Moderna Gains New Chief Development Officer

The company everyone is hearing about as they move into clinical trials for a COVID-19 vaccine, names Melanie Ivarsson, PhD, MBA, its new Chief Development Officer. Dr. Ivarsson brings with her more than 20 years of pharma experience, previously serving as Vice President, Head of Global Clinical Operations for Takeda.

“Melanie brings tremendous clinical operations experience from multiple pharmaceutical companies across a variety of therapeutic areas, including the treatment for rare diseases such as Hereditary Angioedema (Takhzyro, Cinryze, Firazyr) and Lysosomal Storage Disorders including Gaucher disease (VPriv), Hunter’s syndrome (Elaprase), and Metachromatic leukodystrophy (in clinical trials),” said Tal Zaks, MD, PhD, Chief Medical Officer at Moderna. “We are thrilled to welcome Melanie to the Moderna team as we move toward the next phase of growth of our company.”

Melanie is passionate about delivering novel medicines from the mRNA pipeline. Her vast experience includes overseeing 130 clinical operations experts, with responsibility for the delivery of all clinical trials across oncology, neuroscience, rare disease, gastroenterology, and plasma-derived therapies, while at Takeda.

Healthline Media Adds Branding Guru To Team

The number one digital health information site created a new position for Matthew Urbanos, Vice President of Brand. Urbanos will be charged with making Healthline Media a household name, demonstrating its mission through programs, partnerships, and campaigns. He will first build an internal creative agency tasked with creative storytelling.

Senior Vice President of Marketing, Tracy Rosecrans, states, “In order for us to continue to expand our impact on our vision to make the world stronger and healthier, we need to improve our brand awareness, and Matt is the right lead. Matt Urbanos is a brand steward and creative storyteller with an entrepreneurial spirit.”

During his 20 years of experience, Urbanos led the rebranding of USA TODAY, including multiple sports and lifestyle brands and 100 local media brands, and was a creative and brand consultant for companies such as Barnes & Noble and Shutterstock.

Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO)

The biotechnology industry’s largest trade association tapped former Biogen CEO, George Scangos, to lead its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Scangos, currently Chief Executive of Vir Biotechnology, which is also working on a coronavirus treatment, will help the association mitigate the spread of the virus through policy. The initiative is working with the government to research vaccine and diagnostic programs under economic stress.

FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies

Current President and Chief Operating Officer, Martin Meeson, takes over as CEO of the biologic and vaccine manufacturer. He takes over as the company prepares to launch $120 million in gene therapy production and the initiation of its new $21 million human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) manufacturing facility. The finance guru is on track to lead the company as it continues to expand in Texas, Denmark, and Tokyo.


The global biotech specializing in cancer antibody therapies, announced Anthony Mancini as its new Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Mancini, a seasoned leader in strategy and operation, will be responsible for the successful direction, planning, and execution of all aspects of Genmab’s commercial strategies so it may transform cancer treatment by bringing its differentiated therapeutic products to the market.

Impulse Dynamics

New Jersey-based Impulse, the heart failure focused company that develops CCM™ therapy delivered by the Optimizer Smart System, appoints Ishu Rao, MD, as Medical Director. Dr. Rao is an accomplished, board-certified cardiac electrophysiologist with 17 years of clinical care experience. He is passionate about bringing CCM therapy to those who need it most, as it can have a profound impact on the quality of life of many of the patients he has served.


The company known for bringing real-time market research to the life sciences industry, appoints Joseph Baldini to Chief Technology Officer. The global data and research expert will lead InCrowd’s efforts and investments to grow mobile-first, on-demand insights. With two decades of experience in data and analytics innovation, Baldini will be chiefly responsible for expanding InCrowd’s end-to-end insights platform.

Leap Therapeutics

The immuno-oncology focused biotech makes leadership changes with Douglas E. Onsi becoming its new President and Chief Executive Officer while maintaining his current role of Chief Financial Officer, and Cynthia Sirard, MD, prior Vice President, Clinical Research & Development, promoted to Chief Medical Officer. Onsi, CFO since 2011, will take over the CEO position from Chris Mirabelli, PhD and continue to work with him on the Board. Dr. Sirard has been with the company since 2012 and is an expert in global clinical development, encompassing strategic development and the oversight of clinical and commercial programs in oncology.


Matthew Baker, PhD is named Chief Executive Officer of the small molecule cancer immuno-oncology company. Dr. Baker holds more than 20 years of experience, having previously served as Vice President of Immunology at the company. In his new role, the company trusts that Dr. Baker’s knowledge of cell immunology will prove invaluable as it enters the next phase of growth in advancing its pipeline of DNA mismatch repair (MMR) drugs.

Ogilvy Health

Ogilvy’s Ripal R. Patel is promoted from SVP, Client Financial Services to Chief Financial Officer. In his new role, Patel will oversee the organization’s finance, accounting, and facilities departments. With more than 24 years of experience, and more than a decade at Ogilvy Health, Patel has extensive knowledge in commercial finance, financial planning and operations, accounting, strategy, and procurement, as well as a deep understanding of the healthcare advertising ecosphere.

Thrive Earlier Detection Corp.

Matt Franklin joins the cancer detection company as Chief Commercial Officer while Semi Trotto is promoted to Chief People Officer. Franklin brings more than 20 years of experience in business, commercial, and strategic marketing to Thrive. Franklin will be responsible for setting and executing all aspects of the company’s commercial and business development strategy. Trotto, a member of Thrive’s founding management team, has worked to help shape and build the Thrive organization and develop an integrated culture across the company’s Cambridge and Baltimore locations. She most recently served as Senior Vice President and Head of Human Resources at the company.

UNITY Biotechnology

Biogen’s previous head of R&D, Anirvan Ghosh, PhD, left his position to become CEO of the age-related diseases biotech. Due to his experience in upping Biogen’s pipeline from five to nine drugs in phase 1, UNITY hopes the expert will help further their smaller portfolio, including osteoarthritis prospect UBX0101.


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