Audentes loses 2 executives, hires Sangamo CMO to fill vacancy

Audentes also promoted Fulvio Mavilio to the position of senior vice president of translational science. (Pixabay)

Audentes Therapeutics has hired Sangamo Chief Medical Officer Ed Conner to fill one of two vacancies created by the back-to-back departures of members of its C-suite. The departing Audentes executives are CMO Suyash Prasad and Chief Technology Officer John Gray.

In a financial regulatory filing, Audentes revealed that “it was determined” that Prasad and Gray would leave the company on May 23 and 24, respectively. Gray will depart this week, while Prasad is set to stick around until the end of June. Audentes is yet to explain the consecutive exits of two members of its C-suite.

The gene therapy biotech has a replacement for one of the departing executives, though. Conner is set to join Audentes as CMO in the middle of July, about two weeks after Prasad vacates the position.

Conner joined Sangamo as CMO in 2016, giving him a central role during a period in which the biotech posted clinical data that underwhelmed investors and drove down the company's stock price. Early this month, before it was determined that Prasad would leave Audentes, Conner told Sangamo he planned to resign to pursue a new opportunity. Conner will leave Sangamo at the end of the week. 

The resignation followed shortly after Sangamo hired ex-Nouscom CMO Adrian Woolfson as executive vice president of R&D. Sangamo CEO Sandy Macrae drew a link between the two events earlier this month. 

“We brought in a new head of R&D, so that prompted Ed to find his next opportunity, which is often how it is,” Sandy said at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2019 Healthcare Conference.

Sangamo’s prior appointment of Woolfson, an executive with experience of the CMO role, means the company may already have the expertise needed to cover for the departure of Conner.

At Audentes, the role being vacated by Gray, who has previously been described as the biotech’s chief scientific officer, is yet to be filled. Audentes has promoted another member of the R&D group, though, bumping Fulvio Mavilio up to the position of SVP of translational science. Mavilio joined Audentes in 2017 as VP for scientific affairs in Europe.