Changing Faces: Pharma and biotech hires from March 2024


Ioana Parsons (left) and Guy Oliver (right)

Once again in March, the pharmaceutical world saw a series of notable hires. From biotech to pharma, companies are strengthening their teams with experienced professionals. Here’s a round-up of the key appointments.

Musical chairs for UK GMs. Ipsen General Manager for UK and Ireland Guy Oliver, who previously spent a number of years at Novartis, has made the move to Bristol Myers Squibb, where he will serve in the same role. Ipsen, for its part, filled the vacancy with Ioana Parsons, a former McKinsey & Company consultant who most recently led Ipsen’s operations in Poland. 

Anderson shakes things up at Bayer. As Phil Taylor described in his full article, Bayer CEO Bill Anderson made some big leadership changes at Bayer, promoting Sebastian Guth to the role of chief operating officer and moving Christine Roth from head of oncology to leader of a new global commercialisation unit. All in all, the move shrinks Bayer’s pharma leadership team size from 11 to 5.

Two appointments at Sitryx. Sitryx Therapeutics, an Oxford-based company focusing on autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, welcomed two new members to its team. Ben Stephens, whose background includes stints at Rinri Therapeutics and ViaNautis Bio, took up the role of chief operating officer. Alongside him, Gordon Dingwall, who boasts experience at Roche, Vectura, and AstraZeneca, assumed the position of head of clinical operations.

Transgene fills out C-Suite with promotions. Transgene in Strasbourg, France, which is working on working on virus-based immunotherapies for cancer, announced two key appointments: VP of corporate communications Lucie Larguier stepped into the role of chief financial officer, while Christelle Schwoerer was promoted to chief human resources officer after 11 years with the company.

Changing of the guard at Oxford. Oxford University Innovation, the research commercialisation arm of the University of Oxford, announced that its CEO Dr Matt Perkins is stepping down after seven years at the helm. Chief operating officer Mairi Gibbs will step up as Interim CEO during this transitional period.

Bevy of hires at Clinigen. Clinigen, a London-based global specialty pharma focused on access to care, made three strategic hires: Nihad Hasagic is in as SVP strategic initiatives; Alex Johnson assumed the role of chief transformation officer; and Axel Degremont was named SVP commercial. All three bring more than 20 years of experience in the industry.

Money moves in the C-Suite. March was a big month for finance and business appointments. 

  • Psilocybin-focused biotech Compass Pathways in London appointed Teri Loxam, formerly CFO at Gameto and with experience at Merck and Bristol Myers Squibb, as their new chief financial officer. 
  • Lyon, France’s MaaT Pharma, which is in oncology, brought Jonathan Chirqui aboard as chief business officer. He brings 15 years of experience, including stints at Ipsen and Servier.
  • Laverock Therapeutics tapped Ali Elsley, a UK chartered accountant who spent a decade at PwC, as finance director. The UK biotech is exploring gene silencing using micro RNAs.
  • FibroBiologics, a Houston, Texas outfit using fibroblasts and fibroblast-derived materials to treat chronic conditions, hired 20-year legal veteran Rubin A. Garcia as General Counsel.

More biotech movements. The month saw several clinical-related C-Suite hires as well.

  • At London-based NeoVac, Dr Heinrich Haas, previously VP of RNA formulation and drug delivery at BioNTech, joined as chief technology officer. 
  • Conduit Pharmaceuticals welcomed seasoned clinical development professional Dr Joanne Holland, whose background includes postings at Millennium Pharma and Stylacats, as its new chief scientific officer. 
  • GRO Biosciences, a Cambridge, Massachusetts specialist in synthetic biology, named Tracey Lodie as its new chief development officer. Lodie served as chief scientific officer at both Quell Therapeutics and Gamida Cell.

Treading the Boards. Finally, we saw even more action than usual on executive boards. Here’s the highlights:

  • Alto Neuroscience, a Los Altos, CA-based company focusing on precision psychiatry, welcomed Dr Maha Radhakrishnan to its Board of Directors. She is the former chief medical officer at Biogen and has also served in leadership and strategy roles at Sanofi, Bristol Myers Squibb, and United Health Group.
  • UCB, the Belgium-based global biopharmaceutical company, announced several changes to its Board of Directors. Fiona du Monceau is stepping down from the Board to assume an executive role at the company, while Bert De Graeve is stepping down after 12 years of service. The new members joining are Nefertiti Greene, Dr Dolca Thomas, and Rodolfo Savitsky.
  • FundaMental Pharma added Dr Lorenz Mayr, former CEO of Vector Biopharma, to its Board of Directors. His 30-year career includes roles at Bayer, Novartis, and AstraZeneca.
  • Basel-based TOLREMO Therapeutics made two additions to its Board of Directors: Jeff Jonker, a seasoned biotech executive and Mike Sherman, who led Endocyte as CEO through its $2.1 billion acquisition by Novartis. Dr Erich Greiner will step down from the Board.

Several companies also announced new members to their Scientific and Clinical Advisory Boards. 

  • Asceneuron, a clinical stage biotech focusing on therapeutics for debilitating neurodegenerative disorders, welcomed renowned academics and researchers in neuroscience, including Samantha Budd Haeberlein, Dr Henrik Zetterberg, Rik Ossenkoppele, and Dr Christopher van Dyck
  • MitoRx Therapeutics, an Oxford outfit working on reversing mitochondrial dysfunction, added celebrated researchers in translational genetics, chemical biology, and respiratory research, including Dr Caroline Le Guiner, Dr Milos Filipovic, Phil Hansbro, Annemieke Aartsma-Rus
  • For its Clinical Advisory Board, Vienna’s OncoOne welcomed physicians and researchers from Yale, Trinity College in Dublin, and the Medical University of Vienna, including Dr Richard Bucala, Dr Daniel Aletaha, Dr Seamas Donnelly, and Dr Michael Freissmuth
  • Finally, CHARM Therapeutics, a London biotech that leverages AI to develop small molecules, added distinguished researchers and professors in cancer research and machine learning, including David Baker, Paul Workman, Ryan Adams, John P. Cunningham.

That’s it for this round-up. 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.