Chutes & Ladders—Bayer picks up Roche vet Ruettinger to lead early cancer R&D

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                     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 LaHucik, and we will feature it here at the end of each week.


Bayer snags another Roche vet for early oncology R&D

Bayer
Dominik Ruettinger, M.D., Ph.D., will head up research and early development for Bayer's oncology pipeline. 

Ruettinger joined Bayer from Roche, where he spent the past 10 years, including a promotion in 2019 to the role of global head of early clinical and biomarker development. He also worked on the bispecific antibody Blincyto while at Micromet, which led to the $1.2 billion takeover by Amgen. In his new role, Ruettinger will work on a pipeline that includes phase 1 candidates targeting TRK, ATR, PSMA and HER2. Ruettinger is reuniting with Christian Rommel, Ph.D., head of Bayer's R&D. The two worked together at Roche, which Rommel left in February. Fierce Biotech


Bayer's BlueRock Therapeutics promotes CSO to CEO

BlueRock Therapeutics
Chief Scientific Officer Seth Ettenberg, Ph.D., is being promoted to the roles of CEO and president.

Emile Nuwaysir, Ph.D., will leave those posts to take up the board chair role. Ettenberg was hired in March 2020 to lead R&D of BlueRock Therapeutics' cell and gene platform. He previously founded Unum Therapeutics, now Cogent Biosciences, and had a stint at Novartis Institutes of Biomedical Research. Fierce Biotech


SynOx Therapeutics hires ex-Kiadis CBO as CEO, names ex-Crucell co-founder as non-executive chairman

SynOx Therapeutics
Ray Barlow joins SynOx Therapeutics as CEO and Ton Logtenberg, Ph.D., becoems the biotech's non-executive chairman.

Barlow joins from Kiadis, where he was chief business officer when the biotech was acquired for $358 million by Sanofi earlier this year. Logtenberg previously co-founded vaccine developer Crucell, which Johnson & Johnson bought for $2.4 billion in 2011. Fierce Biotech


Rubius Therapeutics snagged Novartis Gene Therapies Chief Technical Officer Dannielle Appelhans. She starts as Rubius chief operating officer on August 9. Release

> Biogen named Rachid Izzar as head of a newly formed Alzheimer's and dementia unit. He currently leads the biosimilars unit for the Aduhelm maker. News

> Regeneron's James Cassidy, M.D., Ph.D., joined SpringWorks Therapeutics as chief medical officer. Cassidy comes from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, where he was vice president of oncology strategic program direction. Release

> Grifols subsidiary Alkahest named Amgen vet César Cerezo, M.D., Ph.D., as chief medical officer. Cerezo joined the biotech from Amgen, where he was vice president and therapeutic area head of global medical affairs for general medicine at Amgen. Release

> Oramed Pharmaceuticals named Michael Rabinowitz its first chief commercial officer starting August 1 as the company works on phase 3 trials of its oral insulin. Rabinowitz comes from Merck, where he spent the past 20 years working across marketing, sales, business development and financial leadership. Release

FSD Pharma terminated CEO Raza Bokhari after two months of investigations found the leader responsible for misconduct including breaching court orders, among others. Anthony Durkacz was named interim CEO and Zeeshan Saeed was reinstated as president. Release

> Merck named Cristal N. Downing to the company's new role of chief communications & public affairs officer starting August 16. Downing comes from Johnson & Johnson, where she was vice president of communications and public affairs for the medical devices unit. Release

> Microbial immunotherapy biopharma Prokarium promoted Kristen Albright to CEO. She was previously chief operating officer since 2018. Release

> SCA Pharma promoted Chief Commercial Officer Scott Luce to the role of CEO. Luce succeeded Milton Boyer, and joined the company from The Vistria Group, where he was an operating partner. Release

> Landmark Bio named Ran Zheng CEO to lead the public benefit company formerly known as the Center for Advanced Biological Innovation and Manufacturing. Zheng comes from gene therapy biotech Orchard Therapeutics, where she was chief technical officer. Release

> Valneva, with vaccine candidates for COVID-19, Lyme disease and chikungunya virus, named Peter Buhler as chief financial offcer and will work with acting CFO David Lawrence until late 2021. Buhler is currently CFO of Swiss diagnostics company Quotient. Release

> T-regulatory cell therapy biotech Quell Therapeutics named Tracey Lodie, Ph.D., chief scientific officer. Lodie comes from Gamida Cell, where she served in the same role for the cell therapy company, and was SVP of translational immunology at Bayer's BlueRock Therapeutics prior to that. Release

> Immunai named Jacques Banchereau chief science officer and Mark Jacobstein chief business officer. Banchereau is a professor of clinical immunology at Universite Paris and has previously led inflammation and virology discovery as a senior vice president at Roche. Jacobstein was previously chief user engagement officer at Guardant Health. 

> Thomas Halsey, Ph.D. joined Discovery Life Sciences as executive vice president of genomics. He comes to the biospecimen and biomarker specialist from Q2 Solutions, where he was global head of genomic lab operations. Release

> HIV therapy developer Excision BioTherapeutics named Lisa Danzig, M.D., as chief medical officer. Danzig previously was executive vice president and CMO at infectious disease vaccine maker PaxVax, and was at Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics prior to that. Release

> Gene editing company Metagenomi named Simon Harnest its chief investment officer and SVP of strategy. Harnest comes from Cellectis, where he was also CIO and led the company through a U.S. IPO and spin-out of Calyxt. Release

> ForwardVue Pharma hired Bob Katz as CEO to lead preclinical development of diabetic eye disease and age-related macular degeneration treatment hopefuls. Katz comes from ContraMed, where he was CEO and president  Release

> Serimmune named Rocco R. Raduazo as vice president of business development. He joins from Quanterix, where he held the same title. 

> Gene coding biotech SalioGen Therapeutics made a string of hires. Sung You was named chief business and strategy officer after serving as managing partner at PBM Capital. Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Professor Emerita Nancy L. Craig, Ph.D., was named senior vice president of genetic engineering and mobile elements. And Sandeep Nema, Ph.D., was hired as senior vice president of technical operations after being executive director of biotherapeutics pharmaceutical science for Pfizer. Release

> Babson Diagnostics hired Kristie Stanton as vice president of marketing and Vicente Armendariz as vice president of strategy. Stanton previously led marketing for CVS Health's Minute Clinic, and Armendariz was vice president of corporate strategy at HMS. Release

> Mathieu Lane was named chief financial officer of eTheRNA immunotherapies and president of its newly created U.S. subsidiary. Lanes joins the company from Guggenheim Securities. Release

> Frontage Laboratories named Larry Veal its senior vice president of North America sales and marketing. Veal was previously vice president of North America Sales for NAMSA, a medical device contract research organization. Release

> Metrion Biosciences hired Nick Foster as chief commercial officer and head of global business development. Foster comes from WuXi AppTec, where he was director of business development. Release