Chutes & Ladders—Sanofi’s diabetes and CV head Guenter jumps ship to Almirall

Sanofi's global diabetes and cardiovascular head Peter Guenter has left the French pharma to take the helm at Almirall.

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

Almirall lures Sanofi veteran Peter Guenter as new CEO

Peter Guenter

Peter Guenter leaves as global diabetes and cardiovascular head.

Guenter spent 22 years with Sanofi and was most recently the French drugmaker’s EVP and global diabetes and cardiovascular chief, but he has left that post to join Spanish pharma Almirall as its CEO, taking over from Eduardo Sanchiz, who has been Almirall’s CEO since July 2011. Sanofi’s diabetes business is not without trouble; its lead blockbuster Lantus is facing biosimilar competition, and a much-anticipated cholesterol drug, Praluent, hasn’t been doing so well as expected and is facing patent challenge by Amgen. CEO Olivier Brandicourt, who lifted Guenter to his current position during a management rejig, will look after that section of business until Guenter’s replacement is found. After a 2014 revamp that included a $2.2 billion respiratory divesture to AstraZeneca, Almirall now focuses on dermatology. FiercePharma

FDA clinical research expert Moscicki transitions to PhRMA as CMO

PhRMA small logo
Richard Moscicki

Richard Moscicki, M.D., joins PhRMA as CMO and EVP.

It’s almost a full life science journey for Richard Moscicki, M.D. With a medical degree from Northwestern University and after completing a fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital in immunology and immunopathology, he remained on staff at MGH and on the faculty of Harvard Medical School from 1979 until 2013. He joined Genzyme in 1992 and spent nearly two decades with the company, most recently holding the position of SVP, head of clinical development and CMO, responsible for worldwide global regulatory and pharmacovigilance matters, as well as all clinical and medical affairs for the company. He then joined the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research as deputy center director for science operations. And starting from this October, he will be joining nongovernment industry organization PhRMA as CMO and EVP. Release

Biogen biosimilar unit head to join former boss Scangos’ Vir Biotechnology

Alpna Seth

Vir Biotechnolgy
Alpna Seth
, Ph.D., became COO.

In the most recent episode of executive exodus at Biogen, the biotech’s SVP and global head of the biosimilars unit, Alpna Seth, Ph.D., quietly left the company in July and joined her former boss, Biogen’s former CEO George Scangos, at his San Francisco-based startup Vir Biotechnolgoy. Seth was with Biogen since 1998 and helped launch Biogen’s India office. Scangos landed the top job at Vir In January, shortly after he was replaced by Michel Vounatsos at Biogen. With lead investors including ARCH Venture Partners and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Vir is focusing on infectious diseases for which solutions are nonexistent or inadequate. Boston Business Journal story

> Christian Meyer, M.D., Ph.D., uniQure's four-year CMO until June, will join Therachon as its CMO, helping to lead its R&D efforts in rare diseases. FierceBiotech

> North Carolina-based CDMO Avista Pharma appointed industry veteran Eric Evans as CFO. Release

> Deirdre BeVard, who has held leadership roles in clinical affairs and development operations for the past 25 years, joined Elligo Health Research, a clinical research infrastructure provider, as COO. Release

> Health intelligence provider Outcome Health hired Nandini Ramani, formerly VP of engineering at Twitter, as its chief engineering officer to strengthen the company’s technology platform. Release

> Heart medtech company Abiomed announced that its CFO Michael Tomsicek has left the company to pursue other interests, and that its former CFO, Robert Bowen, would step in until a permanent replacement is found. Release

> Bone Therapeutics named Jean-Luc Vandebroek as CFO; he will replace Wim Goemaere, who is leaving the company to take up a senior position within a not-for-profit organization.