Ex-Pfizer exec Gutiérrez-Ramos heads to startup Synlogic

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.

Ex-Pfizer exec Gutiérrez-Ramos heads to startup Synlogic

José-Carlos Gutiérrez-Ramos was named CEO.

After leaving Pfizer ($PFE) earlier this month as chief of biotherapeutic research, José-Carlos Gutiérrez-Ramos landed back in biotech this week as head of Synlogic, a startup focused on finding a novel approach to drug development. The company was backed about a year ago by Atlas Venture and New Enterprise Associates to the tune of $29.4 million, and plans to get started with a proprietary approach to synthetic biology, first focusing on rare diseases. During his time with Pfizer, Gutiérrez-Ramos led more than 25 projects, and prior to that, he headed development work at GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) and Millennium Pharmaceuticals. "Synlogic has assembled an outstanding team of founders, scientists, collaborators and investors to make the potential of synthetic biology a reality for the treatment of human disease," Gutiérrez-Ramos said in a statement. "I am thrilled to lead them in this fascinating journey to change the world by bringing the future of medicine forward." Story | Release

Johnson tapped to lead R&D at PatientsLikeMe

Jason Johnson was named R&D head.

Jason Johnson is leaving his post at Merck ($MRK) after 14 years to head R&D at PatientsLikeMe, a role that will give him responsibility for efforts to extract insights from patient-reported data. Johnson served at Merck most recently as associate vice president for scientific informatics, helping build the company's informatics and analytics capabilities. Additionally, he held several leadership roles within R&D and IT and led teams in early clinical development and discovery research IT, computational biology, molecular profiling and genomics research. The move comes as PatientsLikeMe advances its push to tap into patient communities and the data they generate to improve drug development and treatment. Johnson's hire is PatientsLikeMe's second senior appointment this month; Michael Evers was recently hired to the newly created position of head of the consumer and technology group. Story | Release

AstraZeneca, betting on biologics, will build a $285M facility in Sweden, adding about 250 jobs there. Story


> Nabriva appoints Dr. Elyse Seltzer as chief medical officer. Release

> MannKind ($MNKD) appointed Dr. James Shannon to its board of directors. Release

> Advaxis ($ADXS) named Fred Frullo as vice president of regulatory affairs. Release

> Bruker ($BRKR) announced the resignation of CFO Charles Wagner Jr., who has accepted a position as CFO of Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics. Release

> Synereca Pharmaceuticals appoints Dr. Mark Corrigan to its board of directors. Release

> AMP Biosimilars names Gunnar Janssen as CFO to the management board and Thomas Zimmer as chairman of the supervisory board. Release

> Dr. Pablo Cagnoni joins Vesuvius as managing director and CEO. Release

> Courtagen Life Sciences appoints Thomas Fairfield to its board of directors. Release

> Peter Pace joins Pathway Genomics' board of directors. Release

> Adaptimmune ($ADAP) appoints Dr. Lini Pandite as senior vice president, clinical development and Anne-Marie Martin as vice president, head of biomarker research and development. Release

> Bellerophon ($BLPH) adds Peter Fernandes as vice president and chief regulatory officer. Release

> Contrafect ($CFRX) appoints Steven Gilman, formerly of Cubist, as chairman of its board of directors. Release

> Otonomy ($OTIC) appoints Eric Loumeau as general counsel and chief compliance officer. Release

Mitogenetics appointed a team of scientists to head its mitochondrial dysfunction research, including George StefanoRichard KreamKirk Mantione and Federico Casares. Release

OvaScience ($OVAS) brought on Ravi Mehrotra as its chief corporate development officer. Release

Allergen Research named Mark McDade as chairman and Mark Iwicki as a member of its board of directors. Release

Clarus Ventures made Michele Park a partner in the company. Release

> Dr. Jyrki Mattila joined Lipocine ($LPCN) as its chief business officer. Release

Noah Beerman joined Poxel as its executive vice president of business development and president of its U.S. operations. Release

PuriCore appointed Alex Martin as its CEO. Release

Amgen ($AMGN) brought on Jonathan Graham as senior vice president, general counsel and secretary. Release

Neal Muni will be the new CEO of CutisPharma. Release