Takeda has appointed Christophe Weber, currently the president of GlaxoSmithKline’s vaccines division, to be its chief operating officer by April. Takeda’s current CEO Yasuchika Hasegawa has indicated that the company also plans to name Weber as its next chief executive in 2015. In addition, Weber is expected to become president and representative director upon approval at Takeda’s shareholders meeting that is slated for the end of June. Weber previously served as Glaxo­SmithKline’s Asia Pacific regional director based in Singapore.

AstraZeneca has announced that Joanne Jerman, a European health equity analyst at Citigroup, will join the UK drugmaker as a director in the global analytics and intelligence team. The company’s biologics arm, MedImmune, has added Dr. Yong-Jun Liu as its new head of research. Scott Carmer, who headed the specialty care business and Tim Gray, who ran finance in the specialty care business, have left the company.

Art Levinson (pictured) will head Google’s biotech outfit, Calico. Levinson was the former CEO of Roche’s Genentech and chairman of Apple. Calico also announced the addition of Hal Barron. Barron will lead R&D efforts.


Benchworks is pleased to announce promotions for two of its staff members. Erika Thompson has been promoted to account executive, and Michelle Jamison will now hold the position of senior project manager. In her new role, Erika will guide strategic planning and marketing for her clients, which include Supernus Pharmaceuticals, CBRE and brands such as ZICO and Core Power. Michelle will serve as senior project manager for a variety of pharmaceutical accounts, including Pfizer. She will be responsible for the planning and daily execution of marketing tactics. The agency also recently named Amanda Skilling to the position of general manager. Skilling joined the Benchworks accounting department in 2008, and was promoted to the position of vice president of finance and administration in 2011. Previously she held positions at a corporate accounting and tax preparation firm. A graduate of Frostburg State University, Skilling earned a BS in mathematics with concentrations in accounting and actuarial science, and she holds an MBA in accounting. As general manager, she will be responsible for the daily operations of the agency, which includes personnel and operations management. In addition, she will continue to head up the Accounting department.

inVentiv Health has named Anita Tripathi president of inVentiv Health India to lead the company’s expanding operations in that country. Tripathi, a senior executive in India’s life sciences industry, will oversee all of the business units across inVentiv’s clinical and commercial segments in India.

Chicago-based Topin & Associates has added Wendy Sommer (pictured) to its team as a senior project manager. Sommer will be working on several client accounts, including Mission Pharmacal, Myriad Genetics, Terumo Cardiovascular Systems, and Vetter Pharma International GmpH. She will be managing the execution of both print and digital initiatives on her accounts. Before joining Topin & Associates, Sommer was with ExtendMed, a digital health care agency based in Evanston, Ill., as a program manager. She was responsible for overseeing the requirements and content gathering, design, and development planning for multiple digital programs. She has worked with Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Takeda, and Sanofi Pasteur. Prior to that, Sommer was with Signature Specialists as a client services manager.

Fingerpaint announces the addition of Ken Hocker to its creative team and Tessa Schraven to its account service team.  Ken Hocker brings more than a dozen years of design experience to Fingerpaint’s creative team. As art director at McMurry/TMG, he oversaw and produced print and online publications for national and international accounts including PNC and Nationwide Insurance. Prior to joining McMurry, he served as a multimedia artist and designer with Media Logic, where he ­specialized in commercials, brand videos and 3D imagery for clients in the financial, retail and healthcare industries. He also spent six years as designer and then senior designer with Taylor Design. He earned a BFA in graphic design from the Rochester Institute of Technology.  Tessa Schraven joins Fingerpaint’s account service team from the Albany Medical Center Foundation, where she helped support gift planning and corporate relations. Prior to the Albany Medical Center Foundation, Schraven was at interactive design studio 2ndNature, where she assisted with the agency’s business development and social media efforts. She holds a BA in journalism and mass communication/English from St. Michael’s College in Colchester, Vermont.

Evoke Health , has announced the hiring of Jonathan Isaacs as their chief creative officer. Isaacs will focus on overseeing and intensifying the agency’s creative excellence, as well as continuing to work on its DTC portfolio. He brings over 18 years of health and wellness experience to the company. Prior to his new role at Evoke Health, Isaacs spent nine years overseeing consumer healthcare at Ogilvy & Mather. During his tenure at Ogilvy, he was devoted to creating and nurturing some of the most recognizable brands in the industry, across every platform, for a host of notable clients that included Allergan, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Johnson &Johnson, Merck, Novartis, ­Pfizer and Unilever. Preceding his experience at Ogilvy, Isaacs was an executive creative director at Merkley + Partners. While at Merkley, his Lipitor “Numbers” campaign in particular was singled out for creative excellence. It was the first integrated DTC campaign ever to win Gold at The One Show Rx and Adweek called the TV campaign, “a giant step forward for the category.”

GA Communication Group announced the addition of two senior account directors. In August, Tess Okura (pictured) joined GA as senior account director. Prior to accepting her position with GA, Okura was at Palio+Ignite where she was responsible for leading internal cross-functional teams as well as managing senior-level client relationships and long-term strategic planning for a variety of pharma brands. Early September saw the addition of Tami Chapek as senior account director. Tami brings experience in healthcare marketing on the corporate and agency side of the industry. Prior to joining the GA team, she served as global marketing manager at Edwards Lifesciences where she led commercialization activity for the Cardiac Surgery Systems division.

IOMEDIA made three hires: Ray Battaglia, VP, director of operations; Zubin Khan, SVP, director of strategic planning; and John Leone, VP, strategy and analytics. Battaglia joins IOMEDIA with over 15 years of success in developing agency processes. His career spans product launches such as Bextra, Lyrica, and Lantus. As Ray’s career progressed into the next phase, he was instrumental in building teams to support client needs in an ever-growing digital environment. Now as VP, director of operations at IOMEDIA, Battaglia has direct oversight of project management, finance, and HR with responsibility for the development and execution of all operational and organizational policies. Zubin brings experience from both the manufacturer side (Hoffmann La-Roche and Pharmacia) and agency side (Grey Healthcare Group, Saatchi & Saatchi Healthcare, Havas). He will oversee strategic direction for healthcare clients and help define strategic brand vision.  Zubin has a range of therapeutic category experience that includes diabetes, analgesics, urology, respiratory, anti-infectives, anti-retrovirals, oncology, and gastrointestinal. Leone comes to IOMEDIA with strategic and account experience in healthcare and consumer products. Some of his former clients include BlackBerry, Mars Candy, Pfizer, Novartis, Eli Lilly, Genentech, Amgen, Medtronic, Novo Nordisk, Salix, UCB, Celgene, and J&J.  John has helped launch, develop and manage brands and portfolios in the US and globally, and led interagency teams with a particular focus on “digital” as a marketing tactic.

Pure Communications has announced the appointment of Mike Huckman as chief strategist. Huckman brings 27 years of TV journalism experience to Pure and joins the firm from MSLGROUP, where he was senior vice president, director of media strategy and developed MSLGROUP’s life sciences client roster. At Pure, Huckman will lead presentation, media and roadshow skills development sessions for clients, as well as provide counsel on story development, investor relations and media strategy, issues management and crisis communications. He worked at CNBC as a reporter on the drug, biotechnology and medical device industry. Prior to CNBC, he worked for nine years at WXYZ-TV in Detroit as one of the station’s lead reporters. Before that, he served as a general assignment reporter at KGUN-TV in Tucson, Ariz., KBCI-TV in Boise, Idaho, and as an anchor/producer for the Montana Television Network.