Agios Pharmaceuticals COO Higgons heads for the door

Chutes and Ladders

Welcome to this week's Chutes and Ladders, our roundup of hirings and retirings throughout the industry. Please send the good word--or the bad--from your shop to Eric Sagonowsky (email) or Amirah Al Idrus (email | Twitter), and we will feature it here at the end of each week.

Agios Pharmaceuticals COO Higgons heads for the door

Agios Pharmaceuticals
John Duncan Higgons stepped down as COO.

John Duncan Higgons, Agios Pharmaceuticals' ($AGIO) COO, announced his intention to resign on January 15, 2016, to pursue other interests, according to an SEC filing. Prior to joining the Cambridge, MA, biotech in 2009, Higgons worked at Archemix, serving most recently as president, COO and interim CEO. He's also held a chief commercial officer role at TransForm Pharmaceuticals, which was scooped up for $230 million by Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) in 2005. He joins a growing group of biopharma executives who have recently departed their roles to pursue other interests, many of whom have emerged as leaders in startups. Filing

Karolinska deputy CEO, CSO to step down

Karolinska Development
Dr. Terje Kalland will retire as deputy CEO and CSO.

Stockholm's Karolinska Development ($KDEV) announced this week that Dr. Terje Kalland, the company's deputy CEO and CSO, will retire at the end of the year. Before Karolinska, Kalland served as senior vice president of research at Novo Nordisk ($NVO) and chief scientific officer of Biovitrium and is a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences. Karolinska also appointed Dr. Viktor Drvota as its chief investment officer this week. Release

Beleaguered Daiichi Sankyo is shuttering its German antibody business, which employs about 40 people. Story


> Novogen ($NVGN) appointed Dr. James Garner as CEO. Release

> Therabron promoted Thomas Miller to president and CEO and appointed Aprile Pilon to executive vice president and chief scientific officer and Anita Fauchier as vice president of regulatory affairs and quality assurance. Release

> Huya Biosciences International named Dr. Dmitri Kharkevitch as vice president of clinical development oncology. Release

> Scilex Pharma hired Dean Ferrigno as vice president of finance and Kip Vought as vice president of development. Release

> Symic appointed Seema Kantak as chief scientific officer. Release

> The Medicines Company ($MDCO) President and Chief Financial Officer Glenn Sblendorio will retire effective March 31, 2016. Release

> Benitec ($BNTCW) CEO and Managing Director Dr. Peter French will step down. Current Chief Financial Officer and Company Secretary Greg West will step in as interim CEO. Release

> Tiziana Life Sciences named James Tripp as chief operating officer. Release

> Biothera Pharmaceutical appointed Barry Labinger as CEO. Release

> Cellnovo Group named Javaid Masoud as chief technology officer. Release

> Idea Pharma appointed Mark Forbes Irving as managing director. Release

Lisa Miller joined Metabolon as vice president of precision medicine. Release

CoLucid Pharma ($CLCD) appointed Raymond Skwierczynski as head of its pharmaceutical operations. Release

AgeneBio brought on Richard Mohs as its vice president of clinical development. Release

Envisia Therapeutics named William Yelle its executive chairman. Release

RDD Pharma named Dr. June Almenoff its board chairman. Release

Dr. Dennis Langer joined enGene's board of directors. Release

Pulmatrix ($PULM) appointed Mark Iwicki as its chairman of the board. Release

BrainStorm named Revital Geffen-Aricha as its vice president of R&D. Release

G. John Mohr joined Immune Pharma as its senior vice president of business development. Release

Regulus ($RGLS) brought on Joseph Hagan as its chief operating officer. Release

Ignyta ($RXDX) appointed William McCarthy as its chief business officer. Release

Syros Pharmaceuticals named Dr. David Roth as its chief medical officer. Release

Caligor Rx appointed Michael Dallmann as its director of strategic planning. Release

Med tech

> GlucoTrack hired Boudewijn Baks as international sales and business development manager for its GlucoTrack device. Release