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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 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 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.

  • 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.

  • Richard L. Hameister

    Chief Quality Officer

    • Richard L. Hameister

      Chief Quality 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.

  • 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.

  • Dinesh Purandare

    EVP, Commercial Strategy and Operations

    • Dinesh Purandare

      EVP, Commercial Strategy and Operations

      Industry Experience

      30

      Years

      Prior Experience

      Versatem Oncology, Sanofi, Glaxo Smith Kline

      Mr. Purandare brings over 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, and over 11 product launches to Coherus as he joined in 2020 as Executive Vice President, Commercial Strategy and Operations. Mr. Purandare joins us from Versatem Oncology where he was Senior Vice President / Head of Commercial / Portfolio Strategy. Prior to that he was Senior Vice President and Head of Global Oncology and Vasomotor Programs. He worked at Sanofi as Vice President and Project Head – Global Oncology Division and Senior Vice President and Head of Global Marketing / Sales. Mr. Purandare was Vice President and Head of Centre of Excellence for Oncology at Glaxo Smith Kline, where he also was Executive Director – Global Commercial Strategy. At Pharmacia (Pfizer), he was US and Global Marketing Director, and Area Director – Europe – Strategic Marketing Oncology when they were Pharmacia & Upjohn. He also worked in Italy for Pharmacia as Farmitalia Carlo Erba International Marketing Manager, and as Farmitalia Carlo Erba Marketing Manager – East Europe, Africa and Asia, in addition to working for them in India as Farmitalia Carlo Erba India Liaison Office Manager Planning and Development. Mr. Purandare earned his BS in Chemistry and MA in Business Administration from the University of Bombay.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • McDavid Stilwell

    EVP, Corporate Development, Investor Relations, and Financial Strategy

    • McDavid Stilwell

      EVP, Corporate Development, Investor Relations, and Financial Strategy

      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.