Changing Faces: Digital and supplier hires from April 2024

Onboarding new employee

Finally, we wrap up the belated April hires round-ups with our “pharma supplier” round-up inclusive of tech vendors, CROs, CDMOs, and others adjacent to the space. This is also where we mention notable digital health hires.

Cresset scores big with Microsoft vet. Cresset, a company specialising in software development for small molecule design and discovery, got a major score in Dr Mutlu Dogruel, the former Microsoft AI lead for pharma, who was appointed VP for AI Solutions at the UK-based CRO.

Pharma tech vendors announce new leadership. Three companies that supply the pharma industry with technology and/or laboratory equipment saw new faces in the top spot in April.

  • Rob Walton, who joins from GE Healthcare, where he was president and CEO for the EMEA region, was appointed as the CEO at SPT Labtech, a Melbourne, UK-based manufacturer of laboratory instruments and consumables.
  • Anupam Girdhar, a seven-year veteran of Thermo Scientific, was appointed CEO at Ascential Medical & Life Sciences, a San Diego firm that provides a range of technology and innovation services to life sciences, among other industries.
  • Dale Levitzke, who has held leadership positions at vizgen, DropWorks, and Illumina, was appointed as the CEO at Sphere Fluidics, a Cambridge, UK-based provider of microfluidic solutions for single-cell analysis and isolation.
  • Ervin Ukaj, whose career includes founding start-ups and a strategic role at Novartis, was appointed CEO of Newel Health, a Healthware spin-off focused on digital medicines and digital therapeutics for Parkinson’s and cardiovascular health. Healthware and pharmaphorum share a parent company.

CDMOs make C-Suite appointments. On both sides of the Atlantic, companies in the manufacturing space made executive hires, mostly COOs.

  • In North Carolina, KBI Biopharma welcomed two new faces to their team. Peter Carbone, with 35 years of experience leading engineering, operations, and quality at pharma companies including Bayer, Amgen, and Novartis, took on the role of chief quality officer. Joining him is Jean-Baptiste Agnus, who brings a wealth of business development experience from AGC Biologics, Ajinomoto Bio-Pharma Services, Novasep, and Isochem to his new role as chief business officer.
  • Denis Johnson, a veteran of Biogen, Catalent, Boston Scientific, Teradyne, and Johnson & Johnson, was appointed as the chief operating officer at Kindeva Drug Delivery, a US and UK CDMO soon to open a new facility in Bridgeton, Missouri.
  • Ascend Advanced Therapies, an end-to-end gene therapy development partner based in London, welcomed Scott Law as their new chief operating officer. Law brings more than 30 years of global pharmaceutical experience, including senior manufacturing roles at companies such as Telix Pharmaceuticals, Baxter, Emergent BioSolutions, Ferndale Laboratories, and Pfizer.
  • Alfred Merz, formerly of Bayer Pharmaceuticals, joined Berlin-based ProBioGen as their new chief operating officer. ProBioGen is a manufacturing specialist providing APIs, viral vectors, and vaccines.

New leadership at clinical trial outfits. Three groups in the clinical trial space made major hires in April.

  • Nick Slack, with 20 years of experience in the clinical research industry, most recently at WCG Clinical, took the helm as chairman and CEO at the START Center for Cancer Research, a San Antonio, Texas-based global clinical trial site network focused on preclinical and phase 1 oncology trials.
  • Julie Blasingim, boasting 20 years of clinical trial experience at a variety of IRBs, was promoted from President to CEO at Univo IRB, a Raleigh, NC-based independent institutional review board.
  • Dr Murray Abramson, a clinical researcher with 12 years of experience at Merck and nine at Biogen, where he led global clinical operations, was appointed as the chief medical officer at Power, an AI-powered platform for simplifying clinical trial recruitment, based in San Francisco, California.

More C-Suite appointments. Several other pharma industry businesses added executive leadership in April.

  • Dr Romina Oxborough, with senior leadership roles at IXICO, Clinigen, and IQVIA under her belt, was appointed chief delivery officer at Cisiv, a New Malden, UK-based technology company that provides data management software for real-world evidence in clinical trials, managed access programmes, registries, and pharmacovigilance.
  • Veranova, a Wayne, Pennsylvania-based developer and manufacturer of active pharmaceutical ingredients specialising in complex and specialty products, tapped Scott Lassonde as their SVP and chief financial officer. Lassonde joins from the Lacerta Group, a packaging manufacturing company where he served as CFO.
  • Sciensus, a UK-based pharma services business, made an interesting hire in chief technology officer Hugues Hervouet. Hervouet comes from outside the pharma world, having served in leadership roles at Shutterstock and Time Warner.

Several companies bolster sales teams. We tracked a handful of sales and marketing hires this time around as well.

  • Kim Ferguson was appointed as the VP Global Sales and Support at Scale Biosciences, a San Diego outfit that provides life sciences companies with a variety of single cell sequencing offerings. Ferguson most recently worked in sales at DNA Script.
  • Amie McNeice, who previously held senior marketing and business development roles with Almac Group, Fibrus, and Kingspan Plc, was appointed as the vice president of marketing at Diaceutics, a UK company that offers data analytics, scientific, and advisory services to precision medicine companies.
  • Tim Bickley, an established health IT professional with more than 25 years in the laboratory and diagnostics industry, was appointed as the VP Sales for the US market at BYG4lab, a Chicago software company specialising in data management for healthcare companies.
  • Ylva Andell Elias, who has held a variety of sales roles at Quanterix, Takara, Olink, and Akoya Biosciences, was appointed as the sales and distribution manager at Capitainer, a Swedish MedTech company that develops and sells patient-centric solutions for self-sampling of blood, plasma, and urine.

Your quick hit of Board news. Finally, last but not least, a surprisingly short list of Board appointments for April.

  • Edward Rayner, an investor whose career spans AMP Capital, UBS Asset Management, and JP Morgan, joined the Board of Directors at Sphere Fluidics, a Cambridge, UK-based provider of microfluidic solutions for single-cell analysis and isolation.
  • Bob Kain, most famous for his work at Illumina from 1999 to 2014, joined the advisory board at Single Technologies, a Stockholm-based deep tech company aiming to transform the data generation in gene sequencing with novel 3D technology.
  • Rob Scott, the former chief medical officer at AbbVie, Christian Hein, the former VP and global head of digital transformation and innovation execution at Novartis, and Michael Vounatsos, the former CEO of Biogen, all joined the advisory board at QuantHealth, an Israeli AI-powered clinical trial simulation start-up.

That’s it for this round-up. Stay tuned for a double-sized May-June round-up in the next couple of weeks.

Remember, if you’ve had a recent appointment and you work in or around the pharma space, we want to hear about it. Please send your press releases to to be included in future editions of Changing Faces.