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, promoted Robert Forrester to President in addition to Chief Operating Officer.
“Verastem has rapidly progressed through Robert’s dedication and outstanding execution across all aspects of the Company,” said Christoph Westphal, M.D., Ph.D., Chairman and CEO of Verastem. “I look forward to the future successes that we will achieve together for patients who are in desperate need of better medicines.”
In 2012, Verastem successfully completed an initial public offering raising gross proceeds of $63.5 million and forward integrated their focal adhesion kinase program (FAK) with the in-license of VS-6063.
“Robert has been instrumental as Verastem has translated the fundamentally transformative cancer stem cell work of Bob Weinberg into drugs now on the cusp of a potentially pivotal study,” said Henri Termeer, Lead Director of Verastem. “On behalf of the Board of Directors, I congratulate him on these accomplishments and look forward to his continued execution of Verastem’s strategy in the years to come.”
Verastem is planning multiple clinical trials for 2013 across its programs targeting FAK and PI3K/mTOR. The current clinical plans include a midyear initiation of a potentially pivotal trial in mesothelioma for lead FAK inhibitor, VS-6063.
“It is my honor and pleasure to work with Christoph and the entire Verastem team,” said Robert Forrester. “We have a tremendous opportunity to achieve one of the most important goals in medicine by directly addressing the problem of cancer resistance and recurrence through the targeted killing of cancer stem cells. In 2013, we will work diligently to meet key objectives in this mission and focus on clinical execution across each of our programs.”
Mr. Forrester has been the CEO, COO and CFO of both private and public biotechnology companies. Prior to his industry leadership experience, Robert oversaw investments in the life sciences industry as a managing director at MeesPierson. At BZW and UBS, Robert was responsible for corporate transactions including M&A, public and private financings. Robert started his career as lawyer with Clifford Chance in London and Singapore and holds a LL.B. from Bristol University.