BioSpace Movers & Shakers, April 30
Tree biosciences – Josh Bilenker, former head of cancer R&D at Eli Lilly, and Novartis veterinarian Jeff Engelman have teamed up to form Treeline Biosciences. The new company will prioritize known molecular targets in oncology that are deemed too difficult to drug. In an announcement on LinkedIn, the startup said its efforts will integrate established and emerging technologies, across disciplines, including biology (big data genetics, CRISPR, cell biology), chemistry (covalent modifiers, molecular glues, degradants, allosteric approaches), structural biology (Cryo-EM, NMR, X-ray crystallography) and computation (in silico docking, molecular dynamics, machine learning / AI). The company will be based in Watertown, Mass.
Vaxart, Inc. – David Wheadon has been appointed to the board of directors of Vaxart, Inc., based in the Bay Area region. Most recently, Wheadon served as Senior Vice President, Global Regulatory Affairs, Patient Safety and Quality Assurance at AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals. Prior to AstraZeneca, he held regulatory and clinical development leadership roles with Abbott, GlaxoSmithKline, Eli Lilly, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA).
Sutro Biopharma – Scientific Director Trevor Hallem has been promoted to President of Research at Sutro Biopharma, Inc., based in the Bay area. Hallam will also continue his role as CSO. Hallam has served as Sutro’s CSO since December 2010. Prior to Sutro, Hallam was Executive Vice President of Research and Development at Palatin Technologies, Inc., and held several executive positions at various pharmaceutical companies, including AstraZeneca PLC, SmithKline & French Laboratories, Ltd., Glaxo Group Research Ltd., Roche Research, and Rhone-Poulenc Rorer.
Orasis Pharmaceuticals – Paul Smith has been appointed President and Chief Operating Officer of Orasis, based in Israel. Prior to Orasis, Smith was Vice President and Business Unit Head of the US Eye Care Pharmaceutical Portfolio at Novartis. Previously, he served as Executive Vice President of Global Business Operations for TearLab, after spending 12 years with Alcon.
Surface oncology – Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Surface Oncology has bolstered its management team with multiple appointments. Henry Rath has been appointed Commercial Director and Alison O’Neill has been promoted to CMO. Jessica Fees has also been appointed Chief Financial Officer. Prior to joining Surface, Rath worked at TScan Therapeutics, Seres Therapeutics, Amgen, Catabasis, and Baxter Biopharmaceuticals. He started his career with roles in the banking and consulting industries, focusing on biotechnology at Oppenheimer & Co. and LEK Consulting. O’Neill joined Surface in 2018. She previously served as Senior Vice President of Clinical Development. Prior to joining Surface, O’Neill held senior clinical research and development positions at Radius Health, Synta Pharmaceuticals and at Sanofi in the global oncology division. Fees has been with Surface since 2014, most recently serving as Senior Vice President of Finance. Prior to Surface, she was President of Glide Consulting and held leadership positions at Aileron Therapeutics and Tokai Pharmaceuticals.
Directory – Susan Hockfield, President Emeritus of MIT, has been appointed to the Board of Directors of Repertoire Immune Medicines. Hockfield is professor of neuroscience and president emeritus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She was MIT’s sixteenth president from 2004 to 2012 and was the first woman and life scientist to lead MIT. She is also a fellow of the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT. Prior to joining MIT, she was at Yale University as William Edward Gilbert Professor of Neurobiology and Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences from 1998 to 2002 and Provost from 2002 to 2004.
Q-State Biosciences – Q-State has added three new members to its management team. Graham Dempsey has been appointed CSO and responsible for research and development; Jim Jacobson has been appointed Senior Vice President and General Counsel; and Chris Watt joins the company as CFO. Dempsey joined Q-State as a Senior Scientist when the company was founded in 2014. Jacobson previously served as General Counsel and Chief Compliance and Privacy Officer at Aptus Health, a life science technology subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc. Earlier in his career, Jacobson worked for the Clinton White House Health Care Task Force. Most recently, Watt served as Senior Vice President and Head of Finance at Tetraphase Pharmaceuticals. Prior to that, Watt spent 10 years in various finance leadership roles at Biogen.
Antios Therapeutics – Katie Laessig has been appointed Senior Vice President of Global Regulatory Affairs and Karen Fusaro has been appointed Senior Vice President of Clinical Operations at Antios Therapeutics, Inc. Prior to joining Antios, Laessig served as Vice President, Therapeutics Strategy strategic drug development at IQVIA. Previously, she was SVP, Regulatory Affairs, Medical Safety and Quality Assurance at RRD International, LLC. From 1999 to 2015. Laessig held several positions of increasing responsibility at the FDA. Prior to Antios, Fusaro held several positions of increasing responsibility at Melinta Therapeutics where she oversaw all clinical, regulatory and pharmacovigilance activities for four antibiotic programs. Previously, she was responsible for clinical operations and clinical project management at The Medicines Company. Additional experience included Role Management at Novartis and Role Management at GlaxoSmithKline.
Wesana Health – Israel Mirsky has been appointed chief strategy officer for Chicago-based Wesana. Most recently, Mirsky led Global Technology and Emerging Platforms at OMD and prior to that he led Intel Global Business for OMD. Mirsky also led the performance and social products of Omnicom’s marketing technology unit, Annalect, and developed the new media and technology practice and cross-channel analysis teams for the global relations company. public Porter Novelli.
Immuneering Corporation – Laurie Keating, Legal Director of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, has been appointed to the Board of Directors of Immuneering. Prior to joining Alnylam, Keating served as Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Takeda. Prior to Millennium, Keating was co-founder and first CEO of Hydra Biosciences, Inc. Keating is also a member of the board of directors of the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council.
PAVmed – Debbie White has been appointed to the board of directors of PAVmed, a New York-based medical technology company. White currently serves on the board of directors of Howden Joinery Group PLC. She most recently served as a strategic consultant for Oxford Nanopore Technologies Ltd.
VistaGen Therapeutics – Joanne Curley, Director of Development at Vera Therapeutics, has been appointed to the VistaGen Board of Directors. Prior to joining Vera, Curley spent 15 years with Gilead Sciences. Prior to Gilead, Curley worked as an aerosol formulation scientist, then as a project manager at Nektar Therapeutics.
Biomedical Cortland – Cortland has added three new members to its management team. Kevin Blatt has been appointed Senior Manufacturing Engineer and will help support the Cortland operations team. For seven years, Kevin has been an influential member of the Cortland Industrial Group team with a leading engineering role in custom braided and wired synthetic products. He will now move to Cortland Biomedical. Ed Tierney and Remington Scott both join the company as process engineers supporting the new product development engineering team. Tierney has spent over 20 years in the medical device market. He is a professional engineer with over 30 years of experience in the high performance synthetic fiber industry. Scott began his career with the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists. Prior to joining Cortland, he served as a patent examiner for the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
High purity from New England – Michael Quesenberry has been appointed Scientific Director. Prior to joining the HPNE team, Quesenberry held various positions at Avaxia, Xencor and Werewolf Therapeutics, BMS, Pfizer, Lonza and Pall Life Sciences.
Health Alydia – Paul Praino joined the company as Vice President of Sales. Praino joins Alydia Health after serving as Global Vice President of Sales at Intersect ENT.
Medicenna Therapeutics – Kevin Moulder has been appointed Scientific Director of Medicenna. Moulder brings over 30 years of drug discovery and development experience in the areas of protein design, antibody technology, immuno-oncology, inflammation, and autoimmune disease. He most recently held senior positions at PolyProx Therapeutics Ltd. and Tusk Therapeutics. Previously, he held positions in companies such as Biogen, GSK, F-Star Therapeutics and Domantis.
Xenter, Inc. – James R. Tobin has been appointed to the board of directors of Utah-based Xenter. Prior to joining Xenter, Tobin was President and CEO of Boston Scientific from March 1999 to July 2009. Prior to this role, Tobin was President and CEO of Biogen Inc. and prior to that was an executive at Baxter International , where he became chairman and chief executive officer.
Turbine – UK-based Turbine has appointed Mark Velleca as chairman of the company’s board of directors. Gordon Mills and Klaus Hoeflich have joined the company’s scientific advisory board (SAB).
Aligos Therapeutics – James Scopa has been appointed to the board of directors of Aligos Therapeutics, based in the Bay Area region. Scopa is currently a member of the Investment Advisory Board and Advisory Board of One Ventures, an Australia-based venture capital firm. He also serves on the boards of directors of several biotechnology companies, including Neuron 23 Inc., DiCE Molecules, Blade Therapeutics, Inc. and Adverum Biotechnologies, Inc. Previously, Scopa was Managing Director of MPM Capital.