Biogen R&D chief Williams leaves for biotech startup

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.

Biogen R&D chief Williams leaves for biotech startup

R&D head Douglas Williams left the company.

Biogen ($BIIB) R&D head Doug Williams left the Big Biotech late last week to helm an unnamed startup, adding his name to the list of high-profile biopharma executives who have left big organizations to lead smaller companies. Williams left Biogen after serving as R&D head for 4 years, a time in which he played a key role in one of the industry's biggest turnarounds. Dr. Alfred Sandrock, senior vice president and chief medical officer, and Spyros Artavanis-Tsakonas, chief scientific officer, will assume Williams' responsibilities. Several executives have recently made the move to smaller companies, including former AstraZeneca ($AZN) R&D chief Briggs Morrison, ex-CEO at Onyx Tony Coles, former Merck Serono R&D head Annalisa Jenkins and Pfizer ($PFE) R&D vet Jose-Carlos Gutierrez-Ramos. Story | Release

Scott Andress named 23andMe design head

Scott Andress
was named design head.

Formerly with Yahoo! ($YHOO) and Apple ($APPL), Scott Andress joined 23andMe this week as director of product design. Andress will lead 23andMe's design team in creating its consumer experience in the personal genetics realm. In the role, he'll collaborate with 23andMe personnel for design on current and future projects. "It's not often that one gets a chance to work on a product that is entirely unique," said Andress. "23andMe is at the forefront of direct to consumer genetics, and I'm excited by the chance to enhance this new experience for customers." Release

Pacira taps Scott Braunstein for development SVP role

Dr. Scott Braunstein was named SVP of development.

Dr. Scott Braunstein was named to the newly created position of senior vice president of strategy and corporate development at Pacira Pharmaceuticals ($PCRX), a role in which he will oversee development for lead product Exparel and other interests. Braunstein brings 20 years of experience from roles at biopharma companies and as a practicing physician and investor. "We believe Scott will be a valuable addition to the management team as Pacira continues to grow and mature," said Dave Stack, president, chief executive officer and chairman of Pacira. "Scott brings a distinguished track record of success and a background uniquely tailored to guide, innovate and follow-through on strategies maximizing both the internal and external opportunities that best complement our sales organization and company goals." Release

GlaxoSmithKline is hiring 50 people in Sligo. Story

Novartis' Sandoz is putting an India plant on chopping block. Story

Pfizer announced it will shutter an India plant, echoing the same news from Sandoz. Story


> Cheryl Cohen, former Medivation ($MDVN) chief commercial officer, joined Vital Therapies' ($VTL) board of directors. Release

> Galectin Therapeutics ($GALT) appointed Adam Allgood as executive director of clinical development. Release

> Dr. Charles Richard joined uniQure ($QURE) as senior vice president of research and development, neuroscience. Release

> Algorithme Pharma named Anahita Keyhani as director of method development. Release

> Highland Therapeutics appointed Thomas Curatolo as executive vice president of commercial strategy & operations and Rick Nullmeier as vice president of marketing. Release

> Aeras COO Jacqueline Shea will take over as CEO on Aug. 12. Current CEO Dr. Thomas Evans will step down and serve as acting chief scientific officer. Release

> Rigontec named Donald deBethizy as chairman of its board. Release

> Fate Therapeutics ($FATE) appointed Stewart Abbot as vice president of translational research. Release

> Raptor Pharmaceutical ($RPTP) appointed Ashley Gould as senior vice president, general counsel and corporate governance. Chief Business Officer Ted Daley will leave the company in September. Release

> Histogenics ($HSGX) named Dr. Gloria Matthews as chief medical officer. Release

> TetraPhase Pharmaceuticals ($TTPH) appointed Jacques Dumas as chief scientific officer. Release

> Motif Bio added Dr. Tom File to its scientific advisory board. Release

Dr. Robin David Isaacs joins Entasis Therapeutics as chief medical officer. Release

> ERYtech Pharma appoints Dr. Iman El-Hariry as chief medical officer. Release

> MedImmune appointed Christopher Rhodes as head of its cardiovascular and metabolic disease research unit. Release

> Fred Kurland joined Aridis Pharmaceuticals as its chief financial officer. Release

> Theravance appointed Michael Faerm as its chief business officer. Release

> The board of directors at BIO brought into its ranks Joel Marcus, the CEO of Alexandria Real Estate Equities. Release

> Liquidia Technologies named Robert Lippe as its chief operations officer. Release

> Scholar Rock appointed Paul Burgess as its vice president of intellectual property. Release

> ControlRad brought on Guillaume Baillaird as its CEO. Release

> AnaptysBio appointed Robert Hoffman as its chief financial officer. Release

> Grant Bogle joined Tesaro ($TSRO) as senior vice president and chief commercial officer. Release

> Kaiima Bio-Agritech appointed Richard Greubel as its CEO to replace Doron Gal, who will continue as president. Release

> Premier Biomedical appointed Dr. Ryan Fields to its scientific advisory board. Release

> Tristen Herrstrom was named SVP of human resources at Certara. Release

Med Tech

> Boston Scientific ($BSX) added Donna James to its board of directors. Release

Drug Delivery

> Enoch Bortey joined BioDelivery Sciences International ($BDSI) as VP of clinical biostatistics and data systems. Release


> Great Basin appoints Carlos González as vice president of engineering. Release

> OncoCyte adds Andy Arno to its board of directors. Release

> MDxHealth announced that it has tapped Dr. Philip Ginsburg as its chief medical officer. Release