Chutes & Ladders—Johnson & Johnson elevates Khan to data science officer role


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.

Janssen promotes R&D exec into newfound data science role

Johnson & Johnson
Najat Khan, Ph.D., has been elevated to the role of chief data science officer.

Khan will continue on as its global head of strategy and operations in R&D but will also now run the data science side, which in a nutshell aims to make R&D more efficient by using deep dives into data in hopes of finding more pipeline winners more readily. “Najat’s new role is further evidence of the continued evolution of the R&D team and the critical role that data science will have in the future of healthcare,” J&J said in a statement. FierceBiotech

Icon nabs former Optum, FDA and AstraZeneca exec as new chief medical officer

Kristen Buck, M.D., has joined as CMO.

In her most recent role as senior VP and chief of clinical development, Buck led the clinical operations and regulatory groups to create Optum's real-world evidence and outcomes trial business. She’s also served stints at the FDA, where she worked in its gastrointestinal and hematology division, and AstraZeneca, where she was involved in clinical development and in its innovative medicines group. At Icon, her most immediate concern will be battling through the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact it is having on all CROs. Two weeks back, amid its financial results, Icon said it was slashing costs across a number of operations on the back of the COVID-19 hit, which it said was “prevalent in our clinical business with approximately 65% of our global sites impacted in some way by the pandemic.” FierceBiotech

Intellia signs on Novartis vet Lebwohl as CMO

Intellia Therapeutics
David Lebwohl, M.D., will come on board as CMO.

A physician by training, Lebwohl started his biopharma career at Bristol Myers Squibb, where he worked in oncology, before moving on to Novartis, where he wore several hats, including senior VP and head of the company’s global CAR-T program. At Novartis, he has led development for various oncology programs, including CAR-T therapy Kymriah and chemotherapy medicine Afinitor. “Dr. Lebwohl joins Intellia during an exciting time for the company, as we continue to rapidly progess our first systemic CRISPR/Cas9-based therapy to the clinic. David’s vast experience in rare diseases, engineered cell therapy and clinical development complement our R&D capabilities and leadership team strength,” said Intellia CEO John Leonard, M.D. FierceBiotech

> Venture capital firm Frazier Healthcare Partners has grabbed Scott Byrd, Ian Mills, M.D., and Gordon McMurray, Ph.D., as its new entrepreneur-in-residence consultants. They previously formed the team over at Frazier portfolio company Outpost Medicine, a joint venture with Japanese pharma Takeda with a focus on urologic and gynecologic diseases and disorders. FierceBiotech

> Boonton, New Jersey-based Enteris Biopharma has named Rajiv Khosla, Ph.D., as CEO. Khosla replaces Joel Tune, Enteris’ CEO since 2016. Khosla previously founded CEUTEC LLC and served as CEO at Orasi Medical. Release

> San Diego-based Trovagene, now under the new name Cardiff Oncology, has elevated CSO Mark Erlander, Ph.D., to the CEO role. Erlander will replace Thomas Adams, Ph.D., the board chairman since 2009 and CEO since June 2018, who will transition to the executive chairman role. Release

> French biotech Deinove has appointed Alexis Rideau as CEO. Rideau has held "various positions in companies operating in the technology and healthcare fields, including support to entrepreneurs, sector analysis and fundraising," the company said. Release

> Boston-based FogPharma has named Tony Gibney as CFO and CBO. Gibney most recently served as executive VP and CBO at Achillion. Before that, Gibney was a partner and co-head of Biotechnology Investment Banking at SVB Leerink. Release

> Immunocore has tapped Brian Di Donato as CFO and head of strategy. Di Donato was most recently senior VP and CFO at Achillion Pharmaceuticals. Release

> French gene therapy company Horama has named Ian Catchpole, Ph.D., as its CSO. Catchpole worked for over 25 years at GlaxoSmithKline. 

> New York-based HealthReveal has added Julie Stern as CTO. Stern joins from Vesta Healthcare, where she served as both CTO and chief security officer. Previously, Stern was CTO at Accolade. Release

> VuMedi has hired Dan Mosher as its COO. Mosher comes to VuMedi from Postmates and previously led the exchange business at BrightRoll. Release

> Boston-based Akcea Therapeutics has tapped Carla Poulson as senior VP and chief human resources officer. Poulson previously served as VP and senior human resources business partner at Vertex. Release

> Boston-based Imara has named Stephen Migausky as senior VP of legal and general counsel. Migausky joins from ArQule, where he served as general counsel, and previously worked at Vertex. Release

> San Francisco-based marketing firm W2O promoted Bryan Specht as group president of transformation, consumer activation and marketing. Specht previously served as chief growth and innovation officer and was formerly president of Olson. Release