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Howard Robin, Barry Greene, Philip Padou

Nektar Therapeutics said this week that it has named Howard Robin as its new president and CEO, effective Jan. 15.
Robin currently serves as president and CEO of Sirna Therapeutics, which was acquired by Merck for $1.1 billion in cash (see RNAi News, 1/4/2007).
Prior to heading up Sirna, Robin was corporate vice president and general manager of Berlex Laboratories’ US therapeutics division.

Acorda Therapeutics said this week that it has appointed Barry Greene to its board of directors.
Greene is currently the COO of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals.

Bio-Rad said last week that Philip Padou, one of the company’s directors, has died at the age of 72.
Padou had sat on Bio-Rad’s board since 1980. The company said it plans to seek a replacement.

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.