Chutes & Ladders—Teva’s longtime CFO to step down

Struggling Teva bid farewell to its longtime CFO Eyal Desheh.

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.

With CEO post still not finalized, Teva loses longtime CFO

Teva Small Logo
Eyal Desheh

Eyal Desheh is stepping down as CFO.

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The vacancy former CEO Erez Vigodman left at Teva is yet to be permanently filled, and now, longtime CFO Eyal Desheh is also bowing out. Following generics CEO Siggi Olafsson’s sudden departure last December and Vigodman’s in February, this marks the third high-level exec change at the Israeli drugmaker. Desheh became Teva’s EVP and CFO in 2008, and for a short term between October 2013 and February 2014 served as acting CEO in the wake of then-CEO Jeremy Levin’s ouster. He will probably become chairman of Isracard, Bank Hapoalim’s credit card company, according to the Israeli news outlet that broke the news. The timing couldn’t be worse for Teva, as the company just experienced a series of missteps including the colossal Allergan generics buy that investors aren’t confident in, followed by a proposed round of cost-cutting that could see thousands of workers out the door. FiercePharma | Release

Immune Pharma CEO jumps ship to new standalone spinoff

Immune Pharma
Daniel Teper

Immune Pharma
Daniel Teper left as CEO.

New York biotech Immune Pharma is going through a major R&D restructure, the center of which is to spin off its oncology subsidiary Cytovia into a separate and independent company, and its CEO Daniel Teper has resigned to lead that new spinoff. Cytovia will focus on immuno-oncology and hematology meds, led by Ceplene as part of a combo therapy with low dose interleukin 2 for the remission maintenance of patients with acute myeloid leukemia. Board member Elliot Maza will serve as Immune’s CEO until a permanent replacement is found. Meanwhile, Monica Luchi, M.D., EVP of global drug development and CMO, becomes president of Immune’s inflammatory disease and dermatology division. The company will focus on immune-dermatology by developing its core asset bertilimumab. FierceBiotech

Rgenix taps Novartis alum as to trial ex-GSK drug


Roger Waltzman, M.D., was named CMO.

Rgenix appointed Roger Waltzman, M.D., as its CMO, who will lead the clinical development of the company’s cancer assets, including its lead candidate, ex-GlaxoSmithKline drug RGX-104. Waltzman joins Rgenix after a 10-month stint as CSO at Jaguar Animal Health. Prior to that, he spent 10 years at Novartis. Even though his last post with the Swiss Big Pharma was global program head for tropical medicines, his previous longer experience of overseeing the development of four oncology compounds until 2013 is more applicable to his new job at Rgenix. The Rockefeller University spinout, which secured $33 million in Series B last year, sees the potential in RGX-104 as a cancer treatment, probably in combination with checkpoint inhibitors. FierceBiotech

> Concordia, which just hired a new CEO last November, is replacing the company’s former CFO Edward Borkowski, who is departing for opportunities elsewhere, with the newly appointed David Price. Release

> Purdue pharma tapped ex-Pfizer Consumer Healthcare veteran Carrie Chomiak as its new head of OTC franchise, and brought on Josie Martin, former EVP of public affairs at PhRMA, as its VP and head of corporate affairs & communications. Release | Release

> Cidara Therapeutics’ Taylor Sandison, M.D., has secured his role as the permanent CMO of the company. Release

> Manuel Litchman, M.D., has been appointed president and CEO of Mustang Bio, taking over from interim chief Michael Weiss, who will continue to serve as chairman. Release

> Former FDA associate commissioner Jill Hartzler joined regulatory affairs advisory firm Catalyst Healthcare Consulting as VP of regulatory policy. Release

> Metabolic disorder-focused French company Poxel hired Anne Renevot as its CFO. Release

> AMAG named Arpad Simon, M.D., as VP of pharmacovigilance. Release