Ashfield Appoints Ben Beckley Global Commercial Director

The Boston-based global healthcare communications agency adds Ben Beckley to its team as Global Commercial Director. Beckley will be responsible for leading the global commercial strategy, developing business plans, and ensuring all growth opportunities are optimized across the Ashfield Healthcare Communications global network. He will drive the daily business development cycle by removing barriers to success and working in partnership with agency business unit heads to deliver an overall commercial plan.

Doug Burcin, President, Ashfield Healthcare Communications, says, “Ben is a great cultural fit and talent addition to the growing Ashfield team. His track record has demonstrated strong entrepreneurial skills, commercial awareness and a tenacious focus on winning. Ben’s experience, energy, and enthusiasm will move the business forward and I’m excited to be working with him.”

Celgene Hopes to Revive Pipeline with Dr. Alise Reicin as New R&D Leader

Celgene brings in Alise Reicin, MD as a research and development executive to lead mid- to late-stage drug development across Celgene’s portfolio as well as lead clinical operations, biostatistics, project leadership, and project management. A R&D veteran, Dr. Reicin comes to Celgene from EMD Serono, where she was SVP and Head of Global Clinical Development in R&D. Her new title at Celgene will be President, Global Clinical Development.

“Dr. Reicin is an accomplished physician with an excellent record of developing important therapeutics for multiple cancer and inflammatory indications,” says Mark J. Alles, Chairman and CEO of Celgene. “Led by Alise, our clinical development organization will be structured to more completely align with our strategy and mission to discover, develop, and commercialize innovative therapies for patients with unmet need.”

This comes after a disappointing five years, during which more than half of the biotech’s pipeline failed to make it to market.


Appoints Dr. Margaret Hamburg to the leading RNAi therapeutics company’s Board of Directors, effective in January. Dr. Hamburg will provide expert guidance based on her current experience as Foreign Secretary, National Academy of Medicine, and President-elect of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and as a former Commissioner of the FDA. She will work on devising innovative approaches to help expedite development of investigational therapies that address unmet medical needs.

Data Cubed

The clinical research technology company that uses gaming to enhance data gathering hires David Kiger as Chief Commercial Officer. The former PAREXEL innovation strategy and marketing veteran now executes and manages business development, client management, innovation, go-to-market offering strategies, as well as product and services marketing for Data Cubed. He leads all marketing efforts as the company expands its work in virtual clinical trial solutions.

Harpoon Therapeutics

The clinical-stage immunotherapy company announces the appointment of Georgia L. Erbez as Chief Financial Officer. Erbez offers years of experience in financial, operational, and strategic advisory experience in both private and public biotech settings to the management team. She previously served as Chief Business Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Zosano Pharma, as well as Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of Asterias Biotherapeutics.


Deborah DiSanzo is stepping down as General Manager of IBM’s Watson Health unit and is moving to IBM Cognitive Solutions’ strategy team. DiSanzo previously served as General Manager of Heartstream and CEO of Philips Healthcare.

Kala Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Announces Steven Zhang, MD, PhD, will lead its medical affairs work as it becomes a commercial-stage ophthalmic company. Dr. Zhang will use over 15 years of experience, including time as Shire’s medical lead of the company’s global ophthalmic franchise and development programs and medical affairs leader for Bausch + Lomb, to lead the Kala’s medical transition.

Life Biosciences Inc.

The young age-related diseases biopharma company announces Jennifer Cermak, PhD, as a Scientific Advisory Board member having served as SVP of Clinical Development since the company’s founding in 2017. With 20 years experience, Dr. Cermak will evaluate the development of new drugs as well as research into the pathways of age-related decline throughout Life Biosciences and its six daughter companies.


The leading world’s platform for clinical development, commercial, and real-world data appoints Dr. Maria Rivas to its Board of Directors. Dr. Rivas currently serves as SVP, Head of Global Medical Affairs at the biopharma business of Merck KGaA.


The pharma giant taps Nike’s former Global CIO, Jim Scholefield, to take on the role of Chief Information and Digital Officer. Scholefield will lead the development and innovation of digital strategy across the company and will be responsible for leading all aspects of information technology and digital strategy, including developing and implementing new technologies to increase efficiency, strengthen infrastructure security, and support the company’s growth.

Novo Nordisk

Appoints Ludovic Helfgott as Executive Vice President of Biopharm. Formerly head of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases at AstraZeneca, Helfgott  will take helm of the business in April 2019, when the company plans on expanding its market in areas, including China.

Redpin Therapeutics

The neurological biotech company brings in David Bleakman, PhD, as Chief Scientific Officer. Leaving his 25-year career as Eli Lilly VP, CSO, and Neuroscience Site Lead, Dr. Bleakman joins the startup to help advance its technology platforms and pipeline for the severe neurological disorders field.

Spectrum Pharmaceuticals

Francois Lebel, MD, FRCPC joins Spectrum as Chief Medical Officer where he will lead the filing of cancer therapy, Rolontis, to the FDA, as well as expand development of existing products. Dr. Lebel will draw upon his experience as CMO of ZIOPHARM and VP of R&D at Baxter.

Syneos Health Communications

Hired Michael Collinson, SVP Digital to lead the peer exchange offering from Cadent Medical Communications, as well as Steve Marino to lead the digital and social and analytics teams. Collinson has 10-plus years of digital planning experience and will lead a team of planners, analysts, and project managers. Each will take part in crafting the overall strategy of the digital, social, and analytics teams.


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