Chutes & Ladders—Editas fires chief medical officer without explanation

                          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.

Editas Medicine fires Chief Medical Officer Lisa Michaels, M.D., 15 months into her tenure with no explanation 

Editas Medicine

Lisa Michaels, M.D., is no longer the medical chief at Editas after the biotech fired her.

The gene editing biotech gave no reason for her firing, neither in an SEC filing nor in response to Fierce Biotech questions. Michaels joined just 15 months ago from Bayer, where she spent about 11.5 years in various roles. Michaels will receive a severance package of her base salary for another 12 months. The company, working to build on its first clinical data readout last fall, will begin searching for her replacement. Editas' C-suite has been led by a revolving door of executives in the past few years. Fierce Biotech

Bayer poaches GlaxoSmithKline's oncology head to be its new business leader for the oncology market


Christine Roth is the new oncology business head at Bayer, as of March 1.

Roth will depart GlaxoSmithKline, where she holds a similar post as head of global oncology therapy. She will replace Robert LaCaze, who is leaving for an undisclosed position elsewhere. The new oncology exec will be tasked with realizing the German Big Pharma's blockbuster ambitions for prostate cancer drug Nubeqa as it faces competition from rivals. Fierce Pharma

Boundless Bio snags Ionis Pharmaceuticals exec director Amy Berkley, Ph.D., for VP role to lead clinical push

Boundless Bio
Amy Berkley, Ph.D., is now vice president of program team leadership and strategic alliances at Boundless.

She joins after serving as executive director of alliance management at Ionis Pharmaceuticals. Berkley will help Boundless bring its anti-cancer therapies into human testing after three years at Ionis, where she worked on partnering with AstraZeneca, Biogen, Eli Lilly, GSK, Novartis, Pfizer and Roche. Fierce Biotech

> Brett Giroir, M.D., former FDA Acting Commissioner and HHS assistant secretary for health, is back in the biotech C-suite as CEO of Altesa BioSciences, a nascent startup focused on RNA viruses. Fierce Biotech

> Checkmate Pharmaceuticals poached Bristol Myers Squibb SVP Alan Bash to steer the ship as president and CEO, replacing interim CEO Alan Fuhrman, who will transition back to the board after filling in for former chief executive Barry Labinger in October. Fierce Biotech

> Simcere Pharmaceutical Group named Bijoyesh Mookerjee, M.D, its chief medical officer after serving as VP and senior global program clinical head at Novartis Oncology. Release

> Mark Velleca, M.D., Ph.D., is the new CEO of StrideBio. He joins the gene therapy biotech from Hatteras Venture Partners and replaces three-year chief executive Sapan Shah, Ph.D., who left the company for another job. Release

> Biogen's former head of R&D, Alfred Sandrock, M.D., Ph.D., joined the board of AI drug discoverer Verge Genomics a week after joining the board of Voyager Therapeutics. Release

> Sandra Coufal, M.D., is the new CEO of HPV biotech Toragen after serving as cofounder of Sibling Capital Ventures. Release

> Flagship-incubated Cellarity made a slate of hires, including Laurens Kruidenier, Ph.D., as chief scientific officer; Anna O’Driscoll as chief people officer; and Parul Doshi as SVP and head of data and software engineering. Release

> Nancy Gail Berry Agrawal, Ph.D., is now EVP of preclinical development at viral diseases biotech Atea Pharmaceuticals after serving as VP of pharmacokinetics at Merck. Release

> Finch Therapeutics named three new leaders: Bryan Gillis as chief technology officer; Alka Batycky, Ph.D., as chief development officer; and Howard Franklin, M.D., as SVP and GI therapeutic lead. Release

> Matt Titus is now chief commercial officer of athenahealth company epocrates. Release

> DFE Pharma named Martti Hedman its new CEO as Bas van Driel departs Feb. 14. Release

> Daniela Santiesteban, Ph.D., was promoted as the first director of Salarius Pharmaceuticals' targeted protein degradation program. Release

> Glaukos made a slate of executive moves. Joseph Gilliam was promoted from CFO to president and chief operating officer. Current COO Chris Calcaterra will become EVP of global commercial operations. Current VP Alex Thurman will assume the CFO post. And Tomas Navratil, Ph.D., was promoted to the eye-focused medtech and pharma company's new role of chief development officer. Release

> Oncology biotech MEI Pharma named Alejandro Ricart, M.D., its SVP of clinical development and Yomara Gomez-Naiden its SVP of quality. Release

> Richard Beckman, M.D., is the new CMO of ocular and rare disease gene therapy biotech Adverum after serving in the same post at ReNeuron. Release

> Oncology biotech CytomX Therapeutics promoted Amy Peterson, M.D., to president and COO after serving as EVP and chief development officer since October 2019. Release

> Investment firm Sixth Street named Jennifer Doudna, Ph.D., one of the CRISPR pioneers, as its chief science advisor. Release

> Prashant Nambiar, Ph.D., is the new SVP of research and translational development at mRNA cancer therapeutics biotech Strand after holding VP posts at bluebird bio and 2seventyBio. Release

> Rain Therapeutics made a series of hires, including VP of Clinical Development Nora Ku, M.D.; VP and head of global drug safety and pharmacovigilance Buenaflor Nicolas; VP and head of global regulatory affairs Tina Kim-Hafken; and VP of people and culture Steve Flint. Release

> Martina Schinke, Ph.D., is the new VP and program leader at vision loss biotech Vedere Bio II after holding the VP of program management and leadership role at Finch Therapeutics. Release

> Oculis named Bastian Dehmel its chief development officer after holding the CMO role at OxThera. Release

> Johanna Friedl-Naderer is the new chief business officer and EVP at Vir Biotechnology after serving as president of Biogen's Europe, Canada and partner markets. Release

> Niyati Prasad, M.D., is the new CMO of respiratory disease biotech Enterprise Therapeutics after holding the senior director of clinical development post at GSK. Release

> Oncology and immunotherapy biotech Diaccurate named Laurence Riot Lamotte its new CFO, succeeding José Da Gloria. Release

> QurAlis, a neurodegenerative diseases biotech, named Bryan Boggs its head of regulatory affairs. The company also named Christopher Gerry Lohan its head of clinical operations and Guzide Adhikari its head of global supply chain management. Release

> Nicholas Cummins joined Thymia as chief science officer from King's College London.