Chutes & Ladders—Sanofi hires ex-Roche executive as new R&D chief


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

Sanofi hires ex-Roche executive John Reed to replace retiring R&D chief

Sanofi small logo
John Reed
John Reed was picked to lead the company’s global R&D pipeline.

Reed will be taking over for Elias Zerhouni, who plans to retire by the end of June. Earlier this month, Reed left Roche and returned to the U.S. from Switzerland for personal reasons. While his first day at Sanofi will be April 30, he is due to take up the position full-time July 1 in Paris. Sanofi said the timing of Zerhouni’s retirement and Reed’s availability was a coincidence. Sanofi CEO Olivier Brandicourt praised Reed’s experience in “driving R&D productivity, building high-performing teams and integrating biotech companies to provide new technology platforms.” FierceBiotech

Ex-Rosetta CEO tapped as new Advaxis head

Advaxis small logo

Kenneth Berlin was hired as CEO.

Berlin is being brought on following Daniel O’Connor’s departure last summer. The oncology biotech has been led by CBO Tony Lombardo for the better part of a year, who will depart the company following the transition. Advaxis also announced the appointment of a new chief medical officer, Andres Gutierrez, as well as the departure of CFO Sara Bonstein. Berlin previously served chief of Rosetta Genomics, which was purchased by Genoptix last year for $10 million, or about 60 cents per share. Gutierrez, as early as two weeks ago, had been CMO at Oncolytics Biotech. FierceBiotech

Urovant poaches Allergan’s key urology executive

Urovant Sciences
Cornelia Haag-Molkenteller was named CMO of the urology-focused biotech.

Haag-Molkenteller recently served as Allergan’s VP and head of global clinical development for women’s health, internal medicine, anti-infectives and urology, where she led clinical development of onabotulinumtoxinA for overactive bladder. The company also fleshed out its C-suite with a slew of previous Allergan and Avanir execs: CCO Michael McFadden, former senior VP at Avanir; general counsel Bryan Smith, previous chief counsel to Allergan’s urology unit; chief accountant Christine Ocampo, former VP of finance at Avanir and later CFO of Novus Therapeutics; and former Allergan VP Nori Ebersole as chief human resources officer. FierceBiotech

AstraZeneca UK President Lisa Anson will join Redx as CEO, effective June 1. Anson also currently serves as the president of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry. Redx Executive Chairman Iain Ross said she was tasked to “lead the re-launch of the company,” including the possibility of acquiring new assets. Over a 20-year career at AstraZeneca, Anson held senior management roles in both the U.S. and the U.K., including global VP of oncology and VP of emerging brands. Release

Sanofi lost its global head of diabetes research and translational medicine, Philip Just Larsen, to Grünenthal, as the company aims to expand beyond its best-known work in pain therapeutics. FierceBiotech

Peyton Howell was named chief commercial and strategy officer of Parexel, effective May 7. Howell most recently served as an executive VP at AmerisourceBergen, as well as president of the distributor’s health systems and specialty care solutions. Release

Craig Boyd was appointed president of Xellia Pharmaceuticals’ U.S. business, as the company prepares to launch its anti-infectives in the country. Boyd was previously chief commercial officer at the contract researcher Envigo. Release

MaxCyte appointed Claudio Dansky Ullmann as CMO, to oversee development of the company’s first drug candidate, MCY-M11, expected to enter the clinic this year. Dansky Ullmann previously served as head of clinical development at Infinity Pharmaceuticals, as well as senior medical director and global clinical lead for oncology at Takeda. Release

Revolution Medicines appointed Ryan Martins as CFO, Xiaolin Wang as senior VP for clinical development, and Hirdesh Uppal as VP for development sciences. Martins previously served as finance VP at Ultragenyx. Wang joins from Acerta Pharma, and has helped lead clinical development at Genentech and Geron. Uppal formerly led translational medicine and diagnostics at Medivation. The company also announced it raised $56 million in series B funding. Release

> Christopher Jensen was named senior vice president and chief financial officer of Elanco Animal Health, a division of Eli Lilly & Co. He recently served as CFO of the chemical company Celanese Corp. Release

> Peter Bergsma joined Aleva Neurotherapeutics as director of commercialization, while Jeffrey Jump joined the board as chairman. Bergsma has previously held various positions with Medtronic/Neurodiagnostics, Neurotech, Sorin-New Ventures and LivaNova. Jump is currently chairman of Medalliance, Combioxin and Manli Cardiology. Release (PDF)