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Liftstream is an executive search recruitment company in the life sciences sector

Leadership skills must adapt for rare disease success

In pharmaphorum’s rare disease focus month, Karl Simpson of Liftstream explores whether a different set of skills, experience and talent are required to develop orphan drugs, and questions how different the business model of rare diseases is. The article was originally published in pharmaphorum on 18th February 2014. 

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Shire adds to board with appointment of Ian Clark

Shire plc has joined Agios Pharmaceuticals in announcing the appointment of Ian Clark to the Board of Directors.

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Aegerion Names Mary Szela as CEO

Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the development and commercialisation of innovative therapies for patients with debilitating rare diseases, has appointed Mary Szela as CEO and a member of board of directors. Szela replaces interim CEO Sandford Smith who took over after the resignation of former CEO Marc Beer in July 2015. After stepping down as Interim CEO, Smith was appointed chairman of the board of directors, allowing him to continue to work closely with the management team to maintain the momentum on key company initiatives.

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Blueprint Medicines Bolsters Senior Management

Blueprint Medicines, a company discovering and developing highly selective investigational kinase medicines for patients with genomically defined diseases, has appointed Kathryn (Kate) Haviland as Chief Business Officer, who will be responsible for the firm’s corporate strategy, business development, corporate communications and investor relations functions.

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Board Appointment for IPO-ready Dimension Therapeutics

Just days after setting the terms for its pending IPO, Dimension Therapeutics, Inc., a leading rare disease company advancing novel, liver-directed treatments for diverse genetic disorders,  announced the election of Alan B. Colowick, M.D., M.P.H., Executive Vice President of Celgene Corporation, to Dimension’s Board of Directors. Dr. Colowick brings strong operational expertise and more than 15 years of experience in biopharmaceutical development. His election to the company’s Board is effective immediately.

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Big-Pharma Defection Continues

In a continuation of a developing trend, two big-pharma executives left their cozy corner offices for the fast and wild biotech world. This year we have already seen a number of big names defect for the biotech world, the reasons for which were covered here. These latest appointments add further evidence to the fact that biotech has regained its form and now has pulling power.

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Agilis Biotherapeutics Strengthens Board of Directors

Agilis Biotherapeutics a biotechnology company in Cambridge, Massachusetts  which is advancing innovative DNA therapeutics for rare genetic diseases that affect the central nervous system (CNS), appointed Arthur Tzianabos, Ph.D. to the Company’s Board of Directors. Dr. Tzianabos already serves on the Company’s Scientific Advisory Board and will continue serving in this capacity. Dr. Tzianabos brings extensive experience to the boardroom, with more than 20 years of experience in business and drug development of therapeutics in industry and academia. Dr. Tzianabos is currently President of OvaScience, Inc., a global life sciences company developing new fertility treatments. Prior to his leadership role at OvaScience, Dr. Tzianabos was Senior Vice President and Head, Research and Early Development.at Shire Human Genetic Therapies.

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Sara Mathew further diversifies Shire’s Board

Shire plc has appointed Sara Mathew to its Board of Directors as a Non-Executive Director. Sara will also be a member of the Audit, Compliance & Risk Committee of the Shire Board. Both appointments will be effective as of September 1, 2015.

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$40m for rare focused Rhythm

Rhythm announced today the completion of a $40 million Series A financing for its subsidiary, Rhythm Metabolic, Inc., which is developing setmelanotide (RM-493), a novel peptide MC4 agonist for the treatment of obesity caused by genetic deficiencies in the MC4 pathway. In this round, new investors OrbiMed, Deerfield Management, Wellington Management Company, and an undisclosed public healthcare investment fund joined existing investors MPM Capital, New Enterprise Associates, Third Rock Ventures, Pfizer Ventures, and Ipsen. Associated with the financing, Jonathan Silverstein, JD, Partner and Co-Head of Global Private Equity at OrbiMed, joined the Rhythm Metabolic Board of Directors.

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Dimension Therapeutics Diversifies Leadership with Management and Board Appointment

Dimension Therapeutics, a leading rare disease company advancing novel, liver-directed treatments for diverse genetic disorders has announced that it has expanded its Board of Directors with the elections of Georges Gemayel, Ph.D., former Executive Vice President of Genzyme Corporation, and Arlene M. Morris, former CEO of Syndax Pharmaceuticals. Dimension also announced that Donald J. Hayden, Jr., is leaving his position as a member of the Company’s Board of Directors.

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