Chutes & Ladders—Roche taps new North American diagnostics chief

  Chutes and LaddersWelcome 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 Max Bayer or Gabrielle Masson, and we will feature it here at the end of each week. 

New North American diagnostics head is latest in Roche’s string of CEO appointments

Roche Brad Moore
Brad Moore (Roche)

Roche Diagnostics 

Roche Diagnostics tapped Brad Moore to lead the testmaker’s North American division as CEO. Moore, who’s currently senior VP of the core lab and point of care unit within the division, has been at Roche since 2016 when he originally came aboard as head of its diabetes division in North America.

Before that, he put in almost two decades at Johnson & Johnson, including stints within the DePuy Spine device division and the Canadian business of diabetes monitoring subsidiary LifeScan, as well as two years spent as vice president of health system innovation at J&J proper.

Moore’s appointment is the culmination of a domino effect of new hires that began over the summer, when Roche plucked its next CEO, Thomas Schinecker, Ph.D., from the top of its diagnostics pyramid.

Replacing Schinecker as CEO of the worldwide Roche Diagnostics business, meanwhile, is Matt Sause, who in turn will vacate the spot that’s now set to be filled by Moore. Both Sause and Moore are slated to step into their new roles Jan. 1, while Schinecker will take the helm of the Big Pharma on March 15. Fierce Biotech

Amgen vet heads over to helm newly emerged biotech


Ex-Amgen veteran Richard Markus, M.D., Ph.D., left the world of Big Pharma to guide newly emerged biotech Dantari. Before stepping up as the biotech’s president and CEO, Markus served as Amgen’s VP of global development for 13 years, exiting in 2019 to head up Dantari. The leader has also held past roles at Corus Pharma (acquired by Gilead) and Allecure (acquired by Mannkind). 

Markus now helms the Los Angeles biotech, which debuted this week with $47 million in hand and platform technology spun out from the California Institute of Technology. Release

Kriwet leaves Fresenius Medical Care after just 2 months as CEO

Fresenius Medical Care

Just nine weeks into her tenure as chief executive of Fresenius Medical Care, Carla Kriwet, Ph.D., has already stepped down. The German dialysis giant cited “strategic differences” for the split in a Dec. 5 announcement, noting that Kriwet was leaving “at her own request and by mutual agreement.”

She was replaced the following day by Helen Giza, who was originally hired in 2019 as Fresenius’ CFO. In the years since, she’s added the roles of chief transformation officer and deputy CEO to her job duties. As CEO, she’ll continue on as acting CFO until the company can find a suitable replacement for that position. Fierce Biotech

> After six years with the company, Agios Pharmaceuticals Chief Commercial Officer Richa Poddar plans to step down, with Tsveta Milanova set to fill the role Jan. 3. Milanova joins from AstraZeneca’s rare disease arm Alexion, where she most recently served as SVP and head of the U.S. commercial unit. Before that, Milanova logged more than 10 years of experience at Celgene. Release

> Syndax Pharmaceuticals, a Massachusetts biotech touting a clinical-stage oncology pipeline, has tapped Steve Sabus to serve as chief commercial officer. Most recently, Sabus served as CCO for Turning Point Therapeutics before it was acquired by Bristol Myers Squibb this summer. He has also held senior roles at Astellas Pharma, where he worked for more than 15 years. Release

> Two new execs are joining LifeMine Therapeutics, a Massachusetts biotech refashioning drug discovery by mining genetically encoded small molecules. Elliot Ehrich, M.D., will serve as chief medical officer and EVP of translational science, while Lata Jayaraman, Ph.D., is coming on as EVP and head of biology. Ehrich most recently served as president for Skyhawk Therapeutics, while Jayaraman comes from Bristol Myers Squibb, where she most recently served as head of oncology drug discovery at the Mechanisms of Cancer Resistance Thematic Research Center. Release

> Entact Bio has launched with $81 million and Victoria Richon at the helm. Richon has more than two decades of relevant experience most recently serving as founding president and CEO of Ribon Therapeutics. Release

> Diego Cadavid, M.D., is joining Verge Genomics as the clinical-stage biotech’s first chief medical officer. Cadavid previously held the same role at X4 Pharmaceuticals, was the SVP of clinical development at Fulcrum Therapeutics and worked for nine years at Biogen. Release

> Worldwide Clinical Trials has named Pete Duprat to head its growing early-phase business unit. Duprat joins from NuvoAir, where he was VP of business development. Before NuvoAir, he held senior business development positions at Optum, PPD, ePharma Solutions and Quorum Review. Fierce Biotech

> Karuna Therapeutics is shaking up its leadership team, with current President, CEO and Chair Steve Paul, M.D., set to transition to president of R&D and chief scientific officer on Jan. 3. Bill Meury will succeed Paul as president and CEO, while Karuna’s lead independent director Christopher Coughlin will step in as chair of the board. New CEO Meury most recently served as a partner at Hildred Capital Management and has also held several leadership roles at Allergen, such as EVP and chief commercial officer. Release

> T-cell regulator Abata Therapeutics has tapped Ellen Cahir-McFarland, Ph.D., to serve as its chief scientific officer, taking the reins from interim CSO Andrea Van Elsas. Cahir-McFarland most recently served as Annexon Biosciences’s SVP of research, and previously held several roles of increasing responsibility at Biogen Discovery Research. Release

> Relief Therapeutics has found a new CEO in Jack Weinstein, who’s served as the Swiss drugmaker’s U.S.-based chief financial officer and treasurer since the fall of 2020. He’ll be replaced as CFO by Jeremy Meinen, who arrived at Relief in April 2020 as its ad interim financial chief. Release

> LimFlow, which has developed a minimally invasive system for the treatment of chronic limb-threatening ischemia, named Mike Mathias as its new VP of commercial operations. Mathias spent the first decade of his career in sales at Pfizer, then dedicated the next two decades to Medtronic, a stint that culminated in his position as VP of U.S. commercial operations for the medtech’s structural heart business. Release

> Hoping to build out its stateside presence, Irish cell therapy company ONK Therapeutics has appointed a new chief scientific officer based in the U.S. Bruce McCreedy, Ph.D.—an immunologist and cell and gene therapy expert who hails from Myeloid Therapeutics—will replace Michael O’Dwyer, M.D., who was also the scientific founder of ONK. O’Dwyer is transitioning to a full-time role as a professor of hematology at the University of Galway but will remain a board member and scientific adviser to the biotech. Release

> Nis Kruse has joined Danish diagnostics maker BioPorto as executive VP of strategic partnerships and general manager of the company’s Asia-Pacific and Europe, Middle East and Africa divisions. He brings nearly two decades of experience in biopharma and medtech, including at SSI Diagnostica, Merck, Agilent Technologies and AstraZeneca. Release

> Ligand Pharmaceuticals CEO John Higgins is retiring after 16 years at the helm of the drug developer. As of Dec. 5, he’s been replaced by Todd Davis, a member of Ligand’s board of directors and managing partner and founder of RoyaltyRx Capital. Higgins will also resign as a director of Ligand’s board Dec. 31, though he’ll continue on as chairman of spinout company OmniAb. Release

> On its mission to build out a portfolio of CRISPR-based therapeutics, diagnostics and more, Mammoth Biosciences has found a new chief business officer: Phil Tinmouth. Before joining the San Francisco-based company, he spent almost 20 years at Vertex Pharmaceuticals and, most recently, worked as chief business and strategy officer of Pardes Biosciences. Release