Chutes & Ladders—Pfizer’s early clinical head lands as Magenta CMO

Pfizer’s John Davis was named Magenta's CMO. (Image: PublicDomainPictures)

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

Pfizer’s John Davis named Magenta CMO

Magenta Therapeutics logo
John Davis

Magenta Therapeutics
John Davis, M.D., became CMO.

Magenta Therapeutics, a 2017 Fierce 15 winner working on targeted therapeutics to make stem cell transplants safer and more effective, has recruited Pfizer executive John Davis, M.D., as its CMO. Davis was recently head of early clinical development at Pfizer, and had also held leadership roles at Baxalta and Genentech. He carries with him about 10 years of experience leading clinical research in autoimmune diseases at UC San Francisco. The biotech raised $50 million in series B last May and licensed its lead candidate from Novartis. FierceBiotech

Former Teva generics chief Olafsson re-emerges as Hikma CEO

Siggi Olafsson

Hikma Pharmaceuticals
Siggi Olafsson became CEO.

Siggi Olafsson’s departure from Teva's generics CEO post in December 2016 shocked shareholders and stirred up more concerns about the Actavis deal, which he had personally backed. As it turned out, his exit marked only the prelude to a series of losses Teva later suffered. Now the seasoned executive has landed at Jordan’s Hikma as its new CEO, while current CEO Said Darwazah will transition to the executive chairman post. Darwazah praised Olafsson’s “deep sector knowledge” and “proven ability to drive growth.” The news came just a month after Surendera Tyagi, Ph.D., jumped from Fresenius Kabi to serve as Hikmas CSO and global head of R&D. FiercePharma

Johnson & Johnson executives launch secretive Aro

Susan Dillon

Aro Biotherapeutics
Susan Dillon co-founded the biotech as CEO.

Two former Johnson & Johnson leaders have left to co-found Aro Biotherapeutics. Aro's CEO Susan Dillon was formerly global therapeutic area head for immunology at Janssen Pharmaceuticals, and CSO Karyn O’Neil was venture leader for Centyrex, also a J&J unit. The new company is working on Centyrins, a class of scaffold molecules that can bind to target proteins. The platform was actually being developed at Centyrex and has been licensed out to Fusion Pharmaceuticals and Poseida Therapeutics for specific areas of development. BioCentury story

> Marc Schwabish, Ph.D., most recently Bayer's head of U.S. pharma business development and licensing, joined Fusion Pharma as SVP of business development and U.S. operations. Release

> AMRI named Tony Mattacchione to succeed Felicia Ladin as SVP and CFO. Release

> Alnylam recently promoted four female leaders to the VP level: Kelly Bierly became VP of commercial counsel, Leila Jalinous was named VP of program & alliance management, Dawn Jarvis is now VP of human resources, and Marianne Sweetser was promoted to senior distinguished investigator.

> Nonclinical CRO Envigo hired longtime Covance executive Lynn Lewis to the newly created role of SVP of global sales.

> Michael Eliel jumped from MPI—which is being acquired by Charles River—to serve as Sinclair Research's senior director of operations. Release

> Chicago-based medical device firm Attune Medical (formerly known as Advanced Cooling Therapy) lifted COO Keith Warner to CEO. Release