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 Fraiser Kansteiner, and we will feature it here at the end of each week.
Ex-FDA chief Hahn joins Moderna backer Flagship Pioneering
Ex-FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, M.D., joins as chief medical officer.
After raising $2.2 billion for its seventh fund, Flagship Pioneering followed up later that afternoon by announcing that the recent FDA chief would join the biotech incubator—and the venture firm behind Moderna and its mRNA vaccine for COVID-19, which was authorized on his watch. Hahn led the FDA through the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, facing pressure from all sides: including reported calls from President Donald Trump to authorize a vaccine or leave, as well as from the public, industry and others urging him to take his time and get it right. Hahn will help lead Flagship’s nascent Preemptive Medicine and Health Security business, while reporting to Flagship founder (and Moderna chairman) Noubar Afeyan, Ph.D. Fierce Biotech
One Drop poaches Sanofi's head of diabetes innovation
Carrie Siragusa was named VP of commercial strategy for biosensors.
About a year after snagging one of Sanofi’s diabetes care execs to head up its own commercial efforts, One Drop has turned yet again to the French pharma to recruit another leader for its latest project: a biosensor capable of continuous glucose monitoring and collecting other data. Siragusa was formerly Sanofi's head of innovation and diabetes portfolio after nearly a decade with the company, and will report to fellow Sanofi alum Rachel Yap Martens, One Drop's senior VP of commercial strategy and innovation, who joined in 2020. Fierce Medtech
J&J's Burton grabs hold of Moderna rocket ship
Paul Burton, M.D., Ph.D., was named chief medical officer.
After launching into the big leagues last year with its COVID vaccine, Moderna is now poaching talent from the world’s largest healthcare company. Burton previously served as chief global medical affairs officer for Johnson & Johnson's Janssen Pharmaceuticals division, after holding a variety of positions over the past 16 years, including a stint as VP and head of cardiovascular and metabolic medical affairs. He'll replace Tal Zaks, M.D., Ph.D., who Moderna said would step down after holding the CMO role for six years. Fierce Biotech
> Fierce Biotech's annual list of the top 10 highest-paid biopharma R&D executives includes some safe guesses and some wild cards, as the fight against COVID-19 brought pay raises to familiar faces and newcomers alike.
> AstraZeneca's former sales manager-turned-whistleblower Suzanne Ivie is taking the company to court, claiming the company fired her because of her age and because she refused to promote drugs for unapproved uses. The trial is set for next week. Fierce Pharma
> Ahead of its SPAC deal signoff, Sema4 has recruited its first chief data officer in Mount Sinai's Andrew Kasarskis, who held the same role at the health system. Earlier this year, the software developer picked up a new chief medical science officer in Mount Sinai's William Oh and tapped Thrive Earlier Detection's Isaac Ro as chief financial officer. Fierce Medtech
> According to a report from BIO, 7 in 10 biotechs now list diversity and inclusion as a priority or in their value statements, up from 46% in 2019, but it seems that the needle has not yet moved on getting women into the C-suite or people of color into any level. Women made up 47% of total employees at surveyed biotechs, but just 31% of executive teams and 23% of CEOs, while diversity in the C-suite declined compared to 2019. Fierce Biotech
> Hulu’s Theranos dramatization “The Dropout” filled out its cast with a roster of Emmy winners and Oscar nominees, including William H. Macy, Laurie Metcalf, Michael Ironside and more. They join Amanda Seyfried as Elizabeth Holmes, with filming set to start this summer. Fierce Medtech
> After running a research hub in San Francisco for more than 10 years, Bayer is leaving the city to unite its research efforts in Boston after shrinking its workforce at the West Coast site to just 20 staffers. Fierce Biotech
> Novartis will hand over its previously shared joint U.S. operations for the migraine drug Aimovig to Amgen, slashing 186 jobs behind the medicine, including sales, marketing and medical support functions. Fierce Pharma
> Rare-disease-focused n-Lorem Foundation named Claire Grezemkovsky as director of philanthropy. She joins with over 10 years of experience at the Salk Institute, W.M. Keck Observatory and most recently The Scripps Research Institute. Release
> Forma Therapeutics brought on John Bishop, Ph.D., as chief technology officer to lead chemistry, manufacturing and control operations. Bishop previously served as senior VP of pharmaceutical sciences at Epizyme. Release
> Senda Biosciences named former OncXerna Therapeutics finance chief Matthew Osborne as chief financial officer; Solid Biosciences' legal head Lynette Herscha as chief legal officer; and industry veteran Rajesh Beri, Ph.D., as vice president of process development and manufacturing sciences. Release
> Novartis' cell and gene therapy exec Arnaud Lacoste, Ph.D., was tapped as chief scientific officer of blindness-focused Aurion Biotech, which is developing a cell therapy for corneal dysfunction. Release
> Kriya Therapeutics appointed a new chief medical officer in Ilise Lombardo, M.D., former co-founder and chief medical officer of epilepsy-focused Arvelle Therapeutics, which was recently acquired by Angelini Pharma. Release
> Mindy Herman was named managing principal of the life sciences services group at the accounting, consulting and technology firm Crowe LLP.