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About Coherus

Leadership Team

Coherus is led by a team of biotech industry pioneers focused on disrupting the status-quo and driving tangible change in healthcare. Many of our leaders were directly involved in developing, manufacturing, and commercializing blockbuster biologics that elevated biologics from niche to mainstream medicine.

Today, the team is unlocking the true potential of this category and speeding the evolution of important medicines from biologics to biosimilars.

  • 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 has quickly transformed from a startup into the industry’s leading pure play in biosimilars.

      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 also held various senior leadership roles at Amgen Inc., serving as Vice President of Market Development and running their renowned Process Development department for ten years. The latter department became an area of strategic advantage for Amgen under his tenure, and he was tasked with integrating more than 2,500 operations and staff worldwide. In charge of multiple product development programs, he led those for growth factors, somatotrophins, and neurotrophins, and directed efforts from preclinical studies to Phase 3 clinical trials.

      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.

  • Jean-Frédéric Viret, Ph.D.

    Chief Financial Officer

    • Jean-Frédéric Viret, Ph.D.

      Chief Financial Officer

      Industry Experience

      22

      Years

      Prior Experience

      Anesiva, Corgentech, Tularik

      Dr. Viret, a Ph.D. plant molecular biologist by training, has worked for approximately two decades in corporate finance within the life sciences industry. Before joining Coherus as Chief Financial Officer in September 2014, he held the title of CFO at diaDexus, Inc., a cardiovascular diagnostics company, at CareDx, Inc. (formerly XDx, Inc.), a molecular diagnostics company, and at Anesiva, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company. Prior, he worked in finance at Tularik, and business assurance services at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.

      In addition to a Ph.D. in Plant Molecular Biology from Université Louis Pasteur (Strasbourg), Dr. Viret has a B.S. in Engineering from the Institut National Polytechnique de Lorraine and an M.B.A. from Cornell University. He was a visiting fellow at Harvard University and a postdoctoral fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

  • Peter Watler, Ph.D.

    Chief Technical Officer

    • Peter Watler, Ph.D.

      Chief Technical Officer

      Industry Experience

      32

      Years

      Prior Experience

      Amgen, Hyde, VaxGen

      Dr. Watler has more than 32 years of biopharmaceutical process development and manufacturing experience, including 12 years at Amgen. He has deep knowledge of the development and scale-up of biopharmaceutical processes such as fermentation, centrifugation, filtration, and chromatography. His skill set spans process modeling, economic analysis, manufacturing operational excellence, process control and validation. His regulatory experience includes co-authoring two IND submissions, four BLA submissions, and participation in several FDA inspections and GMP audits.

      As Amgen’s Associate Director of Process Engineering, he oversaw the launch of a 30,000 square foot pilot plant for monoclonal antibody development, managing scale up from the laboratory through clinical production for more than ten product candidates. He also led teams responsible for the process validation of Neupogen®, Stemgen®, Kepivance® and Infergen®. Dr. Watler most recently served as Chief Technology Officer of Hyde Engineering + Consulting, Inc. He led projects for GMP manufacturing facility design, implementing state-of-the-art technologies to drive down capital costs while enhancing cGMP compliance and operational efficiency. Dr. Watler was previously Vice President, Manufacturing at VaxGen, a Genenetech spinoff formed to develop an AIDS vaccine.

      Dr. Watler has presented extensively in the US, Canada, China, Europe and Japan on the latest ICH, FDA and ASTM approaches to pharmaceutical risk management, process validation and Quality by Design. He holds Bachelor and Masters degrees in Chemical Engineering from the University of Toronto and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Yamaguchi University, Japan.

  • 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.

  • Vincent R. Anicetti

    Chief Operating Officer

    • Vincent R. Anicetti

      Chief Operating Officer

      Industry Experience

      35

      Years

      Prior Experience

      Genentech, Boehringer-Ingelheim

      Mr. Anicetti has more than 35 years of biopharmaceutical experience, including an extensive background leading biopharma quality organizations. Prior to joining Coherus in 2014, he was the Executive Director of Quality for Boehringer-Ingelheim’s California facility, where he was responsible for Quality, EH&S and on-site Regulatory Chemistry, Manufacturing and Control. Before BI, he was a Scientific and Regulatory Affairs Fellow with the Parenteral Drug Association.

      Before joining PDA, Mr. Anicetti spent 30 years with Genentech, holding senior leadership roles in Quality, Regulatory Affairs and Project Portfolio Management. Most recently, he was Genentech/Roche’s Vice President of Biologics Quality, with oversight of global manufacturing sites handling 10 major biotechnology products.

      Mr. Anicetti is an adjunct professor at the Keck Graduate Institute, teaching classes in Biopharmaceutical Quality and CMC Regulatory Affairs. He is a past Chair of the Parenteral Drug Association and serves on the San Francisco State University Foundation Board. Mr. Anicetti holds BA and MS degrees in biological sciences from San Francisco State University.

  • Barbara K. Finck, M.D.

    Acting Chief Medical Officer

    • Barbara K. Finck, M.D.

      Acting Chief Medical Officer

      Industry Experience

      25

      Years

      Prior Experience

      Immunex, PDL Biopharma, Osprey Pharmaceuticals, NKT Therapeutics

      Dr. Finck is a board certified rheumatologist with more than 25 years of preclinical and clinical drug development experience in academic and biopharmaceutical settings. During her rheumatology training at University of California, San Francisco she studied the effects of CTLA4-Ig (subsequently developed and marketed as Orencia®) in a murine lupus nephritis model.

      Dr. Finck, whose drug development activities have spanned multiple therapeutic areas, started her pharmaceutical career at ALZA as medical director for early clinical development of Ditropan-XL®, to treat spasms of the bladder. She subsequently held senior level positions at a half-dozen innovative biopharmaceutical companies. At Immunex (later acquired by Amgen) she was lead medical director for the Phase III clinical development of Enbrel® in rheumatoid arthritis and juvenile idiopathic arthritis. At Eos Biotechology, she was VP for Clinical Development. In addition, she was on the executive teams at PDL Biopharma (VP, Clinical Development), Osprey Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. (Senior VP, Research and Development, and Chief Medical Officer), and NKT Therapeutics, Inc. (Chief Medical Officer).

      Throughout her career in pharmaceutical development, Dr. Finck has demonstrated the ability to build effective teams and alliances, as well as a personal passion for developing therapeutics to treat diseases where there is significant unmet medical need.

      Dr. Finck earned her B.S. from UC Santa Barbara, and her M.D. from UCSF, where she also completed her Internship and Residency in Internal Medicine, and her Fellowship in Rheumatology.

  • 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.

  • Michael A. Fleming

    EVP, Corporate and Competitive Strategy

    • Michael A. Fleming

      EVP, Corporate and Competitive Strategy

      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.

  • Erik Wiberg

    EVP, Corporate Development

    • Erik Wiberg

      EVP, Corporate Development

      Industry Experience

      19

      Years

      Prior Experience

      Anacor, Johnson & Johnson, ALZA, UBS, Hambrecht & Quist

      Mr. Wiberg joined Coherus in 2017 with more than 30 years of experience, including more than 18 years in various business development and corporate finance roles at biopharmaceutical companies, and 13 years in healthcare investment banking and equity research. Mr. Wiberg has extensive experience in corporate development, completing numerous out-licensing, in-licensing, merger and acquisition, and financing transactions and research & development collaborations that achieved corporate priorities and created significant value for shareholders in several small and large-cap pharmaceutical companies.

      Before joining Coherus, Mr. Wiberg was most recently Senior Vice President, Strategy and Corporate Development at Anacor Pharmaceuticals, Inc. a company acquired by Pfizer in 2016 for $5.2 billion. He has also held leadership positions in corporate strategy, new product planning and portfolio management.

      Mr. Wiberg earned his dual degree in business and engineering from University of Pennsylvania, where he attended the Wharton School of Business and earned his Bachelor of Science in Economics, dual major in Finance and Accounting, and the School of Engineering and Applied Science where he earned his Bachelor of Applied Science with a major in Computer Science Engineering.

  • Paula G. O’Connor, M.D.

    EVP, Clinical Development and Medical Affairs

    • Paula G. O’Connor, M.D.

      EVP, Clinical Development and Medical Affairs

      Industry Experience

      15

      Years

      Prior Experience

      Genentech, Medivation, Onyx, Clovis

      Paula O’Connor is our Executive Vice President, Clinical Development and Medical Affairs. She oversees all clinical development activities for our pipeline, as well as all Medical Affairs activities related to our FDA approved pegfilgrastim biosimilar.

      Before joining Coherus, Dr. O’Connor was a Global Development Leader at Medivation. Before that, she was a leader in Global Medical Affairs at Clovis Oncology. Dr. O’Connor started her biopharmaceutical drug development career at Genentech where she spent 7 years in Clinical Development in across several therapeutic areas.

      Dr. O’Connor is hematologist- oncologist with more than 15 years of clinical drug development experience. She received her MD from Stanford Medical School and completed her residency and fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital.

  • Richard L. Hameister

    EVP, Quality

    • Richard L. Hameister

      EVP, Quality

      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.