Chutes & Ladders: Genentech oncology head jumps ship

white and orange parachute
Genentech oncology head Rick Fair jumps ship to Bellicum as CEO.

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.

Genentech oncology head Rick Fair leaves for leadership at Bellicum

Rick Fair

Rick Fair has left the company.

Rick Fair will become part of the latest oncology exec changes at Big Pharma companies, following David Epstein's departure from Novartis to VC Flagship and Alessandro Riva's move from Novartis to Gilead. During his time as Roche/Genentech’s SVP and head of oncology, Fair played a key role in the launch of Tecentriq. As he joins Bellicum as CEO, he will be responsible for coming up with a global regulatory and commercial strategy for the company’s leading phase 1/2 med BPX-501 in blood cancers, as well as advancing its pipeline of controlled CAR-T and TCR product candidates. Tom Farrell, the company’s current CEO, will serve as an adviser during the transition. FierceBiotech

Juno taps new development operations head after CAR-T trial fatality

Juno Therapeutics
Corsee Sanders

Juno Therapeutics
Corsee Sanders has signed on as EVP and head of development operations.

Another former exec from Roche/Genentech also found a new place this week. Corsee Sanders, previously Roche’s SVP and head of global clinical operations and industry collaborations, was hired by Juno Therapeutics as its EVP and head of development operations. She has a combined 23 years of experience between Genentech and Roche, where she oversaw diverse aspects of early-to-late development programs spanning a vast range of therapeutic areas. She was instrumental in the development and submission of blockbusters Rituxan, Avastin and Herceptin, along with its companion diagnostic Herceptest. It’s hard for the industry to forget Juno’s CAR-T halt last year after several deaths during trials. Now, it is Sanders’ job to manage the biotech’s clinical trial operations. Release

Sanofi names former Congressional staff member to manage external affairs

Kathleen Tregoning

Kathleen Tregoning was named EVP of external affairs.

As President Donald Trump is planning a few policy changes that would affect the biopharma industry drastically and unexpectedly, it seems more important for companies to hire those who have worked for the government before as the company’s liaison with officials. That’s probably what Sanofi was thinking when it poached Biogen’s SVP of corporate affairs Kathleen Tregoning as its EVP of external affairs. Tregoning brings with her more than 20 years of professional experience in policy. Before she joined Biogen as VP of public policy & government affairs in 2006, she had been working in the U.S. Congress since 2001 for the chairmen of the House of Representatives Ways & Means Committee, the House Energy & Commerce Committee and the Senate Budget Committee. Release

> Mark Schwartz has stepped down as CEO of Galena Biopharma as the company undergoes federal investigation related to the marketing of its opioid Abstral. BioSpace story

Tom Daniel, former president of global research and early development at Celgene, has joined just-launched Vividion as executive chairman, running the company as the upstart looks for a permanent CEO. FierceBiotech

> Avillion has brought on Dr. Mark Weinberg as CMO. Before turning his career toward micro-cap biotech, he previously worked at Astellas, Lundbeck, Takeda and Abbott Laboratories. Release

> Andrew Oakley was named CFO of Sosei, succeeding Hidetoshi Torami who had resigned for personal reasons. Release

> Antiviral therapy-focused Agenovir has appointed Bolyn Hubby to the newly created position of CSO. Release

> The Association of Clinical Research Organizations elected John Hubaard, president and CEO of Bioclinica as its new chairman, and John Ratliff, CEO of Covance, as vice chairman. Release

> AmpliPhi Biosciences hired Igor Bilinsky to take over for interim COO Wendy Johnson as SVP and COO. Release

> Applied Photophysics promoted former COO Louise Madden to CEO, appointed Sue Cresswell as marketing manager and hired Koos van der Steuijt as director of global sales. Release

> Abpro, a therapeutic antibody company, announced the appointment of Adam Mostafa as CFO. Release

> MyoKardia, a clinical stage company focused on heritable CV diseases, appointed Dr. June Lee as COO and Dr. Radhika Tripuraneni as VP of medical affairs. Release