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Chutes & Ladders–Apic brings on Solid Bio vet Quiroz to chief medical role

Chutes and Ladders
Welcome to this week’s Chutes & Ladders, our roundup of hirings, firings and retirings throughout the industry. Please send the good word–or the bad–from your shop to Kyle Blankenship, and we will feature it here at the end of each week.


Amid gene therapy hold, Solid Bio’s ex-CMO joins Apic

Apic Bio
Jorge Quiroz, M.D., has hopped over to take the CMO role.

Quiroz had been CMO of Solid but now takes up the equivalent role, plus executive vice president, at Apic Bio, a rival, though earlier-stage, gene therapy company. It comes after a tough time at Solid Biosciences, which has seen its gene therapy treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy SGT-001 hit with an FDA clinical hold since last November in response to a case of acute kidney injury and other symptoms in a child who received the high dose of SGT-001. Fierce Biotech


Kura hires Tagrisso lead to take cancer drugs deeper into clinic

Kura Oncology
Stephen Dale has joined as CMO.

Antonio Gualberto, M.D., Ph.D., co-founded Kura and served as its CMO until February, when a job offer from H3 Biomedicine persuaded him to move on. In response, Kura identified Dale as the person to guide its clinical research activities, which are spearheaded by a pivotal trial of farnesyl transferase inhibitor tipifarnib in HRAS-mutant head and neck cancer. Dale landed the gig on the strength of a resume dotted with evidence of his ability to get oncology drugs to market. Kura has hired Dale from Kyowa Kirin, where he served as global head of medical sciences.Dale arrived at Kyowa after almost a decade working out of AstraZeneca’s Alderley Park site in the U.K. In that time, Dale oversaw the development of blockbuster non-small cell lung cancer drug Tagrisso and worked with the Iressa team on a practice-changing trial in the same disease. Fierce Biotech


MD Anderson’s Hwu takes up vacant CEO post at scandal-hit Moffitt Cancer Center

Moffitt Cancer Center
Patrick Hwu, M.D., will take over at the troubled center.

Hwu joins Moffitt from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, where he has been its division head of cancer medicine. He starts at the Moffitt, a nonprofit cancer treatment and research center in Tampa, Florida, Nov. 10. He comes on board after the departure at the start of the year by former president and CEO Alan List, M.D., following concerns about Chinese interference in research there. Fierce Biotech


> Regeneron will add up to 400 jobs at its Limerick, Ireland, manufacturing facility to handle an increased workload as the New York drugmaker gears up elsewhere to produce its COVID-19 cocktail at global scale, according to a release. The new hires, mostly specialists on the manufacturing side, will bring Regeneron’s total workforce at the 689,000-square-foot site to more than 1,400. Fierce Pharma

> Teva will cut 350 positions at its active pharmaceutical ingredients plant in Neot-Hovav, Israel, as part of a “global optimization plan” to streamline site operations through February 2022. Those cuts won’t be immediate, Teva said; instead, the company has agreed to eliminate those positions at the 2022 cutoff date. Teva pledged in a statement to offer “fair separation benefits, beyond those required by the law or collective agreements” to its employees. Fierce Pharma

> British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline will look to trim up to 60 positions at its Irvine, U.K., manufacturing facility as it phases out production of chemical 6-APA, a precursor for antibiotic amoxicillin, at the site. The facility has around 325 total employees. Fierce Pharma

> U.K. biotech Axol Bioscience has tapped Liam Taylor as CEO. Taylor was most recently CFO and then managing director of BBI Solutions. Release

> Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Vor Biopharma has tapped John King as chief commercial officer. Prior to Vor, King served as chief commercial officer at Ra Pharma and previously worked as VP of the U.S. neurology business unit at Alexion. Release

> Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Omega Therapeutics has named Roger Sawhney, M.D., as CFO. Sawhney most recently served as KKR & Co.’s director of its healthcare investment platform in the Americas. Release (PDF)

> BlueSphere Bio has named Michael Geffner, M.D., as CMO. Prior to BlueSphere, Geffner served as senior VP at Achillion Pharmaceuticals. Release

> Illumina will bring on Kathryne Reeves as chief marketing officer, effective Sept. 28. Reeves was most recently senior VP of enterprise marketing and general manager of the medical services global business unit at Cardinal Health. Release

> Dan Leonard will be stepping down from his role as president and CEO of the National Pharmaceutical Council, effective Sept. 4. Leonard served in those roles for more than 12 years, during which time he spearheaded moving the organization’s headquarters to Washington, D.C., from Reston, Virginia. Release

> Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Amylyx Pharmaceuticals has hired Tammy Sarnelli as global head of regulatory affairs. Sarnelli most recently worked as executive director for regulatory affairs at Bioverativ and was previously head of global regulatory affairs for neurology and immunology at EMD Serono. Release

> Emeryville, California-based Adamas Pharmaceuticals has appointed Jill M. Jene, Ph.D., as VP and head of corporate development, strategy, portfolio planning and alliance management.

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