Chutes & Ladders: Novartis bids farewell to Epstein with pharma split


Chutes and Ladders

Welcome to this week's Chutes and Ladders, our roundup of hirings, firings and retirings throughout the industry. Please send the good word--or the bad--from your shop to Eric Sagonowsky (email) or Amirah Al Idrus (email | Twitter), and we will feature it here at the end of each week.

Novartis bids farewell to David Epstein with pharma group split










Pharma head David Epstein left the company.

Novartis' personnel switches made headlines in a big way this week with the revelation that it’s splitting its pharma unit into two groups--Pharmaceuticals and Oncology--neither to be managed by current division head David Epstein. Epstein leaves the company “to explore new challenges from the U.S.,” Novartis ($NVS) said in a statement, drawing a contrast from the guess by many industry watchers that he’d end up in the CEO chair at U.K.-based GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK). In an interview with FierceBiotech, Epstein said he hasn’t decided his next step and plans to “travel and reflect.” He added, “I love building businesses that use innovative science to improve and extend lives. Biological breakthroughs are providing many such opportunities.” Novartis Pharmaceuticals will be headed by Paul Hudson, while Bruno Strigini will lead Novartis Oncology. FiercePharma | FierceBiotech

Ex-Pfizer boss Geno Germano lands at Intrexon









Geno Germano was named president.

A former Pfizer ($PFE) exec is heading to biotech, marking the most recent move in a noted trend of Big Pharma execs ending up at much smaller companies. After being cut out of the future management team for the would-be Pfizer/Allergan merger, former global innovative pharma head at Pfizer Geno Germano has landed at Intrexon ($XON) as president. Germano, on the path to become the biotech’s next CEO, will start at the beginning of June and report to billionaire chairman Randal Kirk. For Intrexon, Germano’s hiring comes after its March move to hire new senior members to run its 5 business sectors, effectively pushing out COO Krish Krishnan and product development SVP Suma Krishnan. Story

Tony Kingsley lands at Medicines Co. following Biogen departure










Medicines Company
Tony Kingsley was named COO.

After parting ways with Biogen ($BIIB) in October, Tony Kingsley has landed at The Medicines Company ($MDCO) as chief operating officer. At Biogen, Kingsley served as EVP of global commercial operations, overseeing the launch of new therapies. In his role at Medicines Co., he’ll help oversee the company’s daily functions and will lead its commercial activities. Before Biogen, Kingsley was SVP and GM of the Gynecological Surgical Products business of Hologic. He’s also served as diagnostic division president at Cytyc and partner at McKinsey & Company. “Tony brings extensive leadership experience and broad operational expertise developed over a long and enormously successful career,” Medicines Co. CEO Dr. Clive Meanwell said in a statement. "His contributions will be invaluable as the company enters this exciting period and we continue to execute on our strategy to drive growth from our core, high-value assets, while maximizing strategic and operational flexibility." Release

Paul Jenkinson joins Kite as CFO after decade at Allergan










Kite Pharma
Paul Jenkinson was named CFO.

Kite Pharma ($KITE) tapped former Allergan executive Paul Jenkinson as its CFO, a position in which he’ll succeed Cynthia Butitta and report directly to CEO Dr. Arie Belldegrun. Jenkinson makes the move to Santa Monica, CA-based Kite following a decade at Allergan ($AGN), where he was most recently VP of global commercial and corporate finance. There, he worked with commercial and manufacturing operations, R&D and other administrative functions to manage the company’s financial planning and analysis activities. Before Allergan, Jenkinson held finance positions at Black & Decker and Deloitte New Zealand. Butitta continues her role as COO at Kite. Release

Roche can't sell plants in U.S. and Ireland, moves forward with closures. Story


> BioLife Solutions named Jim Mathers as its new vice president of sales. Release

> Recombinetics hired Ian Friendly as CEO and Tammy Lee Stanoch as chief corporate affairs officer. Release

> Orig3n appointed Melissa May as vice president of product strategy. Release

> Nabriva ($NBRV) appointed Gary Sender as chief financial officer. Release

> Spirox appointed Dr. Neil Hattangadi as its president and chief operating officer. Release

> Codiak BioSciences named Dr. Jan Lötvall as its chief scientist. Release

> Rohan Hoare joined EndoStim as president and CEO. Release

> Fate Therapeutics ($FATE) brought on Dr. Chris Storgard as its chief medical officer. Release

> Mauna Kea Technologies named Pierre Forest as its chief operating officer. Release

> Michael Becker joined Relmada Therapeutics as its chief financial officer. Release

> XBiotech ($XBIT) named Dawn McCollough as head of its clinical operations. Release

> Seres Therapeutics ($MCRB) appointed Thomas Desrosier as its chief legal officer and executive vice president. Release

> John Kozarich joined Intec Pharma ($NTEC) as chairman of its board of directors. Release

> Gamma Medica brought on Dr. Nathalie Johnson as a member of its clinical advisory board. Release


> Wolfe Laboratories selected Paul Oakley for its SVP and general counsel role. Release

Drug Delivery

> Flowonix named Larry Heaton president and CEO. Release