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Sally Brashears, Mark Kay, Jo Milner, Robert Lanford, David Russell, Robert Carithers, Emmet Keefe, Paul Pockros, Alexander Cappello, Christopher Miller, and Patricia Allen


Benitec announced last week a new management appointment, as well as the expansion of its scientific advisory board.

Sally Brashears has joined Benitec as vice president of intellectual property. According to the company, she previously served as a patent attorney with law firm Moser, Patterson, & Sheridan, and has also acted as director of IP for Clontech Laboratories and Perlagen Sciences. Brashears has also served as outside patent counsel to the National Stem Cell Centre, said Benitec.

Benitec also said that Mark Kay has been named deputy chairman of the company’s SAB. Kay was the co-founder of Avocel, which was recently acquired by Benitec (see RNAi News, 5/21/2004).

Also joining Benitec’s SAB are Jo Milner of York University and former Avocel SAB members Robert Lanford and David Russell.

Milner is currently Yorkshire Cancer Research Professor of Cell Biology and director of the YCR P53 Research Group at York University.

Lanford is an adjunct professor in the department of microbiology at the University of Texas, Health Science Center in San Antonio and a scientist in the department of virology and immunology at the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research.

Russell is associate professor of medicine at the University of Washington, Seattle.

Benitec also announced the appointment of several external medical doctors to its clinical advisory committee for its hepatitis C program. These appointments are: Robert Carithers of the University of Washington Medical Center; Emmet Keefe of Stanford University; and Paul Pockros of the Scripps Clinic.

CytRx said this week that Alexander Cappello has retired as a member of the company’s board of directors for “personal and family considerations.”

Cappello has served on CytRx’s board since 2001, said the company.

“Alex introduced me to CytRx and played the key role in my becoming associated with the company,” CytRx CEO Steven Kriegsman said in a statement. “I want to thank Alex, who is an outstanding and highly respected investment banker, for the support and guidance he has provided CytRx as a valued member of the board.”

Christopher Miller, head of functional genomics at Wyeth Research, is scheduled to speak at this year’s Sino-American Pharmaceutical Professionals Association — New England’s annual conference.

Miller’s presentation is entitled Development and Applications of RNA Interference for Target ID and Validation. Details on the conference, which is to take place on June 26 at the Massachusettes Institute of Technology, can be found at

Alnylam Pharmaceuticals said this week that it has named Patricia Allen as its vice president of finance.

The company said that Allen would be responsible for managing “all aspects of the company’s finance activities.” Alnylam has been without a CFO since John Conley left the company in January.

Allen formerly served as director of finance and assistant secretary at Alkermes, Alnylam said. Before this, she was an audit manager at Deloitte & Touche. She holds a BS in business administration from Bryant College.

The Scan

For Better Odds

Bloomberg reports that a child has been born following polygenic risk score screening as an embryo.

Booster Decision Expected

The New York Times reports the US Food and Drug Administration is expected to authorize a booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine this week for individuals over 65 or at high risk.

Snipping HIV Out

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports Temple University researchers are to test a gene-editing approach for treating HIV.

PLOS Papers on Cancer Risk Scores, Typhoid Fever in Colombia, Streptococcus Protection

In PLOS this week: application of cancer polygenic risk scores across ancestries, genetic diversity of typhoid fever-causing Salmonella, and more.