Co-founder of Relevate Health Group named CEO

The rapidly growing Cincinnati, OH-based healthcare marketing organization recently named its Co-founder, Jeff Spanbauer, as its new CEO. He will take Bill Goldberg’s place, who comments, “Together we have taken a small startup and transformed it into a highly successful company poised for a bright future, and I am very excited about Relevate’s future with Jeff at the helm.”

Spanbauer co-founded Relevate in 2007 and served as its President since 2015. Under his leadership, the group was named an Inc. 500 winner and is repeatedly recognized nationally as a top 100 healthcare marketing services organization.

The company’s success stories include both life sciences and hospital solutions. Spanbauer says, “We will continue to focus on supporting our clients by creating locally relevant communications to inspire healthier communities.”

Adam Kesselman Joins Health Union LLC

Adam Kesselman was appointed as Senior Vice President, Corporate Development for the tech company that builds online communities for those with chronic health conditions. Kesselman brings 20-plus years of experience in pharma brand leadership, including his most recent role as global marketing and commercialization planner for vaccines at Pfizer.

“Health Union has the unique opportunity to leverage relationships developed through our online health communities in a way that will benefit both patients and potential business partners,” said Tim Armand, President and Co-founder of Health Union, in a statement. “Adam has that rare blend of experience, background, skills, and strategic thinking that allows him to translate how various partnerships and alliances with Health Union can help companies achieve their goals and actively improve the lives of their patient populations.”


The German cancer immunotherapy company appointed Leila Alland, MD as Chief Medical Officer. She will be responsible for the clinical strategy and execution of Affimed’s first-in-class NK and T-cell engager programs. She has 20 years of oncology clinical experience, most recently serving as CMO of Tarveda Therapeutics.

Aileron Therapeutics

Jeffrey A. Bailey joins the cancer peptide therapy developer’s Board of Directors as Chairman. Bailey comes from Neurovance where he was Chairman and CEO and has held many leadership positions, including his role as operating unit President of Novartis Pharmaceuticals and a 22-year career with Johnson & Johnson.


The autoimmune-focused biotech company appoints William Jenkins, MD, as Independent Non-Executive Director to its Board. During his 30 year career, Dr. Jenkins has served on the advisory board for a number of pharmaceutical companies including Ablynx and Eurand, while also working in clinical medicine and research at companies such as GSK and Novartis.


Ronald Knickerbocker, PhD joins the cancer therapy manufacturer as SVP of Clinical Development and Data Sciences. Most recently, Dr. Knickerbocker led ARIAD Pharmaceuticals through multiple oncology submissions and was previously a senior leader at Sanofi, Genzyme, Pfizer, and Eli Lilly.


Ian Rentsch is now CEO of the patient data services company whose goal is to bridge the divide between patients, sites, and drug developers. Rentsch has more than 22 years experience with international pharmaceutical companies, including his most recent role as Global Demand and Business Operations Head of an E2E Strategic Alliance.

Collegium Pharmaceutical

Shirley Kuhlmann was appointed to the newly created position of Executive Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary for the specialty pharma company. She brings 10 years experience, having most recently spent time as a Partner in the Health Sciences Department of Pepper Hamilton LLP, where she served as Collegium’s outside counsel.

Innovate Biopharmaceuticals

The clinical-stage biotech company focused on autoimmune and inflammatory therapies named June Almenoff, MD, PhD, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Almenoff brings a record of biopharma leadership success to Innovate, having most recently served as President and Chief Medical Officer at Furiex Pharmaceuticals.

Intouch Solutions

The leading pharma marketing agency promotes Nicole Papageorgiou to Social Media Manager, having served as a social media analyst with increasing responsibility since 2014. She will now develop social strategy for clients’ brand channels while supporting team members with tactical and strategic insights to meet client needs and remain FDA/pharma compliant.

Medicx Media Solutions

The data-driven advertising platform expanded its leadership team adding Denise Esakoff as SVP of Account Services, Research, and Performance Analytics; and Alex DeSanctis as SVP, Sales. Esakoff brings 15-plus years experience leading pharma advertising account service teams and brand managing for companies such as GSK and Novartis. DeSanctis has 13 years media experience, including at Time Inc. where he created digital platforms.


The leader in compliance software for the life sciences industry has named Jim Despelteau as Chief Technology Officer. Despelteau offers 30 years of tech experience, most recently serving as CTO for Qcentive LLC and as Senior Vice President, Engineering at Verisk Health prior to this.

Novavax, Inc.

The clinical-stage biotech company has promoted John J. Trizzino to Senior Vice President, Chief Business Officer and Chief Financial Officer. He previously served as SVP, Commercial Operations since 2014, after joining Novavax in 2009. He is responsible for all pre-commercial and commercial launch strategy and execution.

Rockwell Medical

Two new executives, Lisa Colleran and Benjamin Wolin, join Rockwell Medical’s Board of Directors as part of its commitment to driving shareholder value. Wolin was Co-founder and CEO of Everyday Health until it was acquired by JCOM in 2016 for nearly $500 million. Colleran has 30 years experience, most recently serving as President and Chief Executive Officer for LifeCell Corporation.


The private clinical-stage biotherapeutics company appoints Jason Krentz as Chief Technology Officer and Head of Technical Operations. He will be responsible for technical operations including development and leadership of key functions. Krentz most recently worked at Endo Pharmaceuticals.


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