Chutes & Ladders—Bluebird picks up Heffron as European chief


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.

Bluebird Bio taps ex-Celgene exec Heffron to lead its first gene therapy launch

Bluebird Bio
Nicola Heffron has been tapped as Europe chief.

Heffron, a former exec with Celgene, Shire and GlaxoSmithKline, has joined Bluebird as its European chief, Bloomberg reported, just as the company gets its rollout underway there. She is replacing Andrew Obenshain, who’s moving up to the global leadership team. Heffron is tasked with charting the course for Bluebird’s first commercial launch of its first product, Zynteglo, to treat beta thalassemia, a rare inherited disease marked by reduced production of oxygen-carrying hemoglobin in red blood cells. FiercePharma

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Ex-Merck Serono CMO takes up medical role at struggling Ipsen in its evolving C-suite

Steven Hildemann, M.D., Ph.D., will join as executive VP and CMO. 

Hildemann is set to join Ipsen as the company looks to overturn a clinical hold and steady the ship under a new CEO. Hildemann will also head up its global medical affairs and pharmacovigilance and officially starts at the beginning of March. Based in Paris, Hildemann will report directly to the biotech’s interim chief (and chief financial officer) Aymeric Le Chatelier, at least until a permanent replacement is found. His appointment comes just a few months after Ipsen’s former chief executive David Meek jumped ship to run a new gene therapy startup, with his exit coming swiftly on the heels of the FDA hitting it with a partial clinical hold for two trials of rare disease drug palovarotene. FierceBiotech

JPM: Ivenix taps new CEO as it brings its digital infusion pump to market

Jorgen Hansen will come on as CEO.

The Boston-based company tapped Hansen to be its next chief after securing 510(k) clearance from the FDA in June 2019. The large-volume device was designed with a streamlined digital management system to help reduce medication errors and potential patient harm. Before Ivenix, Hansen held multiple roles at Cantel Medical Corporation over the past seven years, most recently as president and CEO. Prior to that, he was senior VP of global strategy, marketing and innovation at ConvaTec and a senior VP of global operations at Coloplast. He also serves on the board of industry trade association AdvaMed. FierceBiotech

> Wexford, Pennsylvania-based Hemp Synergistics has added Daniel Kohler as CEO. Kohler has previously held positions at supplement maker Atrium Innovations (purchased by Nestle), Douglas Labs, SDC Nutrition, TY Beanie Babies, Keebler Foods and OfficeMax. 

> Panthera Biopartners has named Stuart Young as CEO. Young previously served as U.K. country manager of Synexus. Young will join a fleshed-out executive team including chairman, CFO and co-founder John Lyon, medical director and co-founder Ian Smith and CCO Jane Restorick. Release

Switzerland-based Bacthera AG has appointed Lukas Schüpbach as CEO effective Feb. 1. Schüpbach most recently served as global head of strategy and operations at Emavant Solutions and previously co-founded Innojection. He has also held senior leadership positions at Syngenta and Novartis. Release

> Foster City, California-based Mirum Pharmaceuticals has promoted Ian Clements to the role of CFO. Clements joined Mirum in March 2019 and most recently served as senior VP of finance and communications. Release

> Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Disarm Therapeutics has named Scott Holmes as its newest CFO. Holmes comes to Disarm from Kiadis Pharma, where he served as CFO and member of the management board. Release

> Campbell, California-based Imperative Care has tapped Daniel Davis as the company’s chief operating officer. Davis joins Imperative Care from Penumbra, where he served as chief commercial officer and president of North America. 

> Switzerland-based ADC Therapeutics has appointed Joseph Camardo, M.D., as head of medical affairs. Camardo joins ADC from Celgene, where he was most recently senior VP of Celgene global health after having served as senior VP of global medical affairs and corporate medical operations. Prior to Celgene, Camardo was senior VP of clinical development and medical affairs at Forest Research Institute and spent more than 20 years at Wyeth Research before its acquisition by Pfizer. Release

> Waltham, Massachusetts-based Dyne Therapeutics has tapped Molly White as VP of medical communications and advocacy. White previously served as CEO of Myotonic, formerly the Myotonic Dystrophy Foundation. Release

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