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People

Recent moves of note in and around the biotech and pharma industries.

Cambridge, UK–based cell therapy company Mogrify has announced the appointment of Lorenz Mayr (photo) to its board of directors and scientific advisory board. Mayr has over 30 years’ experience in biopharma R&D and commercialization. He was most recently chief technical officer at GE Healthcare Life Sciences, and previously served as vice president and global head at AstraZeneca and executive director at Novartis. He currently serves as an entrepreneur in residence at Syncona.

“Lorenz’s expansive knowledge of preclinical R&D, clinical drug development and manufacture and his global biotech and pharma network will be invaluable in our mission to transform the development of lifesaving therapies in disease areas including hematology, immunology and ophthalmology,” said Darrin Disley, CEO of Mogrify. “His appointment further strengthens our senior team, which includes industry leaders in platform technologies, drug development and biotech company building.”

Gene therapy company FerGene has appointed three executives to its leadership team. Ambaw Bellete, most recently president of Photocure, has been named COO; Vijay Kasturi, with 25 years of experience as a physician and biotech executive, has been named vice president of medical affairs; and Peter Olagunju, who most recently oversaw global technical operations, manufacturing, quality and supply chain at bluebird bio, has been appointed senior vice president of technical operations.

Dewpoint Therapeutics has announced the appointments of Olivier Brandicourt and Jürgen Eckhardt to its board of directors. Brandicourt has served as CEO of both Sanofi and Bayer HealthCare. Eckhardt is senior vice president and head of Leaps by Bayer, Bayer’s VC arm.

The management board of the European Medicines Agency has nominated Emer Cooke to be the next executive director of the agency. Cooke, an Irish national, is currently the director of the regulation and prequalification department at the World Health Organization in Geneva, a position she has held since November 2016. She has 30 years’ experience in international regulatory affairs, working for the pharmaceutical unit of the European Commission from 1998 to 2002 and at EMA between 2002 and 2016, where she held positions including head of inspections and head of international affairs.

Novavax has named Filip Dubovsky chief medical officer. He joins the company from MedImmune, where he was area head for infectious diseases and vaccines. Earlier, he served as scientific director for PATH, a malaria vaccine initiative. In addition, Novavax has named David Mott to its board of directors. Mott was formerly CEO of MedImmune and recently retired from New Enterprise Associates, where he led the firm’s healthcare investment practice.

Sensei Biotherapeutics has named Marie-Louise Fjällskog chief medical officer, succeeding Ildiko Csiki. Fjällskog joins the company from Merus, where she served as vice president, clinical development.

Leena Gandhi has been appointed director of the Center for Therapeutic Innovation at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. She was most recently at Eli Lilly, where she led the company’s immuno-oncology medical development. Previously, she served as director of thoracic medical oncology at New York University’s Perlmutter Cancer Center.

Josefin-Beate Holz has been appointed chief medical officer and clinical advisor at STORM Therapeutics. Holz has over 25 years’ experience in pharma and has held executive managerial positions at Ablynx, GPC Biotech, Gilead Sciences, Bristol-Myers Squibb and LEO Pharma.

Mental health treatment biotech ATAI Life Sciences has launched IntroSpect Digital Therapeutics, a digital therapeutic platform, and has named David Keene CEO. A software engineer, Keene served in leadership roles at various online retail and gaming companies before a life-changing cancer diagnosis compelled him to found Everystory, which became Dthera Sciences in 2016.

Chimerix has named Allen Melemed chief medical officer. He joins the company from Eli Lilly, where he most recently served as a distinguished medical fellow and senior director of regulatory affairs oncology, North America. In addition, he was previously an attending physician in pediatric oncology at Indiana University School of Medicine Riley Children’s Hospital until 2012.

Thomas D. Szucs has been appointed chairman of the supervisory board of VAXIMM, succeeding Thomas Hecht, whose term ended in June. Szucs has over 30 years of experience in healthcare and is currently professor of pharmaceutical medicine and director of the European Center of Pharmaceutical Medicine at the University of Basel. He also serves on the board of AB2 Bio and as chairman of Helsana Group. Previously, he was chief medical officer and COO of Hirslanden Holding, the largest private hospital chain in Switzerland.

AI-powered rare disease therapy developer Healx has announced the appointment of Meri Williams as chief technology officer. Williams joins from challenger bank Monzo, where she helped scale the engineering and data team by 500% and led significant investment in platform resilience and business continuity.

Seres Therapeutics has named Terri Young (photo) executive vice president, chief commercial and strategy officer. Young brings to Seres over 20 years of commercial and marketing leadership experience, most recently as vice president, global commercial strategy at Sage Therapeutics. Previously, she held commercial leadership roles of increasing responsibility at Bristol-Myers Squibb, culminating in her role as vice president and general manager, cardiovascular.

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People. Nat Biotechnol 38, 1004 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41587-020-0633-x

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