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.
Novartis alums Jimenez, Fishman unveil their next act
Joe Jimenez and Mark Fishman, M.D., co-founded a new biotech investment fund.
The former CEO and former president of the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research first set up shop in 2019, but they're now exiting stealth with a $135 million fund and the launch of their second company. Aditum aims to pick up preclinical programs and spin them out for phase 1 and phase 2 work. Aditum’s first project, Teres Bio, focuses on atopic dermatitis and plaque psoriasis, while Tempero Bio is developing a drug for anxiety and substance use disorders. Fierce Biotech
Deep Genomics nabs a CBO from Synlogics
Amanda Kay, Ph.D., will serve as chief business officer.
Since scoring $40 million in January, the Toronto-based biotech has been identifying new drug targets across multiple disease areas, turning up many more prospects than it could pursue on its own. Kay will develop and oversee the company’s partnering strategy. She joins from Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Synlogic, where she had led business development. Fierce MedTech
Santhera's CMO hits the exit following program, staff cuts
Kristina Sjöblom Nygren, M.D., chief medical officer and head of development, is leaving the company.
Nearly one month ago, Santhera culled its idebenone program in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), and announced restructuring plans. It has since let go 50 staffers to save cash as it focuses on another DMD hopeful, vamorolone, as well as its lonodelestat in lung diseases such as cystic fibrosis. Nygren is leaving “for family reasons and to pursue other opportunities,” according to the company. Fierce Biotech
> FDA officials are pushing back against an executive order that will make it easier for President Donald Trump to fire federal employees, according to a report from Politico. Patrizia Cavazzoni, the acting head of the FDA’s drug center, is reportedly among the top officials to have raised concerns about Trump’s executive order. Fierce Biotech
> Vertex Ventures HC named George Golumbeski and Faheem Hasnain as executive advisers. Golumbeski was previously executive VP of business development at Celgene, and currently serves as a venture partner at Arch, while Hasnain is the chairman of the board at Aspen Neuroscience, Gossamer Bio and Mirati Therapeutics, after holding positions at Biogen, Bristol Myers Squibb, Facet Biotech and Receptos. Fierce Biotech
> Klick Health is adding three senior executives to new roles. FCB Health's Lauren Naima joined as senior VP and executive creative director in New York; Laura Denham was brought on as head of the firm's broadcast production team; and Ryan Murphy joined as group creative director after eight years at Grey Group. Fierce Pharma Marketing
> Pfizer will invest €300 million ($350 million) to upgrade three Irish manufacturing sites in Dublin, Kildare and Cork, adding about 300 jobs over the next two to three years. Fierce Pharma Manufacturing
> Endo is overhauling its operations ahead of a drug launch next spring. The company announced it would cut 560 positions by the first half of 2026 to save $85 million to $95 million annually. It will also exit manufacturing facilities in California and New York and jettison an active pharmaceutical ingredient site in India. Fierce Pharma Manufacturing
> Immunotherapy device developer Aethlon Medical has named its chairman of the board, Charles Fisher Jr., M.D., to be its new CEO. Ed Broenniman will become the new chairman, while former CEO Timothy Rodell will serve as a consultant during the transition. Release
> Trillium Therapeutics appointed Ingmar Bruns, M.D., Ph.D., as chief medical officer. Bruns will succeed Yaping Shou, M.D., who has resigned to pursue other opportunities, the company said. Bruns previously served as senior VP and head of clinical development at Pieris Pharmaceuticals.
> Horizon Therapeutics named Karin Rosén, M.D., Ph.D., as its executive VP of R&D and chief scientific officer. Previously, she was senior VP of U.S. medical affairs at GlaxoSmithKline, and senior VP of U.S. and global medical affairs at Aimmune Therapeutics. Release
> X4 Pharmaceuticals appointed Art Taveras, Ph.D., as chief scientific officer. Taveras joins from CoMET Therapeutics, and previously served as founder and CSO of Transform Therapeutics. Release
> Bill Szablewski was named head of capital markets for Viatris, the combined merger of Mylan and Pfizer's Upjohn division. Most recently, he served as assistant treasurer for capital markets at Bristol Myers Squibb. Release
> Silence Therapeutics promoted Marie Wikström Lindholm, Ph.D., formerly VP and head of technology innovation, to senior VP for molecular design and named her a member of the executive leadership team. Release
> VectivBio brought on Sarah Holland, Ph.D., as chief business officer, and Aditya Venugopal, Ph.D., to be VP of business development. Holland served as global head of licensing at Lonza, while Venugopal was an executive director at Intercept Pharmaceuticals. Release
> LogicBio Therapeutics appointed Mariana Nacht, Ph.D., as chief scientific officer and promoted Kyle Chiang, Ph.D., to chief operating officer. Nacht most recently served as CSO and a founding executive team member of Cereius, while Chiang was the second employee at LogicBio, joining as director of translational science in 2016. Release