Celgene names Mark Alles to CEO position, ending internal contest

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.

Celgene names Mark Alles to CEO position, ending internal contest

Mark Alles was named CEO.

Celgene ($CELG) appointed Chief Operating Officer Mark Alles to be its next CEO, effective March 1, replacing Bob Hugin, who is heading to the executive chairman role. The announcement ended what had been an apparent horse race for the position between Alles and hematology/oncology chief Jacqualyn Fouse, who will take the COO position. Hugin, meanwhile, will be responsible for overall strategy and remain "actively involved in key business matters." The transition comes as Celgene works to break into the autoimmune diseases space and strives to hit Hugin's goal of tripling earnings by 2020. However, the company reported 2015 sales are likely to fall on the lower end of its forecast; it also fell short of analyst expectations with its 2016 forecast. Alles joins a host of new biopharma CEOs who have either already taken their positions or will shortly, including Giovanni Caforio at Bristol-Myers Squibb ($BMY), Olivier Brandicourt at Sanofi ($SNY), Kåre Schultz at Lundbeck and Stefan Oschmann at Merck KGaA. Story | Release

Baxalta CEO Hantson set to depart following Shire merger, report says

CEO Ludwig Hantson will depart the company following its merger with Shire.

Following the completion of Shire's ($SHPG) $32 billion buyout of Baxalta ($BXLT), Baxalta CEO Ludwig Hantson will leave the combined company, the Chicago Tribune reported this week. The merger, announced Monday, should allow the companies to reach $20 billion in annual revenue by 2020, a stated goal of Shire CEO Flemming Ornskov. Roles of other Baxalta executives are unclear, the report said, and "will be determined through the integration process." Hantson, formerly the president of Baxter's ($BAX) bioscience divisions, served as CEO at Baxalta for 6 months following its July spinoff. Just 9 days after the spinoff, Shire approached Baxalta with a buyout offer, resulting in months of back-and-forth and finally a deal announced the first day of the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco. Report (sub. req.) | More

MannKind appoints Matthew Pfeffer its CEO following debacle with another candidate

Matthew Pfeffer was named CEO.

Beleaguered Valencia, CA-based MannKind ($MNKD) had yet another complication to clear up this week, this time the result of its executive search efforts. After originally offering Duane DeSisto the CEO job offer--which would have seen him replace interim chief Alfred Mann--DeSisto's former employer, Insulet, objected, claiming the hire would violate a noncompete agreement. Instead, MannKind appointed CFO Matthew Pfeffer to the CEO role; he'll continue to serve as CFO and will get a seat on the board. Mann stepped in following the November resignation of former CEO Hakan Edstrom amid flailing Afrezza sales. Since then, things haven't gotten better for MannKind, as Sanofi ($SNY) has ditched its Afrezza partnership. That move left the company forced to reevaluate its options, but it said it'll search for a new partner. Report (sub. req.)

A revamped Johnson & Johnson plant in South Africa is set to double its workforce. Story

Pfizer CEO: the Allergan deal is "a lot more about growth" than job cuts. Story


> CTI Biopharma ($CTIC) appointed Matthew Perry to its board of directors. Release

> Cognition Life Science named Chuanhai Cao chief scientific officer. Release

> EpiStem appointed David Budd as CEO. Release

> Eric Rey, Arcadia Biosciences' ($RKDA) president and CEO, will take a short medical leave; Mark Wong will serve as acting president and CEO. Release

> Crown Bioscience named Eric Murphy global scientific director for translational oncology. Release

> OxySure Therapeutics added Dr. Zachariah Zachariah to its strategic advisory board. Release

> American Gene Technologies named Dr. David Pauza to serve in its Chief Science Officer role. Release

> Aelan Cell Technologies appointed King Jordan to its scientific advisory board. Release

> Ergomed appointed CFO Neil Clark as CEO of its PrimeVigilance subsidiary. Stephen Stamp will replace him as CFO. Release

> ImaginAb appointed Benjamin Chen as CEO and Joseph Limber as chairman. Release

> ACell named Patrick McBrayer as president and CEO. Release

> Swedish Orphan Biovitrum's chief medical officer, Dr. Birgitte Volck, will leave her post to join GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) as its rare disease R&D chief. Release

Radiant Sage appointed Robert Ford as its adjunct chief medical adviser. Release

Orexigen ($OREX) named Thomas Lynch as its executive vice president and general counsel and secretary. The company also named Heather Ace as its executive vice president of global human resources. Release

Olivia Ware joined CytRx ($CYTR) as its chief commercial officer. Release

Oncothyreon ($ONTY) appointed Christopher Henney as its interim CEO. Release

Aldeyra brought on Dr. David Clark as its chief medical officer. Release

Liquidia Technologies named Jason Adair as its vice president of business development and strategy. Release

Ocular Therapeutix ($OCUL) brought on Dr. Jonathan Talamo as its chief medical officer. Release

Jim Daly joined Acadia Pharmaceuticals' board of directors. Release

StemCells ($STEM) CEO Martin McGlynn stepped down, and President and COO Ian Massey will take his place. Release

Biotech IT

> CompuMed appointed Lee Keddie as president and CEO after serving as co-interim CEO alongside David Pointer. Release

Med tech

> John Walter joined Command Medical Products as director of new business development. Release

> IsoRay appointed Thomas LaVoy as CEO, effective Feb. 15. Release

> Affimed Therapeutics ($AFMD) added Dr. Andrew Evens to its scientific advisory board. Release


> Exosome Diagnostics appointed Daniel Zabrowski to its board of directors. Release


> ClinTec International appointed Dr. Harley Simon as chief medical officer and executive vice president of client relations. Release