Insys CEO Michael Babich steps down

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.

Insys CEO Michael Babich steps down

Insys Therapeutics
CEO Michael Babich stepped down.

Insys ($INSY) announced the resignation of its CEO, Michael Babich​, and other executive changes this week, offering no explanations in a brief press release. Babich will be replaced by the company's chairman and founder, John Kapoor, effective immediately, while Daniel Brennan has been appointed executive vice president and COO. The move came the same week as a CNBC report outlining a slate of allegations against the company including fraud, kickbacks and aggressive marketing. According to CNBC's sources, Insys' sales staff were pressured--and even threatened with firing--in order to get doctors to prescribe the addictive pain med Subsys for off-label uses such as neck pain and migraines; the med is meant for late-stage cancer pain. The company has been under investigation over its Subsys sales and marketing. Story | More | Release

Former Amgen Oncology GM Robert Azelby heads to Juno

Juno Therapeutics
Robert Azelby 
was named CCO.

Juno Therapeutics ($JUNO) appointed Robert Azelby, former vice president and general manager of Amgen Oncology, its new chief commercial officer effective immediately. At his former employer, Azelby managed the second-largest oncology division in the U.S., Juno's release stated, overseeing $6 billion in annual revenue with more than 600 marketing and sales reps. He spent 15 years at Amgen ($AMGN), also serving as VP of Amgen's U.S. oncology sales team, among other roles. "I am excited to join Juno at a time when we have the opportunity to shape commercial strategies for a new and innovative class of product candidates that have the potential to benefit patients suffering with cancer," Azelby said in a statement. "I look forward to building and leading a top-tier organization that will help bring these exciting medicines to patients." Release

Jounce names Dr. Elizabeth Trehu its CMO

Jounce Therapeutics
Dr. Elizabeth Trehu was named CMO.

Cambridge, MA-based cancer immunotherapy company Jounce Therapeutics appointed Dr. Elizabeth Trehu to its chief medical officer role; she'll bring 25 years of clinical experience and 15 years of biotech experience to the position. Formerly chief medical officer at Promedior, Trehu managed clinical development, clinical operations, regulatory affairs, quality assurance, program management and development plans for the company's lead candidate. She has also served in leadership positions at Infinity Pharmaceuticals, Genzyme and Millennium Pharmaceuticals. "I began my career working in the now rapidly evolving field of immuno-oncology, and believe it is a truly revolutionary approach to the treatment of cancer," Trehu said in a statement. "Jounce's unique, translational science approach sets them apart within the industry, and I'm delighted to join the company as we prepare to move our first product into clinical trials. With differentiated science and a team of industry leaders, we have an opportunity to make a tremendous impact on the lives of patients with cancer." Release

Novo Nordisk is adding 450 more Denmark jobs as it bets on growth in insulin demand. Story

Medtronic will ax 150 jobs in its new Irish tax domicile. Story


Symic Biomedical appointed Kamal Egodage as VP of development and manufacturing and Grace Wong-Sarad as VP and controller. Release

Edge Therapeutics ($EDGE) named W. Bradford Middlekauff as senior vice president, general counsel and secretary. Release

MediWound ($MDWD) appointed Dr. Roland Frosing as European medical director. Release

Dr. Jennifer Low will step down as Loxo Oncology's ($LOXO) chief medical officer at the end of the year. Release

Lupin appointed Thierry Volle as president of Europe, Middle East and Africa. Release

Symbiosis Pharmaceutical Services named Joanne Anderson as business development director. Release

Vaccinogen promoted Peter Morsing to chief operating officer. Release

Human Longevity hired Sally Howard as head of regulatory affairs and policy. Release

Arsanis appointed David Mantus as executive vice president, regulatory affairs, clinical and technical operations. Release

Castle Biosciences appointed Dr. Federico Monzon as its chief medical officer. Release

Baxter Phillips III joined Neurogastrx as the company's CEO. Release

T2 Biosystems named David Harding its new chief commercial officer. Release

Scynexis appointed Eric Francois as its chief financial officer. Release

Quanta brought on Dr. Francesco Granata to be a nonexecutive director. Release

Dr. Edwin De Wit joined Celsion as its senior vice president and head of medical in Europe. Release

Wilson Therapeutics appointed Anders Martin-Lof as its chief financial officer. Release

Therapeutic Proteins International named Peter Moesta as its CEO. Release

John Boyce will become Exosome Diagnostics' new CEO. Release

Arog Pharmaceuticals appointed Dr. Ada Braun as its senior vice president of clinical development. Release

> Merck KgaA named Laszlo Radvanyi as its head of global immuno-oncology research. Release

> Mark Colonnese joined Biota Pharmaceuticals as its chief financial officer. Release

> Metagenics brought on Brent Eck as its president and CEO. Release

> Georgia Erbez joined Asterias Biotherapeutics as its chief financial officer. Release


> Rosetta Genomics ($ROSG) appointed Dr. Maria Fe Paz as interim chief medical officer. Release