Chutes & Ladders—BIO elects John Maraganore as new chair

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.

BIO makes Alnylam’s John Maraganore the new chair

BIO logo
John Maraganore

Biotechnology Innovation Organization
John Maraganore, Ph.D., became chair.

BIO has a new chair for the 2017-2018 term, and that’s John Maraganore, Ph.D., CEO of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, who has served on BIO’s board for over a decade and was previously the chair of the Emerging Companies Section and a co-chair of the Regulatory Environment Committee. The election took place at this year’s BIO International Convention in San Diego. Julie Gerberding, Merck’s EVP for strategic communications and chief patient officer, was named new board secretary. Maraganore is helping lead the development of RNAi therapeutics in genetic medicines, cardio-metabolic diseases and hepatic infectious diseases. This year is important for Maraganore and Alnylam as the company gets closer to its first regulatory filings. Release 

Ex-Merrimack CFO Yasir Al-Wakeel joins Neon Therapeutics

Neon Therapeutics
Yasir Al-Wakeel

Neon Therapeutics
Yasir Al-Wakeel will join as CFO.

Yasir Al-Wakeel retired from Merrimack’s CFO post late May, and now he has found a new job as Neon Therapeutics’ CFO. He will be replacing Daniella Beckman, who has served as part-time CFO since shortly after the company’s launch in 2015. During his time at Merrimack, he helped execute the company’s $1 billion asset sale to Ipsen. That deal gave Merrimack the money to support the development of three new compounds targeting different cancers. With a BM BCh (equivalent of M.D.) degree from Oxford University and a Master’s degree from Cambridge University, Al-Wakeel previously served more than eight years at Credit Suisse, having been involved in more than $30 billion in financial transactions. Neon reached an agreement in March with Vedantra to help advance its neoantigen vaccine pipeline. Release

Biogen hires ex-Shire exec Gregory to head human resources

Ginger Gregory

Ginger Gregory will become head of HR.

Biogen is piecing back its C-suite, and perhaps this one, responsible for attracting and cultivating talents, is exactly the person it needs. After alluring Sanofi Genzyme’s Jean-Paul Kress, M.D., to lead its non-U.S. therapeutic operations last week—and let’s not forget its longtime CFO Paul Clancy left that same week—it is bringing on Ginger Gregory, Ph.D., as EVP and chief human resources officer, a post left by Kenneth DiPietro, who stepped down in late May. Gregory has more than 20 years of HR experience, having previously served as Shire’s head of HR, where she helped lead the integration of several acquired companies, including Baxalta. Her industry experience also includes HR leadership roles at Bristol-Myers Squibb, Novo Nordisk and Novartis. Release

> Valeant, still on the road to redeem its reputation, named Arthur J. Shannon as SVP and head of investor relations and communications. He was previously Perrigo's VP of global corporate affairs and European investor relations. Release

> CRO Ergomed hired Dan Weng to succeed founder Miroslav Reljanovic, who will transit to executive vice chairman, as company CEO. Release

> Weeks after Purdue Pharma's former SVP and CCO Seed Motahari took over the helm in April, Insys Therapeutics made four appointments: Brian Jennings became VP of sales, Dean Mariano was named senior director of clinical development/medical affairs, Ariyapadi (Krishna) Krishnaraj is now VP of marketing and managed care, and Scott Warlick was appointed general manager of manufacturing. Release

> Fresh off a Series B, Ocugen announced a few key exec changes: Daniel Jorgensen, M.D., was named CMO; Rasappa Arumugham, Ph.D., became VP of R&D; and Charlie Kang assumed the role of CFO. Release

> AmerisourceBergen overhauled its organizational structure, and named Robert P. Mauch, Ph.D. as president of Pharmaceutical Distribution and Strategic Global Sourcing group and James F. Cleary, Jr., as president of Global Commercialization Services and Animal Health group. Release

> Medical device startup Attune Medical (formerly Advanced Cooling Therapy) hired industry veteran Keith Warner as COO. Release