A monthly roundup of ‘people on the move’ in Canada’s life science and biotech sectors.
Phagelux Inc., a biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of novel phage and lysin antibacterial products and solutions, announces the appointment of Dr. Rong Chen as the company’s Global chief medical officer. Dr. Chen has more than 25 years of experience in pharmaceutical drug development, including extensive knowledge of global clinical trials and regulatory approvals. Immediately prior to joining Phagelux, Dr. Chen was the chief medical officer at CASI Pharmaceuticals, where he was responsible for global product development and global product registrations. Preceding that, Dr. Chen held positions of increasing responsibility within GSK. He has also worked at Bayer and Sanofi as the Asia Pacific/China medical director for each organization respectively. Early in his career Dr. Chen worked at the TGA, the Australia regulatory authority. Dr. Chen received an MD from the Shandong Medical University and a Ph.D. from the Royal Adelaide Hospital.
Oncolytics Biotech® Inc. reports Dr. Brad Thompson has stepped down as president and CEO of the company. The company’s chief operating officer, Dr. Matt Coffey, has been appointed interim president and CEO while the company searches for Dr. Thompson’s replacement. Dr. Thompson, along with Dr. Coffey, has led Oncolytics for 18 years since it was founded. Wayne Pisano, chairman of the board of directors of Oncolytics, credited Dr. Thompson for advancing the company’s lead candidate REOLYSIN® in multiple cancer indications and, in particular, for the recent progress in lung, multiple myeloma and colorectal cancers. The board will be engaging an executive recruitment firm to assist it in this search process.
PharmaCielo Ltd. has hired Dr. Pritesh Kumar as its new chief scientific officer. Dr. Kumar is a research scientist with a specialization in cannabinoid pharmacology and will be responsible for leading PharmaCielo’s research activities and partnerships globally. Dr. Kumar earned his PhD in Pharmacology and Toxicology with a focus in cannabinoid pharmacology from the University of Louisville. He is a cannabinoid research scientist, pharmacologist, laboratory manager and consultant trained in ensuring QA/QC, cGMP, GPP and cGLP of pharmaceutical products and Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs). Separately, Dr. Kumar will continue in his complementary role as CEO of PhytoSciences where he leads a team of 40 plus global scientists and physicians primarily focused on developing safe, consistent and pure medicinal cannabinoid-based therapeutics and consulting on R&D, manufacturing, bioprocessing, clinical trial solutions and laboratory development pertaining to cannabinoid-based therapeutics. Dr. Kumar has been published in numerous scientific journals including the European Journal of Pharmacology, Pharmacology and Physiology, Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science and Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications and authored a book chapter on polymorphisms in the CB2 and related impacts to certain pathologies.
Ortho Regenerative Technologies Inc. has named Dr. Brent Norton as its new executive board chairman and acting CEO, effective immediately. Dr. Norton succeeds Edward Margerrison who will be leaving the company to assume an executive position with a federal agency. Dr. Norton has been involved in IPOs and listings on both the TSX and AMEX exchanges, has built R&D and commercial operations, led transactions with AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly, L’Oreal and others, and has taken products through FDA approval to global out-licensing with Johnson & Johnson. He is a founding director of Canadian medical device company Novadaq Technologies and is currently a venture partner at Lumira Capital.
Dr. Richard Gregory has been named to ProMIS Neurosciences‘ board of directors. Currently Dr. Gregory serves as chief scientific officer and executive VP of Research at Immunogen. Prior to this role, he held several senior leadership positions in R&D at Genzyme and Sanofi-Genzyme.
InMed Pharmaceuticals Inc. has hired Alexandra D.J. Mancini as senior vice president, Clinical and Regulatory Affairs. Ms. Mancini has over 30 years’ global biopharmaceutical R&D experience with a particular emphasis on clinical development and regulatory affairs. In addition to her activities via her private consulting company True North Synergy, she has been an executive with several biotech companies, overseeing a wide range of drug development activities, including as Sr. VP of Clinical & Regulatory Affairs at Sirius Genomics, and in the same role at INEX Pharmaceuticals. She also served as VP of Regulatory Affairs at QLT Inc. for oncology and ocular diseases. Ms. Mancini holds a Master of Science degree from the University of Toronto. She is also a Visiting Lecturer at the Segal Graduate School of Business, Simon Fraser University.
Ontario Genomics, formerly “Ontario Genomics Institute” (OGI), announces the appointment of Ihor P. Boszko as vice president, Business Development. In his new role, Boszko will lead and manage all aspects of business development in diverse sectors including human health, agriculture, mining, water and forestry. In his progressive career, Boszko has been developing, commercializing and partnering innovative technologies in the medical diagnostics industry for nearly 15 years. Most recently, in his role as vice president, Business Development of Xagenic Inc., Boszko led the company’s global commercialization plan for a breakthrough molecular diagnostics platform.
Biron Groupe Santé (Biron Health Group) has hired Jean-François Rioux to the role of vice-president, Sales. His role will be to prioritize the strategic development initiatives of the company’s most recent business plan and to develop new markets. Jean-François counts more than fifteen years’ experience in the advertising industry.
Charles Wallace, chief financial officer of Microbix Biosystems Inc., is retiring on December 31, 2016 after serving in this capacity since September 2013. Microbix also reports that Jim Currie is joining the company on November 1, 2016 as Wallace’s replacement. Currie was most recently the CFO at SMTC Corporation, a publicly traded global electronics manufacturing services company. Previously, he was vice-president, Finance at MDS SCIEX, a global leader in life science and analytical technologies.
The board of directors for Concordia International Corp. has named Allan Oberman as the company’s new CEO and Jordan Kupinsky as its new board chairman. Mr. Oberman was recently appointed to the Concordia board of directors and has more than 16 years of international pharmaceutical industry experience, including his recent role as CEO of specialty pharmaceutical company, Sagent Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Sagent was sold to Nichi-Iko Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., Japan’s largest generic drug manufacturer, in a transaction that closed earlier this year. Prior to Sagent, Oberman served as president and CEO of Teva Americas Generics from 2012 to 2014, where he was responsible for a region that included the U.S., Canada and Latin America. He joined Teva in 2000 and served as president of Teva EMIA (Eastern Europe, Middle East, Israel and Africa), where he led a diverse group of countries in achieving consistent growth. Mr. Oberman also served as the chief operating officer of Teva International, and president and CEO of Teva Canada, formerly known as Novopharm Limited. Oberman succeeds Mark L. Thompson as CEO. Thompson also served as chairman of the Board, the role that will be assumed by Kupinsky.
Tricia Symmes has joined Acerus Pharmaceuticals Corporation in the position of chief operating officer. In this newly created role, Ms. Symmes will lead all efforts related to the development and execution of the commercialization strategy for Acerus as well as have overall responsibility for business development and corporate communications. Most recently, Symmes served as general manager for Alcon Canada (a Novartis company) and prior to that she held roles of increasing responsibility within Novartis Canada including, vice president Sales, and vice president Specialty Medicines. Ms. Symmes holds an MBA from Charles Sturt University (Australia), an Honours BSc. in Kinesiology (Western University), and a post-graduate Management Diploma in Human Resources (Humber College).
Dr. Marlene Haffner has joined Novateur as the firm’s senior orphan drug regulatory advisor. Considered by many in the industry an orphan drug champion, Dr. Haffner previously worked with the FDA and was the director of the Office of Orphan Products Development for more than 20 years. Shegraduated from the George Washington University School of Medicine and did further training at the Columbia University School of Medicine and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, in New York City. She received her Masters of Public Health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. Following her tenure at FDA and prior to forming Haffner Associates, Dr. Haffner served as executive director, Global Regulatory Intelligence and Policy for two years at Amgen.
Dr. Jean-Claude Tardif has joined Devonian as the chairman of its scientific advisory board. Currently, Dr. Tardif is the director of the Research Centre at the Montreal Heart Institute and professor of Medicine at the University of Montreal. Dr. Tardif graduated from the University of Montreal with his medical degree in 1987 and completed his training in cardiology and research in Montreal and Boston in 1994. Dr. Tardif holds the Canada Research Chair in translational and personalized medicine and the University of Montreal endowed research chair in atherosclerosis. He is the scientific director of the Montreal Health Innovations Coordinating Centre (MHICC) and chairman of the steering committees of the CIHR-funded Canadian Atherosclerosis Imaging Network (CAIN) and Medical Imaging Trials Network of Canada (MITNEC). Additionally, Dr. Tardif has authored and co-authored more than 800 articles and abstracts in peer-reviewed publications, including the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of the American Medical Association, The Lancet, Circulation, the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, the European Heart Journal, Nature Genetics, Genes and Development, the British Journal of Pharmacology, and Cardiovascular Research. Some of his other career accomplishments include along with his team creating the Beaulieu-Saucier Pharmacogenomics Center at the Montreal Heart Institute and the Center of Excellence in Personalized Medicine (CEPMed), the latter funded by the Network of Centers of Excellence (NCE) of Canada and which is also supported by multiple pharmaceutical and biotechnological companies. He is one of the founding fathers of the International Partnership for Critical Markers of Disease (CMOD) organization, which focuses on the development and better use of biomarkers (www.cmod.org).