Vivus CEO steps down citing health reasons

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 at the end of each week.

Vivus CEO steps down citing health reasons

Vivus' ($VVUS) CEO Tony Zook has resigned for health reasons. Seth H. Z. Fischer, a former Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) executive, will take Zook's place as CEO and his seat on the Vivus board. Zook, who joined Vivus just months ago in July, will help Fischer with the transition through mid-September, the company said. Story

New Vivus CEO Tony Zook is stepping down.


Douglas Swirsky is taking over as CEO.


GenVec ($GNVC) replaced its former CEO, Cynthia Collins, with Douglas J. Swirsky, who was formerly the company's senior vice president and CFO. Along with the switch, the company withdrew its plan of complete liquidation and dissolution. Release

A former AstraZeneca ($AZN) president in the U.K. has joined Daresbury, England-based drug developer Proveca as chairman. Report

Belgian Amakem NV has appointed Dr. Jean Marie Stassen as vice president, research and development. Most recently, Stassen was head of research and development at Thrombogenics NV. More

Lipella Pharmaceuticals today has appointed David Lucchino, co-founder and former CEO of Semprus BioSciences, to the company's board of directors. Release

> Amarantus Bioscience Holdings has appointed Dr. Colin Bier to its corporate advisory board. Bier is managing and scientific director of ABA BioResearch. Release

Champions Oncology has added two members to its senior management team. Dr. Neal Goodwin, previously at Jackson Laboratory, was named vice president of corporate research development, and Jim McGorry, previously at Genzyme, was named executive vice president and general manager of the Translational Oncology Solutions business. Release

Ocera Therapeutics has appointed Jeryl Hilleman as chief financial officer. Most recently, Hilleman has provided independent financial and strategic consulting for biotech and cleantech companies. Release

Torsten Hoffmann will join Zealand Pharma as executive vice president and chief scientific officer. Hoffmann previously served as head of discovery chemistry in the pharma research division at Roche ($RHHBY). Release

Dr. Christian Groendahl and Dr. David Chiswell have been appointed CEO and chairman of Kymab, respectively. Groendahl previously served as chief scientific officer of Zealand Pharma. Chiswell joined Kymab's board in 2012 and is nonexecutive chairman of Albireo Pharma and a director of Nabriva Therapeutics. Release

LifeSciences BC appointed Paul V. Drohan to lead the company as its president and CEO. Most recently, Drohan was senior global vice president of Genzyme. Release

> Dr. George Lundberg joined CollabRx as the company's chief medical officer. He will also continue in his position as editor-in-chief and chair of CollabRx's editorial advisory board. Release

Mirati Therapeutics appointed Isan Chen as the company's chief medical officer and also brought Craig Johnson on as a member of the board of directors. Release

Calyx heralded the arrival of Don Konantz as its new president and CEO. Konantz was previously on the board of Agrisoma Biosciences, of which Calyx is the largest shareholder. Release

Immunomedics ($IMMU) appointed Peter P. Pfreundschuh as the company's new CFO. Release


David H. Chung joined AcelRx Pharmaceuticals ($ACRX) as the company's chief commercial officer. Release


Novella Clinical has made three new appointments: Deborah Turunjian has been named vice president, oncology clinical development; Jamie Gault has been promoted to global head of regulatory affairs; and Kathleen Zajd has been named vice president, global quality and compliance. Release