People spotlight — April 2021

April 27, 2021

The latest people news happenings over the past month

BioLife Solutions, Inc., a developer and supplier of bioproduction products and services for cell and gene therapies, has appointed Amy DuRoss, CEO of Vineti, a cell and gene therapy platform company, and Rachel Ellingson, senior vice president and chief strategy officer at Zimmer Biomet, a medical device manufacturer, to its board of directors, effective immediately.

LAVA Therapeutics N.V., a biotech company focused on applying its expertise in bispecific gamma-delta T cell engagers (bsTCEs) to transform cancer therapy, announced that Karen J. Wilson has been appointed to its Board of Directors and as chair of its Audit Committee. Wilson brings more than three decades of finance and leadership experience in the life sciences industry.

The Healthcare Distribution Alliance (HDA) has hired Elyse Petroni as vice president of communications and marketing. Petroni will work to promote the value of the healthcare distribution industry, while advancing the organization’s advocacy agenda with key stakeholders.

Tessera Therapeutics, a biotech company, disclosed the appointments of David Davidson, MD, as chief medical and development officer, Hari Pujar, PhD, as chief operating officer, and Lin Guey, PhD, as senior vice president of rare diseases program strategy and operations. The trio will be involved in advancing the company’s gene writing platform and accelerating development of multiple therapeutic programs, the company notes.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that Willie Walsh has officially taken on the role of director general of the organization. He succeeds Alexandre de Juniac. Walsh joins IATA after a 40-year career in the airline industry.

AavantiBio, a gene therapy company, has appointed Paul Herzich as chief technology officer and Jared Simons as vice president of manufacturing. Both bring significant adeno-associated virus (AAV) manufacturing experience to AavantiBio, as the company begins to advance its gene therapy pipeline forward.

Eli Lilly and Company announced that Diogo Rau, who most recently served as the top executive of information technology for retail and online stores at Apple, Inc., will join the company on May 17 as senior vice president and chief information and digital officer. Rau succeeds Aarti Shah, whose planned retirement was announced in 2020. Shah will retire after 27 years at Lilly.

Woodstock Sterile Solutions, a blow-fill-seal (BFS) contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO), has named Bill Hartzel as the company’s first chief commercial officer. Hartzel assumes the role immediately and will report to Woodstock CEO Paul Josephs.

NKGen Biotech, which develops natural killer (NK) cell therapies, has appointed Philip Moody as its chief financial officer. Moody has 25 years of broad healthcare and biotech industry leadership experience.

Shape Therapeutics Inc., an RNA-targeting gene therapy company, has appointed Patrick Bigot as chief business officer. Bigot brings over 20 years of corporate and business development experience in the life sciences industry.