Chutes & Ladders—GlaxoSmithKline CSO Vallance out, Hal Barron in

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 Angus Liu (email) and we will feature it here at the end of each week.

Roche, Calico vet Hal Barron to replace Vallance as GSK R&D head

Hal Barron


Hal Barron was appointed CSO and president of R&D.

Incumbent GlaxoSmithKline CSO Patrick Vallance has taken up the U.K. government role of chief scientific adviser, and his responsibilities at GSK will be taken over by Hal Barron, who was the CMO of Roche and is currently president of R&D at Alphabet’s Calico. Vallance joined GSK in 2006 as head of drug discovery and was promoted to his current job in 2012. Under his leadership, GSK delivered several drugs in respiratory, oncology and HIV, but recent R&D shakeup championed by new CEO Emma Walmsley was said to have put pressure on him. Barron, to oversee R&D at GSK’s new San Francisco office, has the job to execute Walmsley’s vision of more closely aligning R&D with commercial operations and turning up the volume of R&D output. FierceBiotech



Biogen poached Merck exec Guindo to lead global marketing

Chirfi Guindo

Chirfi Guindo became EVP and head of global marketing, market access and customer innovation.

Biogen kept proselytizing Big Pharma executives. After former Novartis veteran Alisha Alaimo and Pfizer neuroscientist Anabella Villalobos, Ph.D., long-time Merck & Co. executive Chirfi Guindo has joined as EVP and head of global marketing, market access and customer innovation, reporting directly to CEO Michel Vounatsos. Guindo held leadership roles at Merck in Canada, the U.S., France, Africa and Netherlands in various areas including finance, sales & marketing, general management and global product development. He was most recently president and managing director of Merck Canada. Release



Former Celgene oncology head Pehl to helm Immunomedics

Michael Pehl

Michael Pehl was appointed president and CEO.

Michael Pehl joined Celgene in 2006 as the firm’s first Germany GM, and retired as president of hematology & oncology on Aug. 21, 2017. Now, he has been chosen to lead Immunomedics, whose lead candidate, antibody-drug conjugate IMMU-132, awaits submission for approval in breast cancer. During his time at Celgene, Pehl helped launch such drugs as Revlimid, Pomalyst and Abraxane, and it is his “proven ability to successfully navigate the approval and commercialization of ground-breaking drugs in the oncology space” that landed him the top job, said company chairman Behzad Aghazadeh. The vacancy was left by Cynthia Sullivan, who left with CSO David Goldenberg in May, as Seattle Genetics walked away from a potential $2 billion licensing deal because Immunomedics investor pushed for IMMU-132 in-house development. Brendan Delaney, most recently Celgene’s VP of U.S. commercial of hematology oncology, tagged along and became Immunomedics’ CCO. FierceBiotech

> After reports emerged last month that Siemens is looking to take Healthineers public, the German company has named Jochen Schmitz to replace Thomas Rathmann as the medtech unit’s CFO. Jürgen Wagner, currently head of financial disclosure & corporate performance controlling, will succeed Schmitz as head of accounting. Release

> Erik Björk, CFO for AstraZeneca’s Sweden operations, will become Medivir’s CFO early next year. Release

> Former Shire global head of R&D, Philip Wickers, Ph.D., joined Toronto immuno-oncology startup Northern Biologics as CEO. FierceBiotech

> Ann Barbier, M.D., Ph.D., jumped ship from Agios to become the new CMO at RNA biotech Translate Bio. FierceBiotech

> Dendreon tapped Bruce Brown, M.D., to lead R&D organization as SVP of medical; he was most recently senior medical director of oncology at Astellas. Release

> Aimmune CEO Stephen Dilly, Ph.D., announced his retirement at the end of 2018 on a high note. FierceBiotech

> Ionis cofounder and head of drug discovery Brett Monia will become COO. Release

> Andrew Witty, while maintaining his role at venture capital firm Hatteras Venture Partners, will head the U.K. government’s Accelerated Access Review program. FierceBiotech

> Clinical trial technology provider Bracket, which just acquired mProve Health, recruited recent Science Exchange CCO and Worldwide Clinical Trials’ former EVP of global business development, Christopher Cruicitti, as CCO. Release

> Ex-Novavax CFO Barclay “Buck” Phillips has landed at G1 Therapeutics as CFO and SVP of corporate development; Former Sierra Oncology executive Chandra Lovejoy joined G1 as VP of global regulatory affairs. Release

> Ophthalmology-focused ThromboGenics named Allergan’s former VP & therapeutics area head of retina & glaucoma, Susan Schneider, M.D., as CMO and appointed Vinciane Vangeersdaele, who was recently head of Novartis’ European ophthalmology franchise, as CCO. Release

> Redx moved Iain Ross to executive chairman, while Neil Murray has stepped down as CEO and Dominic Jackson was appointed CFO. Release (PDF)

> Science Exchange announced that Gursatya “Guru” Singh has joined the company’s management team as director of scientific content. Release

> Cloudbreak Health, which develops telemedicine solutions, brought on industry veteran, Dan Shur, as its EVP of solutions and innovation. Release