Viehbacher joins PureTech board in first post-Sanofi venture

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 Michael Gibney (email | Twitter) or Amirah Al Idrus (email | Twitter), and we will feature it here at the end of each week.

Viehbacher joins PureTech board in first post-Sanofi venture

PureTech Ventures
Chris Viehbacher joined the board. 

In his first public move since being ousted as Sanofi CEO, Chris Viehbacher has joined the board of directors at Boston startup factory PureTech Ventures. The firm, which is active in both research and venture capital, boasts a board with industry influentials Robert Langer, John LaMattina and Ben Shapiro. "It is an honor to join this very dynamic and powerful group of both minds and personalities," Viehbacher said in a statement. "PureTech's pipeline of companies is at an exciting inflection point, and I think the talent within the management team and board can achieve great things." During his 6-year tenure at Sanofi ($SNY), Viehbacher led a business transformation and more than $30 billion in acquisitions, most notably of Genzyme. Prior to his Sanofi role, Viehbacher spent 20 years with GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK), ultimately as president of the North American pharmaceutical division. Story | Release

Charles River CFO Ackerman announces 2016 retirement

Charles River Laboratories
Thomas Ackerman announced his coming retirement.

After 27 years at the CRO, Charles River Laboratories ($CRL) corporate EVP and CFO Thomas Ackerman has announced that he will retire in February 2016 following a transition period. Ackerman joined Charles River in 1988 with more than a decade of public accounting and international finance experience. He became vice president and CFO in 1996 and assumed his current position in 2005. Ackerman manages the CRO's accounting and finance department as well as the IT group. "Under Tom's leadership, we have built a strong and deep finance team which has been instrumental in enabling us to facilitate the Company's growth," CEO James Foster said in a release. Corporate Senior Vice President David Smith has been named to succeed Ackerman. Release

Alkermes appoints vice president of research

Mark Namchuk was named SVP of research, pharmaceutical and nonclinical development.

With nearly 20 years of R&D and drug discovery experience, Mark Namchuk has been selected as Alkermes' ($ALKS) SVP of research, pharmaceutical and nonclinical development. In the role, Namchuk, who did doctoral and postdoctoral work at the University of British Columbia and University of California, San Francisco, respectively, will be responsible for advancing the company's early-stage pipeline. Prior to Alkermes, Namchuk served as SVP at Vertex Pharmaceuticals ($VRTX) and head of the biochemistry group at Cubist Pharmaceuticals. Namchuk will report to Alkermes CMO Dr. Elliot Ehrich. "It is an exciting time to join the Alkermes team, with a number of promising programs underway across the company. I look forward to helping advance our current priority drug candidates for CNS diseases and guiding our pharmaceutical development strategy for the future," said Namchuk. Release

Quintiles is shedding 270 jobs to cut costs. Story

Merck KGaA is planning cutbacks at its Massachusetts research facilities. Story

Takeda acquired 13 drugs from Turkish company Neutec and plans to add about 100 jobs. Story

McKesson is building a 340,000-square-foot facility in Iowa, which is slated to create 164 jobs there. Story


> Abderrazzak Merzouki will replace Michele Di Turi as chief operating officer at Sunshine Biopharma. Merzouki will also serve on the board of directors. Release

> Kerecis appoints Chris Harte as its chief operating officer for North America. Release

> Novan Therapeutics appoints Kevin Barber as vice president of regulatory affairs. Release

> ProtoKinetix added Peter Jensen, chairman of RepliCel Life Sciences, to its board of directors and appointed Julia Levy as head of its business and scientific advisory board. Release | Release

> Kelly Slone is the new president and CEO of BioUtah. Release

> Flex Pharma ($FLKS) announces the addition of Nobel laureate Dr. Rod MacKinnon to its board of directors. Release

> Tocagen names Paul Schimmel to its board of directors. Release

> Glen Richards joins Regeneus as an independent nonexecutive director. Release

> Sirona Biochem appoints Martin Gleave to its board of directors. Release

Tenax Therapeutics appointed Dr. Paula Bokesch as its chief medical officer. Release

Dr. Violaine Desort-Henin joined Eyevensys as the company's clinical director. Release

TapImmune appointed Dr. Patrick Yeramain as a consulting medical director for upcoming breast cancer clinical trials. Release

Heliospectra hired Dr. Sue Sisley as director of medicinal plant research. Release

Algatech named Ronnie Meninger as its new CEO. Release

Ohr Pharmaceutical ($OHRP) appoints Dr. Avner Ingerman as chief clinical officer. Release

ProtoKinetix brought on Clarence Smith as its new president and CEO to replace Ross Senior, who resigned. Release

Anatara Lifesciences named Dr. Paul Schober as its new CEO. Release

Lexicon Pharmaceuticals ($LXRX) announced that its executive vice president and chief scientific officer, Brian Zambrowicz​, would be stepping down. Release

Geisinger Health Systems named Dr. David Feinberg its CEO. Release


> Øystein Soug will join Targovax as the new CFO starting June 1. Release

> TapImmune appoints John Bonfiglio as strategic adviser. Release


> Newt Gingrich joins Pathway Genomics' advisory board. Release

Jeremy Williams was named non-executive director at Glyconics. Release

> Epic Sciences appoints Chris Bernard as chief commercial officer. Release


> SynteractHCR appoints Etienne Drouet as vice president of strategic development. Release

Quintiles ($Q) appointed Elgar Peerschke as its president of advisory services. Release


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