Chutes & Ladders—Pfizer poaches Roche's early R&D leader Pao to replace development chief

                          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 LaHucik, and we will feature it here at the end of each week.

Pfizer poaches Roche's early R&D exec William Pao to fill shoes of development head Rod MacKenzie 

William Pao, M.D., Ph.D., joins Pfizer as chief development officer on March 21.

Pao will replace Rod MacKenzie, one of multiple Pfizer executives who announced plans to retire in early 2022. MacKenzie leaves behind a 35-year legacy at the New York Big Pharma, including the last few years as CDO, during which time he oversaw the BioNTech-partnered COVID-19 vaccine Comirnaty. Pao joins from Roche, where he was head of pharma research and early development. His post at the Swiss pharma ends March 18, at which point he'll be replaced by board member Hans Clevers, M.D., Ph.D., who will step down from the board to take the executive role. Fierce Biotech

Leo Pharma chooses meme stock Orphazyme CEO Christophe Bourdon as Danish biopharma's next leader 

Leo Pharma

Christophe Bourdon will depart Danish meme stock Orphazyme to become CEO of Leo Pharma on April 1. 

Bourdon departs Orphazyme as the Danish biotech looks to rebound from a rocky stock trading year, an FDA rejection and a slashing of more than half of its staff. That was all in his first, and only, year at Orphazyme. Chief Financial Officer Anders Vadsholt will replace him. At Leo, Bourdon will oversee the reorganization of a 6,000-employee biopharma that's preparing to bring its eczema drug Adbry to market. Bourdon will also likely oversee massive layoffs, as Leo said last month it would cut about 1,000 positions in the next two years. Fierce Biotech

Sio Gene Therapies CEO Cheruvu heads to the exit as biotech dumps midstage Parkinson's program

Pavan Cheruvu, M.D., is out as CEO of Sio. 

He had originally planned to leave Jan. 31 but will stick around for two weeks as a nonexecutive employee to aid in the transition as the biotech reels from dropping a midstage Parkinson's disease program and suffers a stock performance collapse that has brought shares below $1 apiece. Cheruvu will receive no severance benefits. The biotech's chief financial officer, David Nassif, will tack on CEO duties until a permanent successor for Cheruvu is chosen. Fierce Biotech

> As it initiates a rolling submission at the FDA for its blood cancer treatment omidubicel, Gamida Cell is axing 10% of its staff and delaying planned hirings in 2022. Fierce Biotech

> After a decade at the helm, Quest Diagnostics CEO Stephen Rusckowski will vacate the role at the end of October and stay on as executive chair of the board through March 2023. Taking his post as president as CEO is EVP James Davis. Fierce MedTech

> Takeda made a series of promotions with U.S. leader Ramona Sequeira taking the reins of the new Global Portfolio Division. Plasma-derived therapies leader Julie Kim will now helm the U.S. business. Taking her plasma role is Giles Platford, currently president of Europe and Canada units at Takeda. Gabriele Ricci is the new chief data and technology officer. Fierce Pharma

> Takeda also said its vaccines leader, Rajeev Venkayya, is departing to lead an undisclosed pandemic-focused startup. Venkayya is also a board member of CEPI. Earnings call

> Within a week of the FDA slapping a hold on its lead Alzheimer's asset, Cortexyme has decided to part ways with CEO Casey Lynch, who will also leave her post as chair of the board. Taking Lynch's CEO post is CFO and COO Christopher Lowe, who will helm the biotech on an interim basis. Chief Scientific Officer Steve Dominy, M.D., also a board member, departed the company, as well. Release

> Keros Therapeutics, a hematological and musculoskeletal biotech, named Christopher Rovaldi as its chief operating officer after serving as a consultant to the company via his role as president of NS Biopharma Consulting. Release

> Francesca Barone, M.D., Ph.D., is the new chief scientific officer at immunotherapy biotech Candel Therapeutics after being promoted from the VP and head of research position since joining in November 2020. Release

DiaMedica Therapeutics named Dominic Cundari its chief commercial officer after he served as senior director of Genentech's vascular unit. Release

> Ma'an Muhsin, M.D., is the new president and chief medical officer of Kriya Therapeutics' oncology division after having served in the CMO post at Medicenna Therapeutics. Release

> Voyager Therapeutics appointed former Biogen EVP of R&D Alfred Sandrock, M.D., Ph.D., to its board and promoted Robin Swartz to chief operating officer. Release

> Murray Yule, M.D., Ph.D., is the new chief medical officer at iOmx Therapeutics, a cancer-focused biotech. Release

> Michelle Lock was named COO of Covis Pharma after serving as SVP and head of Europe and international for Acceleron Pharmaceuticals. The biotech also promoted Sandy Loreaux to president of its U.S. unit. Release

> Olema Pharmaceuticals, a biotech focused on women's cancers, named Naseem Zojwalla, M.D., its chief medical officer after holding the VP of clinical development post at Turning Point Therapeutics. Zojwalla replaces Pamela Klein, M.D., who was CMO as a consultant since early 2020. Release

> Mimi Huizinga, M.D., is the new head of medical affairs and SVP at cancer biotech ImmunoGen after serving as CMO and head of R&D at Rafael Holdings. Release

> Genetic disorders biotech Design Therapeutics named Jae Kim, M.D, its CMO as it gears up for the company's first clinical trial. Kim joins from Avidity Biosciences, where he was CMO until August 2021. Release

> Kronos Bio named Elizabeth Olek its SVP of clinical development; she previously worked at Eli Lilly's Loxo Oncology. Release

> Kura Oncology promoted three leaders: Mollie Leoni, M.D., to SVP of clinical development; Pete De Spain to SVP of investor relations; and Tom Doyle to SVP of finance and accounting. The cancer biotech also said CFO and Chief Business Officer Marc Grasso, M.D., is stepping down as the principal accounting duties will fall to Doyle. Release

> Aclaris Therapeutics, focused on immuno-inflammatory diseases, named James Loerop its chief business officer after holding the EVP of BD role at Anika Therapeutics. Release

> Eric Rose is the new CMO at Mesoblast, focused on inflammatory diseases, after having been a non-executive director of the biotech since 2013. He replaces Fred Grossman. Release

> Vaccines and biologic therapies biotech Clover Biopharmaceuticals named Nicholas Jackson, Ph.D., its president of global R&D after serving as head of vaccine programs at the Centre for Epidemic Preparedness and Innovation. Release

> ImmuneID named Jeremiah Degenhardt, Ph.D., its SVP of computational biology after holding the VP of translational oncology and bioinformatics post at Maverick Therapeutics. Release

> Gary Lee, Ph.D., is the new chief scientific officer at T-cell biotech Lyell Immunopharma after filling the same post at Senti Bio. Release

> Cancer and metabolic disease biotech Biomea Fusion selected Steve Morris, M.D., as its next CMO after he held a consultant role for the company since 2020. Release

> Alice Feng is the new CFO of Swiss life sciences company Lunaphore after holding the same role at Scripps Research. Release

> Cancer and inflammation biotech Faron Pharmaceuticals promoted Juho Jalkanen, M.D, Ph.D., to COO after holding the chief development officer post since 2018. He was also interim CMO for part of 2021. Release

> Nancy Shulman, M.D., is the new chief medical officer of Bluejay Therapeutics after working as VP of translational medicine at Ambys Medicines. Release

> Cancer biotech Teclison named Wan Lung Eng as CFO after serving in the same role at Spectral MD. Release

> Chris Cargill was nominated as the next CEO and president of Sosei Group. He's currently CFO of the biotech, and his promotion is expected to be ratified by shareholders on March 24. Release

> Enara Bio, focused on T-cell receptor immunotherapies, named Sophie Papa, Ph.D., as CMO after serving as a clinical reader at King's College London and Guy's and St. Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust. Release

> Vifor Pharma promoted Alexandros Sigalas to acting CFO to replace Colin Bond, who retired at the end of 2021. The company also named Group General Counsel Oliver Kronenberg, Ph.D., to the executive committee. Release

> Palo Santo, a psychedelic healthcare VC shop, named Zach Lomis a partner. Release

> Fabric Genomics hired Jyoti Palaniappan as chief commercial officer after having served as SVP of diagnostics at Adaptive Biotechnologies. Release