Merck KGaA poaches Sanofi oncology exec Zhen Su

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.

Merck KGaA poaches Sanofi oncology exec Zhen Su

Merck KGaA
Zhen Su was named VP of medical oncology at EMD Serono.

Dr. Zhen Su, formerly the Sanofi ($SNY) global head for prostate cancer drug Jevtana, left the French pharma this week to join EMD Serono, the U.S. biopharmaceutical arm of Merck KGaA, as vice president of medical oncology. Su, previously an executive at GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK), has clinical expertise in oncology, immuno-oncology and urology, having held positions in academia and pharmaceutical medicine including general management, clinical development, medical affairs and business development. Along with Su's hire, EMD Serono announced the appointment of David Trexler as senior vice president of oncology commercial. Release

Gerace named CEO of Freedom Meditech

Freedom Meditech
John Gerace was named CEO.

San Diego, CA-based Freedom Meditech announced a $4.8 million Series C round this week as well as the appointment of John Gerace as CEO. The company, having raised a total of $14 million since its inception, is working to expand commercialization of the ClearPath DS-120 noninvasive tool to measure autofluorescence in the eye. Gerace brings more than 25 years of experience to the company, having previously held several leadership positions at Life Technologies before its acquisition by Thermo Fisher ($TMO) last year. "John's impressive leadership and track record in the medtech industry will be of great value to Freedom Meditech as we rapidly scale the commercial organization to optimize the market opportunity for the ClearPath DS-120," said Chairman Daniel Bradbury. Story | Release

Cerulean Pharma selects Beloff as interim CFO

Gregg Beloff was named interim CFO.

Cerulean Pharma ($CERU) appointed Gregg Beloff as its interim CFO this week as it works to develop cancer candidates CRLX101 and CRLX301. Beloff, a member of consulting firm Danforth Advisor, previously served as CFO of multiple companies, managing finance, accounting, corporate communications, human resources, IT, faculties, legal, intellectual property, business development and manufacturing functions. "He has been the CFO of public and private life sciences companies and has a background in healthcare investment banking, so we will benefit from Gregg's deep knowledge of the life sciences industry and from his experience in managing, growing and building finance organizations," said Cerulean CEO Christopher Guiffre in a statement. Release


> Tokai Pharma ($TKAI) appoints Gerald Quirk as general counsel and executive vice president, business operations. Release

> Dr. Yohjiro Itoh has joined Poxel as vice president of regulatory and clinical development, Asia. Release

> Regenxbio appoints Jerry Karabelas to its board of directors. Release

> Zafgen ($ZFGN) names Dr. Nerissa Kreher as global head of medical affairs and Kevin Malobisky as global head of regulatory. Release

> Relypsa ($RLYP) appoints Charlotte Arnold to vice president of corporate communications. Release

> Cellular Biomedicine Group ($CBMG) names Richard Wang as chief operating officer. Release

> CytomX Therapeutics appoints Bob Goeltz as chief financial officer and Cynthia Ladd as senior vice president and general counsel. Release

> Catalyst Pharmaceuticals ($CPRX) names Richard Daly as interim chief commercial officer. Release

> Raze Therapeutics appointed Robert Copeland to its scientific advisory board. Release

> BioDelivery Sciences ($BDSI) appoints Jason Mitchell as regional sales director for the Mid-Atlantic region, Troy Holland as regional sales director for the West region and Michael Bullock as national director of managed markets. Release

> Cerecor named Dr. Ronald Marcus CMO and Uli Hacksell, Ph.D., chairman of the board. Release

> James Geraghty joins Juniper Pharmaceuticals' board of directors. Release

> BioSig Technologies adds David Weild to its board of directors. Release

> Nora Sullivan joined 22nd Century Group as a member of its board of directors. Release

> CytoTools appointed Rüdiger Weseloh of Merck Serono to its advisory board. Release

> Merus Labs International appointed Frank Rotman its vice president and head of European Operations. Release

> Luke Beshar joined Fluorinov Pharma's board of directors. Release

> NeoStem ($NBS) brought on MD Anderson Cancer Center's Dr. Merrick Ross as a lead principal investigator for its pivotal Phase III trial for metastatic melanoma. Release

> Dame Marjorie Scardino joined PureTech's board of directors. The company also named Joi Ito as the chairman of its board. Release


> Aurora Diagnostics names Michael Null as president of Aurora Research Institute. Release

Animal Health

> Kindred Bio ($KIN) names Jennifer Elliott as vice president of legal affairs and intellectual property. Release