AstraZeneca Hires New Breast Cancer Lead

The pharma giant adds Sunil Verma, MD, FRCP to its Research & Development Executive team. Dr. Verma takes on the role of Vice President and Head of Breast Cancer Strategy and Global Clinical Leader in Oncology R&D. Specifically, he will be trusted to lead the company’s $7 billion Daiichi-partnered drug trastuzumab deruxtecan (DS-8201). DS-8201 has already received an FDA breakthrough tag and is an important development in AstraZeneca’s breast cancer portfolio.

The experienced researcher comes to AstraZeneca from the Department of Oncology at the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary. Dr. Verma is especially familiar with antibody-drug conjugates, having been the lead investigator for the first ADCs approved by the FDA for treatment of cancerous tumors. “His expertise,” says Jose Baselga, EVP and President of R&D Oncology, “will bring enormous value as we continue to develop trastuzumab deruxtecan, an ADC which we believe has the potential to become a transformative new medicine for patients with unmet need.”

CSL Taps Biogen Exec

Industry veteran Paul McKenzie, PhD joins the global biotech as its new Chief Operating Officer. Throughout his 30 year career, Dr. McKenize has risen through the ranks to become a well-known operational leader at globally recognized companies including Johnson & Johnson, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Merck earlier in his career. He now leaves his position as Biogen’s Executive VP of Pharmaceutical Operations and Technology to take on the responsibility of managing CSL’s global supply chain.

CSL’s CEO & Managing Director, Paul Perreault, comments, “…Paul has earned a reputation as a patient-focused business leader—an important attribute as we continue to invest in our science, facilities, and commercial capabilities for delivering better outcomes to patients and protecting public health. I look forward to working with Paul and the rest of our leadership team in executing our strategy and continuing to sustainably grow our global business.” While stationed at CSL headquarters in PA, Dr. McKenzie looks forward to helping deliver innovative medicine to patients around the world.

Beam Therapeutics

Formerly Beam’s VP and Head of Business Development and Strategy, Courtney Wallace was promoted to the department’s new Senior Vice President. Wallace was previously a leading business director at Celgene, where she gained experience in leading collaborations, licensing transactions, equity investments, and mergers and acquisitions that will now help the gene editing company grow.

CDx Diagnostics

Bill Huffnagle joins the company renowned for its esophageal cancer tissue testing tool as the new Chief Executive Officer. Huffnagle most recently served as President of Stryker’s Joint Replacement Division where he managed the global hip and knee business. He will now lead CDx through its next phase of commercialization, valuation, and clinical trials for its novel WATS3D technology platform.

CENTOGENE

The rare disease company announces the appointment of Sun Kim in Boston, MA as Chief Strategy & Investor Relations Officer. Kim will be responsible for providing strategic guidance and alignment across the organization, developing scenarios and recommendations to support CENTOGENE’s long-term goals. Kim boasts two decades of experience including his previous position as Shire’s Head of Corporate Strategy and leadership positions at Novartis.

Certara

William F. Feehery, PhD is now Chief Executive Officer of the patient market access services company. Dr. Feehery has served as DuPont Industrial Biosciences President for the past five years, where he gained the experience necessary to lead a global biotech of over 3,000 employees. He will now use his commercial, operational, and technical expertise to take Certara to the next level of growth.

closerlook

The biopharma marketing agency adds Alecia Dantico to their team as VP, MCM Strategy. Dantico brings 15 years of experience leading, building, and executing multichannel marketing strategies to closerlook, where she will now help to enhance their MCM offering and bring brand messages to life in the right combination of channels to drive conversion.

EUSA Pharma

Former Pfizer executive, Darrel Cohen, MD, PhD, joins EUSA as Head of Clinical Development. He will focus on the company’s late-stage pipeline work, mainly for its currently marketed cancer and rare disease drugs in the U.S. and Europe. Dr. Cohen brings experience from his previous position at Pfizer’s global oncology organization as Vice President, Clinical Development Leader.

Evoke PR & Influence

The global, health-focused agency appoints Barbara Box as Executive Vice President, Strategy and Business Engagement at the New York headquarters. Box will drive client strategy and business development. Her integrated marketing and communications background and 15 years of leadership experience in the arena readies Box to lead Evoke through its next growth phase.

Geron

The biopharma company focused on developing its first-in-class telomerase inhibitor, names Ying Wan, MD, PhD, Vice President, Biometrics. Dr. Wan previously served as Director and Functional Leader, Oncology Statistics, Statistics & Decision Sciences at Janssen R&D where she spent 12 years. Now, Dr. Wan will manage and lead biostatistics and statistical programming, statistical strategy for clinical development, and support clinical projects by implementing innovative approaches in designs and analyses plans.

Glympse Bio

The life sciences company announces Wendy Winckler, PhD, as Chief Scientific Officer. Dr. Winckler will use her operational, scientific, technological, and clinical leadership experience to help advance the company’s novel technology into the clinic. Dr. Winckler was most recently Executive Director of Next Generation Diagnostics at the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research.

Health Union

The company dedicated to creating condition-specific online communities announces Jake Ridgway as Vice President of People. Ridgway will lead a team that handles all aspects of human resources, including talent acquisition, management and development, organizational development and effectiveness, compensation, benefits and diversity and inclusion initiatives.

Immunocore

The TCR biotech company names Mohammed Dar, MD as its new head of Clinical Development and Chief Medical Officer. He will continue clinical development of tebentafusp (IMCgp100) and Immunocore’s pipeline. He is also trusted to oversee clinical, operational, biostatistics, and medical affairs functions across all therapeutic areas. Dr. Dar was previously Vice President, Clinical Development Oncology, R&D at MedImmune (AstraZeneca) and spent 10 years at GSK in oncology clinical development.

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