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 LaHucik, and we will feature it here at the end of each week.
Eureka Therapeutics loses longtime head of R&D to Anticancer Bioscience
Hong Liu joins Anticancer Bioscience as vice president of clinical development.
Liu comes from Eureka Therapeutics, where he led multiple drug candidates into the clinic as vice president of R&D. Anticancer Bioscience aims to have at least one program in the clinic next year, so Liu will be critical to getting the small biotech from discovery and preclinical to a clinical-stage precision medicine company. At Eureka, Liu helped get solid tumor and hematological malignancy drugs into trials. Fierce Biotech
PathAI is the latest route for Roche's Eric Walk, M.D.
Eric Walk, M.D., is joining the pathology startup as chief medical officer.
Walk will lead clinical development work and help helm clinical, regulatory, medical affairs and pathology teams. As a clinician, and biotech and pharma veteran, Walk will bring expertise in developing in vitro and companion diagnostics. He spent about 15 years at Roche Tissue Diagnostics, where he was a CMO and senior vice president of medical and scientific affairs. In late 2017, he was also named chief scientific officer. Fierce Medtech
Tessera Therapeutics inks another executive hire with CFO Howard Liang, Ph.D.
Howard Liang, Ph.D., is leaving BeiGene to be chief financial officer and president at Tessera.
Liang was CFO and chief strategy officer at BeiGene for six years, where he helped grow the research organization into a biotech company with more than 6,000 employees. He led BeiGene's initial public offerings on the Nasdaq and Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Release
> Tessera made a slate of other hires and promotions: Madhusudan Peshwa, Ph.D., as chief technology officer for cell therapy; Bill Querbes, Ph.D., as SVP of therapeutic discovery and translational sciences; Cecilia Cotta-Ramusino, Ph.D. as SVP of platform development; Vikram Ranade, Ph.D., as SVP of corporate development; David Pollard, Ph.D., as head of bioprocess; and Steve Garbacz as head of finance. These moves come three months after Tessera poached bluebird bio's chief medical officer, David Davidson, M.D., as its chief medical and development officer. Release
> Philip Kantoff, M.D., was named Convergent Therapeutics CEO. Kantoff was previously chairman of the Department of Medicine at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and is a co-founder of the radiopharmaceutical company. Release
> Jiwen Zhang, Ph.D., was named senior vice president of regulatory affairs and quality assurance at Renovacor, where she'll bring more than a decade of experience in cell and gene therapy. Zhang joins from AAV-based gene therapy company Passage Bio. Release
> T-cell receptor company T-knife Therapeutics hired Megan Baierlein as chief operating officer. Prior to the new role, Baierlein was senior vice president and chief operating officer at Audentes Therapeutics. Release
> Centene promoted Colin Toney to executive vice president of M&A days after Jesse Hunter said he would resign from his position as chief strategy officer and EVP July 31. Release
> Opiant Pharmaceuticals named Matthew Ruth as chief commercial officer. Ruth will help Opiant move toward a potential approval of its investigational nasal treatment for opioid overdose after having led the launch and commercialization of the first FDA-approved spray in the area during his time at Adapt Pharma. Release
> CAMP4 Therapeutics promoted Kelly Gold, who previously held corporate finance roles at Biogen, as senior vice president of finance and chief business officer. The RNA biotech also named Michelle Gates its first chief people officer after 16 years at Akamai Technologies. Release
> Cancer biotech Iterion Therapeutics hired Jean Chang as its chief operating officer. Chang comes from Nurix Therapeutics, where she was was vice president of program management and asset strategy, and she previously spent nine years at Dynavax Technologies. Release
> Contract research organization promoted Jack Modell, M.D., to chief medical officer after seven years as vice president and senior medical officer. Release
> Diagnostic Biochips named Scott Smith vice president of sales. He comes from Neuralynx, where he was vice president of clinical sales. Release
> Byondis named Timo K. van den Berg, Ph.D., as senior director of its immuno-oncology R&D, starting Sept. 1. Van den Berg comes from Sanquin Research in Amsterdam, where he was head and principal investigator for the immunotherapy laboratory in the department of molecular hematology. Release
> AbCellera named Neil Berkley its first chief business officer after having served as head of business development at Halozyme Therapeutics. Berkley co-founded Mpex Pharmaceuticals and has served in various roles at Acadia Pharmaceuticals, Cadence Pharmaceuticals and GlaxoSmithKline. Release
> Sean Grant joins Vera Therapeutics as chief financial officer. Grant previously led M&A and partnerships at CareDx as vice president of corporate strategy and business development. Release
> AniV8 named Ellie Virtue, Ph.D., its new CEO immediately. Virtue has been a venture partner at Stonehaven Incubate and worked on companion animal monoclonal antibodies at Nexvet Biopharma from 2011 to 2017. Release