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.
'Warp Speed' head Slaoui sells off $12.4M in Moderna stock
Former vaccines chief Moncef Slaoui now heads the U.S. government's COVID-19 research project.
Shortly after being challenged by members of Congress for a potential conflict of interest, Slaoui said he's planning to sell about 155,000 shares in Moderna Therapeutics—holdings that grew in value from about $10 million to $12.4 million after the vaccine developer announced early positive data this week. Slaoui also plans to donate the $2.4 million in most recent gains to cancer research. FiercePharma
Gossamer Bio's CMO jumps to Atara Biotherapeutics
Jakob Dupont joins as senior VP and head of R&D.
Earlier this week, Gossamer Bio said its chief medical officer would depart to “pursue oncology opportunities closer to his family.” Two days later, he landed at South San Francisco-based Atara to work on off-the-shelf T-cell therapies. The move comes as the COVID-19 pandemic delayed Gossamer's phase 1b readout in pulmonary arterial hypertension. At Atara, Dupont will preside over a pipeline of allogeneic T-cell therapies for Epstein-Barr virus, multiple sclerosis and various solid tumors and blood cancers. FierceBiotech
Pandion recruits Gilead alum as CMO
John Sundy will serve as chief medical officer.
Sundy arrives on the heels of an $80 million series B round and as Pandion moves its lead treatment for ulcerative colitis toward the clinic. At Gilead, Sundy led clinical research in inflammation and respiratory therapeutics. Pandion also maintains a partnership with Astellas on treatments for Type 1 diabetes and other autoimmune diseases in a pact that could total nearly $800 million. FierceBiotech
> Merck appointed Matthew Walsh as chief financial officer and Rachel Stahler as chief information officer for Organon & Co., the upcoming spinoff of its women’s health, legacy brands and biosimilars businesses. Both were poached from Allergan, where they held the same titles. The spinoff transaction is slated for the first half of 2021. Release
> Kronos Bio named Zung To as its new vice president of clinical operations. He joins from Jazz Pharmaceuticals, where he focused on neuroscience and oncology as VP of development operations. Before that, he served as senior clinical operations director and bio-oncology therapeutic area head at Genentech. Release
> Subhrangshu Datta joined digital surgery company Activ Surgical as chief operating officer to help oversee business operations as it begins to roll out its system in the U.S. this year alongside global expansion plans for 2021. Datta is the former chief business officer of Soft Robotics as well as co-founder and CEO of CompanionMx. Release
> Evox Therapeutics appointed Sonya Montgomery as its first chief medical officer. Montgomery joins from Gyroscope Therapeutics where she was head of clinical development as the company transitioned from a startup to the clinical test stage. Before that, she was VP of clinical development at cystic fibrosis company ProQR. Release
> Joseph Leveque was named chief medical officer of Mirati Therapeutics. He takes over from Isan Chen, who stepped down to lead MBrace Therapeutics but will act as an adviser to Mirati. Leveque joins after serving as CMO of Synthorx, which was acquired by Sanofi late last year. Release
> AgeX Therapeutics promoted Andrea Park to chief financial officer, after serving as finance VP and controller since last October. Park replaces Russell Skibsted, who held the CFO role since the company's 2017 founding. Before joining AgeX, she was finance VP and controller of Lineage Cell Therapeutics. Release
> Virtual clinical trials company Science 37 brought on IQVIA's global vice president of finance for its contract sales and medical solutions unit, Mike Zaranek, to be its new chief financial officer. Prior to that, Zaranek spent almost two decades in corporate development roles with a focus on mergers, acquisitions and capital market transactions. Release
> Cellectis appointed Leopold Bertea as senior vice president of technical operations for Europe, based in the company's Paris office and manufacturing facility. Bertea joins from CellforCure, where he was general manager and site head before its acquisition by Novartis in April 2019. Release