Chutes & Ladders: FDA’s personalized medicine head leaves for Grail

A ladder going up a side of a wall to the sky
FDA’s personalized medicine leader, Elizabeth Mansfield, joins Illumina-backed liquid biopsy startup Grail.

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.

FDA’s personalized medicine leader Mansfield tapped by Illumina-backed Grail

Liz Mansfield

Elizabeth Mansfield became head of regulatory strategy.

Elizabeth Mansfield, Ph.D., the deputy director in charge of personalized medicine at FDA’s Office of In Vitro Diagnostics and Radiological Health, has left the agency and joined liquid biopsy startup Grail. She joined the agency in 2006 and played a major role in advancing regulations for precision medicine and next-generation sequencing. She is now head of regulatory strategy at Grail, an Illumina spinoff, which secured over $100 million in Series A and is looking to raise $1 billion in Series B. Jeffrey Huber, who formerly ran Google’s Geo division including Google Maps and Google Earth, is currently the company’s CEO. Genomeweb story | Read more on FierceMedicalDevices

Celgene president, COO Jackie Fouse makes surprising departure

Jackie Fouse

Jacqualyn Fouse steps down as president and COO.

Celgene just made a shocking announcement: Its president and COO, Jacqualyn Fouse, PhD., will be “retiring” in the summer. Although nothing specific was said about the reason for her sudden departure, it’s hard not to suspect a linkage with the company’s exec changes last year, which saw former chief Bob Hugin being moved up as executive chairman and Mark Alles succeed him as new CEO. Fouse came on board as CFO in 2010 and was considered a candidate for Hugin’s job, a race she eventually lost. Scott Smith, a nine-year veteran of Celgene who built and launched Celgene’s Inflammation & Immunology business, will serve as the next president and COO from April. FierceBiotech

Former GSK neurosciences head joins PureTech’s exec team

Atul Pande

Atul Pande was named CMO.

After recruiting Moderna’s Joseph Bolen, Ph.D., as its CSO last October, PureTech Health just added Atul Pande, M.D., as its CMO. Formerly SVP and head of neurosciences at GlaxoSmithKline, Pande brings with him more than two decades of experience in drug R&D. In this new role, Dr. Pande will oversee all clinical operations across PureTech Health’s pipeline, which include several treatments for neurological disorders like ADHD, Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia. Other areas the company’s been focusing on include immune and gastrointestinal systems. The company boasts its approach to R&D as “addressing the underlying pathophysiology of disease from a systems perspective rather than through a single receptor or pathway.” Release

Veterinary company Zomedica creates new EVP position


Robert DiMarzo was appointed EVP of global strategy.

Robert DiMarzo has joined Zomedica in the company’s newly created role of EVP of global strategy, responsible for expanding the animal health expert’s business outside of North America. DiMarzo has more than 25 years of experience in the animal health industry, having held several leadership roles, including Henry Schein’s VP of commercial development and product category management with the global animal health group, and several director-level and executive positions at Pfizer’s animal health businesses (now Zoetis). Release

> Symbiomix Therapeutics hired David Stern as CEO, hard on the heels of the company's NDA submission to the FDA for antibiotic candidate Solosec. Release

> Catabasis Pharmaceuticals promoted Ted Hibben, previously SVP of corporate development, to CBO. Release

> CRO Celerion appointed Marc Hoffman, M.D., as CMO. Release

> Intercept, with its 2016 financial report, announced the appointment of 23-year Sanofi vet Jerry Durso as COO. Release

> BioAmber CEO Jean-Francois Huc resigned for personal reasons, and Fabrice Orecchioni, the company's COO, has succeeded him. Release

> Endocyte, which focuses on developing targeted small-molecule drug conjugates and companion imaging agents, put 16-year Eli Lilly vet Michael T. Andriole in the role of CFO. Release

> Peter G. Smith, Ph.D., will become the CSO of Eisai's H3 Biomedicine, which specializes in precision medicines for oncology. Release

> CRO Pharm-Olam named Julia Graz as senior director of biostatistics. Release

> Harpoon Medical hired structural heart expert Laura Brenton as VP of clinical affairs. Release