Chutes & Ladders: Former Allergan exec moves to startup

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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 Alyssa Huntley (email | Twitter), and we will feature it here at the end of each week.

Former Allergan exec moves to startup

David Pyott became chairman of the board.

Former Allergan CEO David Pyott has helped in a startup funding round for Irvine, CA-based Bioniz and has taken on the chairman's post at the company. Pyott, along with Takeda, led a $13 million startup round. Pyott worked for Allergan for 17 years before his departure. Bioniz is also bringing on Nazli Azimi as CEO. Azimi has worked with the NIH on cytokine research and was a faculty member at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Article | FierceBiotech

Torax earns big in Series E, names Chas McKhann as chief commercial officer

Chas McKhann is now chief commercial officer.

Torax Medical has brought on Chas McKhann as chief commercial officer. McKhann has over 20 years of commercial and strategic leadership experience at med tech companies. Most recently he was the chief commercial officer for Intersect ENT. 

This news was released along with information on the $25 million Torax earned in Series E financing. The round was led by Johnson & Johnson Innovation, with others participating such as Sanderling Ventures, Accuitive Medical Ventures, Kaiser Permanente Ventures and Mayo Clinic Ventures. Story Release

Dropbox's former corporate development chief joins J&J

Johnson & Johnson
Marc Leibowitz
to head health technology strategy and business development.

Marc Leibowitz--once corporate development chief at Dropbox--is changing gears and joining Johnson & Johnson as its head of health technology strategy and business development. Leibowitz has been in the tech game for some time, and has held roles at the likes of Google and StumbleUpon. J&J has big plans for Leibowitz by way of boosting deals with companies such as Google and IBM. 

“This is about recognizing we’re not gonna do everything ourselves,” Sandi Peterson, the group worldwide chairman at J&J, said in a statement. “We’ve made really great progress [in Silicon Valley], but what was obvious to all of us was that we needed a big leader who comes out of the technology world.” Article

At an AstraZeneca-acquired drug supply facility, an unknown number of employees will soon be shown the door. The company also has plans to hire for new roles in "key areas." Release


> Inovio Pharmaceuticals ($INO) has appointed Ami Shah Brown as VP of regulatory affairs. Release

> Dr. Ran Oren is taking on the chief medical officer role for Galmed Pharmaceuticals. Release


> Preston Romm is now president and CEO of Suneva Medical. Release

> Accera has named C. Evan Ballantyne as chief financial officer. Release

> True North Therapeutics has found a new chief financial officer in Pamela Wapnick. Release

> Inivata has appointed Timothy Shannon as its chief financial officer. Release