Sector News

Seres lures Kevin Horgan from AstraZeneca to fill CMO post

October 23, 2018
Life sciences

Seres Therapeutics has lured Kevin Horgan from AstraZeneca to work as its CMO. The appointment puts Horgan in charge of a pipeline of drugs designed to treat disease through the alteration of the microbiome.

Horgan is a physician-scientist with a background in immunology. After taking up his first industry post at Merck 20 years ago, Horgan went on serve as VP of clinical immunology at Johnson & Johnson’s Centocor at a time when the company was working on Remicade, Stelara and Simponi. Horgan later spent stints as CMO of Soligenix and Coronado Biosciences before returning to Big Pharma by taking up a post at AstraZeneca in 2015.

At AstraZeneca, Horgan has spent the past few years leading the development of immuno-oncology combination programs. Now though, Horgan has accepted Seres’ offer to replace Michele Trucksis and is moving on again.

Horgan inherits one of the broadest, most advanced microbiome pipelines in the industry. The ups and downs of SER-109, a treatment for recurrent Clostridium difficile infection that failed in phase 2, have been the focal point at Seres over the past few years. That drug is now in a potentially pivotal phase 3.

While the SER-109 trial is already underway, there are other assets that Horgan will need to take into new studies. SER-287, which has already been through a phase 1b in ulcerative colitis, is set to move deeper into the clinic. And SER-401, a drug designed to boost the efficacy of checkpoint inhibitors, is working its way toward human testing.

The immuno-oncology program overlaps with the work Horgan has been doing at AstraZeneca for the past few years. And Seres thinks the work Horgan did earlier in his career makes him a good fit for its broader pipeline.

“Seres’ R&D efforts are increasingly focused on early and later stage immunological indications, and Kevin’s deep clinical background in these areas makes him very well suited to lead our clinical development studies,” Seres CEO Roger Pomerantz said in a statement.

Horgan is replacing Trucksis, who handed in her resignation last week and will leave Seres in the middle of next month. Trucksis, who joined Seres as CMO in 2015, will provide consulting services to the company after she leaves.

By Nick Paul Taylor

Source: Fierce Biotech

comments closed

Related News

June 24, 2022

Echosens and Novo Nordisk announce partnership to increase awareness and advance early diagnosis of NASH

Life sciences

Echosens, a high-technology company offering liver diagnostic solutions, and Novo Nordisk A/S, a leading global healthcare company, announced a partnership to advance early diagnosis of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and increase awareness of the disease among patients, healthcare providers and other stakeholders.

June 24, 2022

argenx receives positive CHMP opinion for Efgartigimod for the treatment of adult patients with Generalized Myasthenia Gravis in Europe

Life sciences

Positive opinion based on Phase 3 ADAPT trial showing efgartigimod provided clinically meaningful improvements in strength and quality of life measures. If approved, efgartigimod will be the first neonatal Fc receptor (FcRn) blocker for the treatment of adults in Europe living with rare neuromuscular disease generalized myasthenia gravis (gMG).

June 24, 2022

Galapagos finally takes M&A plunge, spending $251M for 2 biotechs in CAR-T push

Life sciences

Galapagos CEO Paul Stoffels, M.D., has finally taken the plunge on M&A. The newly minted chief executive has signed not one but two deals in an attempt to right the ship, bringing two small biotechs aboard for a combined 239 million euros ($251.4 million).