Chutes & Ladders—Fujifilm subsidiary taps Meeson as CEO

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 Blankenship, and we will feature it here at the end of each week.

New CEO takes over as Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies expands 

Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies

COO Martin Meeson will take over as CEO.

Meeson, currently president and chief operating officer of Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies U.S.A becomes CEO April 1, taking over from Steve Bagshaw who will retire that position and become non-executive chairman, the company announced. Meeson has held a variety of positions with the company since starting at Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies in 2008. He was first director of finance, IT and supply chain for its UK site and then became senior VP of global finance in 2013, working from the North Carolina site. He took on his current role in 2015. FiercePharmaManufacturing

Neuronetics CEO Thatcher to step down


CEO Christopher Thatcher will step down from his post.

Thatcher, who has led the company since late 2014 and helped oversee its $93.5 million Nasdaq IPO last June, also resigned as a member of Neuronetics’ board of directors. Thatcher will, however, stay on as an adviser through May 1 to aid in the transition. The company’s board has set up an interim office of the president—including Chairman Brian Farley, Chief Financial Officer Steve Furlong and General Counsel Andrew Macan—to lead day-to-day operations as it searches for a new CEO. “This mutual agreement was not the result of any inappropriate action by Mr. Thatcher, any violation of company policy, any accounting irregularity or any material deterioration in the business of the Company,” Neuronetics said in a release. FierceMedTech

Makena mess, CEO exit; now, AMAG loses CMO as pipeline comes into sharper focus

AMAG Pharmaceuticals
CMO Julie Krop will leave the struggling drugmaker.

Krop's departure might be an even bigger hit for the company than the loss of its CEO William Heiden, who will make way this year when a new chief is found, given that Krop was working with the FDA to try to keep its drug Makena on the market. Late last year, an FDA advisory committee recommended AMAG pull the premature birth med from the market in a 9-7 vote after confirmatory testing showed little clinical benefit in patients. Two months later, its CEO said he would be leaving after 110 sales staffers were also axed, and two of its other approved drugs were put up for sale. Krop was also leading the company’s experimental drug pipeline, namely its midstage efforts for ciraparantag, an FDA fast-tracked drug intended as an antidote for a number of anticoagulant drugs (and acquired through its buying up of Perosphere Pharmaceuticals a year ago), as well as AMAG-423. FierceBiotech

> U.K.-based Vectura Group has appointed Mark Bridgewater as chief commercial officer. Prior to joining Vectura, Bridgewater was VP of business development and account management for Europe and Asia at Flex. Before that, Bridgewater worked as VP of global business development, and advanced delivery technologies at Catalent. Release

> U.K.-based Adaptate Biotherapeutics has fleshed out its senior management team with the appointments of Mihriban Tuna, Ph.D., as chief scientific officer; Mark Uden, Ph.D., as VP of pharmaceutical sciences; Oxana Polyakova, Ph.D., as head of discovery; and Craig Taylor as head of business operations. Release

> Mount Laurel, New Jersey-based Impulse Dynamics has named Ishu Rao, M.D., as medical director. Release