Chutes & Ladders—GSK vaccines vet Slaoui to lead project 'Warp Speed'


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 Kyle Blankenship, and we will feature it here at the end of each week.

Former GSK vaccine head Slaoui to lead federal 'Warp Speed' project: reports

Former vaccines head Moncef Slaoui will head the government project.

The Trump administration has tapped former GlaxoSmithKline vaccine head Slaoui to lead "Operation Warp Speed," which incorporates the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Defense and other agencies to advance promising vaccines against COVID-19, according to reports. Already in the race to create a COVID-19 vaccine, programs from Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Sanofi, AstraZeneca and Moderna—where Slaoui now serves as a board member—have generated significant interest as they race ahead. At a Senate hearing earlier this week, FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said the Warp Speed project deploys an “all of government” approach to developing and launching a promising COVID-19 vaccine. Officials are working through supply chain considerations as well as R&D to prepare for a massive vaccine rollout. FiercePharma

Genentech lures Regev from Broad Institute to lead research and early development

Genentech snared Aviv Regev to lead early R&D. 

Regev, who currently works at the Broad Institute, will take over as head of gRED when Michael Varney retires at the end of July. In Regev, Genentech has hired a leader who has spent her career using new technologies to expand understanding of biological processes. Roche highlighted Regev’s assays for sequencing RNA in single cells and associated machine learning algorithms as an example of how she has leveraged advances in technology to generate new insights in fields including immunology, neurobiology and cancer. Having received a Ph.D. in computational biology from Tel Aviv University, Regev went on to join the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, where she runs a laboratory that studies biological circuits, gene regulation and evolution. FierceBiotech

Next-gen biotech Caribou Biosciences nabs Array (now Pfizer) cancer R&D exec as clinical lead

Caribou Biosciences
Cherry Thomas, M.D., will join as senior VP of clinical development.

Thomas comes to the California-based gene-editing biotech from Array BioPharma, where she most recently served as VP of clinical development at its oncology division. Last year, Array was snapped up by Big Pharma Pfizer in an $11.4 billion deal, and, as is common with these big company buying biotech deals, a number of research execs from the acquired sought pastures new. At Caribou, Thomas finds herself in a new field of experimental biomedical science. FierceBiotech

> Joseph McIntosh, M.D., has jumped ship from PTC Therapeutics and landed at gene therapy biotech Aruvant Sciences as its new CMO, effective immediately. FierceBiotech

> Redwood City, California-based Bolt Biotherapeutics has appointed William Quinn as CFO. Quinn most recently served as the CFO and senior VP of finance and corporate development at Sunesis. Release

> Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Celsius Therapeutics has tapped Jeanne Magram, Ph.D., as CSO. Magram will replace Christoph Lengauer, Ph.D., a partner at Third Rock Ventures and co-founder and former interim CSO, who will continue to serve as a scientific adviser and board member. Release

> New York-based Lodo Therapeutics has named Donald Marvin as executive VP and CFO. Marvin was recently named chairman at Concentric after five years as president and CEO. Release

> Toronto-based Antibe Therapeutics has tapped Joseph Stauffer, as its new CMO. Stauffer previously held clinical operations, regulatory and medical affairs roles at Alpharma and Ikaria. Release

> Phoenix Tissue Repair has appointed Hal Landy, M.D., and Deborah Ramsdell as CMO and COO, respectively.

> London-based Wellcome Leap has named Regina Dugan, the former U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency director, as CEO. Dugan served as the agency's first director from 2009 to 2012. 

> Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Amylyx Pharmaceuticals has appointed Machelle Manuel, Ph.D., as VP and head of global medical affairs. Manuel previously spent eight years at Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, where she was head of global medical scientific affairs and a member of the initial medical affairs leadership team. Release

> Dublin-based Jazz Pharmaceuticals has named Kim Sablich as executive VP and general manager of North America, effective June 1. Sablich joins Jazz from Myovant Sciences, where she is CCO, and previously was U.S. VP of primary care marketing at GlaxoSmithKline. Release

> Hudson, Wisconsin-based Phillips-Medisize has named Paul Chaffin as senior VP and president of the medical and pharmaceutical solutions division of Molex. Chaffin joins Molex from a Minnesota-based Fortune 500 company, where he was most recently senior VP of strategic initiatives. Release

> Waltham, Massachusetts-based Dyne Therapeutics has tapped Debra Feldman as VP and head of regulatory. Feldman most recently led the regulatory organization at Sage Therapeutics. Release

> San Francisco-based Aktana has fleshed out its leadership team with the appointments of Pini Ben-Or as CSO, Colm Callan as CFO, Kate Terrell as chief people officer, Mike Weber as VP of product, Vishal Saxena as VP of global SaaS operations, Alan Kalton as VP of customer success and Eric Yip as VP of engineering. Release