Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Merck's Former Infectious Disease Expert -- Carole Sable, MD -- Named Chief Science Officer Of SCYNEXIS, Inc.

As is often the case -- leading, researching, and doing at Merck, in a semi-supporting role, leads to being the boss, elsewhere. From Merck's perspective though, this is a precious form of talent drain -- a very high end version of the talent drain. These sort of human assets don't come along "every dang dynasty".

And yes, yet another Merckie has shown her stripes have earned her the Chief's seat -- and in this case, for a second time -- at yet another SECOND company. Before today's announcement, Dr. Sable was at one point the Chief Medical Officer of Novexel SA (since acquired by AstraZeneca). SCYNEXIS is lucky to have snagged a medical professional and researcher of this calibre. Well-done.

Quoting the SCYNEXIS release of this morning, then (BTW, that link is to the original French version -- here is the translation):

. . . .[Dr. Sable] brings to SCYNEXIS a significant tenure in the clinical development of infectious disease products, both as a clinician and in various corporate roles,” said Dr. Yves Ribeill, SCYNEXIS president and chief executive officer.

"We look forward to her contributions as we continue to advance our lead candidate, SCY-078, a novel oral and intravenous antifungal compound, as well as our anti-viral platform."

"SCY-078 represents a promising potential alternative for patients with invasive fungal infections who still experience significant morbidity and mortality despite antifungal treatment with currently available antifungal agents," commented Dr. Sable. "I am thrilled to be a part of SCYNEXIS’ experienced and dedicated team as we look to bring novel anti-infectives to patients in need."

Prior to her recent involvement with Merck & Co., Dr. Sable served as Chief Medical Officer of Novexel SA and President of Novexel Inc., the US subsidiary, where she was responsible for clinical development and successfully filed two INDs and successfully completed Phase 2b studies for two antibacterial programs which led to the acquisition of Novexel SA by AstraZeneca.

Previously, Dr. Sable was Executive Director of Infectious Disease and Vaccines Clinical Research at Merck & Co., Inc. where she was responsible for anti-bacterial, antifungal and vaccine development programs, including the clinical development of the antifungal agent Cancidas®. While with Merck, Dr. Sable also supervised the development and regulatory submissions for Invanz® and the in-licensing of the anti-infective amino-methylcycline PTK-0796 from Paratek Pharmaceuticals, as well as programs for sepsis, malaria, and anthrax.

Dr. Sable began her career as an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Infectious Diseases at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. She received an MD from Jefferson Medical College in 1983 and completed an internal medicine residency and infectious disease fellowship at the University of Virginia. . . .

So -- it is likely that Dr. Permutter's return/arrival meant she was not going to be asked to be the chief at Merck, and that works out to be the rest of the anti-fungal and vaccine arena competitors' gain. And Dr. Sable's, too -- it would seem.

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