News from Dicerna, Auxilium and Essentialis – People on the move

By Natalie Morrison

- Last updated on GMT

Dicerna Pharmaceuticals​ has named James Weissman​ as new CBO.

Weissman joins the firm – which specialises in RNA interference novel therapeutics tech – from MannKind Corporation, where he was vice president of business development.

In his new role he will take charge of corporate development and strategy.

A spokesperson for the firm said: “He will be instrumental in helping Dicerna continue to execute on its business strategy and further the research and development efforts utilising the company’s unique Dicer Substrate Technology platform.”

Vivo Ventures partner Mahendra Shah ​has been appointed to the Essentialis​ board of directors.

Shah becomes the sixth board member for Essentialis, which focusses on development of treatment for cardiovascular and metabolic disease.

Prior to serving for Vivo Ventures, he was CEO for several biopharmas, including Nextwave Pharmaceuticals Pediatric, which he founded in 2005.

“Essentialis expects to release its Phase IIb trial data for DCCR in the coming weeks. As we prepare to begin a new chapter with an exciting new compound for further evaluation, board members with Dr Shah's range of experience will advance our development objectives​,” said Stuart Collinson, Essentialis.

Oncology specialists Novocure​ has announced that Wilco Groenhuysen​ will become its new CFO.

In the newly created position, he will take the helm for the firm’s global finance functions and join the executive management team in charge of the worldwide launch of Novocure's Tumor Treating Fields (TTF) cancer therapy devices.

Prior to joining the team, Groenhuysen was executive VP and CFO of Cephalon.

Of his new appointment, he said: “We have the opportunity to transform cancer care for patients around the world.”

Xoma ​has made John Varian​ full CEO after he served as interim since August last year.

Varian, a board member at Xoma since 2008, is in place in time for the firm’s growth plans for gevokizumab – a potent monoclonal antibody for the treatment of inflammatory diseases.

"I accepted the position as interim CEO to manage XOMA's operations temporarily until we identified a permanent leader for the company,”​ said Varian, adding that he developed a passion for the company over the four months.

He said: “I believe Xoma is only a few short years away from attaining real success, and I decided I wanted to be a major part of that process.”

Oncothyreon​ has named Diana Hausman​, as new CMO.

Hausman first came to Oncothyreon in August 2009 as VP, clinical development. Prior to working for the company, she held a number of clinical research positions at Zymogenetics, including senior director of clinical research.

"Diana has been instrumental in the advancement of our oncology pipeline, particularly our expansive clinical program for PX-866, a phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI-3K) inhibitor currently in multiple Phase 2 clinical trials to evaluate the drug both as a single agent and in combination with other therapies in a variety of cancer indications,"​ said Robert Kirkman, president and CEO at Oncothyreon.

Related topics: Regulatory & Safety

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