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 Blankenship, and we will feature it here at the end of each week.
Roche Diagnostics brings back Sause to lead North American operations
Matthew Sause will take over as head of North American operations.
Roche Diagnostics has lured back Sause from Gilead Sciences to be president and CEO of its North American operations. Prior to his monthslong stint at Gilead earlier this year—where he served as senior vice president and head of global commercial product strategy—Sause had spent 17 years within the Roche Group. Twelve of those years were in the Big Pharma’s diagnostics division, including commercial positions in Asia, sales roles in the U.S. and country operations leadership in Ireland. FierceBiotech
Hung, ex-Medivation execs join forces for stealthy cancer startup
David Hung, M.D., has founded the new biotech.
Hung has had a strange few years: From the man who led Medivation to being snapped up by Pfizer in a major $14 billion M&A deal, he then went over to Axovant, where it went very wrong. He’s now looking to turn things around. Last year, he quietly founded a new oncology company known as Nuvation Bio, and he’s clearly been busy meeting the money men and women, because this week it’s seen a massive $275 million series A. FierceBiotech
Digital voice biomarker company Sonde Health taps new CEO
David Liu will take over as CEO.
Liu will serve as the company’s chief as well as a member of its board of directors. He joins about six months after Sonde raised $16 million in a series A round led by the corporate investment arm of Merck KGaA, M Ventures. Additional backers included Mitsubishi Tanabe’s venture capital firm, MP Healthcare Venture Management, as well as Neoteny 4, LP, Canepa Healthcare and Sonde’s founding company, PureTech Health. The round’s total also included the issuance of $6 million in shares, following the conversion of debt into equity. FierceBiotech
> Philadelphia-based Scout Bio has tapped Anne Traas as chief development officer. Traas most recently served as head of Saint Joseph Pharma clinical R&D at Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health. In prior roles at Boehringer, Traas served as associate director of U.S. biological clinical development and associate director of pharmaceutical clinical development. Release
> Orlando-based AllianceRx Walgreens Prime has named Clayton D. Edwards as chief operations officer. Edwards, a licensed pharmacist, was most recently senior vice president of pharmacy at CareSource Management Group in Dayton, Ohio. Release
> U.K.-based Vectura Group has appointed Will Downie as CEO and executive director of the company. Downie spent 10 years as senior VP of global sales and marketing at Catalent. Prior to Catalent, Downiest held positions as VP and general manager of global molecular imaging at GE Healthcare and VP of sales for EMEA at Amersham Health. Release
> Foster City, California-based Mirum Pharmaceuticals has appointed Ed Tucker, M.D., as its CMO. Tucker most recently served as COO at Acerta Pharma. Prior to joining Acerta, Tucker held leadership positions in clinical development, medical safety and medical affairs at Bayer AG, Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Genentech. Release
> Glenn S. Vraniak has been named CFO of Copenhagen-based Evaxion Biotech. Before joining Evaxion, Vraniak served as CFO of electroCore from August 2016 until April 2019. From February 2014 to January 2016, Vraniak also served as the CFO at G&W Laboratories.
> Menlo Park, California-based Adverum Biotechnologies has named Peter Soparkar as chief legal officer. Prior to joining Adverum, Soparkar was chief legal officer and head of human resources at Counsyl, where he also served as corporate secretary and head of compliance.