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.
Lilly's Garraway on his way to Roche as veteran Horning set to exit by year-end
Levi Garraway will take over as chief medical officer.
Eli Lilly's recent senior VP of oncology R&D is set to take up one of the biggest hot seats in biopharma when he becomes the next chief medical officer and head of global product development at Roche in the fall. He will fill the large shoes left by the 10-year Roche-Genentech veteran Sandra Horning, who is retiring on the last day of this decade. In a very brief release, the Swiss Big Pharma said Garraway comes on board from the start of October, with the two working at the Big Pharma until Dec. 31, when Horning officially leaves. FierceBiotech
Ousted AveXis CSO denies wrongdoing in Novartis data scandal, taps Musk lawyer
Ousted CSO Brian Kaspar has denied wrongdoing in a data manipulation scandal.
Kaspar “categorically denies any wrongdoing” in a data manipulation scandal involving Novartis' controversial gene therapy Zolgensma, according to a statement said to be from law firm Heuston Hannigan. “He is prepared to assert his rights and defend his conduct accordingly,” it added. Kaspar and his brother, Allan Kaspar, were previously leading scientists at AveXis, Novartis’ gene therapy unit. Earlier this month, the FDA went public that some animal data in Zolgensma’s drug application package were falsified. At that time, the Kaspars had already left the company, AveXis announced a few days later on Aug. 14. FiercePharma
Dillon, who shaped NICE into an influential gatekeeper, ready to exit CEO post
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)
Longtime chief executive Sir Andrew Dillon will step down in March.
NICE's 20-year leader, who has helmed the institute since its founding by the Tony Blair administration in 1999, will vacate his seat alongside Sir David Haslam, NICE’s current chair. The departures come as NICE faces renewed calls to revamp its drug appraisal process—particularly for new technologies such as gene and cell therapies—and prepares to review its methods beginning next year. Dillon led the agency through some very unpopular cancer drug rejections. He's also been front and center amid NICE’s gridlock with Vertex over pricing for cystic fibrosis drug Orkambi. FiercePharma
> Paragon Biosciences announced this week the creation of Paragon Health Capital and the appointment of Brian Friedman as CEO of the newly created private equity firm. Friedman previously served as managing director at First Analysis Securities Corporation and executive VP and co-head of investment banking at National Securities Corporation. Release
> San Diego-based Erasca is filling out its executive team with the promotion of Gary Yeung to COO and CFO, and the appointment of David Chacko, M.D., to CBO. Les Brail, Ph.D., has been appointed VP of clinical development, and Karen Gilmore has been appointed VP of finance. Release
> Theodore (Theo) Danoff, M.D., Ph.D.,has been named CMO of Berwyn, Pennsylvania-based Complexa. Danoff most recently served as CMO and senior VP of clinical and medical affairs at Clarus Therapeutics. Previously, Danoff held senior positions at Endo Pharmaceuticals. Release
> Farmingdale, New York-based Codagenix has pegged Sybil Tasker, M.D., as its newest CMO. Before joining Codagenix, Tasker served as CMO of Altimmune, where she led the development and clinical testing of influenza and anthrax vaccines. She also led development of a therapeutic herpes simplex vaccine at Genocea Biosciences.
> Global Blood Therapeutics will expand its management team with the appointment of Eric Fink as chief human resources officer. Fink previously served as VP of human resources at Jazz Pharmaceuticals, associate director of U.S. sales training at Bayer Healthcare and as a sales leader at GlaxoSmithKline.
> Salt Lake City-based Recursion Pharmaceuticals has named Dr. Imran Haque as its newest VP of data science. Haque previously worked as CSO at Freenome and VP of scientific affairs at Counsyl. Release
> Avidity Biosciences has tapped Edward Kaye, M.D., and Noreen Henig, M.D., to its board of directors. Kaye most recently served as CEO and a director of Stoke Therapeutics since October 2017. Before that, he was the CEO and a director at Sarepta Therapeutics, where he led the successful push to win FDA approval of Duchenne muscular dystrophy med Exondys 51. Henig served as CMO at Breath Therapeutics, which was acquired by Zambon SpA in July. Release