Chutes and Ladders: Editas nabs Genzyme’s former rare diseases VP Gerald Cox as CMO

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Chutes and Ladders

Welcome to this week's Chutes and Ladders, our roundup of hirings, firings and retirings throughout the industry. Please send the good word--or the bad--from your shop to Eric Sagonowsky (email) or Angus Liu (email), and we will feature it here at the end of each week.

Former Genzyme VP Gerald Cox becomes Editas’ CMO

ImaraGerald Cox

Editas Medicine
Gerald Cox
lands as CMO.

Genome editing company Editas has been busy making deals with other companies but hasn’t forgotten about strengthening its executive team. It has nabbed former VP of rare disease clinical development Gerald Cox from Sanofi Genzyme to become its CMO. Cox was with Genzyme for about 16 years and played a key role in the development and approval of treatments for lysosomal storage disorders. “Gerry comes to Editas with an international reputation for excellence in the development of therapies for genetic diseases, and he has extensive experience in all stages of clinical development and engagement with regulatory agencies,” said Editas President and CEO Katrine Bosley. “In addition, his background as a clinical geneticist is ideal for the development of genome editing medicines.” FierceBiotech

CRO vet Linda Rawlings among three high-level hires at SynteractHCR


Linda Rawlings
joins as executive director of strategic development.

SynteractHCR continues to make changes to its senior leadership team after it was acquired in May by Amulet Capital Partners. Linda Rawlings, who has more than 25 years of experience in the CRO, pharma and medical device sectors, becomes its executive director of strategic development; Pascale Goujard-Paquette, bringing 30 years of experience, is appointed as senior director of clinical operations in its EU operation; and Erin Parker will be placed in the North Carolina office as the senior director of global medical operations. Wendel Barr, company CEO, described these new hires as “internationally experienced managers who are experts in guiding clients through clinical trials.” FierceBiotech

Michael Rogers steps down as Acorda’s CFO


Michael Rogers

Michael Rogers
 has left the company.

Acorda CFO Michael Rogers has left the company and his role is going to be divided between two other current execs. David Lawrence, the company’s chief of business operations, has taken on additional responsibility as principal accounting officer. Andrew Hindman, chief business development officer, will also lead the Financial Planning and Analysis and Investor Relations section. Dr. Ron Cohen, president and CEO of Acorda, hinted that Rogers’ departure was the result of his long commute from Boston to the company’s headquarters in Ardsley, NY. Release

> AstraZeneca is giving David Goldstein a leading role in its push to sequence 2M genomes. FierceBiotech

> Astellas has appointed Dr. Steven Benner as SVP and therapeutic area head for oncology and promoted Anne Keating to VP of clinical science for oncology within the company's development organization. Release

> Regulus appoints Dr. Timothy Wright as chief research and development officer. Release

> Sterling Pharma Solutions has launched following a management buyout, with Kevin Cook as CEO. FiercePharmaManufacturing

> Richard Bungay is to step down as CFO and COO of Mereo BioPharma. The company has begun searching for a replacement CFO and a head of pharmaceutical development. Release

> After slashing jobs, Rigel has appointed Esteban Masuda and Joseph Lasaga as two new VPs. Release

> Valeant appoints Louis Yu to the newly created position of chief quality officer. Release

> Heska promoted John McMahon to CFO and Steve Eyl to executive VP of global sales and marketing. Release

> Boston Therapeutics completed a private offering and appointed Carl Rausch as CEO. Release

> Lysogene named Mark Plavsic as its CTO. Release