J. Knipper Appoints New Chief Technology Officer

Based on his many years of knowledge and experience leading large organizations’ software development processes, Rajeev Nair has been appointed as the new Chief Technology Officer for J. Knipper and Company. Nair will lead the development and information technology department. He is widely recognized throughout the industry for providing expert technical service to numerous life sciences industry companies including pharmaceutical manufacturers and the companies that provide services to pharma.

President and COO at J. Knipper and Company, Mike Laferrera notes that Nair’s appointment will help the company provide clients with the highest quality service. Laferrera states, “Rajeev’s wealth of experience and industry knowledge makes him a key addition to the Knipper Family.” Rajeev states he is equally excited to work with a company of such high prestige.

Alan Smith Becomes Bellicum’s SVP of Manufacturing

Bellicum Pharmaceuticals appointed Alan K. Smith, PhD to Senior Vice President of Manufacturing. Smith comes to Bellicum with 30 years of experience, having held various positions in R&D, manufacturing and quality of cellular therapeutics. Prior to his appointment, he served as Vice President of Research & Development and Cellular Therapeutics at LifeNet Health. Smith has had great success in submitting products and devices for FDA regulation.

Tom Farrell, Bellicum’s President and Chief Executive Officer stated, “Alan Smith’s experience in clinical process and systems development, and cGMP manufacturing and quality, will be instrumental in helping us to advance our pipeline of cellular immunotherapies for cancers and orphan inherited blood disorders.”


Named Dr. Peter Sandor Vice President, Head of the Oncology Therapeutic Area in Marketing Strategy. With 19 years experience in the pharma industry, Dr. Sandor recently served as a Vice President in the oncology therapeutic area at Amgen. At Astellas, the doctor will contribute to strategic commercial leadership in the oncology therapeutic area.

Asterias Biotherapeutics

Announced Georgia Erbez as its new Chief Financial Officer. Erbez brings years of financial experience in biotechnologies to the team. Most recently, Erbez was a financial consultant for multiple companies in the industry. She also served as Chief Financial Officer, Secretary and Treasurer of Raptor Pharmaceutical Corp. Erbez will be leading the company as it broadens its portfolio in cellular therapeutics in regenerative medicine.


Announced that José (Joe) Almeida will take over as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer immediately after the retirement of Robert L. Parkinson, who has served in the position for 11 years. Almeida is recognized for his extensive knowledge and experience in the global medical products marketplace. He has served as Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer at Covidien since 2012.

CytomX Therapeutics

Announced that Matthew Young will serve on the company’s Board of Directors. Young offers the company more than 20 years financial experience and corporate development. He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s in business. Earlier in 2015 he was named Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Jazz Pharmaceuticals.

EPIRUS Biopharmaceuticals

Named Vincent E. Aurentz as its Chief Business Officer. Aurentz offers 25 years of experience in the life sciences industry. While serving as President of HemoShear Therapeutics, he collaborated with global organizations including Pfizer, Eli Lilly, Janssen R&D and Children’s National Health System.

GA Communication Group

The full-service healthcare communications agency appointed Chris Weber as Senior Vice President, Group Account Director. Weber possesses 24 years of healthcare agency experience, and also has thorough experience in oncology and neurology.


Appointed Dr. Christine Mummery to its Board of Directors as an independent non-executive director following the resignation of Dr. Vicky Sato. Dr. Mummery serves as Chair of the Department of Anatomy and Embryology at the Leiden University Medical Centre, where she is also a professor of developmental biology.

National Pharmaceutical Council

Announced the election of Patrick Magri, Senior Vice President, Managed Markets and Policy, Merck, to its Board of Directors. Joining Merck in 1990, Magri distinguished himself in a number of positions of increasing responsibility and has vast experience with healthcare stakeholders and in a range of therapeutic areas.

NewLink Genetics Corporation

The biopharmaceutical company recently appointed Dr. Nicholas Vahanian and Paolo Pucci to its Board of Directors. Dr. Vahanian is a co-founder of the company and is currently the President and Chief Medical Officer. Pucci currently serves as Chief Executive Officer at ArQule Inc., where he is also a member on the Board of Directors. He is also chairman of the nominating and governance committee and a part of the audit committee at Dyax Corporation.

ProMetic Life Sciences

Announced that senior finance professional, Gregory Weaver, will now serve as Chief Financial Officer. His expertise includes executive financial leadership, investor relations, financing transaction, accounting and financial reporting and M&A. Weaver previously served as chief financial officer at Oryzon Genomics, Fibrocell Science and Celsion.

Pronutria Biosciences

Appointed Jennifer Che, JD as Vice President, Intellectual Property Counsel. She is tasked with ensuring the security of Pronutria’s technology and lead candidates. Jennifer has more than 10 years experience in the industry, and previously worked at Cerulean Pharma and Vertex Pharmaceuticals.

SELLAS Life Sciences

Announced the integration of Larry W. Kwak, MD, PhD to its Scientific Advisory Board. Cancer researcher Dr. Kwat was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in 2010. He is highly admired for his innovations in immunology and cancer vaccines, also for his ability of promptly converting research into human clinical trials.


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