Robert Forrester, LL.B., President/Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Forrester has 18 years of experience as the CEO, COO or CFO of both private and public life science companies with Verastem Oncology™, 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 Oncology. 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.
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.
Rob Gagnon, Chief Financial Officer
Mr. Gagnon joined Verastem Oncology as Chief Financial Officer in August 2018. Mr. Gagnon brings a tremendous amount of financial and commercial experience heading global finance operations. Most recently, Mr. Gagnon was Chief Financial Officer at Harvard Bioscience, Inc., a global developer, manufacturer, and marketer of a broad range of tools to advance life science research and regenerative medicine. Prior to this, he served as Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer at Clean Harbors, Inc. as well as Chief Accounting Officer and Controller at Biogen Idec, Inc. Earlier, he worked in a variety of senior positions at Deloitte & Touche, LLP, and Price Waterhouse Coopers, LLP. He holds an M.B.A. from the MIT Sloan School of Management and a Bachelor of Arts degree in accounting from Bentley College.
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.
Hagop Youssoufian, MSc, M.D., Head of Medical Strategy
Prior to joining Verastem Oncology, 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.
Kirk Taylor, MD, Senior Vice President, Medical Affairs Strategy and Operations
Dr. Taylor brings more than 21 years of pharmaceutical industry experience and 12 years in clinical practice to Verastem Oncology. He has led cross-functional teams as Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President, covering many parts of the world including the United States, Europe, Latin America, North America and Asia. Dr. Taylor has held executive leadership positions at Pfizer, Actelion, Biogen, Alzheon, Sanofi Genzyme, Prescient Medicine and Finch Therapeutics. Dr. Taylor specializes in late phase development and medical affairs. Dr. Taylor received his B.A. from Harvard University and his M.D. from SUNY Downstate. He completed his internship at Roosevelt Hospital Columbia University, his residency at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and a Post Doctorate at The University of California San Francisco, where he also served as a faculty member.
Cathy Carew, Chief People and Organizational Strategy Officer
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 Oncology, 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.
Dinesh Purandare, Senior Vice President, Commercial
Dinesh Purandare joined Verastem Oncology as Senior Vice President and Head of Commercial in May 2018. Mr. Purandare is an experienced and respected leader in the industry, with deep knowledge of commercialization, market access in various global markets, and development. Over his career, he has built and led teams to many successful launches and commercialization in multiple tumor types. Most recently, Mr. Purandare was SVP and Head of Global Oncology and member of the Corporate Executive team at Radius Health. Prior to Radius, Mr. Purandare was Vice President and Project Head for Sanofi Oncology and based in Boston after leading the global Oncology Marketing for Sanofi. Oncology. Before Sanofi, Mr. Purandare served as VP and Head of Oncology Center of Excellence at GSK Headquarters in the UK and held other senior positions at Pharmacia /Pfizer and Farmitalia Carlo Erba (Milan, Italy).
Mr. Purandare pursued his studies in Business Management at the University of Bombay where he also received a degree in Organic Chemistry. Dinesh also received a Diploma in Advanced Marketing Management from the Chartered Institute of Marketing, UK.
Amy C. Cavers, Senior Vice President, Strategic Engagement
Ms. Cavers joins Verastem from TG Therapeutics, Inc., a global biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of therapies in b-cell malignancies and autoimmune diseases, where she served as Vice President of Scientific Affairs. Her experience in developing and bringing novel therapies to market consists of several high-profile clinical programs and launches, including the drugs BOTOX® (onabotulinumtoxinA), THALOMID® (thalidomide), REVLIMID® (lenalidomide), VELCADE® (bortezomib) and KYPROLIS® (carfilzomib). She previously was Senior Director, Scientific Strategy and Communications at Onyx Therapeutics, U.S. Launch Lead for IXEMPRA® (ixabepilone) at Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Senior Director, Global Strategic Marketing at Millennium Pharmaceuticals and Vice President, Marketing at Celgene Corporation. Ms. Cavers holds a B.S. in animal health science from the University of Arizona.
Sean Flynn, Vice President and General Counsel
Mr. Flynn possesses a unique legal background and has served as corporate and litigation counsel for nearly 20 years, in both the public and private sectors. Prior to joining Verastem Oncology, Mr. Flynn held the position of Associate General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer for ABIOMED, Inc. during a period of exponential revenue and market growth. In that capacity, Mr. Flynn was responsible for business and legal matters touching every corner of the organization, as well as for the compliance readiness of the company on a global scale. Prior to joining ABIOMED, Sean served for seven years as a federal prosecutor with both the United States Attorney’s Offices for the Eastern District of California and the Eastern District of New York. As an Assistant United States Attorney, Mr. Flynn was lead investigator and prosecutor on a wide assortment of fraud and corruption-related matters, and held a variety of supervisory positions, to include Health Care Fraud Coordinator. Mr. Flynn began his legal career as a litigator with Bingham McCutchen LLP, after clerking for the Honorable Ruggero J. Aldisert, Senior Circuit Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
Prior to beginning his legal career, Mr. Flynn served as an air defense artillery officer for the United States Army, having graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1995.