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People Transfer: Mar 18, 2009


Fate Therapeutics, a stem-cell therapeutics company founded in 2007 on technology licensed from several prominent US academic institutions, last week said that it has named Ken Batchelor as chief scientific officer.

Batchelor most recently served as senior vice president in metabolic and viral disease at GlaxoSmithKline. He began working for Glaxo in 1981 as a group leader and was subsequently promoted into a number of positions including chairman of the Cancer Research Management Committee; international director for metabolic and rheumatic diseases; vice president of US drug discovery; senior vice president of the Metabolic Center of Excellence for Drug Discovery; and chair of the Academic Alternative Discovery Initiative.

Batchelor received a PhD in immunology from Birmingham University, and a BS in chemistry from Durham University.

NKT Therapeutics has named SV Life Sciences' Michael Ross and MedImmune Ventures' Joseph Amprey to its board of directors after their companies co-led an $8 million financing round in NKT, which is developing therapeutics based on IP from three Boston-area research hospitals (see related story, this issue).

Ross has been a managing partner at SVLS' San Francisco office since 2002. Prior to this, he was managing partner in Didyma, a biotechnology management consulting firm.

He also previously served in several positions at Genentech, including vice president of development and vice president of medicinal and biomolecular chemistry. Ross is founding CEO of Arris Pharmaceutical (now part of Celera), MetaXen (now part of Exelixis), ExSAR, and CyThera (now part of Novocell).

Ross has a PhD in chemistry from the California Institute of Technology, and completed a postdoc in molecular biology at Harvard University.

Amprey joined MedImmune in 2006 as a principal within MedImmune Ventures, and has been a managing director since 2007. He joined MedImmune Ventures from Carrot Capital.

Previously, Amprey completed an internship in internal medicine at New York–Presbyterian Hospital and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. During medical school, he was an independent consultant to Arch Venture Partners.

He holds a BS in biochemistry from the University of Pennsylvania, and a PhD in immunology and MD from Cornell University’s Weill Medical College.

The Scan

Not as High as Hoped

The Associated Press says initial results from a trial of CureVac's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine suggests low effectiveness in preventing COVID-19.

Finding Freshwater DNA

A new research project plans to use eDNA sampling to analyze freshwater rivers across the world, the Guardian reports.

Rise in Payments

Kaiser Health News investigates the rise of payments made by medical device companies to surgeons that could be in violation of anti-kickback laws.

Nature Papers Present Ginkgo Biloba Genome Assembly, Collection of Polygenic Indexes, More

In Nature this week: a nearly complete Ginkgo biloba genome assembly, polygenic indexes for dozens of phenotypes, and more.