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.
Bristol Myers nabs M&A pro with $200B in deals under her belt to helm business development
Bristol Myers Squibb
Barclays exec Elizabeth Mily will join as executive VP of strategy and business development.
Mily served most recently as managing director and chair of life sciences at Barclays, where she was involved in $200 billion worth of completed mergers and acquisitions, in addition to advising on “an extensive amount of debt, equity and equity-linked financings,” BMS said in a statement. And she had plenty of deal-making experience before that, serving for 16 years as a healthcare investment banker at Goldman Sachs before heading up strategy and development at Thermo Fisher Scientific. Mily will play an “important role” in “sourcing external innovation to drive our vision of transforming patients’ lives through science,” said Bristol Myers CEO Giovanni Caforio in the statement. FiercePharma
New (old) CureVac CEO on non-COVID-19 medical leave as plot thickens
CEO Daniel Menichella's departure has spurred a wave of speculation.
One week after former CEO Menichella was replaced by founder Ingmar Hoerr, Hoerr is also now out at CureVac, sparking a wave of speculation after a meeting with President Donald Trump. Hoerr's departure came as reports from Welt am Sonntag and Reuters allege that Trump, who met with CureVac’s then-CEO Menichella earlier this month (who abruptly left the German biotech), had tried to lure the company over to the U.S. to continue working on its COVID-19 mRNA vaccine but, according to reports, for U.S. use only. For now, deputy CEO Franz-Werner Haas takes on Hoerr’s role “until his return,” though there is no word on when that will be. FierceBiotech
Evoke Kyne hires first global digital chief after booming growth year
Julie O'Donnell will step up as executive VP and global head of digital.
O’Donnell's promotion from global digital strategist comes less than a year after Evoke acquired Dublin-based Kyne and after a booming growth year. The agency saw double-digit growth in 2019 thanks to both organic growth from clients such as AstraZeneca and new wins including Alkermes and the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, said David Kyne, who founded the Kyne health communications agency in 2009 and is now CEO of Evoke Kyne. O’Donnell previously served as a senior director at Lundbeck, where she headed the digital team. She joined Kyne in 2017 after working with the agency and becoming “a little bit addicted” to the agency’s culture. Her new role entails overseeing all of the agency’s digital work and skills, but, more importantly, going beyond just checking the boxes in digital. That means building out new projects in technologies like augmented reality and virtual reality to tell scientific stories and figuring out how to creatively break through and differentiate messages on social media. FiercePharmaMarketing
> Epizyme has appointed Jeffery Kutok as its chief scientific officer. In luring Kutok away from Infinity Pharmaceuticals, Epizyme has gained a scientific leader it thinks will help find new uses for Tazverik and advance its pipeline prospects. In the three years since Robert Copeland retired, Epizyme has operated without a CSO. Those years were characterized by a focus on getting EZH2 inhibitor Tazverik to market. FierceBiotech
> Waltham, Massachusetts-based Morphic Therapeutic has named Peter Linde, M.D., as chief medical officer. Linde most recently served as VP of medical research at Acceleron and previously worked as project leader in clinical asset development at AbbVie. Release
> San Carlos, California-based RubrYc Therapeutics has named Ramesh Baliga, Ph.D., as CSO. Baliga most recently served as the VP of discovery biology at IGM Biosciences and previously was founder and CSO of Extend Biopharma. Release
> Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Beam Therapeutics is fleshing out its senior management team with the promotion of Manmohan Singh, Ph.D., from VP to senior VP of pharmaceutical sciences and delivery technologies, and the appointment of Christine Swenson as senior VP of regulatory affairs. Swenson joins from Moderna. Release
> Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Thrive Earlier Detection has filled three roles: Matt Franklin has been tapped as chief commercial officer, Sarah Larson has joined the company’s board of directors and Semi Trotto has been promoted to chief people officer. Release
> Salt Lake City-based Recursion has tapped Shafique Virani, M.D., as its chief corporate development officer. In this role, Virani will serve as both Recursion’s chief business officer and CEO of its newly formed Development Corporation. Virani most recently served as CEO of Navire Pharma and CoA Therapeutics, two subsidiaries at BridgeBio Pharma. Release
> Menlo Park, California-based Sofinnova Investments has tapped Jonathan Leff, M.D., as an executive partner. Leff most recently served as senior VP and CMO at Ascendis and previously served as executive VP of R&D at InterMune. Release
> Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies has appointed Christine Vannais as COO of its North Carolina site, effective April 1. Release