Halozyme Therapeutics Inc., a biotech developing novel oncology and drug-delivery therapies, named Michael J. LaBarre as chief scientific officer.

LaBarre succeeds Michael Shepard, who was appointed a research fellow for the company.

The move broadens LaBarre's responsibilities to include research and development of early pipeline assets, in addition to his role managing product development and ENHANZE platform partnerships.

"Mike has deep experience characterizing early stage assets, making him an ideal leader for our research organization as we invest further in our promising pipeline," said Helen Torley, president and chief executive officer. "We have a full agenda for the second half of 2015 as we broaden the study of our investigational new drug PEGPH20 in multiple tumor types and prepare for our pivotal phase 3 study in pancreatic cancer patients. I am pleased to have a proven leader of Mike's caliber to guide our research efforts as we invest for future growth."

LaBarre has more than two decades of biotech drug discovery and development experience, including work on successful approvals of commercial therapies such as RITUXAN. Prior to joining Halozyme in 2008, he served as vice president, product development at Paramount BioSciences LLC; director, analytical and protein biochemistry, discovery research at Biogen Idec; and director analytical and formulation sciences, research and development at IDEC Pharmaceuticals.