Chutes & Ladders—After 9 years at Merck, Roy Baynes follows Roger Perlmutter to Eikon

 Chutes and LaddersWelcome to this week's Chutes & Ladders, our roundup of hirings, firings and retirings throughout the industry. Please send the good word—or the bad—from your shop to Max Bayer, and we will feature it here at the end of each week.

Roy Baynes Merck Eikon
(Eikon Therapeutics)

After 9 years, Roy Baynes ditches Merck to follow Perlmutter to Eikon 

Eikon Therapeutics

Roy Baynes, Ph.D., is departing Merck after nine years and joining Eikon Therapeutics as chief medical officer, following former colleague Roger Perlmutter, M.D., Ph.D.

He leaves behind an impressive track record at the Big Pharma, most notably the development of Keytruda, a blockbuster medicine and one of the most successful cancer drugs to hit the market. But what he joins is a budding new biotech that uses Nobel Prize-winning microscopy technology to allow scientists to visualize individual proteins. As a result, the company is able to uncover the biology and mechanics of difficult-to-reach targets in its quest to develop new drugs. Last year, Perlmutter left Merck to take the reins of Eikon as CEO. Fierce Biotech

Ex-Biogen R&D head takes on CEO role at Voyager a month after joining board

Voyager Therapeutics

Biogen R&D Chief Al Sandrock

Former Biogen R&D chief Al Sandrock, M.D., Ph.D., is taking the top post at Voyager Therapeutics a month after joining the company's board. Sandrock left the Biogen after 23 years and a controversial approval process for its Alzheimer's med, Aduhelm. 

He'll now move to a company in Voyager that's caught the attention of a number of larger pharmas for its AAV capsids, including Novartis and Pfizer. But he'll still be tasked with steadying the ship after the biotech discontinued its first attempt at a treatment for Huntington's disease last year, causing shares to nosedive. In recent days, however, the company has come back into favor with Wall Street, up more than 150% in the last month to more than $9.50 per share. Fierce Biotech

Phillip Krause joins Mesoblast board after departing FDA amid bungled booster rollout


Phil Krause, former deputy director at the FDA

Phillip Krause, M.D., former deputy director of the FDA's Office of Vaccine Research and Review, is joining the board of Mesoblast, an Australian-based biotech focused on off-the-shelf cell therapies for severe inflammatory diseases. 

His arrival comes following a high-profile departure, after Krause left the FDA late last year alongside his boss Marion Gruber, Ph.D., amid a bungled federal booster rollout. Both Krause and Gruber expressed there being a lack of data to support the rollout of boosters to the general population while the Biden administration had coalesced around the policy. Krause also chairs the World Health Organization's COVID Vaccines Research Expert Group. Release

> Mammoth Biosciences has plucked former Halozyme Therapeutics CFO Elaine Sun for the same role as well as COO. While at Halozyme, Sun led the public company's finances and accounting. Release

> Endocrine-focused Crinetics Pharmaceuticals has tapped Chris Robillard as chief business officer after he led business development at Goldfinch Bio. Release

> After the retirement of John Reardon, Ph.D. at the end of January, Ribometrix has promoted Manjunath Ramarao, Ph.D., from senior vice president to chief scientific officer. Prior to joining Ribometric last year, Ramarao managed R&D at Bristol Myers Squibb's R&D center in Bangalore, India. Release

> Jasper Therapeutics promoted a couple of top executives, first promoting Jeet Mahal to COO after he was stationed as chief financial and business officer. The company also bumped up Wendy Pang, M.D., Ph.D., to SVP of research and translational medicine after she led early R&D. Release 

> Vaxxinity is adding Peter Powchik, M.D., to its board of directors after he retires as EVP of R&D at the end of the month. Prior to joining Vaxxinity's predecessor, United Neuroscience, Powchik was SVP of clinical development at Regeneron, overseeing the company's first seven approved drugs. Release

> Molly Henderson is joining Phathom Pharmaceuticals next month as chief financial and business officer following a stint as CFO at UroGen Pharma. Henderson also sits on the board of Calliditas Therapeutics AB and chairs the company's audit committee. Release

> Precision oncology company Strata Oncology has reeled in Sundu Brahmasandra as chief operating officer after more than 20 years working in the molecular diagnostics sector, most recently as president and COO of NeuMoDx Molecular. Release

> Totus Medicines has named Laura Miller as both its chief business officer and chief operating officer. Most recently, Miller led portfolio and product development strategy at Genentech. Release

> Capsida Biotherapeutics has brought on Rayne Waller as chief operating officer, where he'll oversee both manufacturing and the company's day-to-day operations. Release

> David Dimmock, M.D., a leader in precision medicine using genomic sequencing, is joining Creyon Bio as chief medical officer after six years at Rady Children's Institute for Genomic Medicine in San Diego. Release 

> Sosei Heptares made a bevy on new appoints this week, most notably promoting Chris Cargill from CBO to president and CEO. The company also made a couple other additions to its C-suite, naming Kieran Johnson as chief accounting officer, Kazuhiko Yoshizumi as chief compliance officer and Hironoshin Nomura as chief financial officer. The company also promoted Matt Barnes to be president of Heptares Therapeutics and head of U.K. R&D. Release

> Klaus Orlinger, Ph.D. has been elevated at Hookipa Pharma from EVP of research to chief scientific officer. Orlinger was been at the company for a decade after launching his career as a scientist in the molecular vaccines department at Baxter AG. Release

> Germany-based Glycoptope made a number of appoints as it reprioritized the company to focus on drug discovery and development. The company appointed Antje Danielczyk as COO overseeing R&D operations in addition to naming Patrik Kehler as chief scientific officer. Release