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Industry appointments

Vivaldi heads up Sigilon, Pfizer Oncology loses its CMO and Zelluna appoints new CSO

Rogerio Vivaldi leaves Bioverativ buyout to head up Sigilon


US-based biotech Sigilon aiming to deliver stem cell therapies for diabetes is getting a new leader.

The firm has managed to poach Bioverativ’s senior executive Rogerio Vivaldi (pictured above) after Sigilon’s chief executive Paul Wotton decided to step down from the role due to personal reasons.

Although Wotton will remain on the board, Vivaldi will be moving the company towards its goal of commercialising its multi-product pipeline.

Sigilon has already reached certain milestones for its Living Therapeutics product platform, including its Afibromer technology, which represents a new class of breakthrough implantable biomaterials.

Vivaldi said: “Sigilon's platform represents exciting new opportunities for patients with haematologic, enzyme deficiency, endocrine and metabolic disorders—and this is just the beginning.

"I look forward to advancing the company's vision, mission and promising pipeline to meaningfully impact the lives of people with chronic and serious disorders."

Vivaldi has more than 25 years’ experience and joins the biotech with clinical and business experience, and has held leadership roles at Spark Therapeutics and Genzyme.

Pfizer Oncology loses its CMO to Allergan

Charles Hugh-Jones

Allergan has poached Pfizer Oncology’s chief medical officer Charles Hugh-Jones (pictured above) to serve as its senior vice president and chief medical officer.

Hugh-Jones’ career has seen him work for Bayer in various roles including executive director, global medical affairs oncology and he has also served as chief medical officer, North America for Sanofi.

Meanwhile, as part of a board refreshment process, Allergan has also announced that Neurobiologist Michael Greenberg will join its board of directors.

Greenberg brings more than 35 years to Allergan’s board and this appointment marks the fifth new director in 18 months.

Commenting on this, Chris Coughling, lead independent director, said it demonstrates its “ongoing commitment to recruit highly qualified leaders with relevant skills and experience that will help advance strategy and leadership in key therapeutic areas”.

He added: “The Allergan board has been actively involved in a refreshment process to update its membership with the appropriate experience, talent and diversity to more strongly position Allergan as a premier biopharmaceutical company and create value for shareholders."

Following the retirement of Fred Weiss and the addition of Greenberg, Allergan's Board of Directors will continue to have 12 members, of which 10 are independent.

Zelluna Immunotherapy appoints CSO

Namir Hassan

Norwegian biotech Zelluna Immunotherapy has named Namir Hassan as its chief scientific officer (CSO).

Most recently, Hassan built the oncology-focused biology, preclinical and biomarker units for Immunocore, overseeing early development and the first-in-human trial of a TCR based biologic targeting a melanoma antigen.

Hassan’s new role, however, will see him manage and plan the next stages of development for the TCR immunotherapy specialist company, along with building on its research team and facilities.

He said: “The portfolio of Zelluna’s TCRs is particularly attractive because of their unique source and that several of them target antigens presented by HLA class II. As a result, I joined Zelluna because I believe these TCRs provide opportunities for driving differentiated therapeutic benefits in patients fighting solid cancers.”

In the longer term, Hassan will lead research activities with the aim to expand Zelluna’s portfolio, focusing on adoptive cell therapy for solid cancers.

Miguel Forte, Zelluna’s chief executive, said: “Namir will be a great addition to Zelluna’s senior management team, and will contribute excellent ‘field-acquired’ experience and leadership to the development of the Zelluna product portfolio.”

Article by
Gemma Jones

15th August 2018

From: Sales



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