Chutes & Ladders—Yumanity snags ex-Shire exec Robertson as CMO


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 Kyle Blankenship, and we will feature it here at the end of each week.

Yumanity snags a CMO as Shire keeps bleeding execs

Brigitte Robertson, M.D., will take over as CMO.

Robertson, who led global development teams within Shire’s neuroscience division, is now Yumanity Therapeutics’ chief medical officer. Robertson is just the latest in a stream of executives to exit the rare disease specialist as it gets subsumed by Takeda. This year, Shire’s former R&D chief, Andy Busch, Ph.D., and Howard Mayer, M.D., its ex-CMO, vice president and neuroscience R&D head both headed to greener pastures—Busch to Cyclerion as its chief innovation officer and Mayer to Ipsen as its new R&D chief. Another alum, David Altarac, M.D., landed at the AstraZeneca spinout Entasis as its CMO having been head of global regulatory affairs, global drug safety and R&D quality and compliance at Shire. FierceBiotech


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Bischofberger-helmed Kronos nabs Celgene research exec as new CMO

Jorge DiMartino, M.D., Ph.D., will come on as CMO and executive VP of clinical development.

DiMartino comes off a stint at Celgene, soon to become part of Bristol-Myers Squibb, where he was most recently VP of translational development, protein homeostasis and its Epigenetics Thematic Center of Excellence. He’s also spent time working art Genentech, where he was the development team leader for the BCL2 (venetoclax, navitoclax) collaboration with AbbVie. DiMartino's pickup comes after a mini hiring spree for the biotech: Christopher Lee, Ph.D., comes on board as VP of program management, while Charles Lin, Ph.D., will serve as its VP of biology. FierceBiotech

Arrowhead R&D lead steps down, biotech vets step in

Longtime COO Bruce Given, M.D., is set to retire. 

Given says he will retire May 1, 2020, after more than 30 years in the biopharma world and eight years at Arrowhead. As he prepares to leave, the biotech is hiring Javier San Martin, M.D., as its new CMO and Curt Bradshaw, Ph.D., as CSO. They both start work Monday. Before hitting the exit, Given “will work closely with Dr. San Martin and Dr. Bradshaw to ensure a smooth transition and will also be retained in an advisory capacity for a period of at least one year following his retirement,” Arrowhead said in a statement. FierceBiotech

> Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Relay Therapeutics is fleshing out its R&D team with three new appointments. Ben B. Wolf, M.D., Ph.D., has joined as CMO, Mrunal “Monica” Phadnis has joined as VP of clinical operations and Iain Martin, Ph.D., has joined as VP of drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics. 

> Jason Tardio has been named CMO of Ovid Therapeutics. Prior to joining Ovid, Tardio served as VP and head of the multiple sclerosis franchise at Novartis. Prior to Novartis, Tardio held roles at Biogen, where he most recently served as general manager and managing director for Biogen’s Latin America South affiliate. Release

> Rentschler Biopharma SE has appointed Hemant Kumar as VP of process sciences and Lorraine Blackman has been hired as U.S. head of human resources, both newly created positions. Kumar joins from AnaptysBio, where he was senior VP of process development and manufacturing operations. Blackman recently served as director of human resources, North America at a biopharma CDMO. Release

> Boston-based Cerevel Therapeutics has appointed Bryan K. Phillips as chief legal officer. Phillips most recently served as the senior VP of legal, human resources and information technology, general counsel and secretary for Surmodics. Release

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