Chutes & Ladders—Amneal's Bisaro, handpicked CEO out as generics business falters


Chutes and Ladders
Welcome 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 Kyle Blankenship, and we will feature it here at the end of each week.

Paul Bisaro vaulted now-struggling Amneal to top generics ranks—now, he and his handpicked CEO are out

Executive Chairman Paul Bisaro and CEO Rob Stewart have been replaced.

Following a steady decline in the generics maker's stock price, the two leaders will be replaced by co-founders Chirag Patel and Chintu Patel, who will pivot from their roles as co-chairmen to take over as co-CEOs; and Paul Meister, a co-founder of Liberty Lane Partners and former president of MacAndrews & Forbes Inc., who will assume the role of executive chairman. In addition, three independent directors, Robert L. Burr, Janet S. Vergis and Dharmendra Rama, have also resigned. Bisaro, who helmed Impax and later Amneal after stepping down as CEO and chairman at Allergan in December 2017, was known for a long M&A winning streak after building Actavis into a top-tier generics maker through aggressive buyouts. One of those blockbusters was Actavis’ $70.5 billion purchase of Allergan—which took the name of the newly merged company—in March 2015. FiercePharma

Teva scouts new CFO as McClellan steps down for personal reasons

Michael McClellan will step down as chief financial officer.

McClellan said he is resigning for personal reasons to be closer to his family, Teva said on Wednesday. He’s expected to stay with the company through the third-quarter earnings report to ensure a smooth transition; meanwhile, the company is searching for its next CFO. The outgoing finance chief has served in the role since November 2017, when CEO Kare Schultz promoted him from an interim post he assumed in the wake of longtime CFO Eyal Desheh's exit. That year, before McClellan officially took over, Teva cut its guidance three times—twice by more than $1 billion. FiercePharma

Eli Lilly cancer chief Levi Garraway replaced by Loxo CEO Josh Bilenker (for now) 

Eli Lilly
Josh Bilenker has been appointed interim chief of oncology. 

The Loxo Oncology CEO will replace outgoing oncology chief Levi Garraway, M.D., Ph.D., on a temporary basis. Details are light, but the “interim” part is because this wasn’t a planned succession. Lilly says Garraway has “resigned from his position … in order to pursue other opportunities.” Garraway himself took over three years ago from Richard Gaynor, M.D., who had been at the Big Pharma for 15 years. FierceBiotech

John McHutchison, M.D., has landed at Assembly Biosciences as the biotech's newest CEO. The nine-year Gilead veteran left his post of CSO and R&D chief on Friday. McHutchison joined Gilead from Duke University Medical Center in 2010, as senior VP of liver disease therapeutics. He moved up the ranks, serving as EVP of clinical research before becoming the company’s top scientist and EVP of R&D in 2018 when Gilead’s longtime R&D lead Norbert Bischofberger, Ph.D., stepped down. FierceBiotech

Cleave Therapeutics has pegged Amy Burroughs as CEO and Scott Harris as COO. Burroughs most recently served as executive-in-residence at 5AM Ventures and as a strategic commercial adviser to Crinetics Pharmaceuticals. Harris most recently held executive positions at two BridgeBio subsidiaries, including serving as executive VP of corporate development and operations at Navire Pharma. Release 

SQZ Biotechnologies appointed Teri Loxam as its CFO. Loxam has over 15 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry and joins the SQZ team from Merck & Co., where she served as senior VP of investor relations and global communications. Release

> Rodin Therapeutics has named veteran investment professional Ajim Tamboli as its newest CFO. Tamboli comes to Rodin from Asymmetry Capital Management, where he was focused on life sciences investing. He previously was a partner at Endurant Capital Management, which he co-founded and spun out from Columbia Management, spending a combined eight years overseeing a global portfolio of biotech and pharmaceutical companies. Release

Foundation Medicine brought on Genentech’s Priti Hegde, Ph.D., to be its new CSO and oversee its work in clinical product development and cancer genomics. Hegde made the jump between the two Roche-owned siblings after 12 years at Genentech, where she most recently was senior director and principal scientist for oncology biomarker development. FierceBiotech

McCann Health has named chief strategy officer Hilary Gentile as the company's first global CSO. Gentile, a 20-year McCann Health veteran, has led strategy in North America since 2015 and will report to McCann Health's global CEO, John Cahill. FiercePharma

> John J. Brennan, Ph.D., has joined Glycadia Inc. as CDO. Brennan is a 38-year industry vet, having served in senior scientific management positions with Bristol-Myers Squibb, Solvay Pharmaceuticals and AbbVie. 

After four years at Neon Therapeutics, Robert Ang will run his own company: Vor Biopharma, a biotech working on engineered stem cell therapies for blood cancers. Ang joins Vor three years after the company’s birth and six months after it raised $42 million in series A funding. Vor’s pipeline is based on the work of oncologist and Pulitzer Prize-winner Siddhartha Mukherjee, M.D., Ph.D., and his team at Columbia University. FierceBiotech

Canadian clinical research firm Altasciences has pegged biopharma and CRO veteran Beatrice Setnik, Ph.D., as its newest CSO. Setnik, also a Pfizer alum, joins the company from Syneos Health (created by the merger of inVentiv Health and INC Research), where she spent five years, most recently as its VP of scientific and medical affairs. FierceBiotech

XyloCor Therapeutics has named Rickey Reinhardt as CMO. Reinhardt, who helped GlaxoSmithKline get a gene therapy to market, joins XyloCor to take genetic treatments for cardiovascular diseases through clinical development. FierceBiotech

Insitro continues to build its executive team, appointing Aimmune vet Mary Rozenman, Ph.D., as CFO and CBO and Pfizer veteran Keith James, Ph.D., to head up drug discovery. Rozenman and James join Insitro four months after it inked a three-year pact with Gilead to discover and develop treatments for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, a space it seems all of biopharma has piled into, but has yet to see an approved drug. FierceBiotech

Ribon Therapeutics has named Sudha Parasuraman as its CMO. Parasuraman, last seen occupying the same role at X4 Pharmaceuticals, joins Ribon as it works to use money from the VC groups at Johnson & Johnson and Novartis to take small-molecule monoPARP inhibitors into the clinic. FierceBiotech

Allogene Therapeutics has pegged Rafael Amado as its EVP of R&D and CMO. Amado, who is set to leave Adaptimmune imminently, will join the Arie Belldegrun-founded biotech as it works to advance several allogeneic CAR-T therapies into and through clinical development. Adaptimmune hired Amado as CMO in 2015 and expanded his responsibilities to cover its research activities last year. FierceBiotech

Parexel nabbed Gavin Nichols as its EVP of informatics and IT. He joins from BioClinica, where he was chief information officer and EVP of technology. Before that, he had spent more than a decade at Quintiles (now IQVIA). This comes as Parexel returned to being a private company, after its buyout from Pamplona in 2017, and with a new CEO in Jamie Macdonald, after its co-founder and major three-decade-plus veteran Josef von Rickenbach retired last year. FierceBiotech

Pionyr Immunotherapeutics appointed Alicia Levey, Ph.D., as its SVP and CBO. Levey had been CBO at Tempest Therapeutics and Inception Sciences, and a principal at Versant Ventures. Pionyr is developing antibodies that reprogram myeloid cells in the tumor microenvironment to stimulate antitumor immunity. 

> Takeda's labor union accused the company of favoring Shire employees after former Shire Korea CEO Moon Hee-seok took on the Takeda Korea CEO role, according to Korea Biomedical Review. Original Takeda employees allegedly faced unfair changes in their roles and got different incentive plans during the integration, the union said. FiercePharma