Verastem, Inc., (NASDAQ: VSTM) a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing drugs to treat cancer by the targeted killing of cancer stem cells, announced the appointment of Alison Lawton and Michael Kauffman, M.D., Ph.D., to its Board of Directors.
“Together, Ms. Lawton and Dr. Kauffman bring leadership in the clinical, regulatory and commercial aspects of the biopharmaceutical industry to Verastem at a transformative time in our development,” said Henri Termeer, Lead Director of Verastem. “On behalf of the Verastem Board of Directors, I am very pleased to welcome Alison and Michael and look forward to their contributions as we begin to demonstrate the clinical benefits of targeting cancer stem cells.”
In conjunction with the appointments, Steven Kraus of Bessemer Venture Partners and Ansbert Gadicke, M.D., of MPM Capital have stepped down from the Board of Directors.
“We deeply thank Steve and Ansbert for their valuable service to Verastem,” said Christoph Westphal, M.D., Ph.D., Chairman and CEO of Verastem. “They have made important contributions as we progressed from translating the pioneering research on cancer stem cells by Dr. Bob Weinberg to the design of clinical trials, including a potential registration trial of VS-6063 next year.”Alison Lawton has been with Genzyme Corp. (now NYSE: SNY) for 21 years and is currently Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Sanofi Biosurgery Business Unit. Ms. Lawton has led global functional organizations including Regulatory Affairs and Corporate Quality Systems, Policy Programs, Health Outcomes and Strategic Pricing, Patient Safety and Risk Management and BMRA Process Excellence and Training. Ms. Lawton spent 8 years in the UK at Parke-Davis and is past President and Chair of the Board of Regulatory Affairs Professional Society and is currently a director of Cubist Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: CBST) and MassMEDIC. “Verastem has a unique insight into cancer biology, remarkable scientific leadership and a highly dedicated management team focused on eradicating a cause of cancer recurrence and metastasis,” said Ms. Lawton. “I am excited to contribute to Verastem as the Company plans to initiate important clinical trials.”