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 LaHucik, and we will feature it here at the end of each week.
GlaxoSmithKline loses oncology head to Scorpion Therapeutics amid activist pressure
Axel Hoos, M.D., Ph.D., is leaving GSK to take up the reins at Scorpion Therapeutics.
The "precision medicine 2.0" biotech will gain the GSK leader, who also led oncology teams at Bristol Myers Squibb, next month. He'll leave a high-profile kerfuffle in the dust when he departs GSK as the Big Pharma contends with leadership upheaval calls from activist investor Elliott Management. Hoos will try to "fill some of the white spaces" that remain in cancer care at Scorpion, the incoming CEO told Fierce Biotech in an interview. He takes the permanent seat after Adam Friedman, M.D., Ph.D., held the interim title since founding CEO Gary Glick, Ph.D., left Scorpion five months ago. Fierce Biotech
Former Immunomedics CEO joins Denmark's Adcendo to lead ADC work
Michael Pehl is joining the Danish biotech after stints at Immunomedics and Celgene.
Pehl will take over the CEO spot as founding chief Henrik Stage moves over to the chief financial officer role. Pehl comes from German biotech GEMoaB, which launched with $250 million and is working on two switchable, universal CAR-T platforms. He was previously CEO of Immunomedics until early 2019, leaving before the company received FDA approval for its triple-negative breast cancer drug that gave Gilead the confidence to buy the company for $21 billion. Now at Adcendo, Pehl has a recent $62 million funding round to fuel work on a pipeline of antibody-drug conjugates aimed at a new cancer target. Fierce Biotech
Locanabio snags ex-CRISPR Tx hematology head as chief scientific officer, picks up Audentes' CMO
John Leonard, Ph.D., is leaving CRISPR Therapeutics to join Locanabio.
Joining Leonard in the C-suite is Edward Conner, M.D., who will be chief medical officer after serving in a similar role at Audentes Therapeutics. As chief scientific officer, Leonard will oversee the gene therapy biotech's pipeline of treatments targeting neurodegenerative, neuromuscular and retinal diseases. Myotonic dystrophy, Huntington's disease and frontotemporal dementia are some of the targeted indications. The company has a $100 million December series B to fund the programs. Leonard previously led hematology and in vivo research at CRISPR Therapeutics, and Conner comes from Audentes, now Astellas Gene Therapies. Fierce Biotech
> Amgen snagged a former AstraZeneca senior vice president to lead its oncology therapeutic area. Jean-Charles Soria, M.D., Ph.D., will join the Thousand Oaks, California, biotech Aug. 2 to fill a similar post as the one he had at AstraZeneca. After his stint at the U.K. Big Pharma, Soria was general director at cancer research institute Gustave-Roussy in France. Fierce Biotech
> Peter Braun is leaving the post of Nordic Nanovector three months after joining, as the company cited "personal reasons." The nearly 30-year Roche veteran was expected to be a landmark hire for the company. Chief Financial Officer Malene Brondberg is filling the spot on an interim basis. Fierce Biotech
> Ovid Therapeutics, as part of a "realignment of its workforce," named Claude Nicaise, M.D., head of R&D and promoted Jason Tardio from chief commercial officer to chief operating officer. Nicaise has held roles at Alexion Pharmaceuticals and Bristol Myers Squibb, and Tardio has held stints at Novartis and Biogen. As part of the shake-up, Amit Rakhit, M.D., will step away from his roles as president and chief medical officer and will instead take a seat on the company's scientific and clinical advisory board. Release
> Aeglea BioTherapeutics hired Jonathan D. Alspaugh as chief financial officer. He joins the clinical-stage biotech, focused on rare metabolic diseases, from Evercore, where he was a managing director focused on biopharma M&A and equity financings. Release
> Duchenne muscular dystrophy-focused Solid Biosciences made three management hires. Roxana Donisa Dreghici joins as senior vice president of clinical development; Caitlin Lowie was named vice president of communications and investor relations; and Alison Kessler becomes vice president of legal corporate and intellectual property. Release
> Amolyt Pharma hired Louis J. Arcudi III as chief financial officer. The executive joins the rare endocrine-focused company from Millendo Therapeutics, where he was CEO for the past five months and CFO prior to that. Release
> Q32 Bio named Adam Cutler its first chief financial officer after 20-plus years in corporate finance, business development and investment banking. Cutler comes from Molecular Templates, where he held a similar post. Release
> C. Russell Trenary III stepped into a trifecta of roles at Outlook Therapeutics as president, CEO and board member. He replaces Lawrence A. Kenyon, who will remain as chief financial officer. Trenary comes from InnFocus, where he was recently an executive adviser after selling the company to Santen Pharmaceutical while CEO and president in 2016. Release
> Attgeno welcomed Björn Westberg as chief financial officer. Westberg previously held the same role at Enea, as well as Recipharm and Bonesupport. Release
> Spinal cord medical technology company ONWARD named Andy Dolan as vice president of marketing. He joins from ReWalk Robotics, where he filled a similar job as VP of marketing and reimbursement. Release
> Alfred Bowie Jr., Ph.D., became Eikon Therapeutics' first chief financial officer. Bowie joined the live-cell super-resolution microscopy firm from genomic diagnostics company Veracyte, where he was vice president of corporate and business development. Release
> Veracyte added two leaders to its management team. Chief Business Officer Rob Brainin comes from the CEO post at Genuity Science, and Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer Bill Zondler joins from Biotheranostics. Release
> Catalyst Pharmaceuticals hired Preethi Sundaram, Ph.D., as chief product development officer. Since 2005, Sundaram held multiple roles at Sanofi across R&D and medical affairs. Release
> Immix Bio, focused on tissue-specific therapeutics for oncology and inflammation, chose Gabriel Morris as its chief financial officer and board member. Morris was managing partner of life sciences investment firm Alwaysraise. Release
> German radiopharmaceutical biotech ITM named Sabine Daugelat, Ph.D., as chief operating officer. Daugelat joins from Pieris Pharmaceuticals, where she was executive director and head of project leadership. Release