Chutes & Ladders—Xenotransplantation firm eGenesis hires new R&D head

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Chutes and Ladders
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 Conor Hale, and we will feature it here at the end of each week.

Xenotransplantation firm eGenesis hires new R&D head

eGenesis logo

William “Wes” Westlin, Ph.D., was hired as executive VP of R&D.

Previously, Westlin served as a senior VP of preclinical research and early development at Nimbus Therapeutics, a position he also held at Celgene and Avila Therapeutics, working on first-in-human programs and clinical proof-of-concept studies. He also helped establish partnerships with big pharma companies such as Sanofi, Gilead and Clovis Oncology. In March 2017, eGenesis raised $38 million to help make pig organs suitable for human transplantation using gene-editing CRISPR technology. FierceBiotech


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Relay adds execs to chemistry, R&D teams as it advances into development

Relay Therapeutics logo

Relay Therapeutics
Mahesh Padval, Ph.D., was named senior VP of pharma development. Mary Mader, Ph.D., was named VP of chemistry.

While at Verastem, Padval served as VP of pharmaceutical sciences and product development, helping to oversee preclinical, CMC and clinical pharmacology activities, including for its September approval and launch of Copiktra in CLL and SLL. Mader previously served as a senior research advisory and a research fellow at Eli Lilly, where she worked on the discovery and development of multiple clinical candidates. The former Fierce 15 winner, Relay, aims to transition to the development stage with its platform that studies the movement of proteins within a cell in real time. FierceBiotech

Navidea brings on new CMO focused on imaging biomarkers

Navidea Biopharmaceuticals 
Michael Rosol, Ph.D., will serve as chief medical officer, effective Dec. 17.

Rosol most recently served as an associate director in the clinical and translational imaging group at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research. Before that, he was a senior director of business development at Elucid Bioimaging, where he helped commercialize its computer-aided phenotyping applications. He also served as chief scientific officer of MediLumine, and headed up Novartis Pharmaceuticals’ translational imaging group. FierceMedtech

> Bayer aims to comprehensively restructure its pharmaceutical R&D and consumer health operations, including the loss of about 900 of its 8,000 R&D positions, out of a total reduction of 12,000 jobs across the company. FierceBiotech

> Novartis is planning to move its U.K. headquarters to London and set up shop in the White City Place development next to Imperial College London’s new campus. FierceBiotech

> Teva was hit with a $6.3 million verdict in a retaliation lawsuit filed by a former manager who claimed age and anti-American discrimination. FiercePharma

> Brett Kaplan, M.D., joined Prevail Therapeutics as chief financial officer. Previously, Kaplan was a managing director at Evercore, where he spent eight years focused on biopharma M&A and equity financing. In addition, Prevail promoted Emily Minkow to chief business officer. Prior to joining the company, Minkow spent seven years at Celgene, most recently as executive director of business development. Release

> TransMed Systems named Carla Balch as its new CEO. Former CEO Nick Berens remains a member of the board of directors. Previously, Balch served as president of NantCare, and as president and CEO of Altos Solutions, which was sold to Flatiron Health. TransMed also named Jeff Edenfield, M.D., as its first chief medical officer. Edenfield currently serves as an associate professor at the University of South Carolina’s School of Medicine-Greenville. Release

> Foamix Pharmaceuticals appointed Matt Wiley as its first chief commercial officer, as it plans to launch its treatments for acne and rosacea. Previously, Wiley spent six years at Jazz Pharmaceuticals, most recently as VP of marketing and leader of its sleep disorder business unit. Release 

> Merck KGaA named Jasper Bos as senior VP and managing director of M Ventures. Bos previously managed the firm's healthcare fund. He succeeds Roel Bulthuis, who will leave at the end of the year. Release (PDF)

> Siemens Healthineers held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a $300 million expansion of its in vitro diagnostic test manufacturing and R&D facility in Walpole, Massachusetts, with plans to create up to 700 permanent jobs by 2026. FierceMedtech

> Novo Nordisk plans to add another $22 million investment and 22 jobs to its North Carolina diabetes facility, after the announcement of a $65 million expansion. FiercePharmaManufacturing

> CDMO Catalent Pharma Solutions plans to invest nearly $14 million to expand its plant in Bloomington, Indiana, and add 36 jobs. It has racked up 20 drug approvals through its $950 million deal for Cook Pharmica last year. FiercePharmaManufacturing

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