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Ex-Moderna commercial leader lands at Celsion as CEO; Schwan song: Changing of the guard at Roche to take effect next year

Corinne Le Goff
Less than 12 months into her job leading the commercial rollout of one of the world’s biggest-selling biotech products, Moderna’s Covid-19…



Corinne Le Goff

Less than 12 months into her job leading the commercial rollout of one of the world’s biggest-selling biotech products, Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine, Corinne Le Goff departed the household name in December 2021, but her future in the industry is just now coming into clear view.

The more than 30-year industry veteran — whose posts have run the gamut across Pfizer, Sanofi, Merck, Roche and Amgenis now CEO and president of Celsion, which itself is potentially looking to get into the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine landscape, albeit way later than her previous employer.

Le Goff kicked off her stint at the New Jersey biotech on July 18, replacing Michael Tardugno, who held the top post for the past 15 years. He remains in his role as executive chair.

“She adds tremendous depth of knowledge and joins us at a key inflection point in our evolution, as we work to rapidly advance our GEN-1 program for the treatment of advanced-stage ovarian cancer and build a proprietary vaccine platform based on our PLACCINE technology,” the outgoing CEO said in a statement.

The 37-year-old company has for decades been working on cancer drugs and has been working through a Phase III trial of its lead asset, dubbed ThermoDox, since the second half of 2014.

Celsion also has clinical-stage work in ovarian cancer, and is in the preclinical stages with glioblastoma and bladder cancer assets. Another potential avenue going forward is developing a vaccine candidate for the pandemic.

The new chief executive steps into a biotech with relatively small cash reserves of $47.3 million, which is about 3x its market cap. Celsion said that amount, as of March 31, is good enough to fund operations into the second quarter of 2025.

Kyle LaHucik

Severin Schwan

Severin Schwan is the latest Big Pharma CEO to plan his exit, handing the keys to Roche Diagnostics chief Thomas Schinecker on March 15, 2023. Roche will nominate Schwan, who has guided the Swiss multinational since 2008, as chairman to replace Christoph Franz. A board member for 11 years, Franz has been chairman since 2014 and won’t seek re-election.

Under Schwan’s watch, a number of drugs achieved blockbuster status at Roche, including Ocrevus, Kadcyla, Actemra and Tecentriq. Analysts project that its spinal muscular atrophy drug Evrysdiapproved in August 2020 — is headed down the same blockbuster path, giving Zolgensma and Spinraza a run for their money.

Schwan follows the recent transitions of Merck’s Ken Frazier and J&J’s Alex Gorsky in the land of pharma giants, and Biogen is on the hunt for Michel Vounatsos’ successor. Both Frazier and Gorsky have served as executive chairman of their respective companies after their CEO days ended.

Kabir Nath

Compass Pathways is pointing in the direction of a new CEO, as Kabir Nath takes over for George Goldsmith at the London psychedelics biotech on Aug. 1. From there, Goldsmith will be executive chairman until Dec. 31, when he’ll settle into his role as chairman. Nath is currently senior managing director of Otsuka’s global pharmaceutical business, and earlier he was president and CEO of the Otsuka North America pharmaceutical business. Nath also held several posts at Bristol Myers Squibb, including president of BMS China and SVP, virology, transplant & optimized brands.

Feng Ren vaulted to co-CEO with Alex Zhavoronkov at Insilico Medicine last month just after a $60 million cash infusion, and the AI outfit’s team has grown with Sujata Rao overseeing global clinical development. At Eli Lilly, Rao was associate VP of global clinical development for such drugs as sintilimab, which has famously been struck down by the FDA for its reliance on China-only data. Rao has further Big Pharma ties as immuno-oncology medical lead and oncology scientific advisor at Bristol Myers for nivolumab (Opdivo).

Baisong Mei

→ Not only has Editas Medicine seen volatility at the top with multiple CEOs in short order, the CMO position had been vacant since Lisa Michaels’ sudden and unexplained ouster in February. Baisong Mei was named as her successor early this week, leaving Sanofi behind after his tenure as senior global project head, rare diseases and rare blood disorders. Following 10 years at Bayer, he then moved on to Biogen in 2010, first as director, discovery research and then as therapeutic area head for hematology clinical development.

Editas is on its fourth chief executive in three years after Katrine Bosley’s departure in early 2019. In April, ex-Sarepta CMO Gilmore O’Neill replaced Jim Mullen, who took control when Cynthia Collins left in February 2021.

Kunwar Shailubhai

Kunwar Shailubhai has turned in his resignation as CEO, CSO and member of the board at Tiziana Life Sciences, and on Aug. 1, executive chairman Gabriele Cerrone will take charge as interim CEO. Shailubhai’s decision “is not related to any disagreement with the Company on any matter relating to the Company’s operations, policies or practices,” the statement reads. Tiziana has two candidates in early-stage trials: foralumab, an anti-CD3 monoclonal antibody; and milciclib, a pan-CDK inhibitor.

Elizabeth Forminard

→ J&J general counsel Michael Ullmann is calling it a career after 33 years at the pharma giant, retiring “at the end of this year” and assisting with the transition as Elizabeth Forminard takes the wheel on Oct. 17. Ullmann started out as an M&A attorney for J&J in 1989 and has spent the last 11 years as general counsel, while Forminard joined from Pfizer in 2006 and was elevated to worldwide VP, general counsel for the pharmaceutical sector three years ago.

Mark Pruzanski

→ Life after Intercept is coming into clearer focus for Mark Pruzanski, taking another CEO gig at Versanis Bio, Joe Jimenez and Mark Fishman’s obesity play from the Aditum Bio family of companies. “There were a number of other opportunities that I was looking at, but Versanis just became utterly compelling to me,” Pruzanski told Endpoints News this week. “And the reason for that starts with the fact that we’re looking at addressing what I consider to be the chronic disease epidemic of our age.”

And at this point, where isn’t John Maraganore grabbing a board seat or an advisory post? The Maraganore Meter is up and running again, and ex-Intercept CFO Barbara Duncan joins him on Versanis’ board.

Stephen Dilly

Stephen Dilly is making a quick comeback to the biotech scene as the new CEO of enzyme engineer Codexis. Dilly makes the jump not long after selling Sierra Oncology to GSK in February. Dilly is taking over the reins from John Nicols, who is retiring after a decade of service to focus on family and to devote his time to Solve ME/CFS — the nonprofit he chairs that is dedicated to myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome. Dilly has worn the CEO hat not only at Sierra, but at Aimmune Therapeutics as well, which was sold to Nestlé Health Science after securing the first FDA nod for a peanut allergy treatment.

Volker Knappertz

Max Colao is out as chief commercial officer of Aurinia “to tend to personal matters” as CEO Peter Greenleaf lines up Scott Habig as his replacement. The revolving door is getting a workout at the Lupkynis maker, which has also welcomed Volker Knappertz as EVP of R&D and DeDe Sheel as VP of investor relations.

Habig just ended a 10-year run at UCB as head of global SLE (systemic lupus erythematosus) and he’s also held sales and marketing posts at Centocor. Knappertz spent nearly five years as CMO and EVP of R&D at GW Pharmaceuticals, now in the hands of Jazz Pharmaceuticals after a $7.2 billion buyout in 2021. Sheel owned the same title at Sierra Oncology and Aimmune, and she also had investor relations roles at Exelixis and Myovant.

Cathryn Clary

→ Fab Five: Notching a $115 million Series B in January for its gene therapy 3.0 ambitions, SalioGen is brimming with new hires under CEO Ray Tabibiazar. First up is Cathryn Clary (SVP of clinical Development and CMO), an ex-Pfizer and Ipsen exec who was CSO and head of US medical affairs and clinical development in the general medicines division at Novartis.

Also, Pat Sacco (SVP of manufacturing, quality, and operations) was SVP of technical operations at Translate Bio from 2019-20 after a 16-year run at Shire; Joe Senn (SVP of nonclinical development) comes to SalioGen from Moderna, where he finished up eight years at the Covid-19 vaccine titan as VP, nonclinical sciences; Feng Yao (VP of research — molecular switch and gene regulation) invented the T-REx technology used by Thermo Fisher and also taught at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School; and Oleg Iartchouk (VP of genomics and biomarkers) was global head of genomics during his eight years at NIBR.

Michele Anderson

→ The HBV drug vebicorvir will ride the pine at Assembly Biosciences, and as a result of the discontinued studies, 30% of John McHutchison’s workforce will be shown the door, prompting a game of musical chairs in the C-suite. CMO Luisa Stamm and CFO Michael Samar are out in the coming weeks, but a couple of colleagues have been promoted: Michele Anderson, Assembly Bio’s SVP of development operations, will move up to chief development officer, and COO Jason Okazaki will add the role of president to his business card on Aug. 1. In dueling statements, McHutchison didn’t see a way forward with vebicorvir combos, while its HBV partner Arbutus Biopharma begged to differ.

Peter McNamara

Tim Springer and Andrew Kruse’s GPCR play Tectonic Therapeutic, one of the Endpoints 11 winners last year and under the leadership of ex-Merck R&D vet Alise Reicin, has promoted Peter McNamara to CSO after bringing him on board from the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation as head of research in May 2021. Tectonic has also introduced Barry Rubenstein as SVP, people and culture and Washington Alves as VP, biologics manufacturing. Rubenstein makes a change here after three years as VP, human resources at Kala Pharmaceuticals, and he also took on a series of HR positions at AMAG Pharmaceuticals from 2010-19. A Pfizer and Merrimack vet, Alves had previously been senior director, CMC operations for Gemini Therapeutics.

Chris Morabito

→ You may have read last week that Chris Morabito left Fulcrum Therapeutics, and it hasn’t taken him long to turn up at another biotech. Astria Therapeutics, the company once named Catabasis Pharmaceuticals until September 2021, has put down the welcome mat for Morabito as CMO after a year in the same position at Fulcrum. The ex-Cardurion CMO has also held a number of R&D posts at Takeda, Sanofi and Merck. Astria’s lead program STAR-0215 is in a Phase Ia trial for hereditary angioedema.

Marella Thorell

→ While Evelo Biosciences’ $79.2 million direct offering in May has done little for its fading stock price, Marella Thorell will seek to put the Flagship inflammatory disease biotech on solid footing as CFO on Sept. 1. After her dual role as CFO and COO of Realm Therapeutics, Thorell became finance chief of Palladio Biosciences, now a Centessa subsidiary. She was then named head of finance at Centessa and had served as chief accounting officer since April 2021.

Samuel Zhang

→ Chinese CAR-T player Gracell has selected Samuel Zhang as CBO. His Big Pharma experience runs the gamut, to wit: global launch lead for blockbuster drug Alimta at Eli Lilly; medical director/global medical head, immuno-oncology with Pfizer; head of prostate tumor strategy for Bristol Myers; and head of immuno-oncology product and portfolio strategy at Novartis. Most recently, Zhang was the business chief at NeoImmuneTech.

Peter Høngaard Andersen

→ European venture capital firm Forbion, which made an initial close of $504 million for its second growth fund last month, has tapped Peter Høngaard Andersen as operating partner and Matt Cooper as venture partner. Andersen hails from Lundbeck and Novo Nordisk and comes aboard with quite a few other stints under his belt, including co-founding Acadia Pharmaceuticals, Zealand Pharmaceuticals, Glycom and Epitherapeutics.

Meanwhile, Cooper has founded or co-founded companies such as Sitala and Inflazome and was the founder of the Center for superbug solutions, community for open access antibiotic discovery & center for drug discovery and design at the University of Queensland.

Kerry Wentworth

→ Trying to scrape itself off the canvas after getting knocked down by a partial clinical hold with its CDK inhibitor NUV-422, David Hung’s Nuvation Bio has installed David Liu as CMO and Kerry Wentworth as chief regulatory officer. Liu worked on Opdivo and Yervoy for Bristol Myers in China as group director, oncology global clinical research and was recently the medical chief for Shanghai-based 3D Medicines. Wentworth was chief regulatory officer for Flexion before Pacira Biosciences bought it for a song last year, and she also spent a decade with Agenus, where she was VP, clinical, regulatory, and quality.

Erin O’Neil

→ More execs are pouring into Opus Genetics, the new gene therapy biotech for eye diseases based in the Research Triangle founded by Jean Bennett. Vikram Arora (VP of non-clinical development) spent 11 years at Grifols and was director of pharmacology & toxicology at Talecris Biotherapeutics; Erin O’Neil (VP of clinical development) is a Google marketing specialist-turned-ophthalmologist at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; and Sarah Tuller (VP of regulatory and medical writing) is an Astellas regulatory alum who comes to Opus after a year as VP of regulatory affairs at Disc Medicine.

Karla MacDonald

→ With its Endosomal Escape Vehicles (EEVs) going after Duchenne muscular dystrophy and myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) first, Boston’s Entrada Therapeutics has promoted Karla MacDonald to chief corporate affairs officer. MacDonald, formerly VP of corporate communications and investor relations, was Ipsen’s VP, communications and patient advocacy following an 11-year run at Merck, where she rose to head of international communications.

Robert Foerster

→ Back in May 2020, Robert Foerster and Bill Erhardt joined New York neuro biotech Oligomerix as CFO and CMO, respectively. Foerster has now tacked on the role of COO, while Erhardt has been named president, head of development & operations to accommodate Oligomerix’s shift to two business units. CEO James Moe will be head of research & strategy and handle Discovery Group duties, while Erhardt leads the Development Group. Foerster and Erhardt both worked for Pfizer at the same time and have more than 35 years of combined experience at the pharma giant.

Zelanna Goldberg

→ San Diego-based Replicate Bioscience has welcomed Zelanna Goldberg as CMO and Mohit Trikha as a member of its board of directors. Goldberg joins the company after a stint as CMO at Alpine Immune Sciences. Prior to that, Goldberg was SVP of clinical development at Iovance and a 9-year gig at Pfizer. Meanwhile, Trikha is a venture partner at Apple Tree Partners and is the former VP and head of oncology early development at AbbVie.

Kate Surdez

Kate Surdez has signed on to be chief human resources officer of regenerative medicine biotech MiMedx. She was global HR director during her eight-year run at AstraZeneca, then led HR at the pharma giant’s spinoff Viela Bio until it was sold to Horizon for $3 billion last year. Since then, Surdez had been head of HR for Vaxxinity.

RenovoRx has named James Ahlers as CFO, succeeding Christopher Lehman, who is heading for greener pastures. Ahlers most recently served as CFO of Intarcia Therapeutics and served in finance roles at Titan Pharmaceuticals and Ansan Pharmaceuticals.

In addition, the company has recruited Ronald Kocak as VP and controller. Kocak hops aboard from Sensei Biotherapeutics, where he was controller and senior director of finance.

→ Backed in part by Oxford Science Enterprises, which started its week off with a bang by raising $300 million (£250 million), OMass Therapeutics has plugged in Jon Roffery as VP, head of medicinal chemistry. Roffery had led drug discovery at Nanna Therapeutics since February 2021, and he’s also been director of chemistry at Azeria Therapeutics. Oxford Science Enterprises contributed to OMass’ $100 million Series B in April alongside such investors as Syncona and GV.

Debra Hussain

→ Now that Eagle Pharmaceuticals plunked down $103 million for Acacia Pharma and its approved meds Barhemsys and Byfavo in late March, Debra Hussain will help with the relaunch of both products as SVP, head of commercial. Hussain was Acacia’s chief commercial officer until the deal was made, and she held a string of roles during a 22-year tenure at Eli Lilly that concluded in 2021 as senior director of marketing.

→ Based in the small Canadian border town of Baudette, MN — touted as the walleye capital of the world — ANI Pharmaceuticals has reeled in Meredith Cook as SVP, general counsel and corporate secretary. Cook spent the last two years as VP and associate general counsel for Amneal Pharmaceuticals after joining the company in 2019 as VP, transactions.

Serene Forte

→ Swiss-based Relief Therapeutics is bringing on Serene Forte as SVP, head of genetic medicine. Forte hails from RCP Bio, where she served as CSO. Prior to that, she was VP, medical affairs — gene therapy at Krystal Biotech. Earlier in her career, Forte had gigs at PTC Therapeutics, Sarepta and Medimmune.

Relmada Therapeutics is reeling in John Hixon as head of commercial. Hixon had a 31-year stint at Eli Lilly, most recently serving as senior director for global new product planning — biomedicines.

Jeff Hatfield

Vividion CEO Jeff Hatfield has been named chairman of the board of directors at repeatome-focused ROME Therapeutics, which features ARCH’s Kristina Burow, Nimbus CEO Jeb Keiper and ROME CEO Rosana Kapeller. Hatfield, a Bristol Myers vet and board member at George ScangosVir Biotechnology, replaced Diego Miralles as Vividion chief in November 2020.

→ Cambridge, MA-based GV20 Therapeutics is picking up a trio of advisors with the appointments of Alessandra Cesano (CMO of ESSA Pharmaceuticals), Julie Cherrington (former CEO and president of ARCH Oncology) and Mike Varney (former head of Genentech Research and Early Development and life sciences senior advisor at Frazier Healthcare Partners).

Dannielle Appelhans

→ Picking up the pieces after disastrous animal studies for its hemophilia A gene therapy program, Generation Bio has elected Novartis vet Dannielle Appelhans to the board of directors. Appelhans surfaced on Peer Review a year ago around this time when she took the COO job at Rubius.

→ We’re not done with Rubius execs getting board gigs, as Jose Carmona joins the board at allosteric drug developer HotSpot Therapeutics. Carmona, the CFO at Rubius for nearly two years, is also on the board of directors at Senda Biosciences.

→ Belgian biotech Apaxen, whose lead program is an NLRP3 inflammasome inhibitor for pulmonary arterial hypertension, has pegged Graham Dixon as chairman of the board. The AstraZeneca alum has also been CSO of Galapagos, where CAR-T is now a part of ex-J&J star Paul Stoffels’ turnaround project.

Bill Symonds

→ After picking up GSK vet Amol Ketkar as chief development officer at the start of the month, London-based Resolution Therapeutics has now brought Bill Symonds onto its board of directors. Symonds currently serves as the CEO of Sumitovant subsidiaries Altavant Sciences and Enzyvant Sciences. Symonds is also the former chief development officer of Roivant Sciences.

Mitch Gold has reserved space at Alpine Immune Sciences for Viela Bio co-founder Jörn Drappa on the board of directors. Drappa, an Amgen and Genentech vet, recently left Ventyx Biosciences just eight months after taking the CMO job.

Carlos Albán

Carlos Albán is headed to the board of directors at Pfizer spinoff SpringWorks Therapeutics. After 26 years at Abbott, Albán became AbbVie’s EVP, commercial operations in 2018 and retired as chief commercial officer in March 2021.

Eiger BioPharmaceuticals — the company that received an FDA OK back in 2020 in Progeria for a drug Merck licensed to them at no cost — has made the addition of Lisa Kelly-Croswell to its board of directors. Kelly-Croswell currently serves as SVP and chief human resources officer at Boston Medical Center Health System and is the former human resources lead at Vertex.

→ Back in 2021, iOmx Therapeutics bagged $75.3 million in a Series B to search for immune checkpoint targets on tumor cells, now the German company is adding three new members to its advisory board: Matthias Kromayer (managing partner at MIG Capital), Michael Burgess (head of R&D at SpringWorks Therapeutics) and Rainer Kramer (CBO at Immatics). The trio are joining Gerald Moeller (former CEO of Boehringer Mannheim Group), Henrijette Richter (managing parter at Sofinnova Partners) and Rainer Strohmenger (managing partner at Wellington Partners).

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New findings on hair loss in men

A receding hairline, a total loss of hair from the crown, and ultimately, the classical horseshoe-shaped pattern of baldness: Previous research into male…



A receding hairline, a total loss of hair from the crown, and ultimately, the classical horseshoe-shaped pattern of baldness: Previous research into male pattern hair loss, also termed androgenetic alopecia, has implicated multiple common genetic variants. Human geneticists from the University Hospital of Bonn (UKB) and by the Transdisciplinary Research Unit “Life & Health” of the University of Bonn have now performed a systematic investigation of the extent to which rare genetic variants may also contribute to this disorder. For this purpose, they analyzed the genetic sequences of 72,469 male participants from the UK Biobank project. The analyses identified five significantly associated genes, and further corroborated genes implicated in previous research. The results have now been published in the prestigious scientific journal Nature Communications.

Credit: University Hospital Bonn / Katharina Wislsperger

A receding hairline, a total loss of hair from the crown, and ultimately, the classical horseshoe-shaped pattern of baldness: Previous research into male pattern hair loss, also termed androgenetic alopecia, has implicated multiple common genetic variants. Human geneticists from the University Hospital of Bonn (UKB) and by the Transdisciplinary Research Unit “Life & Health” of the University of Bonn have now performed a systematic investigation of the extent to which rare genetic variants may also contribute to this disorder. For this purpose, they analyzed the genetic sequences of 72,469 male participants from the UK Biobank project. The analyses identified five significantly associated genes, and further corroborated genes implicated in previous research. The results have now been published in the prestigious scientific journal Nature Communications.

Male-pattern hair loss is the most common form of hair loss in men, and is largely attributable to hereditary factors. Current treatment options and risk prediction are suboptimal, thus necessitating research into the genetic underpinnings of the condition. To date, studies worldwide have focused primarily on common genetic variants, and have implicated more than 350 genetic loci, in particular the androgen receptor gene, which is located on the maternally inherited X chromosome. In contrast, the contribution to this common condition of rare genetic variants has traditionally been assumed to be low. However, systematic analyses of rare variants have been lacking. “Such analyses are more challenging as they require large cohorts, and the genetic sequences must be captured base by base, e.g., through genome or exome sequencing of affected individuals,” explained first author Sabrina Henne, who is a doctoral student at the Institute of Human Genetics at the UKB and the University of Bonn. The statistical challenge lies in the fact that these rare genetic variants may be carried by very few, or even single, individuals. “That is why we apply gene-based analyses that first collapse variants on the basis of the genes in which they are located,” explained corresponding author PD Dr. Stefanie Heilmann-Heimbach, who is a research group leader at the Institute of Human Genetics at the UKB at the University of Bonn. Among other methods, the Bonn researchers used a type of sequence kernel association test (SKAT), which is a popular method for detecting associations with rare variants, as well as GenRisk, which is a method developed at the Institute of Genomic Statistics and Bioinformatics (IGSB) at the UKB and the University of Bonn.

Possible relevance of rare variants in male-pattern hair loss

The research involved the analysis of genetic sequences from 72,469 male UK Biobank participants. Within this extensive data set, Bonn geneticists, together with researchers from the IGSB and the Center for Human Genetics at the University Hospital Marburg, examined rare gene variants that occur in less than one percent of the population. Using modern bioinformatic and statistical methods, they found associations between male-pattern hair loss and rare genetic variants in the following five genes: EDA2R, WNT10A, HEPH, CEPT1, and EIF3F.

Prior to the analyses, EDA2R and WNT10A were already considered candidate genes, as based on previous analyses of common variants. “Our study provides further evidence that these two genes play a role, and that this occurs through both common and rare variants,” explained Dr. Stefanie Heilmann-Heimbach. Similarly, HEPH is located in a genetic region that has already been implicated by common variants, namely the EDA2R/Androgen receptor, which is a region that has consistently shown the strongest association with male-pattern hair loss in past association studies. “However, HEPH itself has never been considered as a candidate gene. Our study suggests that it may also play a role,” explained Sabrina Henne. “The genes CEPT1 and EIF3F are located in genetic regions that have not yet been associated with male-pattern hair loss. They are thus entirely new candidate genes, and we hypothesize that rare variants within these genes contribute to the genetic predisposition. HEPH, CEPT1, and EIF3F represent highly plausible new candidate genes, given their previously described role in hair development and growth.” Furthermore, the results of the study suggest that genes that are known to cause rare inherited diseases affecting both skin and hair (such as the ectodermal dysplasias) may also play a role in the development of male-pattern hair loss. The researchers hope that the puzzle pieces they have discovered will improve understanding of the causes of hair loss, and thus facilitate reliable risk prediction and improved treatment strategies.

The research was supported by funding from the Medical Faculty of the University of Bonn. Prof. Dr. Markus Nöthen, Director of the Institute of Human Genetics at UKB and co-author of the study, is a member of the Transdisciplinary Research Area (TRA) “Life and Health” at the University of Bonn. The publication costs in open access format were funded by the DEAL project of the University of Bonn.

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Canadian dollar edges higher as retail sales rebound

Canada retail sales climb 2% The Canadian dollar has posted losses on Friday. In the European session, USD/CAD is trading at 1.3446, down 0.28%. Canada’s…



  • Canada retail sales climb 2%

The Canadian dollar has posted losses on Friday. In the European session, USD/CAD is trading at 1.3446, down 0.28%.

Canada’s retail sales jump

Canada’s retail sales rebounded in impressive fashion on Friday. Retail sales in July jumped 2% y/y, following a -0.6% reading in June and beating the 0.5% consensus estimate. On a monthly basis, retail sales rose 0.3%, up from 0.1% in June but shy of the consensus estimate of 0.4%. The good news was tempered by the August estimate, which stands at -0.3% m/m and would be the first decline since March. The Canadian dollar showed little reaction to the retail sales release.

The Bank of Canada doesn’t meet again until October 25th and policy makers will have plenty of data to monitor in the meantime. The BoC has been walking a tightrope that will be familiar to most central banks, that of trying to balance the risks of over and under-tightening. The difficulty in finding the right balance was highlighted in the BoC summary of deliberations of the policy meeting earlier this month.

The BoC decided to hold the benchmark rate at 5.0% after concluding that earlier rate hikes were having an effect and slowing economic growth. The summary indicated that policy makers were concerned that a pause might send the wrong message that rate cuts might be on the way. With inflation still above the BOC’s target, the central bank is not looking at rate cuts and stressed at the September meeting that rate hikes were still on the table and that inflation remained too high.


USD/CAD Technical

  • USD/CAD is testing resistance at 1.3468. The next resistance line is 1.3553
  • 1.3408 and 1.3323 are the next support lines

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Quantitative Tightening Is Not Biggest Threat To Global Yields

Quantitative Tightening Is Not Biggest Threat To Global Yields

Authored by Simon White, Bloomberg macro strategist,

The Bank of England’s…



Quantitative Tightening Is Not Biggest Threat To Global Yields

Authored by Simon White, Bloomberg macro strategist,

The Bank of England’s quantitative tightening program shows that unwinding central-bank bond portfolios, even with outright sales, need not be disruptive for markets. The greater risk for US and global yields comes from positive stock-bond correlations driving risk premia wider.

The BOE has been a pioneer and a thought leader in QT. While the Fed and ECB have only allowed bonds to run off naturally to help achieve their balance-sheet contraction goals, the BOE has sold gilts outright in addition to allowing bonds to mature.

So far, it has not led to any significant market disruption. This enabled the BOE Thursday to increase the pace of reduction in the Asset Purchase Facility (APF) from £80 billion last year to £100 billion over the coming 12 months from October (while holding Bank Rate steady). As colleague Ven Ram also noted, the schedule of maturing bonds next year allowed the bank to keep gilts sales unchanged from last year while increasing the total amount of the APF’s decrease.

The QT watchwords from the bank are “gradual and predictable.” If gilt sales are conducted in such a way, then market disruption should be minimized. The chart below shows the BOE’s own assessment of the impact of bond sales on the market.

The BOE estimates that of the ~40 bps of term-premium increase since the MPC voted to begin QT in February 2022, about 10-15 bps comes from QT specifically – small in comparison to the overall rise in yields since that time.

QT or bond sales, though, are not the most critical risk facing bond prices in the current cycle. Rising and now positive stock-bond correlations threaten to lead to a structural rise in bond risk premium, and lower prices. The correlation is now positive in the US, Japan, and the UK.

In a positive stock-bond correlation world, bonds lose their portfolio-hedge and recession-hedge capabilities, and thus become less sought after. The penny has not fully dropped yet, but the negative term premium for bonds is increasing, and is prone to rising much higher as they become less desirable.

Yields of developed market countries are biased structurally higher, but QT is unlikely to be the culprit. Instead, it allows central banks to reload their capacity for a future time when they may need to restart quantitative easing, in order to stabilize the market from sharply rising term premia.

Tyler Durden Fri, 09/22/2023 - 09:10

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