May 18, 2017 – Executive search firm Coulter Partners has placed Dr. Sonia Quaratino as chief medical officer of Kymab Group, a human monoclonal antibody biopharmaceutical company. She will manage the clinical development of the organization’s expanding therapeutic antibody portfolio.
Dr. Quaratino is an immunologist and joins Kymab from Novartis, where she served as global clinical program leader – transitional clinical oncology, responsible for the clinical development of proprietary therapeutic antibody programs in immuno-oncology. Prior to her role with Novartis, she was senior medical director and immunology advisor at Merck Serono, where she was responsible for the clinical development of various immunomodulators. Dr. Quaratino also has over 20 years of professional experience in biomedical research in U.K. academic institutions, including Imperial College London and the University of Southampton.
“With her demonstrated track record in clinical development and medical affairs, Sonia is a superb addition to Kymab‘s management team as we prepare for our first clinical trials,” said Kymab CEO Dr. David Chiswell. “Sonia’s deep understanding of the global environment in clinical research complement those of Dr. Arndt Schottelius, our new executive vice president of R&D who recently joined us from Morphosys. I congratulate the team at Coulter Partners, who once again conducted an outstanding search on our behalf. These two key appointments add a high caliber of depth and provide further validation to our burgeoning and advancing R&D pipeline.”
Dr. Quaratino said she was looking forward to being part of the company’s efforts, which will ultimately save lives. “Kymab’s emerging human antibody pipeline provides great potential to improve patient treatment options in our four main therapeutic areas of focus: immuno-oncology; auto-immunity; hematology and infectious disease,” she said. “The Kymouse technology that underpins the company contains a full set of human immunoglobulin light and heavy chain genes that can produce 10 trillion different antibodies, thus significantly increasing the chances of finding new best-in-class antibodies.”
Tapping Outside Talent for Life Science and Healthcare
For these top 50 executive recruiters working in the life science and healthcare sectors, the last decade has been one of transformation. Pressure on pricing, regulatory changes, emerging innovations, growth, and an uncertain political environment have all helped shape a new field of play.
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Sector In Transition
Coulter Partners is a senior level executive search boutique focused exclusively on identifying global life sciences leaders and board directors. From offices in the U.K., Europe and North America, the firm serves clients in the pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical devices, diagnostics, CRO and services sectors.
Coulter currently operates overseas offices in the U.K., Germany, Switzerland and Denmark. In the U.S., the firm also has offices in Princeton, Boston and Morristown.
“Our sector has changed beyond anyone’s expectations over the last two decades,” said Ms. Coulter. “We need to understand the appetites and needs of the major multinationals. This requires reach into all corners of the market. While our office network is growing, the key has been to have multilingual, multi-market experienced and connected researchers and consultants. Our team speaks many languages and has worked in all major bio-pharma markets and is organized as one P&L, to ensure collaborative information and experience sharing.”
Chief Medical Officers
Chief medical officers are typically cited as the senior government official designated head of medical services, sometimes at the national level. The post is held by a physician who serves to advise and lead a team of medical experts on matters of public health importance.
According to recruiters, the role of the chief medical officer (CMO) has evolved in recent years, and organizations, as in this case, are looking for leaders with broader skill sets. “Today’s CMO needs to have professional experience gathered from different players in the drug development industry, since he or she needs to understand the objectives of the key players in the field,” said Marc Salzberg, CEO of Airway Therapeutics, that is, academia / clinical practice, the pharma industry, regulatory authorities and third party vendors such as contract research organizations in order to successfully cooperate with those partners.”
A number of executive search firms have placed CMOs in recent months. Here’s a look at just a few from taken the Hunt Scanlon Media archives:
Slone Partners placed Dr. Michael Dugan as chief medical officer of Clinical Genomics. Dr. Dugan is a well-known biotechnology leader with extensive clinical experience in both commercial and academic settings. Previously, he served as president and chief executive officer of MCDXI Medical Diagnostics International.
Strawn Arnold & Associates placed R. Alberto Avendano M.D., to serve as CMO of Osiris Therapeutics, Inc. Dr. Avendano brings to Osiris expertise in medical education and communication, academic and industry clinical research, pharmacovigilance and regulatory affairs.
Quick Leonard Kieffer recruited Thomas Tracy Jr. MD as CMO at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, PA. Managing partner Dr. Robert Kuramoto led the search. Dr. Tracy spent almost two decades with the Lifespan system and Brown University in Rhode Island.
Witt/Kieffer placed Ghassan Jamaleddine MD, as CMO of Alameda Health System (AHS). The search was led by consultant Steve Yamada and associate Sue LeGrand. Dr. Jamaleddine came to AHS from New York City Health + Hospital/ Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn, New York.
Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media