Blend Therapeutics secures Mark Iwicki's talents

Welcome to this week's roundup of hirings and firings throughout the industry. Please send the good word (or the bad) from your shop to Alison Bryant (email | Twitter) and we will feature it here each Friday.

Blend Therapeutics secures Mark Iwicki's talents

It's been a big week for Blend Therapeutics. The startup bagged $16 million in Series B funding and secured biotech veteran Mark Iwicki as president and CEO. Iwicki will also sit on the company's board of directors. He brings more than 23 years of experience as a pharmaceutical industry leader, having served as CEO of Sunovion Pharmaceuticals and chief commercial officer of Sepracor. And his company will use cash from the investment--led by NanoDimension--to double its staff from about 10 to 20 next year. Most of those new employees will work on two preclinical drug programs, with a novel "mono-functional" platinum cancer drug on track to complete IND-enabling work.  Release | Story

Mark Iwicki--Blend Therapeutics
Iwicki will serve as president and CEO.

N. Anthony Coles--Onyx Pharmaceuticals
Coles will serve as chairman of the board of directors.

Geoffrey Glass--Patheon
Glass will serve as president of the new proprietary products business unit.


> Aveo Oncology ($AVEO) tapped Robert Epstein to serve on its board of directors. Co-founder Ronald A. DePinho will retire from the board, effective Dec. 31. Epstein was most recently president of the Medco-UBC Division and chief R&D officer of Medco Health Solutions. Release

> Omni Bio Pharmaceutical named Bruce E. Schneider as CEO, effective Jan. 1. Schneider will also join the company's board of directors. Schneider has served as an executive adviser to several large and small pharmaceutical companies, including Pfizer ($PFE). Release

> GeNO made a few changes to its senior management: Kurt Dasse was appointed president of the company and Barry Gellman will serve as senior vice president of engineering. Dasse worked as president and CEO of Levitronix and Gellman joins the company from Thoratec. Release

> Moderna Therapeutics appointed Stephen Hoge as senior vice president of corporate development and new drug concepts. Hoge is now a partner at McKinsey & Co. and will join Moderna on Jan. 1. Release

> Third Rock Ventures gave Mark L. Perry and Uday N. Kumar entrepreneur-in-residence positions in the firm's West Coast office. Perry is chairman of the board of Pathway Therapeutics and is a board member of Nvidia. Kumar is the founder of iRhythm Technologies. Release

> AtheroNova tapped Mark K. Wedel to serve as senior vice president of clinical affairs and chief medical officer. In 2009 and 2010, Wedel served as chief medical officer and vice president of clinical development for Santaris. Release

> Helix Biopharma board members Jack A. Kay and W. Thomas Hodgson resigned, moves that took effect Dec. 14. Kay and Hodgson served 7 and four years on the board of directors, respectively. Release

Medical Devices

> Fresenius Kabi announced that Dean A. Gregory will serve as president of medical devices in North America. Gregory just worked as senior vice president of commercial operations for Fenwal. Release


> Onyx Pharmaceuticals ($ONXX) elected N. Anthony Coles as chairman of the board of directors. Coles now serves as president and CEO of the company. Release

> Amgen ($AMGN) announced that Robert A. Eckert will join the board of directors. Eckert, 58, serves as non-executive chairman at Mattel ($MAT), where he served as CEO from 2000 through 2011. Release

Drug Delivery

> BioDelivery Sciences International ($BDSI) hired George Ng as senior vice president and general counsel. He will oversee the company's legal, compliance and intellectual property activities. Ng has worked at Spectrum Pharmaceuticals ($SPPI) and Alpharma, among other places. Release


> Patheon named Geoffrey Glass as president of its new proprietary products business unit. Glass has worked at Patheon for about four years, overseeing sales and marketing initiatives worldwide as executive vice president, global sales and marketing. Release

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