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Elizabeth Olek, Irene Sacks, Daniel Wagner, Spencer Levy, Otto Schwarz

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Novartis Executive Joins Achillion Pharmaceuticals as Chief Medical Officer
 
Elizabeth Olek has been appointed vice president and chief medical officer of Achillion Pharmaceuticals, a New Haven, Conn., developer of small-molecule drugs intended to combat HIV, hepatitis, and resistant bacterial infections. Her duties will include leading the clinical development of Achillion's drug candidates.
 
Olek previously served as global brand medical director and principal medical science expert in the infectious disease, transplant, and immunology group of Novartis Pharmaceuticals. Before joining Novartis in 2005, she held director of clinical research positions with InterMune and Genetics Institute/Wyeth Research.
Olek holds a BSc degree in pharmacy from the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, a doctor of osteopathic medicine degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, and an MPH degree in epidemiology and biostatistics from Boston University.
 

 
Kannapolis Hires Consultant as Business and Community Affairs Director
 
Irene Sacks has been named the new business and community affairs director for the city of Kannapolis, NC. She begins her position March 1, at an annual salary of $69,500.
 
Sacks was previously a project manager with Market Street Services, an Atlanta economic development consultancy. Among Market Street’s clients have been the Kannapolis city government, for which she recently completed work on an economic impact assessment and strengths-weaknesses-opportunities-threats analysis of the 350-acre North Carolina Research Campus.
 
“Working on the market analysis, I got to know what is going on here in Kannapolis and when this position came up, I applied for it,” Sacks told the Concord and Kannapolis Independent Tribune, which disclosed the hiring. “Frankly, it’s an amazing opportunity to be a part of what’s going on there.”
 
Before joining Market Street, Sacks was a member of the community and economic development services group at the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Economic Development Institute. She also co-founded Gemdrop, a software firm that created a web-based application to administer job applications and hiring tests electronically.
 
Sacks holds a master’s degree in city and regional planning with a specialization in economic development from Georgia Tech, as well as a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the California Institute of Technology.
 

 
CuraGen Executive Joins Connecticut Innovations as Investment Associate
 
Daniel Wagner has been named an investment associate with Connecticut Innovations, the state’s quasi-public authority responsible for technology investing and innovation development. Wagner will analyze and monitor investment opportunities.
 
Wagner previously held scientific and operational management positions with CuraGen of Branford, Conn.
 
Wagner earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Dayton and an MBA degree and a master’s in health sciences degree from Quinnipiac University.
 

 
CB Richard Ellis Names New Eastern US Leader for Capital Markets Activities
 
Spencer Levy has joined CB Richard Ellis as a senior managing director overseeing the firm’s capital markets activities and its more than 200 investment sales and debt/equity finance professionals in the Eastern US. Levy succeeds Cab Grayson, who the company said had transferred to a client relations position at its CBRE Investors subsidiary.
 
Levy previously was a principal at Stifel Nicolaus (formerly Legg Mason Capital Markets), where he worked on 10 merger-and-acquisition transactions, as well as the initial public offering of 6 REITs, as well as dozens of other public and private capital-raising transactions.
 
Before entering investment banking, Levy served as assistant general counsel for the Witkoff Group, a commercial property owner in the New York region. Earlier he was a real estate attorney at the law firms of Fried Frank Harris Shriver and Jacobson, and Jones Day Reavis and Pogue. Levy is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Cornell University.
 
Levy was recruited to CBRE via the executive recruitment firm Rhodes Associates.
 

 
Actelion Appoints Nycomed Executive VP as Head of Business Operations
 
Swiss-owned Actelion has named Otto Schwarz as its new head of business operations effective Jan. 14, 2008. Schwarz succeeds Christian Chavy, who the company said “is leaving his position at that time to pursue other opportunities.”
 
Schwarz previously was executive vice president of commercial operations at Nycomed (formerly Altana), where he oversaw activity among about 5,000 staffers in more than 40 countries. Earlier, Otto held several positions at Schering-Plough.
 
An Austrian national, Schwarz earned a PhD in pharmaceutical chemistry from Vienna University.

The Scan

Gap in COVAX Doses

BBC News reports that COVAX is experiencing a vaccine shortfall, as the Serum Institute of India has paused exports.

Sanofi, GSK Report Promising Results

The Wall Street Journal reports that the candidate SARS-CoV-2 vaccine from Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline has had encouraging early results.

Influence of Luck

The New York Times examines how the US avoided variant-fueled increases in COVID-19 cases.

PLOS Papers on Retina GWAS, Hantaan Virus, COVID-19 Phenome-Wide Association Study

In PLOS this week: genome-wide association study of retinal morphology, analysis of hantaan virus found in a mouse, and more.