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People in the News: Olivier Danos, Frank Witney, John Radak

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Biogen Idec has hired Olivier Danos as senior VP of gene therapy. Danos will report to Douglas Williams, executive VP of R&D at Biogen Idec. At Biogen Idec, he will be in charge of the gene therapy research group, which develops new technologies for gene transfer and genome engineering.

Before joining the firm, Danos was senior VP of molecular medicine, synthetic biology, and gene regulation at Kadmon Pharmaceuticals; directed the Gene Therapy Consortium at the University of London; and led a gene therapy research effort at the Necker Hospital, Enfants Malades in Paris.


Exagen Diagnostics has appointed Frank Witney and John Radak as independent directors, effective September 18. Witney is president and CEO of Affymetrix and Radak is CFO of the biotech product development firm ArborGen Inc.

Simultaneously, Exagen also announced that Samuel Riccitelli and Michael Walsh will no longer serve on its board. That brings the company's board of directors to seven members, six of which are independent directors.

The Scan

Drug Response Variants May Be Distinct in Somatic, Germline Samples

Based on variants from across 21 drug response genes, researchers in The Pharmacogenomics Journal suspect that tumor-only DNA sequences may miss drug response clues found in the germline.

Breast Cancer Risk Gene Candidates Found by Multi-Ancestry Low-Frequency Variant Analysis

Researchers narrowed in on new and known risk gene candidates with variant profiles for almost 83,500 individuals with breast cancer and 59,199 unaffected controls in Genome Medicine.

Health-Related Quality of Life Gets Boost After Microbiome-Based Treatment for Recurrent C. Diff

A secondary analysis of Phase 3 clinical trial data in JAMA Network Open suggests an investigational oral microbiome-based drug may lead to enhanced quality of life measures.

Study Follows Consequences of Early Confirmatory Trials for Accelerated Approval Indications

Time to traditional approval or withdrawal was shorter when confirmatory trials started prior to accelerated approval, though overall regulatory outcomes remained similar, a JAMA study finds.