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People on the move: jobs in pharma

By Natalie Morrison , 06-Feb-2012
Last updated on 06-Feb-2012 at 13:23 GMT

in-PharmaTechnologist presents its round-up of the latest appointments in the pharmaceutical industry, including news from Prosonix, Savient and Dendreon.

Prosonix has named Geoff Down its new chief medical officer.

Prior to joining the firm, Down had his own company providing services as a consultant pharmaceutical physician for big pharmas such as Pfizer and GSK.

In his new role, Down will oversee the development of the UK-based pharma’s enhanced respiratory medicine product line.

David Hipkiss, Prosonix’ CEO, said: “Geoff’s appointment is pivotal for Prosonix as we aim to become a fully fledged pharmaceutical company operating within the respiratory space. Geoff’s extensive clinical, regulatory and medical experience makes him ideally suited to lead Prosonix’s clinical development.”

Former J&J chairman David Norton has joined Savient Pharmaceuticals as interim CEO.

He is currently a member of the board and was once the company’s group chairman.

The company also announced today that Louis Ferrari has been promoted to the position of executive VP of North American commercial operations in preparation for the launch of KRYSTEXXA, the first FDA approved therapy for the treatment of refractory chronic gout.

Both Norton and Ferrari will work together to drive the productivity of commercial operations.

Meanwhile John Johnson, whose role as Savient’s CEO was taken over by Norton when he resigned, has a new job at novel cancer therapeutics firm Dendreon Corporation.

Replacing Mitchell Gold – who steps down after a decade of service – Johnson will become Dendreon’s new CEO and chairman-elect.

Johnson said: “With the important progress that has been made with the commercial launch of Provenge (the world's first autologous cellular immunotherapy) I am invigorated by the challenge of taking Dendreon to the next level.”

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) has named James ‘Mit’ Spears as executive VP and general counsel.

Spears is former general counsel of the Federal Trade Commission with over 30 years of experience in the industry.

In his new role he will oversee the legal department, and will also become a member of the PhRMA management committee.

President and CEO John Castellani said of the appointment: “A strategic thinker and an intellectual leader, he is well-suited to provide counsel to a sector that faces unique challenges and opportunities in improving patient care.”

NinePoint Medical has drafted in 11 experts to its two newly formed clinical and technology advisory boards.

The clinical board includes Gary Tearney, co-inventor of NinePoint Medical’s imaging technology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine professor Blair Jobe, University College London’s Laurence Lovat, Norman Nishioka who is a gastroenterologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, and Mayo Clinic’s Michael Wallace, Kenneth Wang, and Herbert Wolfsen.

The technology advisory board consists of Brett Bouma, another co-inventor of the firm’s imaging platform, professor and chairman of the department of biomedical informatics at the University of Pittsburgh School Michael Becich, Stanford University School of Medicine’s Sanjiv Sam Gambhir, and Jacques Van Dam, who is a professor of medicine at the University of Southern California.

The new team will support the company’s growth as it progresses its in vivo imaging tech, the Nvision VLE Imaging System.

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