Forrester is Verastem CEO after Westphal steps down

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 Michael Gibney (email | Twitter) or Emily Mullin (email | Twitter) and we will feature it here each Friday.

Forrester is Verastem CEO after Westphal Steps Down

Verastem ($VSTM) will undergo a CEO change as co-founder Christoph Westphal steps down in July and company president and COO Robert Forrester takes the top job. Westphal, Verastem's largest shareholder, leaves the company amid economic uncertainty, with shares down 19.12% as of Thursday morning. Forrester aims to propel the company forward with a strategy that involves moving its lead compound VS-6063, a focal adhesion kinase inhibitor, into a potential pivotal study in patients with mesothelioma. More

Robert Forrester will take over as CEO.

Coronado Biosciences
George Avgerinos will serve as senior vice president of biologics operations.


> George Avgerinos joined Coronado Biosciences ($CNDO) as the company's senior vice president of biologics operations. Avgerinos comes from AbbVie ($ABBV), where he led the manufacturing and supply chain efforts for Humira. Release

> Prime Therapeutics appointed Scott Fries as the company's senior vice president of government programs. Release

> Shane Kovacs joined PTC Therapeutics as the company's chief financial officer. Kovacs comes from Credit Suisse, where he was managing director of healthcare investment banking. Release

> Lannett ($LCI) brought on James M. Maher to its board of directors. Maher was a longtime executive at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Release

Sinovac Biotech ($SVA) appointed Nan Wang the chief financial officer of the company after Danny Chung resigned citing family reasons. Release

Trius Therapeutics ($TSRX) appointed Matthew Onaitis as general counsel and secretary of the company, a role Onaitis held previously at Somaxon Pharmaceuticals ($SOMX). Release

Phosphate Therapeutics brought on Sandy Eisen to its board as a nonexecutive director. Eisen was formerly the chief medical officer at Teva Pharmaceuticals ($TEVA). Release

BioProcess Technology Consultants hired Carol Kinoshita as a consultant. Kinoshita was most recently the associate director of process development at Ipsen/Biomeasure. Release

Novira Therapeutics appointed Klaus Klumpp, former global head of Roche's ($RHHBY) virology discovery initiatives, the new vice president of discovery research. Release

Mark G. Lewis joined Bioqual as the company's CEO, following former CEO John Landon's retirement. Release

Alcresta has appointed Steve Dubin, former CEO of Martek Biosciences, to the company's board of directors. Release

GNS Healthcare today announced that Dr. Howard Weiner, Dr. Maria Pia Sormani, and Dr. Philip De Jager have joined their newly formed Multiple Sclerosis Scientific Advisory Board. Release

Applied DNA Sciences has hired Judy Murrah as chief information officer. Previously, Murrah was senior director of information technology at Motorola. Release


Karsten Benzing and Christian Ewers joined CordenPharma as chief operating officers of the drug product business and API business, respectively. Release


AMRI ($AMRI) has separated the role of chairman and CEO and has named William Marth as chairman of the board. Thomas D'Ambra retains his roles as a member of the board of directors, president and CEO of the company. D'Ambra has held the position of chairman of the board since the company's founding. Release

Suggested Articles

Preclinical-stage biotech Abpro Therapeutics wants to trial its two lead candidates for HER2-positive cancers and diabetic macular edema in 2019.

After a rough patch in 2017, the stars seem to be realigning for French CAR-T expert Cellectis, which just closed a $164 million U.S. public offering.

Investment firm Frazier Healthcare Partners has closed its 11th fund—worth $780 million—that will help established companies accelerate their growth.