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 LaHucik, and we will feature it here at the end of each week.
President of Johnson & Johnson's Janssen U.S. Oncology unit jumps to cancer biotech Teon Therapeutics as CEO
Serge Messerlian is now CEO of oncology-focused Teon Therapeutics.
The former leader of Janssen's U.S. oncology unit was poached a few months ago to lead the nascent startup just as his former employer celebrates the recent regulatory approval of multiple myeloma med Carvykti. Messerlian said he wanted to "get closer to the science" and innovation. He joined the biotech in January after helping J&J develop Carvykti during his six years at the pharma giant. Fierce Biotech
Jane Huang resigns from hematology chief medical officer post at BeiGene to be CMO at Prelude
Jane Huang, M.D., will become chief medical officer at Prelude Therapeutics on April 4.
The biotech disclosed her arrival just seven days after Huang told BeiGene she will resign from her post as CMO of the hematology unit at the Beijing-based biopharma on April 3. BeiGene did not immediately name a replacement. Huang will remain a consultant to BeiGene until the autumn. She helped the biopharma snag multiple approvals for cancer med Brukinsa, which was the first oncology drug discovered in China to win an FDA green light, in November 2019. Huang replaces David Mauro, M.D., Ph.D., who left Prelude four months ago. Fierce Biotech
Ex-Adastra Pharmaceuticals CEO Scott Megaffin becomes CEO of Adiso Therapeutics
Scott Megaffin is now CEO of Adiso Therapeutics, a biotech amalgamation out of Morningside Ventures.
Megaffin was previously CEO of Adastra, which sold its investigational cancer med zotiraciclib to Cothera Bioscience in October 2021. Now, he'll lead Adiso, an inflammatory disease biotech that is the culmination of multiple Morningside acquisitions including Artugen and Bacainn. Fierce Biotech
> Szczepan Baran is the new chief scientific officer of AI drug discovery firm VeriSIM Life after serving as the head of global emerging technologies at Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research. Release
> Aaron Tward, M.D., Ph.D., is the new chief scientific officer of Akous, a gene therapy maker focused on hearing loss, after serving as an associate professor at the University of California, San Francisco. Release
> Cardio-metabolic biotech Imbria Pharmaceuticals made a slate of hires: Arash Yavari, Ph.D., as chief scientific officer, Hugo Fry as chief commercial officer and Komal Joshi as chief financial officer. Release
> First Wave BioPharma, focused on gastrointestinal diseases, named Sarah Romano its CFO after she held the same post at Kiora Pharmaceuticals. Release
> Al Sandrock, M.D., Ph.D., the former Biogen R&D leader, was added to the board of Atalanta Therapeutics, which is focused on central nervous system diseases. Release
> NanoSyrinx named Marie McAvoy, Ph.D., its new chief scientific officer after she held the senior director post of GlaxoSmithKline's Oncology Cell Therapy Research Unit. Release
> Orna Therapeutics, focused on RNA therapies, named former Novartis CEO Thomas Ebeling to its board and appointed William Shen, Ph.D., as its new chief business officer after he held the chief operating officer post at Virtuoso Therapeutics. Release (PDF)
> Tonix Pharmaceuticals named Jeffrey Rosenfeld, Ph.D., its executive director of genomics and bioinformatics. He was previously an assistant professor at Rutgers. Release
> Robert Ho is the new CFO of Third Harmonic Bio, focused on allergy and inflammation, after holding the same post at Neoleukin Therapeutics. Release
> Sanjay Subramanian is the new chief financial officer, and Soojin Kim, Ph.D., is now SVP and chief technical operations officer at Inozyme Pharma, which is focused on rare diseases. Release
> David Parrot is the new CFO of Scribe Therapeutics, a molecular engineering company focused on CRISPR-based meds, after serving as a managing director at investment bank Barclays. Release
> Merck's new vaccine leader is Andrew Otoo, previously a VP of vaccines marketing, who steps into the role formerly held by John Markels, Ph.D. LinkedIn
> MiroBio hired Sanjay Keswani as chief medical officer and promoted Lynne Murray, Ph.D., to chief scientific officer. Release
> Coda Biotherapeutics named Susan Catalano, Ph.D., as its new chief scientific officer after serving as co-founder of Cognition Therapeutics. Release
> Margaret Wasilewski, M.D., is the new chief medical officer of Pulmatrix after holding the VP of R&D post at Summit Therapeutics. Release
> Cancer-focused AccuStem Sciences made a series of hires. Former Agendia Chief Commercial Officer Wendy Blosser is now CEO of AccuStem; Jeff Fensterer becomes COO; and Joe Flanagan is now CBO. Release
> Bolt Biotherapeutics Chief Scientific Officer David Dornan, Ph.D., resigned March 11 and will remain an adviser and consultant for six months. SEC filing
> Wren Therapeutics, a neurodegenerative diseases biotech, named Bart Henderson its CEO after serving as operating partner at Flagship Pioneering. Release