Chutes & Ladders: Former Sanofi Genzyme exec to helm Bayer/CRISPR JV Casebia

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.

Casebia Therapeutics recruits former Sanofi Genzyme exec James Burns as CEO

ImaraGerald Cox

Casebia Therapeutics
James Burns has been appointed president and CEO.

James Burns has been made president and CEO of Casebia Therapeutics, a CRISPR/Cas9-focused JV by Bayer and CRISPR Therapeutics, taking over from interim CEO Axel Bouchon. With a doctorate degree in bioengineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago, Burns brings with him nearly 30 years of R&D experience in the biopharma industry. Prior to joining Casebia, he was head of Sanofi Genzyme’s R&D center. The newly formed company--which just began operations in August--reached a sublease agreement for its headquarters co-located with CRISPR Therapeutics in Cambridge, MA, and hiring is underway to fully staff its R&D arm. According to the company’s website, positions it is looking to fill include VP and senior scientist of hematology, and VP and senior scientist of ophthalmology. Release

Former Teva vet Allan Oberman takes the helm at Concordia from exiting CEO Mark Thompson

ImaraGerald Cox

Allan Oberman is to become CEO.

Just days ago, Concordia announced its plan to relieve founder and then-CEO Mark Thompson of his duties. Now, it has found a replacement to help pull the pharma out of the price-hiking quagmire: former Teva vet Allan Oberman. Oberman was just recently appointed to the Concordia board, where he, as the company’s Lead Independent Director and soon-to-be Chairman of the Board Jordan Kupinsky put it, “has demonstrated a clear understanding of the Company's current situation and its opportunities.” Oberman has plenty of international pharma industry experience. During his time at Teva, he has held exec positions for the company’s various markets, including Americas, Eastern Europe, Middle East, Israel and Africa. Release

Roche names Christiane Hamacher as head of its Asia-Pacific biz


Michael Rogers

Christiane Hamacher
assumes the role of Asia-Pacific head.

Roche Pharmaceuticals Asia Pacific announced that Christiane Hamacher has taken on the role as its leader. Hamacher joined Roche in 2007 and has previously held the positions of GM of the company’s Czech Republic and Norway businesses. Prior to Roche, she spent 10 years at Schering AG--which merged with Merck & Co.--where she once held the position of GM Philippines. Succeeding Alexander Hardy, who was appointed head of global product strategy, Hamacher will lead more than 6,000 employees in 22 countries from the company’s regional base in Singapore. Release

> Canadian cancer biotech Oncolytics’ long-standing president and CEO, Brad Thompson, exits the company. FierceBiotech

> Gene therapy company Tocagen appoints Martin “Marty” Duvall as CEO. Release

> Merus recruits John Crowley, former SVP and chief accounting officer of Charles River Laboratories, as its new CFO and promotes current CFO Shelley Margetson to COO. Release

> Amgen announced the appointment of Lori Johnston as SVP of human resources. Release

> Debra Bowes has joined MaxCyte, a supplier of cell engineering products and services, as EVP of business and strategic development. Release

> Microbiome specialist Enterome enlists inflammatory diseases and oncology expert Christophe Bonny as CSO. Release

> Antibacterial company Phagelux adds Dr. Rong Chen as global CMO. Release

> Scott Storer will replace retiring Rick Shea as SVP and CFO of Momenta Pharmaceuticals. Release