At Epizyme, CEO Gould steps aside and Bazemore takes the reins

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.

At Epizyme, CEO Gould steps aside and Bazemore takes the reins

Robert Bazemore was named CEO.

Epizyme ($EPZM) CEO Robert Gould announced this week that he'll step down next month after more than 5 years leading the company. Through the transition, he'll keep a seat on the company's board as it presses forward with two promising blood cancer drugs. Robert Bazemore, former chief operating officer at Synageva until it was purchased by Alexion ($ALXN), will take the reins. At Synageva, Bazemore was responsible for establishing the company's global commercial and medical organization for the company's first launch and managing the company's transition into a commercial enterprise. Before Synageva, Bazemore spent 12 years at several Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) operations and before that 11 years at Merck ($MRK). "I am thrilled to welcome Rob Bazemore as our next CEO. I am pleased to have achieved much of what I set out to do when I became Epizyme's CEO, and I look forward to supporting the company through this transition and its future growth as I return to my role as a director on the board," Gould said. Release

Former Teva Americas head Oberman to lead Sagent

Sagent Pharmaceuticals
Allan Oberman was named CEO

This week, Sagent's ($SGNT) board of directors named Allan Oberman as the company's next CEO effective immediately upon receipt of a U.S. work visa. Most recently, Oberman served as president and CEO of Teva ($TEVA) subsidiary Teva Americas Generics; prior to that, he served in several senior roles with Teva since joining the company in 2000. "I look forward to working closely with Sagent's Board and talented employees to refine our strategy, to enhance our global competitive position, and to drive long-term value for shareholders," Oberman said. Sagent's founder and CEO, Jeffrey Yordon​, stepped down from the role in March. Release

Merrimack picks Yasir Al-Wakeel to fill CFO spot

Merrimack Pharmaceuticals
Dr. Yasir Al-Wakeel was named CFO.

Merrimack Pharmaceuticals ($MACK) selected its new CFO and corporate development head in Dr. Yasir Al-Wakeel, who will take the position beginning Tuesday. In the role, he'll help build Merrimack into a fully integrated cancer company based on a systems engineering approach. Dr. Al-Wakeel, a physician by training, joins the company from Credit Suisse, where he focused on biotechnology as a director on the healthcare investment banking team. "I'm excited to join Merrimack and participate in their mission to deliver life-changing results to cancer patients," said Dr. Al-Wakeel. "The company's pipeline presents an opportunity to have an impact that spans solid tumors and their systems engineering approach offers the promise of precisely tackling the root causes of cancer while offering a personalized approach for patients." With the move, William Sullivan will assume the role of head of finance and accounting at Merrimack. Release

GSK is beefing up U.S. drug and inhaler plant, adding about 130 jobs. Story

Aprecia builds plant for 3DP pill making, agrees to hire about 150 employees, as it nails first FDA approval. Story

Med tech megamergers haven't translated to massive layoffs--at least not yet. Story


> Dimension Therapeutics appointed Jean Franchi as chief financial officer and treasurer. Release

> InVivo Therapeutics ($NVIV) promoted Christopher McNulty to senior vice president of business development and investor relations. Release

> Acucela ($AUCL) named Lukas Scheibler as executive vice president of translational medicine. Release

> Boston Therapeutics added Philip Getter to its board of directors. Release

> Halozyme ($HALO) added Jeffrey Henderson to its board of directors. Release

> Champions Oncology appointed David DeOrnellis as global director of laboratory operations, Mark Weinstein as chief information officer and Jordan Rubinson as chief commercial officer. Release

> Acadia Pharmaceuticals ($ACAD) named James Nash as senior vice president of technology development and operations. Release

> Matthew Korenberg joined Ligand ($LGND) as chief financial officer. Release

> Kolltan Pharma named Dr. Ronald Peck as chief medical officer and SVP of clinical development. Release

> Ohr Pharma ($OHRP) appointed Dr. Jason Slakter as CEO. Release

> Akorn ($AKRX) named Randy Pollard as interim chief financial officer. Release

> Dr. Annamaria Kausz joined Allena Pharmaceuticals as vice president of clinical development. Release

BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics appointed Yoram Bibring as its CFO. Release

Organovo ($ONVO) brought on Paul Gallant as its general manager. Release

Dr. Deborah Ascheim joined Capricor Therapeutics as its chief medical officer. Release

Healeon Medical named Dr. Robert Alexander as its chief scientific officer. Release

BIO named Jeanne Haggerty as its senior vice president for federal government relations. Release

Joseph Oliveto joined Galleon Pharmaceuticals as the company's CEO. Release

Med Tech

> R. Scott Greer joined Inogen's ($INGN) board of directors. Release

> STAAR Surgical ($STAA) appointed Keith Holliday as vice president of research and development. Release

> David Dvorak joins St. Jude Medical's ($STJ) board of directors. Release

> Iridex ($IRIX) Chief Operating Officer James Mackaness has resigned. Release

> Intelomed appointed Jill Schiaparelli as president and CEO. Release

> JenaValve appointed Peter Wulff as chief financial officer. Release


> Peter Kaspar joins Daktari Diagnostics' board of directors. Release

> GeneNEWS appointed Dr. Joel Brill as chief medical officer. Release

> T2 Biosystems ($TTOO) named Maurice Castonguay as chief financial officer. Release