People spotlight — January 2022

The latest people news happenings over the past month

Ajinomoto Bio-Pharma Services, a contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO), announced that Tony O'Neill has joined the team as vice president of compliance, US operations. O'Neill brings extensive experience leading quality, manufacturing, and operational excellence teams in the pharma and biopharma sectors. He joins Aji Bio-Pharma after 25 years at Allergan, a pharma firm where he held a number of quality and operational leadership positions in biologics manufacturing and development, with responsibility both in Ireland and US operations.

AGC Biologics, a CDMO, unveiled that Regina Choi-Rivera will be the new general manager of the company’s large-scale biopharma mammalian production facility in Boulder, CO. In this role, she assumes executive oversight and leadership, and will manage strategic development and facility operations.

Abzena, a partner research organization (PRO) for biopharma outsourced solutions, from concept to clinic and into good manufacturing practice (GMP) manufacturing, has announced the appointment of Jim Kennamer as senior vice president and site head of North Carolina. With over 30 years’ experience in the pharma industry, Kennamer has held various positions with increasing levels of responsibilities at Boehringer Mannheim Biochemical, Roche Molecular Biochemicals, Diosynth, Strategene and Talecris Biotherapeutics/Grifols Therapeutics. He has deep experience with manufacturing operations and processes, particularly in process improvements.

Pharma heavyweight Merck announced that Frank Clyburn, executive vice president and president, human health, will leave the company on Feb. 1, 2022, to assume a leadership opportunity with another company. Leadership of human health following Frank’s departure will be revealed in the coming weeks. Clyburn joined Merck in 2008 and held several leadership positions with increasing responsibility throughout his Merck career.

CAI, a global consulting company that provides technical, operational consulting, and project management services to life sciences, data centers, and industrial process manufacturing industries, reported that Michael Martin, CAI president, has succeeded Bob Chew as CEO, effective as of Jan. 1, 2022. Chew is continuing as chairman of the board and chief innovation officer.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has appointed Frederic Leger as the association’s senior vice president for commercial products and services. Leger served in the role on an ad interim basis since July 2021, when IATA’s commercial products and services division was created as part of an internal restructuring. He reports to Willie Walsh, IATA’s director general.

The Sanner Group, a global supplier of packaging solutions and components for the medtech, diagnostics, pharma and healthcare industries, has appointed Adrian Possumato as president of Sanner of America, Inc. He will support the Sanner Group, with its shareholders GHO Capital and Sanner Ventures, in accelerating international growth plans, primarily by developing capabilities to facilitate the US market expansion.

Emergent BioSolutions Inc. announced that Fuad El-Hibri, founder and executive chairman, has decided to retire, effective April 1, 2022. The life sciences company anticipates that El-Hibri will still be available as needed to effectively transition his knowledge to the board of directors and management team. Emergent expects to name a new chair of the board of directors ahead of El-Hibri’s retirement.

Syneos Health,, a biopharma clinical and commercial solutions organization, has appointed two new independent directors, Barbara W. Bodem and Alfonso G. Zulueta, to its board of directors. Bodem will serve as a Class I director and will serve on the company’s audit committee, while Zulueta will serve as a Class III director. Bodem served as the senior vice president and CFO at Hillrom, a global medical technology company, from 2018 until its acquisition by Baxter International Inc. in 2021, and currently serves on the board of directors of Turning Point Therapeutics, Inc., a clinical-stage precision oncology company. Zulueta has over three decades of experience in global strategic and leadership roles within large pharma, specifically with Eli Lilly and Company.