Alexion names David Hallal its next CEO

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 Michael Gibney (email | Twitter) or Amirah Al Idrus (email | Twitter), and we will feature it here at the end of each week.

COO Hallal appointed as Alexion CEO

Alexion Pharmaceuticals
David Hallal was named CEO.

Alexion Pharmaceuticals ($ALXN) has found its next CEO. With more than 25 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, David Hallal, 48, is set to take the reins, effective April 1. Hallal joined Alexion in 2006 to initiate commercial operations and since then has served in leadership positions of increasing responsibility, according to an Alexion release. He was appointed as the company's first COO in 2014 and helped with the launch of Soliris, as well as helping to build Alexion's 50-country operating platform. Hallal will succeed principal founder and longtime CEO Leonard Bell, who will retire and continue to serve as Alexion's board chairman. Before joining Alexion in 2006, Hallal served as vice president of sales at OSI Eyetech and held various positions at Amgen ($AMGN) and Biogen Idec ($BIIB). "I am deeply honored by this appointment and the confidence of the Board," Hallal said in a release. "Alexion is poised for the next stage of its global growth and innovation, and I look forward to leading our deeply experienced executive team and talented and dedicated staff as we serve patients around the world." Release


Siemens reorganizes leadership and preps for healthcare spinoff

Siemens Healthcare
Bernd Montag was named CEO.

As of Sunday, Bernd Montag will serve as the new CEO of Siemens Healthcare, replacing the outgoing Hermann Requardt as the company reorganizes its board and management as part of a long-planned move to spin off its healthcare business. Montag is a German native with a PhD in physics from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany. According to his Siemens bio, he joined the company in 1995 and has served in varied roles through his tenure there. The transition comes as the company's healthcare profits slip, although overall revenues continue to grow. Last year, Siemens said it would spin off its healthcare business in 2015 without an IPO. As part of the shuffle, Siegfried Russwurm will be the board-level partner for the separately managed healthcare business. Michael Sen is the CFO of Healthcare at Siemens. The men will hold these positions in the new company after the spinoff. Story


Duke's Califf picked as FDA deputy commissioner

FDA
Robert Califf
was named deputy commissioner.

Duke cardiologist Robert Califf will join the FDA as deputy commissioner for medical products and tobacco, the FDA announced Monday, overseeing the agency's changing policies in personalized medicine. Califf, currently the vice chancellor of clinical research at Duke, has decades of experience in the field and strong ties with biopharma, stirring speculation that FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg's appointment was a move to set in place a successor. Throughout his career, Califf has worked his way through academia and industry, and was the founding director of the Duke Clinical Research Institute. He interviewed for FDA commissioner in 2009 and has a close relationship with Janet Woodcock, the agency's pharma branch head. "Dr. Califf's deep knowledge and experience in the areas of medicine and clinical research will enable the agency to capitalize on, and improve upon, the significant advances we've made in medical product development and regulation over the last few years," Hamburg said in a statement. Story


bluebird bio CSO to step down

bluebird bio
Mitchell Finer announced his transition out of CSO role.

Mitchell Finer, chief scientific officer at bluebird bio ($BLUE), announced this week that he is stepping down from his role and transitioning to a position on the company's scientific advisory board. Bluebird--a clinical-stage company committed to developing gene therapies for severe genetic and rare diseases--will begin its recruitment process for Finer's replacement. The transition will take place over the next 6 months. Finer has served as the company's CSO since 2010. Prior to joining bluebird, Finer served as senior vice president of operations at Novocell and held other positions at Intracel Holdings, Genteric, Aventis Pharma and other life sciences companies. "We appreciate all of the insight and experience Mitch has brought to our team during our formative years. We would not be where we are today without his full-time participation, and we look forward to continuing to utilize his expertise and work closely with him as a member of our SAB," Nick Leschly, bluebird CEO, said in a statement. Release


Biotech

Kevin Fitzpatrick has been named the chief innovation officer of the American College of Cardiology. Release

The National Institute for Pharmaceutical Technology and Education named Ajaz Hussain its new executive director. Release

Mast Therapeutics' ($MSTX) Patrick Keran will be stepping down from his position as chief operating officer in February. Release

Paragon Bioservices brought on Mike Billard as its vice president of project management, George Buchman as its vice president of preclinical services and process development and Maryanne Foy as its vice president of human resources and corporate administration. Release

Bobby Sandage joined Euclises as the company's CEO. Release

Ferring Pharmaceuticals hired Dr. Pascal Danglas as its executive vice president and chief medical officer and Dr. Per Falk as its executive vice president and chief scientific officer. Release

Idera Pharmaceuticals ($IDRA) appointed R. Clayton Fletcher as its senior vice president of business development and strategic planning and Jim Baker as its executive director of market development. Release

Applied Genetic Technologies ($AGTC) has appointed Stephen Potter as chief business officer. Release

Nabriva Therapeutics appoints Charles Rowland to its supervisory board and names Steven Gelone chief development officer and a member of the management team. Release

Elena Kasimova joins Cleveland BioLabs' ($CBLI) board of directors. Release

> Epizyme ($EPZM) appoints Robert Copeland as president of research. Release

> Acurian appoints Roger Smith, formerly senior vice president of Acurian operations, as senior vice president and general manager. Release

Certara promotes Amin Rostami to senior vice president of R&D and chief scientific officer. Release

Crown Bioscience appoints Laurie Heilmann as the new senior vice president of global strategy and marketing business development. Release

Mary Thistle, formerly of Cubist ($CBST), joins Dimension Therapeutics, a 2014 Fierce 15 company, as chief business officer. Release

Essen BioScience appoints Jim Ryder as global head of sales. Release

Karolinska Development ($KDEV) CEO Bruno Lucidi is leaving the company and Deputy CEO Terje Kalland is acting CEO until a new CEO is appointed. Release | Story

Pharma

> Inovio ($INO) appoints Dr. Mark Gelder as vice president of clinical development. Release

> Columbia Labs ($CBRX) is looking for a new board member to follow the upcoming retirement of Chairman Stephen Kasnet. Release

> Cerulean Pharma ($CERU) names Tiffany Crowell as vice president of clinical operations. Release

> Gilead Sciences ($GILD) promoted Dr. Andrew Cheng to executive vice president of HIV therapeutics and development operations and Taiyin Yang to executive vice president of pharmaceutical development and manufacturing. Release

Drug Delivery

> PhytoTech appoints Daphna Heffetz as CEO of its Israeli subsidiary. Release

 

 

Suggested Articles

Preclinical-stage biotech Abpro Therapeutics wants to trial its two lead candidates for HER2-positive cancers and diabetic macular edema in 2019.

After a rough patch in 2017, the stars seem to be realigning for French CAR-T expert Cellectis, which just closed a $164 million U.S. public offering.

Investment firm Frazier Healthcare Partners has closed its 11th fund—worth $780 million—that will help established companies accelerate their growth.