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CureVac makes Haas’ CEO job permanent; plus Zhang now CEO of Legend and updates from Royalty, NBE, Black Diamond, VelosBio and more

COO Franz-Werner Haas will become CureVac AG’s permanent CEO, the mRNA vaccines company’s third this year. He has filled the role on an interim basis since mid-March. CEO Ingmar Hoerr took a leave of absence five days into the role after succeeding Daniel Menichella. The biotech also hired Igor Splawski as CSO. He was executive director and site head of the biologics center of the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NBIR). CureVac has begun clinical testing of its COVID-19 vaccine (see “Vaccines from CureVac, Imperial Enter the Clinic”).

Frank Zhang will step down as CEO of GenScript Biotech Corp. (HKEX:1548) to serve as CEO of its spinout, Legend Biotech Corp. (NASDAQ:LEGN), after CEO Yuan Xu resigned for personal reasons. Zhang will continue to serve as chairman of both GenScript and Legend. In June, the Chinese CAR T company raised $487 million in the year’s largest biotech IPO (see “Legend’s NASDAQ Offering Pads 2020’s Lead Over Prior Years”).

Biopharma royalties buyer Royalty Pharma plc (NASDAQ:RPRX) appointed Henry Fernandez and Ted Love to its board. Fernandez is chairman and CEO of MSCI Inc.; Love is president and CEO of Global Blood Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:GBT). Royalty raised over $2 billion in a June IPO (see “Royalty’s $1.7B IPO”).

Antibody-drug conjugate developer NBE-Therapeutics AG said founder Ulf Grawunder will step down as CEO and become COO and chief development officer. He is succeeded by Bertrand Damour, who was CEO of Synthena AG.

Fang Ni is returning to Black Diamond Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:BDTX) as CBO after leaving the precision oncology company in December. Ni was a principal at Versant Ventures He served as Black Diamond’s founding CBO in December 2017-19.

Cancer company VelosBio Inc. hired Enoch Kariuki as CFO, a new position. He was SVP, corporate development at Synthorx Inc. VelosBio raised $137M in its series B in July (see “VelosBio Jumps on Megaround Bandwagon”).

Parkinson’s disease company Aspen Neuroscience Inc. said co-founder Jeanne Loring will step down as CSO.

Humanigen Inc. (Pink:HGEN) said Timothy Morris will become COO and CFO. He was CFO of Iovance Biotherapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:IOVA). The company’s anti-GM-CSF mAb lenzilumab was selected by NIH last week for its Big Effect Trial in hospitalized COVID-19 patients (see “Finding Immunosuppression Sweet Spot”).

Last week, Engrail Therapeutics Inc. announced a series of management change-ups. Stephen Cunningham will step down as EVP, development and CSO and become chief development officer. He is succeeded as CSO by Kimberly Vanover, who was SVP, early stage clinical development and translational medicine at Intra-Cellular Therapies Inc. (NASDAQ:ITCI). The neuroscience company also hired Eve Taylor as VP, clinical development. She was senior director of clinical development at Intra-Cellular (see “Engrail Aims to Builds CNS Pipeline”).

DLA Piper said Jim Greenwood joined the law firm’s litigation and regulatory practice as a senior policy adviser based in Washington, D.C. Greenwood is a former U.S. representative and served as president and CEO of Biotechnology Innovation Organization from 2005-20.

Wound care company MiMedx Group Inc. (Pink:MDXG) said hired Rohit Kashyap as EVP and chief commercial officer, a new position. He was president of global commercial at Acelity L.P. Inc.

Obesity company Rhythm Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:RYTM) hired Joseph Shulman as SVP, technical operations. He held the same position at Ra Pharmaceuticals Inc., which UCB S.A. acquired for $2.3 billion last year.

Sierra Oncology Inc. (NASDAQ:SRRA) hired Christina Thomson as general counsel. Before joining the myelofibrosis, she served in the same role at Athira Pharma Inc.

Targets

GM-CSF (CSF2) - Granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor

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