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The Coherus Team

Proven. Experienced. Motivated. The Coherus team includes proven industry veterans with deep expertise in developing and commercializing biopharmaceutical products.

  • Dennis M. Lanfear

    President, CEO & Chairman

    • Dennis M. Lanfear

      President, CEO & Chairman

      Industry Experience

      32

      Years

      Prior Experience

      Amgen, Baxter

      Denny Lanfear is a biosimilar pioneer and biopharmaceutical leader with a proven track record of successful entrepreneurial vision and achievement. In 2010, after decades working in the biopharmaceutical industry, he founded Coherus BioSciences with the vision of improving the public’s access to high-quality, life-changing medicines. Under Mr. Lanfear’s leadership as President, CEO, and Chairman, Coherus BioSciences was transformed from an unfunded startup into the industry’s leading pure play biosimilar company, with over $1.25 billion in funding being raised since its inception. Coherus has experienced outstanding success with the launch of its first drug, UDENYCA® (pegfilgrastim-cbqv).

      A dedicated entrepreneur, Mr. Lanfear founded two other companies before Coherus BioSciences: Saronyx, Inc., a drug development software services company and the biopharmaceutical company InteKrin Therapeutics. He served as CEO of both firms.

      Mr. Lanfear held various senior leadership roles at Amgen Inc., serving as Vice President of Process Development before transitioning to the Commercial side of the business as Vice President of Market Development. The Process Development department was initiated and became a key strategic advantage for the company under his leadership. During his 13-year tenure at Amgen he also acquired substantial operations experience, and was tasked with integrating more than 2,500 operations and staff worldwide after the company’s explosive growth. Mr. Lanfear’s product development experience includes various leadership positions with multiple product development programs including growth factors, somatotrophins, and neurotrophins, having directed efforts from preclinical studies to Phase 3 clinical trials.

      Mr. Lanfear currently serves on the board of directors of NEUVOGEN, Inc.

      Mr. Lanfear holds B.S. degrees in Chemical Engineering and Biochemistry from Michigan State University and an M.B.A. from the Anderson School of Management at the University of California, Los Angeles.

  • Rosh Dias, MD, MRCP

    Chief Medical Officer

    • Rosh Dias, MD, MRCP

      Chief Medical Officer

      Industry Experience

      20

      Years

      Prior Experience

      Spruce Biosciences, Indivior PLC, Onxy Pharmaceuticals, Novartis Oncology

      Dr. Dias has more than more than 20 years of pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry experience leading United States and global teams in clinical development and medical affairs across multiple disease areas including oncology, cardiometabolic health and rare diseases. Prior to joining Coherus he was the Chief Medical Officer at Spruce Biosciences, where he oversaw global clinical development and strategy. Prior to Spruce, Dr. Dias served as Chief Medical Officer at Indivior PLC, a global commercial pharmaceutical company focused on substance abuse and other serious mental disorders. From 2014 to 2018, Dr. Dias held senior leadership positions at Amgen, most recently as Vice President, Global Scientific Affairs, and at Amgen’s subsidiary, Onxy Pharmaceuticals, as Head of Global Medical and Scientific Affairs. Prior to Onyx, Dr. Dias worked for 10 years at Novartis Oncology in roles of increasing responsibility, including leadership roles in the global organization, the United States and in Australia, where he directed clinical development and medical affairs efforts with a focus on oncology, hematology and rare diseases.

      Dr. Dias holds a Medical Doctor degree from Charing Cross and Westminster Medical School in the UK, and is a Member of the Royal College of Physicians through postgraduate qualification in Internal Medicine.

  • Thomas F. Fitzpatrick

    Chief Legal Officer

    • Thomas F. Fitzpatrick

      Chief Legal Officer

      Industry Experience

      20

      Years

      Mr. Fitzpatrick has over 20 years of executive-level legal experience, including an extensive background litigating complex patent and trade secrets cases. He brings strong leadership skills and IP expertise to his role as the head of Coherus’ legal and compliance departments.

      Prior to joining Coherus, Mr. Fitzpatrick was an equity partner in large national and international law firms representing technology and life science companies. Earlier in his career, he was a Deputy District Attorney in San Mateo, California.

      Mr. Fitzpatrick earned his law degree from Santa Clara University and Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

  • Richard L. Hameister

    Chief Technical Officer

    • Richard L. Hameister

      Chief Technical Officer

      Industry Experience

      33

      Years

      Prior Experience

      Roche/Genentech

      Mr. Hameister has more than 33 years of biopharmaceutical experience, leading both manufacturing and quality organizations, and having participated in the commercialization of more than 25 biologic and small molecule products. Prior to joining Coherus in 2016, he was the Vice President of Biologics Quality for Roche Pharma responsible for the Quality staff and functions for all commercial biologics manufacturing facilities and contract manufacturers worldwide. Prior to that role, Mr. Hameister served as the Vice President of Investigational Medicinal Product Quality for Roche Pharma, providing Quality staff and functional support for the Roche/Genentech clinical product portfolio from early stage development through commercialization.

      Mr. Hameister is an active member of the Parenteral Drug Association and is a Retired Officer in the United States Army Reserve. He received his BS in Biological Sciences from the University of California, Davis.

  • McDavid Stilwell

    Chief Financial Officer

    • McDavid Stilwell

      Chief Financial Officer

      Industry Experience

      25

      Years

      Prior Experience

      Sangamo Therapeutics, Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc., GTx, Inc.

      McDavid Stilwell joined Coherus in October, 2020 and brings over 25 years of experience in finance, corporate development, investor relations, and communications.

      Previously, he was Senior Vice President, Communications and Investor Relations at Sangamo Therapeutics. Prior to joining Sangamo Mr. Stilwell served as Vice President, Corporate Communications, Investor Relations & Business Development at Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc., and, from 2005 to 2012, as Director, Business Development, Corporate Communications and Financial Analysis at GTx, Inc. Earlier, Mr. Stilwell worked for five years as Senior Investment Analyst for Shadwell Capital, a hedge fund. Mr. Stilwell began his career as a journalist, first as a newspaper reporter and later, at SNL Financial, as editor of an investor newsletter covering financial services industry mergers and acquisitions. Mr. Stilwell received a B.A. from St. John’s College, Annapolis, Maryland, and a M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

  • Theresa LaVallee, Ph.D.

    Chief Development Officer

    • Theresa LaVallee, Ph.D.

      Chief Development Officer

      Industry Experience

      25

      Years

      Dr. LaVallee brings more than 25 years of drug discovery and development experience. Most recently, Dr. LaVallee was Vice President, Translational Medicine and Regulatory Affairs at the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy where she provided scientific leadership for clinical strategy for development of novel immuno-oncology therapies and helped establish the institute’s clinical, translational and regulatory organization. Previously, she held executive roles at Kolltan Pharma and Celldex Therapeutics. From 2008 – 2013, she was a member of the immuno-oncology team at AstraZeneca (MedImmune) developing checkpoint inhibitors and related diagnostics. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles and her bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

  • Vladimir Vexler, Ph.D.

    Chief Scientific Officer

    • Vladimir Vexler, Ph.D.

      Chief Scientific Officer

      Industry Experience

      26

      Years

      Prior Experience

      Hoffmann-La Roche, Facet Biotech, Protein Design Labs, UCSF

      Vladimir Vexler is our Chief Scientific Officer.

      Prior to joining Coherus in 2013, Dr. Vexler was Senior Research Leader, Biotherapeutics at Hoffman-La Roche, where he acted as Global scientific leader for nonclinical safety of biotherapeutics and chaired Roche pRED Global Biotherapeutics Safety Team. Prior to that, Dr. Vexler was Director, Translational Medicine at Facet Biotech and Protein Design Labs, where he established and led the Department of Translational Medicine and led biomarker support for several pre-IND and clinical programs including Zynbryta and Empliciti. From 1994 to 2004, he served in multiple positions in Pre-Clinical Development at Protein Design Labs. Dr. Vexler began his career as a post-doctoral fellow at the Department of Radiology at UCSF.

      Dr. Vexler has numerous peer-review publications in mAb development for immune-mediated inflammatory diseases and cancer. He earned a Ph.D. in Biology from the Institute of Chemical Physics, Academy of Science in Moscow and a M.S., Chemistry/Enzymology from the Moscow State University.

  • Michael A. Fleming

    Chief Strategy Officer

    • Michael A. Fleming

      Chief Strategy Officer

      Industry Experience

      26

      Years

      Prior Experience

      Elan Corporation, Genentech, GlaxoSmithKline

      Mr. Fleming, an executive biotech professional with more than 26 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, joined Coherus in 2014. He has been instrumental in the launch, commercial and business development of numerous products in various therapeutic areas, including: HIV, infectious diseases, diabetes, CNS conditions, multiple sclerosis, cardiovascular and oncology. Mr. Fleming has held senior leadership or executive management team roles at several companies including Elan Corporation, Nuvelo, Inc., Genentech, GlaxoSmithKline, SmithKline Beecham and inVentiv Health.

      At Elan Corporation plc., Mr. Fleming was Senior Vice President of Commercial and Tysabri Brand with responsibility for leading the commercial organization and Elan’s efforts in the global commercial Tysabri collaboration with Biogen Idec. Prior to that role, he spent several years as a management consultant at inVentiv Health Consulting (Campbell Alliance), heading up their Western US Biotech Corporate Development Practice. Before joining inVentiv Health, Mr. Fleming was Vice President, Commercial Operations at Nuvelo, Inc. as well as Head of Hematology Marketing at Genentech where he was responsible for overseeing the U.S. Rituxan hematology/oncology commercial effort. At GlaxoSmithKline, he was the worldwide commercial strategy lead for Zofran & Supportive Care. Mr. Fleming has also held executive positions at GlaxoSmithKline Canada and its predecessor companies, including Vice President, HIV Oncology Vaccines Business Unit and Vice President, Healthcare Policy and Market Access. In this role, in addition to leading a lobbyist unit, he was responsible for developing commercial reimbursement and health economics strategy for the organization.

      Mr. Fleming earned a Microbiology Specialist Degree (BSc) at Victoria College, University of Toronto, and an MBA at the Rotman School of Business, University of Toronto.

  • Paul Reider

    Chief Commercial Officer

    • Paul Reider

      Chief Commercial Officer

      Industry Experience

      30

      Years

      Prior Experience

      Amgen

      Mr. Reider, a biotechnology executive with more than 30 years of industry experience, joined Coherus in 2021 as Executive Vice President of Commercial Operations and Market Access.

      From 1996 to 2013, Mr. Reider held marketing and executive leadership roles at Amgen including Marketing lead for the U.S. launch of Neulasta®, Brand Director of the Filgrastim Franchise, Executive Director of Corporate Accounts, commercial leader for the establishment of Amgen affiliates in Mexico and Brazil, and founding member of the Bone Health Business Unit overseeing the U.S. launch of Prolia®.

      Since 2013, Mr. Reider founded Raven Management, LLC, a consulting practice focused on commercial projects for biopharmaceutical clients in Oncology and other specialty therapeutic areas. From 2015 through 2018, he worked for Ipsen Biopharmaceuticals where he led the establishment of a new U.S.-based Oncology commercial team and subsequently served as the General Manager of Ipsen Canada. From 2019 until January 2021, he served as Vice President of Sales and Strategic Accounts for Puma Biotechnology.

      Mr. Reider earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and a Master of Business Administration degree from Bowling Green State University.

  • Karen Miller, Ph.D.

    EVP, Analytical Development

    • Karen Miller, Ph.D.

      EVP, Analytical Development

      Industry Experience

      27

      Years

      Prior Experience

      Amgen

      Dr. Miller joined Coherus in 2016 as Vice President, Analytical Operations, and is now Executive Vice President, Analytical Development and Camarillo Site Head. Prior to joining Coherus, she was Scientific Director at Amgen where she managed different analytical groups and was responsible for analytical development of many early- and late-stage biotechnology products.

      Dr. Miller earned a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Denver and a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from Purdue University.

  • Lee Mermelstein

    EVP, Manufacturing

    • Lee Mermelstein

      EVP, Manufacturing

      Industry Experience

      25

      Years

      Prior Experience

      Portola Pharmaceuticals, Alvine Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Johnson & Johnson, Scios Inc., Repligen

      Mr. Mermelstein has over 25 years of experience in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry. Mr. Mermelstein joined Coherus in 2017 as Senior Vice President, Manufacturing, and is now Executive Vice President, Manufacturing. Prior to joining Coherus he was Executive Director, Manufacturing and Biosciences at Portola Pharmaceuticals. He was also Vice President, Process and Product Development at Alvine Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Mr. Mermelstein held manufacturing, fermentation and process development positions at Johnson & Johnson, Scios Inc. and Repligen. He earned a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, and a PhD in Chemical Engineering from Northwestern University. He completed postdoctoral fellowships at Northwestern and Michigan State University.

  • Rebecca Sunshine

    EVP, Human Resources

    • Rebecca Sunshine

      EVP, Human Resources

      Industry Experience

      30

      Years

      Prior Experience

      Connetics, COR Therapeutics, Genelabs, Inc., Genentech

      Ms. Sunshine has over 30 years of experience in the biotechnology industry. She joined Coherus in 2014 as Vice President, Human Resources. Ms. Sunshine was promoted to Senior Vice President and then Executive Vice President, Human Resources. Prior to joining Coherus, she was a Human Resources Consultant for small, growing public and private biotechnology companies for 7 years. She left Connetics after 12 years, holding her last position as Senior Vice President, Human Resources and Organizational Dynamics. She also previously held positions in Human Resources and Research Administration at COR Therapeutics, Genelabs, Inc., and Genentech. She also has hospital administration experience from Pacific Presbyterian Medical Center, Upjohn Healthcare Services and Stanford Hospital.  Ms. Sunshine earned her BA from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and her Master in Public Administration in Health Services from the University of San Francisco, where she also worked on her doctorate in Organization and Leadership.

  • Chris Thompson

    EVP, Sales

    • Chris Thompson

      EVP, Sales

      Industry Experience

      40

      Years

      Prior Experience

      Vivus, Inc., Amgen, Baxter, Johnson & Johnson

      Mr. Thompson has 40 years of experience working in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical field. He joined Coherus in 2015 as Vice President of Sales, and was promoted to Senior Vice President, and then Executive Vice President of Sales. Prior to joining Coherus, Mr. Thompson was Head of National Sales at Vivus, Inc. Mr. Thompson spent 23 years at Amgen, where he was Vice President of Sales for numerous business units, and built their first Hospital Sales organization. He also held commercial positions at Baxter and Johnson & Johnson. Mr. Thompson earned his BA from St. Michaels College in Vermont.

  • Sanjay Khare, Ph.D.

    SVP, Head of Immuno-oncology Research

    • Sanjay Khare, Ph.D.

      SVP, Head of Immuno-oncology Research

      Industry Experience

      25

      Years

      Prior Experience

      Amgen, ImmunGene

      Dr. Khare has over 25 years of pharmaceutical industry experience with a focus on the immune system. Prior to joining Coherus, Dr. Khare led ImmunGene, an immuno-oncology R&D company. Earlier, he was Scientific Director at Amgen, where he led several inflammation and immunology drug discovery programs, including research into immune checkpoints and costimulatory molecules. Dr. Khare was a postdoctoral fellow in the Immunology department at the Mayo Clinic where he studied humanized HLA mouse models of inflammatory diseases. He is a recipient of ASHI (American Society for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics) scholar award, and has been a key presenter at the ACR, AACR and SITC meetings. Dr. Khare received his Ph.D. in Immunology at the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.