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.
Immunomedics' new CEO hits COVID-19 exit, takes $1M on his way out
Harout Semerjian is out as CEO.
Just over a month after joining Immunomedics as president and CEO, Semerjian has decided to step down due to “logistical obstacles” posed by the pandemic, the New Jersey biotech said Wednesday. There was no bad blood between the company and the now former helmsman—only the fact that the pandemic restrictions “created difficult personal and professional logistical challenges for Harout as he tried to move his family from London,” Immunomedics explained in a statement to FiercePharma. To avoid disruption from any similar events, Immunomedics said it doesn’t expect to start searching for a new CEO until the global COVID-19 situation stabilizes. FiercePharma
Another Alexion alum joins Rallybio ranks
Róisín Armstrong, Ph.D., will head R&D.
Armstrong joins the team after being VP and global medicine team leader at Alexion and will work alongside a trio of Alexion veterans who started Rallybio two years back. At the biotech, she will lead work on RLYB211, a hyperimmune globulin made by purifying antibodies from donated plasma. It works by a process called antibody-mediated immune suppression, a mechanism that’s been known about for more than a century but for which the drivers are still unclear. Rallybio acquired the program from a tiny startup in Norway. It’s designed to treat fetal and neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia, a condition in which a pregnant woman develops antibodies that attack her fetus’s platelets. FierceBiotech
Flagship Biosciences names Couzelis as chief information officer
Aymii Couzelis will join as chief information officer.
Before joining Flagship, Couzelis spent more than a decade as CIO for MediFit Corporate Services, a corporate wellness firm. She was previously CEO of ENSOMA and served on the Society of Information Management’s board of directors. At US West Advanced Technologies, Couzelis was team lead for the project that created an artificial-intelligence-based self-healing infrastructure to repair telephone network problems. Release
> Ipsen named the head of Sanofi’s vaccines division as its CEO. David Loew arrives at a company reeling from crushed hopes for its $1 billion bet on rare disease drug palovarotene. Loew spent more than 20 years rising through the ranks at Roche, culminating in him holding the title of head of the Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa regions, before moving to Sanofi in 2013. By 2016, Sanofi had put Loew in charge of its vaccine unit, giving him responsibility for R&D, industrial affairs and commercial operations. FierceBiotech
> Corbus Pharmaceuticals has named John Amedio Jr., Ph.D., as VP and head of CMC development and commercial manufacturing. Amedia previously served as the principal at Amedio CMC Consulting.