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Astellas and Tengion make new hires

Astellas creates a new position in its leadership team for Percival Barretto-Ko and Diane Jorkasky replaces Brenda Gavin on Tengion board
The US subsidiary of Japanese pharma company Astellas has created a new position in its leadership team: Percival Barretto-Ko has been named senior vice president, corporate strategy and government affairs. After beginning his career with the Roche Group in the US and the UK and undertaking increasingly senior positions in the sales and marketing function, Barretto-Ko moves to his new position from Astellas Pharma Europe, where he was most recently executive director, corporate strategy and communications.

At Astellas Pharma Europe, Barretto-Ko led the launch of new pipeline drug Advagraf (tacrolimus prolonged release) across 20 countries. He was promoted to lead the organisation's corporate planning function and eventually directed corporate strategy, corporate planning, corporate communications, crisis management and corporate social responsibility (CSR).

In his new position, Barretto-Ko will be responsible for corporate planning, business development, government policy and external affairs and state government affairs. He will report to Astellas president and chief executive officer Masao Yoshida.

Tengion hires Diane Jorkasky
Dr Diane Jorkasky has been appointed to the board of directors of Tengion Inc, a clinical-stage biotechnology company that has developed a technology platform to produce native-like human organs and tissues.

Industry veteran Dr Jorkasky began her career as vice president of clinical pharmacology for North America at SmithKline Beecham. In the 25 years since, she has spent more than a decade in vice president-level positions at Pfizer Global R&D and as chief development and medical officer at Aileron Therapeutics. Most recently, Dr Jorkasky was appointed senior vice president, clinical development and chief medical officer at Endo Pharmaceuticals.

Tengion has also announced that Brenda Gavin, managing partner of Quaker BioVentures (an early private venture capital investor in Tengion), has stepped down from the Tengion board after five years.

These announcements come hot on the heels of several other appointments that have been made in recent days.

16th August 2011

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