Chutes & Ladders—Novartis lures UCSF cardiovascular scientist Coughlin

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 Angus Liu (email) and we will feature it here at the end of each week.

UCSF cardiovascular scientist lands Novartis R&D leadership role

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Shaun Coughlin

Shaun Coughlin, M.D., Ph.D., will become NIBR’s global head of CV and metabolism.

In the most recent episode of academia-to-industry moves, Shaun Coughlin, M.D., Ph.D., the director of UCSF’s Cardiovascular Research Institute since 1997, is joining the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research—the Swiss pharma’s “innovation engine”—as the global head of cardiovascular and metabolism. This follows a hiring pattern started by former NIBR director Mark Fishman, M.D., who himself had been heading cardiology at Massachusetts General before joining NIBR. During Fishman’s 13-year tenure, he recruited Stanford University's Ricardo Dolmetsch, Ph.D., to lead NIBR's neuroscience activities in 2013, and 2 years later hired Dana-Farber Cancer Institute immunologist Glenn Dranoff, M.D., Ph.D., to lead its immuno-oncology efforts. Fishman’s handpicked successor, Dana-Farber and Harvard scientist Jay Bradner, M.D., continued with the trend. FierceBiotech

Novo Nordisk China GM promoted to lead corporate affairs

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Camilla Sylvest

Novo Nordisk
Camilla Sylvest was named EVP of commercial strategy and corporate affairs.

Camilla Sylvest, Novo Nordisk’s SVP and GM of Region China since August 2015, has been promoted to EVP in charge of commercial strategy and corporate affairs, effective Oct. 1. Sylvest joined Novo in 1996, and had held roles in headquarters and areas within pricing, health economics, marketing and sales. CEO Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen said Sylvest “has consistently delivered strong business results, fostered strong relations with stakeholders and demonstrated a natural ability to rally her organizations around key priorities.” The company’s sales in China grew from 2015’s 9.87 billion ($1.56 billion) Danish krones to 10.46 billion DKK in 2016. Also announced was the promotion of Doug Langa from head of North America Operations to EVP, though his responsibilities remain unchanged. Release

Beleaguered Teva loses executive to Novartis, Lilly-backed Cavion

Spyros Papapetropoulos

Spyros Papapetropoulos joined Cavion as EVP of R&D and CMO.

While it is still looking for a permanent CEO to right the ship, Teva has lost another key exec—Spyridon “Spyros” Papapetropoulos, VP of global specialty development, neurodegenerative diseases, movement disorders and clinical trial innovation. Prior to Teva, he had managed neuroscience research programs at Pfizer, Allergan and Biogen. Papapetropoulos will now lead R&D activities at Cavion, which pulled in a $26.1 million series A financing with Lilly Ventures, Novartis Venture Fund and Enso Ventures back in January. Lying at the center of the small biotech’s R&D efforts is a T-type calcium channel platform, which aims to restore the brain’s natural rhythms. FierceBiotech

> Cerecor's president and CEO Uli Hacksell retired from his roles, saying that he's optimistic about the company's future given the recent $45 million deal with Janssen and $5 million fundraising. FierceBiotech

> Merrimack named Jean Franchi, most recently Dimension Therapeutics' CFO who oversaw that company's IPO in 2015, as its CFO. Release

> Bryan Irving, Ph.D., former Genentech scientist, will join immuno-oncology company Five Prime Therapeutics as SVP of research. FierceBiotech

> BlueRock Therapeutics, which develops cell-based therapies for neurodegenerative diseases, established an R&D and manufacturing site in Toronto, and named Michael Scott, Ph.D., SVP of product development and Toronto operations. Release

> Sobi tapped Trista Morrison, Ironwood's former director of corporate communications, as its VP of communications in North America. Release

> 2013 Fierce 15 winner Jounce Therapeutics brought on former Ariad Pharmaceuticals CBO Hugh Cole as its own CBO. Release

> Ariad lost another exec as Michael Kim, Ph.D., joined C4 Therapeutics as VP of business development. Release

> MaxCyte, which focuses on cell-based medicines, hired 25-year biopharma industry veteran Brad Calvin as its new EVP of global marketing. Release

> After formalizing Lucy Lu's position as its permanent CEO and promoting Robyn Hunter to Lu’s previous post as Fortress’s CFO in July, Avenue Therapeutics, a Fortress company, named Joseph Vazzano to take over Avenue interim CFO David Horin's previous job as VP of finance and corporate controller. Release

> WIRB-Copernicus Group strengthened its newly acquired and combined eCOA arm, MedAvante-ProPhase, by naming Steven Herne as CCO and Michael Cioffi as SVP of clinical operations. Release