Robert Forrester, LL.B., President/Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Forrester has 14 years of experience as the CEO, COO or CFO of both private and public life science companies with Forma Therapeutics, CombinatoRx (NASDAQ: CRXX, now ZLCS) and Coley (NASDAQ: COLY, acquired by Pfizer). Robert was a managing director of the Proprietary Investment Group at MeesPierson, part of the Fortis Group, investing in life science companies. Prior to MeesPierson, Robert worked for the investment banks, BZW (now Barclays Capital) and UBS, in the corporate finance groups undertaking M&A, and public and private finance transactions. Robert started his career as lawyer with Clifford Chance in London and Singapore. Robert has completed over $12 billion of transactions and holds a LL.B. from Bristol University.
Dan Paterson, Chief Operating Officer
Mr. Paterson has over 25 years of experience in management roles at healthcare and biotechnology companies, including as CBO, COO and CEO, with specific expertise in oncology drug and diagnostic product development, business development and launch planning. Prior to his current role, he served as CBO of Verastem. Mr. Paterson was the Co-founder and COO of On-Q-ity, a developer of technology to capture and analyze circulating tumor cells, and the founding CEO of The DNA Repair Company (merged to form On-Q-ity), which developed oncology-focused molecular diagnostics. Prior to that, Mr. Paterson was Head of Global Strategy for Specialty Market and Patient-Level Data at IMS Health, after playing a key role in the acquisition of PharMetrics by IMS Health as VP, Marketing and Corporate Development. While at PharMetrics, Mr. Paterson led the development of an innovative suite of pharmaceutical product launch tools that became the basis of the company’s product line.
Earlier in his career, Mr. Paterson was on the founding management team of CareTools, a healthcare information systems company, OnCare, an oncology physician practice management company with $100 million in annual revenue, and Axion, an oncology pharmaceutical and clinical service firm with an annual revenue of over $250 million when acquired by Bristol Myers Squibb. Prior to his involvement in industry, Mr. Paterson led the clinical operations for a nationwide cancer cooperative group headquartered at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Mr. Paterson holds a B.A. in Biology from Boston University, and attended the Northeastern University Graduate Pharmacology program.
Joseph Lobacki, Chief Commercial Officer
Mr. Lobacki most recently served as the Chief Operating Officer of Finch Therapeutics Group and previously as the Chief Commercial Officer and Executive Council Member of Medivation, where he was responsible for the strategy and execution of commercial operations including Xtandi, a treatment for advanced prostate cancer. During Mr. Lobacki’s leadership as Chief Commercial Officer, Medivation saw year-over-year revenue growth for Xtandi. Previously, Mr. Lobacki was Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer of Micromet Inc., where he oversaw commercial activities including medical affairs and strategic marketing. Prior to joining Micromet, Mr. Lobacki was Senior Vice President and General Manager at Genzyme Corporation, where he managed the launch of Mozobil and Clolar/Evoltra in the US and EU. Mr. Lobacki holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Boston College and a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy in Boston.
Steven Bloom, Chief Strategy Officer
Mr. Bloom joined Verastem in March 2014 and serves as Chief Strategy Officer. His responsibilities include Corporate and Business Development, Medical Affairs, Patient Advocacy and Corporate Communications. Prior to joining the company, Mr. Bloom was Senior Vice President at Ziopharm Oncology where for 6 years he led business development and the commercial planning initiatives for a late stage oncology asset. Before joining Ziopharm, Mr. Bloom was Vice President for the health informatics company Pharmetrics and was part of the leadership team that sold the company to IMS Health in 2005. After leaving Eli Lilly in 2002, he joined the health technology company Inflexxion and built a commercial infrastructure for the start-up organization. Mr. Bloom spent the first 19 years of his career at Eli Lilly and Company in leadership roles in marketing, sales and corporate affairs.
Mr. Bloom is a graduate of The College of Pharmacy at Northeastern University and is currently an Adjunct Faculty member at the University of Rhode Island College of Pharmacy.
Julie Feder, Chief Financial Officer
Ms. Feder joins Verastem from the Clinton Health Access Initiative, Inc. (CHAI), where she served as Chief Financial Officer for six years. At CHAI, Ms. Feder was responsible for managing a global team across multiple departments, and developed the global finance strategy and internal audit, treasury, and global payroll functions. She also led multiple financial and operational initiatives and was a key member of the CHAI leadership team. Prior to joining CHAI, Ms. Feder spent three years at Genzyme Corporation, first as Vice President of Internal Audit and also as Finance Integration Leader. In these roles, she managed the day-to-day operations of Genzyme’s global internal audit function, while leading the Genzyme Global Finance integration into Sanofi’s organization following Sanofi’s acquisition of Genzyme. Ms. Feder began her career at Deloitte & Touche LLP, where she was Senior Manager of Audit, Consulting and Enterprise Risk Services and served leading organizations in healthcare, including Genzyme Corporation, Children’s Hospital Boston, Dana Farber Cancer Center, Boston Scientific Corporation, and Yale New Haven Hospital. Ms. Feder holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Yeshiva University’s Sy Syms School of Business.
Diep Le, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Medical Officer
A trained medical oncologist, Dr. Le is board certified in internal medicine and has 15 years of drug development experience across all phases in both solid and hematologic malignancies as well as IND and NDA submissions. Dr. Le joins Verastem from MedImmune (a subsidiary of AstraZeneca) where she served as Vice President, Immuno-Oncology Innovative Medicines and led the product development teams for multiple high-priority immuno-oncology assets. Prior to joining MedImmune, Dr. Le held roles of increasing responsibilities at Novartis and at GlaxoSmithKline where she led the MEK inhibitor, trametinib (Mekinist™), from the first-in-human studies to FDA approval. Dr. Le received a Bachelor in Science degree from the California Institute of Technology, and earned both MD and PhD degrees from Stanford University School of Medicine. Dr. Le will oversee the development strategy and activities for Verastem’s duvelisib and defactinib.
Jonathan Pachter, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer
Dr. Pachter brings over 25 years of experience in leading discovery and translational research for small molecule and monoclonal antibody anti-cancer therapeutics. He was previously Head of Cancer Biology at OSI Pharmaceuticals where his team was responsible for development of models of tumor cell EMT (epithelial-mesenchymal transition) and discovery of drugs disrupting this process. At OSI, he advanced five small molecules into development for treatment of cancer, including OSI-906 – a selective IGF-1R/ insulin receptor kinase inhibitor which progressed to Phase 3 clinical trials and OSI-027 – a selective mTOR kinase inhibitor. Prior to OSI, Dr. Pachter held positions of increasing responsibility at Schering-Plough where he progressed three agents into development including the monoclonal antibody robatumumab, which advanced to Phase 2 clinical evaluation in cancer patients. Dr. Pachter also made key contributions to the regulatory approval of temozolomide for treatment of glioblastoma. He is an author of over 50 peer-reviewed publications and inventor on numerous patents. Dr. Pachter did his postdoctoral work in Pharmacology at Yale University School of Medicine and he holds a Ph.D. from Baylor College of Medicine.
Nadeem Mirza, MD, MPH, Senior Vice President, Corporate Medical Affairs
Nadeem Mirza, MD, MPH is a physician scientist with over 25 years of experience in hematologic malignancies, bone marrow transplantation and solid tumors, including 12 years of clinical research at MD Anderson Cancer Center and 13 years of clinical development and medical affairs in pharmaceutical industry. Prior to joining Verastem, Dr. Mirza served as Global Head Hematology, Global Medical Affairs at Abbvie Oncology where he oversaw the global medical affairs initiative for the launch of the first-in-class BCL-2 inhibitor venetoclax for the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Prior to Abbvie, Dr. Mirza as Vice President, Head of Oncology, North America Medical Affairs at Sanofi Oncology where he was responsible for implementation of medical affairs programs to support 12 products across several oncology indications, including hematologic malignancies, solid tumors and solid organ transplantation in the U.S. and Canada. From 2010 to 2013, he also held roles of increasing responsibility at Genzyme/Sanofi which culminated in his role as Senior Medical Director, Global Medical Affairs where he served as Medical Lead and Chair of the Global Concept Review Committee for the JAK2 inhibitor fedratinib and the Erb B3 antibody seribantumab. Prior to that, Dr. Mirza held medical affairs leadership roles at Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Abraxis Oncology and Berlex Oncology. From 1992-2004, he conducted clinical research at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Mirza earned his medical degree from the University of Punjab (Lahore, Pakistan) and a Master of Public Health from the University of Texas, Houston, Texas.
Hagop Youssoufian, MSc, M.D., Head of Hematology and Oncology Development
Prior to joining Verastem, Dr. Youssoufian served most recently as Chief Medical Officer at BIND Therapeutics. Prior to BIND, he was Executive Vice President at Progenics Pharmaceuticals and President, Research & Development and Chief Medical Officer at Ziopharm Oncology. Before joining Ziopharm, Dr. Youssoufian served as Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President, Global Clinical Sciences at Imclone Systems. Prior to Imclone, he served in leadership positions at Sanofi Aventis and Bristol-Myers Squibb. During his career in industry, Dr. Youssoufian was involved in the development and approval of several oncology treatments, including Sprycel®, Taxotere® and Erbitux®. Dr. Youssoufian graduated from Boston College (BS, Magna Cum Laude) and the University of Massachusetts Medical School (MSc, MD). After training in Internal Medicine at Cleveland Clinic and Johns Hopkins, he completed fellowships in Clinical Genetics at Johns Hopkins and in Hematology-Oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital, and was a Visiting Scientist at Whitehead Institute, MIT. He then served on the faculties of Harvard Medical School as Assistant Professor of Medicine and at Baylor College of Medicine as Associate Professor and Division Chief of Medical Genetics.
Cathy Carew, Vice President, Human Resources
Ms. Carew has nearly 20 years of management and consulting experience in the biopharma industry, including her role at Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, where she assisted in the transition from development stage to commercial stage during a high growth period for the company. Most recently, she served as the part-time Head of Human Resources at Verastem, while also consulting with other development and clinical stage therapeutic companies, including Aquinnah Pharma, Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, Flex Pharma and OvaScience.
Earlier in her career, Ms. Carew spent more than seven years on the founding leadership team at ActivBiotics, a privately held, clinical stage company with a Phase 3 trial to evaluate rifalazil for the treatment of patients with intermittent claudication resulting from Peripheral Arterial Disease. At the same time, Ms. Carew also served as part-time Senior Director, Human Resources at Dynogen Pharmaceuticals. She has also held human resources roles at Tufts Health Plan, including spearheading a large-scale national ramp-up for its workers compensation spinoff, ManagedComp. Ms. Carew holds a B.A. in English from Union College.