Chutes & Ladders—Gilead clinical director joins Nimbus to help lead drug discovery

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


Gilead clinical research director joins Nimbus to lead drug discovery

Nimbus Therapeutics
Adrian Ray, Ph.D., was named senior VP of discovery biology. 

After 15 years at Gilead, Ray will help the in silico drug discoverer's work on tyrosine kinase 2 and the stimulation of interferon genes, or STING, including in a collaboration with Celgene. Gilead previously acquired Nimbus’ acetyl-CoA carboxylase inhibitor program in a $1.2 billion deal, which the Big Pharma is currently developing in NASH. FierceBiotech

Immunocore’s CMO jumps to Tmunity Therapeutics

Tmunity Therapeutics
Christina Coughlin, M.D., Ph.D., joins as chief medical officer and executive vice president.

Carl June's gene-editing T-cell developer, Tmunity, brought on Coughlin as the company prepares to move its T-cell therapies through early stage studies targeting solid and liquid tumors. FierceBiotech

Kite taps Eisai cancer vet to lead charge for CAR-T sales

The Gilead unit hired Michael Amoroso as senior VP and head of worldwide commercial efforts in cell therapy.

Effective this August, Amoroso will oversee sales, marketing, and payer negotiations, reporting directly to Gilead CEO John Milligan as the company continues its rollout of CAR-T therapy Yescarta. This year, the $373,000 treatment brought in $40 million. Amoroso previously served as SVP of Eisai’s U.S. oncology business. FiercePharma

Syntimmune picks up Vertex VP for CMO as leadership changes continue

Mario Saltarelli, M.D., Ph.D., will serve as chief medical officer.

Saltarelli, previously Vertex’s senior VP for early development and neurology, will lead development of the company’s primary candidate currently in phase 1b/2a trials. The move follows several leadership changes at Syntimmune over the past year-and-a-half as it looks to further research into its neonatal Fc receptor antibody in autoimmune diseases. FierceBiotech

> Former Genentech President and COO Myrtle Potter joined Roivant as its Vant Operating Chair and will serve as one of two Roivant representatives on each of the boards of all the company's "vant"-named subsidiaries. Release

> Pfizer's reorganization next year will divide the company into three parts instead of the current two: consumer health, established generics and innovative drugs, now including biosimilars and sterile injectables. John Young will lead the innovative group's internal medicine, oncology and rare disease units, while Angela Hwang will be in charge of inflammation, immunology, vaccines and hospital medicines, as well as the consumer health portfolio. Established medicines will be led by Michael Goettler. FiercePharma

> G1 Therapeutics made two appointments in newly created leadership roles, including John Demaree as chief commercial officer, and Stillman Hanson as general counsel. Demaree previously served as VP of oncology marketing at Astellas Pharma, while Hanson served as VP and associate general counsel at IQVIA, after helping to lead Quintiles' legal team through its merger with IMS Health. Release

> Codexis appointed Hicham Alaoui, Ph.D., to the new position of VP of biotherapeutics R&D. Alaoui was previously SVP of discovery biology and co-head of research at Symic Bio. He also held roles at Genentech, Stryker Biotech, Neogenesis and Shire BioChem. Release

> Sunesis Pharmaceuticals brought on Deepali Suri, a former executive director at Pharmacyclics, as its new VP for clinical operations, and named Jazz Pharmaceuticals' Sean Gharpurey as executive director of project management. The company also promoted Stephen Nava to VP of quality assurance, compliance and regulatory affairs. Release

> Synthorx brought on HIG Capital's Enoch Kariuki as SVP of corporate development; Ignyta's Christian Kuhlen as general counsel; and Denali Therapeutics' Charles Winter as VP of chemistry, manufacturing and controls. Release 

> AI company Recursion has named Tina Larson as COO, as it begins its first clinical trials. Larson has previously held leadership roles at Achaogen, Genentech and Roche. Release

> miR Scientific appointed Laurence Klotz, M.D., as chief medical officer. Klotz currently serves as chairman of the World Urologic Oncology Federation and is a professor of surgery at the University of Toronto. Release

> Corindus named Aquilla Turk, D.O., director of the Stroke and Cerebrovascular Program at the Medical University of South Carolina, as its chief medical officer for its neuroendovascular work. Release

> Teva is moving its headquarters from Pennsylvania to New Jersey after it secured $40 million in tax incentives. The relocation will transfer and create 843 jobs in the state, while 232 workers will remain at the previous site. FiercePharma

> Aquinox Pharmaceuticals is cutting its workforce by 53% and shuttering its San Bruno, California, site after the phase 3 failure of its bladder pain drug, rosiptor. FierceBiotech

> Rubius Therapeutics plans to invest $155 million and hire 160 workers for a new cell therapy plant in Rhode Island. FiercePharma

> GlaxoSmithKline appointed James Ford as its general counsel, effective Aug. 1. Ford previously served as SVP and general counsel for the company's global pharmaceutical operations. He takes over for Dan Troy. Release

> Sanofi closed a 50-employee manufacturing plant in Mourenx, France, after a conservation group accused the site of massive pollution. FiercePharma