dr. Philip De Jager have joined thecompany's newly formed Multiple Sclerosis Scientific Advisory Board. Themembers of the advisory board will lend their expertise to compliment GNS'sdata-driven modeling technology as the company builds computational models ofthe disease.
Weiner is a professor of neurology at HarvardMedical School, director of the Partners Multiple Sclerosis Center and chief ofthe Division of Multiple Sclerosis at Brigham and Women's Hospital; Sormani isa professor of biostatistics at the University of Genoa, Italy, a globallyrecognized leader in biostatistics for multiple sclerosis and has published morethan 200 papers in peer-reviewed journals; and De Jager is an associateprofessor of neurology at the Institute for Neurosciences at Brigham andWomen's Hospital, as well as the director for basic and translational researchat the Brigham and Women's Hospital Institute for the Neurosciences.
ICON plc
Neil McCullough, Ph.D., Executive Vice Presidentof Quality and Compliance and Corporate Training
DUBLIN—ICON plc recently announced the appointmentof Dr. Neil McCullough as Executive vice president of quality and complianceand corporate training. In this role, he will provide strategic direction forquality management, quality assurance and corporate training across all ICONlines of business, ensuring ICON continues to deliver high quality solutions toclients that are fully compliant with the evolving global regulations guidingthe biopharmaceutical industry.
Neil brings to ICON more than 22 years ofexperience leading global quality functions for pharmaceutical and clinicalresearch organizations. Prior to ICON, Neil led the global quality andcompliance division of PPD, before which he spent nine years at Pfizer Inc. asa member of the Pfizer Global Medical Quality Assurance Leadership team. Priorto Pfizer, Neil served as a quality consultant to GlaxoSmithKline's division ofmanufacturing. 
Kala Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Charles McDermott, Executive Vice President ofBusiness Development
WALTHAM, Mass.—Late May saw Kala PharmaceuticalsInc., a developer of innovative products that rapidly and effectively penetratethe mucosal barrier to enable effective local treatment of serious diseases,announce the appointment of ophthalmic industry veteran Charles McDermott as executivevice president of business development. McDermott will be responsible forleading and executing the company's business development strategy for Kala'sMucosal Penetrating Product (MPP) technology platform as it continues togenerate novel topical product candidates and to advance its lead ophthalmiccandidates towards first in man clinical studies.
"Charlie McDermott is joining Kala at an excitingtime in the company's evolution. We are rapidly gaining momentum within theophthalmic industry and Charlie shares our vision to make a difference in thelives of patients suffering from ocular diseases," said Dr. Guillaume Pfefer, ,Kala's CEO. "Based on his experience at Allergan, he fully appreciates thepotential of Kala's MPP technology to transform clinical practice and to enableeffective local treatments for serious diseases. Charlie will play an importantrole in leading our business development strategy and will work diligently tofoster collaborations with leading pharma companies so that Kala can realizethe full potential of its MPP platform."
Avillion LLP
Ramani Varanasi, Chief Business Officer
LONDON—Avillion LLP, which focuses on clinicalco-development of therapeutics, recently announced the expansion of itsleadership team with the appointment of Ramani Varanasias chief business officer.Ramani is described as "an accomplished business executive," bringing more than18 years of biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry experience to Avillion. Accordingto Avillion, she has a distinguished track record in structuring, negotiatingand executing successful strategic alliances, licensing agreements and mergerand acquisition transactions, as well as providing business development,management and strategic leadership to organizations. Over her career, Ramanihas held research and senior level positions in business and corporatedevelopment at such companies as Merck, Millennium/Takeda, MomentaPharmaceuticals, Archemix and RXi Pharmaceuticals.
"We are excited to have Ramani on the Avillionteam, where our key focus is the execution of co-development and financingdeals with pharma and biotech companies," said Lewis Cameron, CEO of Avillion. "Herexperience and leadership in business and corporate development will supportAvillion in its goal of establishing partnerships on late-stage clinicalassets."
BioInvent International AB
Michael Oredsson, President and CEO
LUND, Sweden—On May 24, BioInvent announced todaythat the company's board of directors had appointed Michael Oredsson as BioInvent'snew president and CEO. He was take office within six months of that date. He iscurrently the CEO of Probi AB and also held an earlier executive position at PharmaciaCorp., among other companies. 
"We are very pleased to have been able torecruit a new CEO with a broad and international experience from differentparts of the life science industry," said BioInvent's chairman, Björn O.Nilsson. "We are confident that Michael's expertise and experience of licenses,contracts and commercial solutions and collaborations will be of greatimportance for our new strategic direction, which include increased focus ondeveloping existing and new alliances with partners based on our technologyplatform and project portfolio." 
Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers ofAmerica
Lori Reilly, Executive Vice President of Policyand Research
WASHINGTON, D.C.—June 7 saw Lori Reilly wouldbecome executive vice president of policy and research at the PharmaceuticalResearch and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), succeeding Rick Smith, who retiredafter 11 years of service with PhRMA. Reilly will report directly to PhRMAPresident and CEO John Castellani and serve as a member of the PhRMA ManagementCommittee. Reilly will oversee PhRMA's policy development and researchactivities on a broad range of issues, public policies and regulations thataffect the biopharmaceutical research sector.
Achillion Pharmaceuticals Inc.
David Apelian, M.D., Ph.D., Executive VicePresident and Chief Medical Officer
Kevin Kucharski, Senior Vice President of ClinicalOperations
NEW HAVEN, Conn.—Mid-May saw AchillionPharmaceuticals announce the appointment of Dr. David Apelian to the positionof executive vice president and chief medical officer, a position under whichhe will assume responsibility for the clinical development of Achillion'sportfolio of compounds to treat hepatitis C virus infection. At the same time,the company announced the expansion of its clinical operations group with the additionof Kevin Kucharski, formerly head of clinical operations at Pharmasset, to serveas senior vice president of clinical operations.
David M. Lee, Vice President of Quality
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.—David M. Lee recently became vicepresident of quality at OsoBio, making him responsible for overseeing allquality-related functions to ensure the company's continued compliance withCurrent Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP), including quality systems, qualitycontrol and manufacturing quality assurance. Lee brings to his role more than20 years of professional experience managing quality operations and API andsterile manufacturing. Prior to joining OsoBio in June 2012, Lee served asdirector of validation and quality at Amgen Inc., where, among otherresponsibilities, he managed all validation activities for a $1.2-billion siteexpansion.
Afraxis Inc.
Carmine Stengone, President and CEO
Christopher Rex, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer
SAN DIEGO—Putting in place a new executive team tolead continued development and partnering of company's Enhanced Spine Platform (ESP)technology for drug discovery in central nervous system disorders, late Aprilsaw Afraxis, Inc. announce that it had appointed Carmine Stengone as thecompany's president and CEO and Dr. Christopher Rex as chief scientific officer.
In his previous role as vice president ofcorporate development for Afraxis Holdings, Stengone led and executed a $187.5million license agreement with Roche's subsidiary, Genentech. After thetransaction, Mr. Stengone helped establish Afraxis Inc. as a spin-out fromAfraxis Holdings. 
Rex currently leads scientific operations atAfraxis and oversees the development of the ESP platform and other technologies.Prior to his appointment as chief scientific officer, he was a principleinvestigator and director of R&D strategy for Afraxis Holdings from 2010 to2013, during which time he developed the foundations of the ESP program torapidly evaluate drug impact on the hallmark dendritic spine abnormalities inthe Fmr1-knockout mouse model of Fragile-X Syndrome.
Illumina Inc.
Charles Dadswell, Senior Vice President andGeneral Counsel
SAN DIEGO—Bringing intellectual property expertisein particular, spring 2013 was the time for Charles Dadswell to join Illumina assenior vice president and general counsel. Dadswell assumed all functionalresponsibilities previously held by Christian Cabou, who retired, and will haveworldwide responsibility for all legal and intellectual property matters aswell as being secretary to Illumina's board of directors.
"Chuck brings a deep understanding of theintellectual property and legal issues facing innovative health carecompanies," said Jay Flatley, president and CEO of Illumina. "We areexcited to welcome him to the team and value the expertise he brings asIllumina continues to grow."
Dadswell joined Illumina with more than 20 yearsof leadership and legal experience at healthcare-focused technology companies,most recently serving as vice president, general counsel for North and LatinAmerica and corporate director of global intellectual property at bioMerieux.
Advanced Clinical
Julie A. Ross, Executive Vice President of CROOperations
DEERFIELD, Ill.—Mid-April saw the addition of JulieA. Ross to the leadership team of Advanced Clinical, a leading provider ofclinical research solutions, where she joined on to serve as executive vicepresident, CRO operations. Ross has been instrumental in the development andthe success of multiple clinical operations divisions. Previously with inVentivHealth Clinical (formerly Pharmanet/i3), she served as senior vice president,global strategic service. Prior to her role at inVentiv, Ross led EssentialGroup, a full-service CRO and patient recruitment company, which she helpedbuild and position for its acquisition by inVentiv Health.
Precision for Medicine Inc.
Vicki Seyfert-Margolis, Ph.D., Chief of Scienceand Strategy
CHEVY CHASE, Md.—In mid-April, Precision forMedicinehired Dr. Vicki Seyfert-Margolis as chief of science and strategy. Shejoined Precision from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), where sheserved as senior advisor, regulatory science and innovation, reporting to the FDAcommissioner. In that role, Seyfert-Margolis was responsible for spearheadingthe FDA's regulatory science and personalized medicine initiative, the agency'sstrategy for promoting innovative approaches in drug development, strategiesfor big data and scientific computing, as well as policies and guidance forcompanion diagnostics and co-development. Prior to the FDA, Dr.Seyfert-Margolis was chief science officer at the Immune Tolerance Network, aglobal research initiative to discover biomarkers for autoimmune disorders.
Oramed Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Joshua Hexter, Chief Operating Officer and VicePresident of Business Development
JERUSALEM—Oramed Pharmaceuticals, a developer oforal drug delivery systems, in April announced what it called "a key addition"to its executive leadership team with the appointment of  Joshua Hexter as chief operating officer andvice president of business development.
"Josh will be a great addition and complementto Oramed's executive team as we enter a new era in our clinical trials andactivities," commented Oramed CEO Nadav Kidron.
Hexter brings to Oramed more than 15 years of "prominentleadership with a commitment to excellence in the biotech industry in businessdevelopment and operations," most recently serving as executive director ofcorporate in-licensing at BioLineRx.
Aushon BioSystems
Susan Vogt, CEO
BILLERICA, Mass.—Former SeraCare CEO and Milliporeexecutive Susan Vogt was brought on in early spring to guide the strategicdirection of Aushon BioSystems as its new CEO. Vogt brings more than 30 yearsof experience in the global life -cience research, pharmaceutical, biotech andclinical diagnostics markets to her new role. Founder and former CEO PeteHonkanen assumed the role of chief operating officer and continue as a boarddirector.
"With sound technology, an elegant, easy-to-useplatform and a strong customer base, Aushon is well-positioned to lead themarket as the demand for multiplexing in the life sciences continues to grow,"said Vogt. "Our technology enables research that's critical to the developmentof both therapeutics and diagnostics, and I look forward to driving thecompany's future growth."

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