Heading for startup Denali, Tessier-Lavigne to leave Pfizer board

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.

Heading for startup Denali, Tessier-Lavigne to leave Pfizer board

Marc Tessier-Lavigne left the board.

Shortly after the news broke of the formation of Denali Therapeutics, Pfizer ($PFE) director Marc Tessier-Lavigne announced that he would step down from the pharma's board to serve as chairman at Denali. Aimed at tackling neurodegenerative diseases, Denali announced a $217 million Series A round this week and support from an impressive roster of high-profile biopharma personnel. Tessier-Lavigne was appointed to Pfizer's board in December 2011 and most recently served as a member of the Regulatory and Compliance Committee as well as the Science and Technology Committee. "While we regret the loss of Marc's service, we congratulate him on the launch of Denali and offer him our best wishes for all of his future endeavors," said Ian Read, Pfizer chairman and CEO. Story | Release

Griffiths named Biogen's chief information officer

Matt Griffiths was named CIO.

This week, Biogen ($BIIB) announced the appointment of Matt Griffiths as senior vice president and chief information officer, a role in which he will develop the company's overall strategy for enterprise IT, including business engagement, global solution development and support, and infrastructure. Griffiths was promoted from his position as vice president of pharmaceutical operations and corporate IT. Prior to joining Biogen this year, Griffiths spent 16 years at Dell and worked in numerous IT roles in both Europe and the U.S. "Matt's technical expertise, background in analytics and business solutions, and his ability to bridge disparate organizations and disciplines will be critical as technology plays an increasingly important role at Biogen," said Biogen executive vice president of Technology and Business Solutions Adriana Karabouti. Release

Harvard doc Mega to lead Google's Baseline study

Jessica Mega joined Google X.

Harvard cardiologist Jessica Mega joined Google's ($GOOG) research arm Google X this week to head up the group's Baseline study, which aims to map the human body by collecting a broad swath of genetic and molecular information. The study will start with 175 individuals as part of a pilot phase, but is anticipated to be ramped up and involve thousands of participants. Mega's extensive resume includes time as a senior investigator at TIMI Study Group, where she led trials of Johnson & Johnson's ($JNJ) Xarelto. "Dr. Mega has all the skills and temperament to lead this effort for Google, which will break new ground for precision medicine and complement the Precision Medicine Initiative," Robert Califf, vice chancellor at Duke University's School of Medicine and a researcher on the study, told Forbes. "Her scientific knowledge, experience in clinical trials and positive personality are a great fit." Story

Alexion will build a $506M plant in Ireland, adding 200 workers. Story

Novartis' Sandoz is expanding a Poland plant with a packaging facility to add to its already 450 employees there. Article


> Bioventus named Jeanne Forneris as general counsel and Thomas Umbel as its head of business development. Release

> NetScientific appointed François Martelet as its CEO. Release

> Michele Chin-Purcell joined BioSig Technologies as the company's vice president of quality and regulatory affairs. Release

> Surface Oncology brought on ex-AstraZeneca ($AZN) exec Detlev Biniszkiewicz as its new CEO. Release

> K. Peter Hirth joined Iconic Therapeutics as a board member and senior scientific adviser. Release

> AlphaImpactRx brought on Darrell Philpot as its senior vice president of analytics and chief methodologist. Release

> WaferGen Biosystems appointed Rolland Carlson as its president and CEO. Release

> TWi Pharma promoted Jianbo Xie to chief operating officer from R&D executive vice president. Release

> Scynexis ($SCYX) appoints Dr. David Angulo as chief medical officer. Release

> Tesaro ($TSRO) elects Garry Nicholson to its board of directors. Release

> IntelGenX ($IGXT) CFO Paul Simmons has resigned. Release

> Corbus ($CRBP) appoints Charles Serhan to its scientific advisory board. Release

> AlloSource appoints Kerr Holbrook as chief commercial officer. Release

> Kala Pharmaceuticals names Mark Iwicki as executive chairman. Release

Xencor ($XNCR) appoints Mark Lotz as vice president of regulatory affairs and Dr. Wayne Saville as vice president of clinical oncology. Release

> Oxigene ($OXGN) names Dr. Bill Schwieterman as president and CEO. Release

> Adaptimmune ($ADAP) appoints William Roberts as vice president of investor relations. Release

> Bellerophon Therapeutics ($BLPH) appoints Dr. Scott Bruder and Scott Huennekens as independent directors. Release

> Dyax ($DYAX) appoints Abbie Celniker to its board of directors. Release


> Sysmex America names Dr. Ramon Simon-Lopez as medical director. Release


> PaxVax brought on Nima Farzan as its CEO. Release | Story

> VaxInnate appoints Linda Tussey as chief scientific officer, Bruce Weaver as vice president of manufacturing, Peter Fusco as vice president of R&D and Dr. Stephen Haworth as vice president of clinical. Release

Animal Health

> Nexvet ($NVET) appointed Jurgen Horn as its chief product development officer. Release