Moderna names new chief financial officer months after hiring (then quickly firing) Jorge Gomez from the role
Who: PerkinElmer exec James Mock will join Moderna Sept. 6 as the biotech’s head of finance, where he’ll help steer the company’s strategy as it looks to ramp up partnerships, licensing and M&A deals.
Background: Mock has served as senior vice president and chief financial officer at PerkinElmer — a life science, diagnostics and analytics company — since 2018 and notably oversaw the company’s acquisition of the antibody manufacturer BioLegend in 2021. Between 2006 and 2015, he worked at General Electric, where he handled finances and rose through the ranks.
His appointment at Moderna comes just three months after the Cambridge, Mass.-based drugmaker fired Jorge Gomez from the role after only one day on the job when it became public he was under investigation by his former employer, Dentsply Sirona, for financial reporting concerns.
Why it matters: Flush with cash from COVID-19 vaccine contracts, Moderna is advancing a number of mRNA drugs through development and is looking for its next success story. Currently, the company has 46 mRNA drugs in the works in six major areas, including infectious diseases, immuno-oncology, personalized cancer vaccines, cardiovascular disease, rare diseases and autoimmune diseases.
On a recent earnings call, CEO Stéphane Bancel noted the company is also looking to expand its platform “through partnerships, licensing and M&A deals.” And, in a statement, he suggested Mock’s financial savvy could be key to the success of those endeavors.
“Jamey's experience in scaling global businesses will ensure we continue to be well positioned for the future,” Bancel said.
Learn more: Read about one of Moderna’s later-stage candidates here. The company is nine months into a phase 3 trial of a vaccine against Cytomegalovirus, a little-known but highly contagious latent virus that can cause severe defects in babies who contact it in utero.
Lilly promotes Eric Dozier to lead people strategy and diversity efforts as industrywide talent market challenges continue
Who: Stephen Fry, Eli Lilly’s longtime senior vice president of human resources and diversity, announced he will be retiring at the end of this year after over three decades at the company. He will be succeeded by Eric Dozier, the current chief commercial officer for [email protected], an oncology subsidiary Lilly acquired in 2019.
Background: Like Fry, Dozier has had a storied career at Lilly, spanning 25 years and numerous therapeutic areas, including as the Alzheimer’s and endocrine business unit leader, chief marketing officer for neuroscience and vice president of North American oncology. Dozier’s broad experiences, understanding of the company culture and “track record of developing people and teams that deliver strong business results" make him the perfect fit to lead the company’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, Lilly CEO David Ricks said in a statement.
Why it matters: Improving workforce diversity has been a major goal of companies across industries over the last few years and Eli Lilly is no exception. The drugmaker is working to recruit, retain and promote a more diverse pool of candidates and has shown steady progress. Between 2017 and 2021 minority representation in the pharma giant’s workforce grew from 22% to 28%. Dozier will be charged with expanding those efforts and strengthening minority representation, particularly in high level roles.
Learn more: The pharma talent market is hot right now, presenting challenges for companies looking to boost talent acquisition efforts. PharmaVoice lead editor Meagan Parrish spoke with one of the top life sciences recruiting firms about how to overcome those challenges and attract the next wave of rising stars.
Schrödinger brings on former biotech analyst as new head of finance
Who: Biotech analyst Geoffrey Porges joined Schrödinger earlier this month as chief financial officer where he will oversee the drug discovery company’s corporate affairs, investor relations and wide array of partnerships.
Background: Having worked in the biotech industry for over 30 years, and with prior experience as a trained pediatric physician, Porges possesses a unique combination of medical and business acumen. Prior to joining Schrödinger, he worked for two decades as a biotech and pharma analyst, covering established and emerging biopharma companies, culminating in his role as vice chairman of the New York-based investment bank SVB Securities. Earlier on in his career, Porges also spent some time on the industry side, leading marketing and commercialization efforts for Merck’s vaccines program.
Why it matters: Those diverse experiences will be put to use in Porges’ new role, as he’s charged with helping Schrödinger expand its existing partnerships, grow new ones and develop its own pipeline. The company is known for its software designed to accelerate the discovery of potential new drugs and has collaborated with a number of biotechs, including a recent partnership with Agios Pharmaceuticals that led to the creation of two cancer drugs. Now, Schrödinger is seeking to develop its own medications with five candidates in the pipeline so far, including a phase 1 drug to treat resistant non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
In a statement shortly after his appointment, Porges expressed optimism about the portfolio and potential for future partnerships.
“The company’s balance sheet and revenue outlook are very strong and there are many opportunities to expand the company’s current portfolio of collaborative and internal programs, and software partnerships,” he said.