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Stephen Kaldor, Mark Nuell, Harold (Hank) Safferstein, Samuel Straface, David Weaver, Maureen Babis, Jaime Guevara-Aguirre, François Martelet


Ambrx Taps Stephen Kaldor as President and CEO
Stephen Kaldor has been named President and CEO of Ambrx and will join its board of directors, the biopharmaceutical company announced July 24.
Kaldor was previously president and chief scientific officer of Takeda San Diego, the US discovery research center for Japanese-owned Takeda Pharmaceuticals. Before that he was president and chief scientific officer of Syrrx, leading it into a research and development operation with multiple clinical-stage product candidates before the drug discovery company was acquired by Takeda for $270 million in March 2005.
Earlier, he worked in drug discovery and development management positions with Eli Lilly and Company. Kaldor is co-inventor of multiple compounds that have advanced into clinical development, including the HIV protease inhibitor Viracept. At Ambrx, he will oversee the company’s development of its first clinical stage asset, the human growth hormone ARX201, in collaboration with Merck Serono.

Birch Stewart Kolasch and Birch Names Mark Nuell to Biotechnology Practice
Mark Nuell has been named a partner in the biotechnology practice of the international intellectual property law firm Birch Stewart Kolasch and Birch. He is based in the firm’s West Coast office in San Diego, Calif.
Nuell was previously a partner in the firm's East Coast office in Falls Church, Va. His experience includes the preparation and prosecution of patent applications in biotechnology, biochemistry, pharmaceutical chemistry, diagnostic reagents, therapeutic and diagnostic methods, and materials sciences. Nuell has spoken worldwide on intellectual property licensing issues, and is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Bar Association.
A graduate of the University of Michigan, Nuell earned a PhD from the University of Illinois and received his law degree from George Mason University School of Law.
Founded in 1976, BSKB specializes in the life sciences industries and high technology, with an emphasis on biotechnology, medical device, pharmaceutical, diagnostic, computer and electrical technologies.

Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse Names Three New Executives in Residence
Three life sciences industry veterans have been named executives in residence by the public-private Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse: 
  • Harold (Hank) Safferstein previously served as vice president of business development at Omrix Biopharmaceuticals, a developer of biosurgical and passive immunotherapy products. He has held positions with medical device maker TransPharma Medical, drug discoverer Acorda Therapeutics, Bristol-Myers Squibb, the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health.

Safferstein received a BA in biochemistry from Rutgers University, a PhD in human anatomy and neurobiology from the University of Louisville, a JD from the American University, Washington College of Law, and an MBA from Columbia University.

  • Samuel Straface was the founding president and CEO of Triton BioSystems, a nanobiotechnology company focused on head, neck, breast, and prostate cancers. Earlier he held positions at Boston Scientific and Johnson & Johnson; and was the co-founder of biological sensor company Sensera. He holds a PhD in neurophysiology from the University of Western Australia and has published articles in his previous field of research.
  • David Weaver oversaw global profit/loss responsibilities at a division of Johnson & Johnson; focused on turning around troubled business operations at a division of Warner-Lambert; and held strategic planning, product and business development, domestic and international sales, sales and marketing positions with several Fortune 500 and start-up businesses.
Weaver was the founder and president of Great Lakes Angels, a member of the board of directors of the Detroit MIT Enterprise Forum, and a founding member of Michigan Venture Capital Association. He has raised more than $30 million in angel, venture, and IPO capital for emerging companies.
In its announcement of the three executives in residence, PLSG also disclosed that it has grown its committed investment portfolio in regional life sciences firms to 40 companies with a total value of $7.5 million.

New York City Industrial Development Agency Names Executive Director
Maureen Babis has been promoted to executive director of the New York City Industrial Development Agency by its board of directors. The NYCIDA provides financing assistance to businesses, including small industrial and manufacturing companies and not-for-profit organizations.
Babis previously served as the NYCIDA’s deputy executive director, a position she held since September 2006, as well as vice president in the financial services group of the New York City Economic Development Corporation, a 501(c) 3 nonprofit corporation.
A graduate of the University of Notre Dame and New York University Law School, Babis was an investment banker and financial advisor in the aviation industry at Fieldstone, and a vice president and senior analyst at Moody’s Investor’s Service. She has also served as a tax associate in the New York office of Milbank Tweed Hadley and McCloy.

Generex Clinical Investigator Honored by Ecuador for Research
Jaime Guevara-Aguirre, a clinical investigator with Generex Biotechnology of Worcester, Mass., was recently awarded the Vicente Rocafuerte Award for Scientific Merit by the National Congress of Ecuador. The national congress’ medical and scientific commission cited his research and clinical work in Generex Oral-lyn and Laron syndrome.
Guevara-Aguirre was the first clinician to conduct human clinical trials for Generex Oral-lyn, an oral insulin treatment for diabetes, on Type 1 and Type 2 patients starting in 1995. Some of those trials helped establish the dosing regiment for Generex Oral-lyn, incorporated in the company's Phase 3 protocol for global trials; the product is available for sale in Ecuador, Canada, and Europe. Generex expects to begin Phase 3 trials of the product in the US by the end of this year, the company said in its July 24 announcement of Guevara-Aguirre’s award, which is his country’s highest medical and scientific honor.

Avax Names François Martelet to its Board of Directors
François Martelet has been named to the board of directors of Avax Technologies, a Philadelphia biotechnology company with operations in the United States and Europe. Most recently, he was vice president and global franchise head of oncology at Merck in Whitehouse Station, NJ. He has also served in various senior officer positions within units of Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Schering-Plough, Eli Lilly, and Hoffmann-La Roche.
Martelet received a doctorate in medicine with distinction, and a pharmaceutical marketing master’s degree in business from Dijon University in France. He also holds a degree in legal medicine from Rene Descartes University School of Medicine in Paris.

The Scan

Harvard Team Report One-Time Base Editing Treatment for Motor Neuron Disease in Mice

A base-editing approach restored SMN levels and improved motor function in a mouse model of spinal muscular atrophy, a new Science paper reports.

International Team Examines History of North American Horses

Genetic and other analyses presented in Science find that horses spread to the northern Rockies and Great Plains by the first half of the 17th century.

New Study Examines Genetic Dominance Within UK Biobank

Researchers analyze instances of genetic dominance within UK Biobank data, as they report in Science.

Cell Signaling Pathway Identified as Metastasis Suppressor

A new study in Nature homes in on the STING pathway as a suppressor of metastasis in a mouse model of lung cancer.