Srinivas Rao has joined Boston-based Axial Biotherapeutics as chief medical officer. Prior to Axial, Rao was chief medical officer of Newark, CA-based Depomed (NASDAQ: DEPO). His experience includes executive roles at Kyalin Biosciences and Cypress Biosciences. Axial also appointed Ryan Barrett to vice president of corporate development, and Bridget Cole to vice president of medicinal chemistry. Axial is developing therapies that target the gut microbiome in order to treat neurological diseases.