Chutes & Ladders—Grail bids farewell to a trio of top executives

Verily co-founder Vik Bajaj has left Grail to take up the managing director role at venture capital firm Foresite Capital.

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.

Verily co-founder Vik Bajaj left Grail for VC firm Foresite Capital

Vik Bajaj

CSO Vik Bajaj jumped to Foresite Capital.

Cancer detection startup Grail is said to be looking for new investments from Softbank and Mubadala, Abu Dhabi’s $125 billion sovereign fund, to support its breast cancer trial. That would be on top of the $100 million series A last year and a whopping $900 million series B this March. While the medtech star is aggressively growing its financial backing, its leadership team has gone through some dramatic changes in recent months. After founding CEO Jeff Huber, a former Google executive, stepped down in August, its CSO Vik Bajaj, who co-founded Verily, has also left and now reappeared at healthcare-focused investment firm Foresite Capital as managing director. Franz Och, who left Human Longevity last year to become Grail’s head of data science, left in October; and Mark Lee, head of clinical development and medical affairs, has moved on to Genentech. FierceMedTech

Aerie’s talent hunt draws Allergan vet John Maltman

Aerie logo
John Maltman

John Maltman became VP of medical affairs.

After poaching several executives from Novartis’ Alcon, eye diseases specialist Aerie's hiring spree has targeted another competitor—Allergan. John Maltman, Ph.D., who previously held different medical affairs roles during his 14 years with Allergan, was appointed as Aerie’s VP of medical affairs, reporting to Theresa Heah, M.D., who arrived at Aerie from Bayer in 2015. The appointment was announced as Aerie recently secured FDA advisory committee recommendation for the approval of its lead drug Rhopressa. FierceBiotech

AMRI poaches Mylan’s business development expert Feuerman

AMRI small logo
Paul Feuerman

Paul Feuerman joined as SVP, general counsel and head of business development.

AMRI just welcomed Paul Feuerman as its SVP, general counsel and head of business development, responsible for leading all legal, M&A and corporate affairs activities for the CDMO. William Marth, AMRI’s president and CEO, talked Feuerman’s experience in M&A as critical to the company as it looks to grow. Feuerman was previously assistant general counsel and global business development with Mylan. He helped with the $1.6 billion acquisition of Agila global injectables and oncolytics businesses and the $5.3 billion purchase of Abbott’s non-U.S. developed markets specialty and branded generics business, among others. His AMRI predecessor, Lori Henderson, will pursue opportunities elsewhere. Release

> Now that Kåre Schultz has left to helm Teva, Lundbeck has named CFO Anders Götzsche interim CEO. Former CCO Staffan Schüberg's responsibility is now shared geographically between the company's North American chief Peter Anastasiou and Jacob Tolstrup, who now serves as EVP of commercial operations. Release

> Astellas made several VP appointments: Gary Thal, M.D., was promoted to Americas specialty VP of medical affairs; James Miteff will be promoted to replace retiring Bruce Mazer as national VP of health systems payer & channel account management; Gregory Apostol is being lifted to national VP of key account management; and Nate Crisel has been promoted to VP of real world informatics & analytics. ReleaseRelease | Release

> In silico drug discovery expert Schrodinger has tapped Dov Goldstein, M.D., as CFO; he was most recently managing partner at investment shop Aisling Capital. Release

> Metabolic disease-focused Novelion Therapeutics hired Jeffrey Hackman, who was Shire's SVP and head of the U.S. internal medicine and oncology, as COO. Release

> Jeffrey F. Eisenberg, who just joined Xenetic Biosciences last December as COO, was named to replace Scott Maguire as the company's CEO. Release

> Tenaya Therapeutics, which develops treatments for heart failure, named Tim Hoey, Ph.D., who was SVP of Cancer Biology and co-CSO at OncoMed, as CSO. Release

> As Optinose prepares to launch its intranasal delivery drug-device pack Xhance in the second quarter of 2018, it has added five key members to the leadership team to drive commercialization. It has appointed Ricci Whitlow as VP of technical operations; Harry Sacks, M.D., as VP of medical affairs and corporate medical officer; John Peterkins as VP of market access; David Fabbri, VP of sales; and Andrew Muzsi as VP of marketing. Release

> Flagship-backed Kaleido Biosciences appointed John W. Davies, Ph.D., as chief technology officer and Michael D. Bruce, Ph.D., as SVP of project, portfolio and alliance management. Release

> Cowen named Kevin Raidy, who has served as Cowen’s head of investment banking, as managing partner of Cowen Healthcare Investments, which makes mid- to late-stage investments into innovative private biopharmaceutical and healthcare companies. Release

> Cindy S. Ahn, who previously worked for Abbott Laboratories and served as general counsel and corporate secretary of Third Wave Technologies, joined Chicago private equity firm Longford Capital. Release