People spotlight — May 2021

The latest people news happenings over the past month

Woodstock Sterile Solutions, a blow-fill-seal (BFS) contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO), has announced the addition of three pharmaceutical industry veterans to serve as independent members of its board of directors. Lee Karras, CEO of Noramco; Itzhak Krinsky, a senior industry executive with more than 15 years of experience in pharmaceuticals, having joined Teva Pharmaceuticals in 2005 as head of business development; and David Seltzer, CEO and founder of Reliable 1 Laboratories LLC, will join Paul Josephs, CEO of Woodstock Sterile Solutions, and three members of owner SK Capital Partners on the seven-member board.

Centogene N.V., a commercial-stage company focused on rare diseases, has appointed Michael Motz, PhD, as chief commercial officer, pharmaceuticals. He will join the company on June 1. Dr. Motz is an entrepreneur and executive with over 25 years of industry experience. He has held positions with both biotech and pharma companies during his career.

AavantiBio, a gene therapy company, announced the appointment of Jessie Hanrahan, PhD, as chief regulatory officer. Dr. Hanrahan is the fifth senior executive to be named to the leadership team at AavantiBio in recent months. She will oversee global regulatory affairs for AavantiBio’s pipeline of gene therapy programs targeting rare diseases with significant unmet medical need.

PCI Pharma Services (PCI), a biopharma global outsourcing services provider, announced that John Cullivan has joined the company as its chief corporate development officer. He’ll play a role in PCI’s growth strategy and will accelerate its M&A, focusing on acquisitions to enhance PCI’s capabilities, enter new markets and geographies, and strengthen its portfolio of client solutions.

Eversana, a provider of global commercial services to the life sciences industry, disclosed several appointments across Europe to further strengthen its worldwide market access and pricing solutions leadership position. Douglas Foerster has been appointed senior vice president, pricing and market access, Europe; Charles Moun as vice president, products, Europe; and Mark Mulder as vice president, commercialization, Europe.

Excision BioTherapeutics, a developer of CRISPR anti-viral therapies, has named Christine Silverstein its chief financial officer. Silverstein joins Excision with more than 15 years of financial leadership and capital markets expertise in the biopharma industry. Excision has also added gene therapy and rare disease expert, Nicole Paulk, PhD, to its scientific advisory board. Dr. Paulk is an assistant professor of AAV gene therapy at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) department of biochemistry and biophysics.

Aeterna Zentaris Inc., a specialty biopharma company, has appointed Michael Teifel, PhD, as senior vice president, non-clinical development, and chief scientific officer. Dr. Teifel is an industry executive with a career spanning over 20 years in a variety of therapeutic areas, such as endocrinology and oncology. He also has experience in translating research into clinical development.

Evoke Pharma, Inc., a specialty pharma company focused on treatments for gastrointestinal (GI) diseases, announced the appointment of Vickie Reed to the company’s board of directors; after serving for more than eight years on the company’s board, Ann Rhoads will be retiring. Currently, Reed is the senior vice president, finance and chief accounting officer at Mirati Therapeutics, a late-stage targeted oncology company.

Aktana, a software company specializing in intelligent customer engagement for the life sciences, has named Bingqian Gao as its senior director of global advanced analytics. Prior to Aktana, Bingqian led the data science team at TrueCue, an analytics consultancy in London.