Seattle Genetics (SGEN) Names New CTO, SVP

October 4, 2016 8:05 AM EDT

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Seattle Genetics, Inc. (Nasdaq: SGEN) announced two executive promotions and an executive appointment to the company’s clinical development leadership team.

Vaughn B. Himes, Ph.D., has been promoted to Chief Technical Officer. In this new role, he will oversee Seattle Genetics’ process sciences, manufacturing, supply chain, quality assurance and quality control functions. Dennis Benjamin, Ph.D., has been promoted to Senior Vice President, Translational Research. Dr. Benjamin will be responsible for preclinical research, nonclinical sciences and experimental pharmacology. Seattle Genetics also named Robert J. Lechleider, M.D., as Senior Vice President, Clinical Development. Dr. Lechleider will oversee all clinical development programs within the company’s therapeutic focus areas of lymphoma, leukemia, solid tumors, and immuno-oncology, as well as translational medicine and biometrics.

“The promotions of Dr. Himes and Dr. Benjamin, along with the appointment of Dr. Lechleider, continue to reinforce the strength of Seattle Genetics as we transition to a multi-product, global organization,” said Clay Siegall, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer.

Vaughn B. Himes joined Seattle Genetics in April 2009, bringing more than twenty years of experience in manufacturing, technical operations, process development and scale-up activities. He most recently served as Executive Vice President, Process Sciences and Technical Operations. Prior to joining Seattle Genetics, Dr. Himes was with ZymoGenetics as Senior Vice President, Technical Operations, where his responsibilities included commercial and clinical manufacturing, supply chain and logistics, quality control and process development. Dr. Himes received a B.A. in Chemistry from Pomona College and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota.

“Vaughn has played a critical role in the growth of our company and has been a vital member of the executive team for many years,” said Eric Dobmeier, Chief Operating Officer. “His vision and expertise in the areas of process sciences, technical operations and manufacturing will continue to help us advance our therapies to patients in need.”

Dennis Benjamin joined Seattle Genetics in December 2004, starting as Director of Biochemistry and working his way through various positions within research to his current role as Senior Vice President, Translational Research. Prior to joining Seattle Genetics, he held research positions at Praecis Pharmaceuticals and Genetics Institute. Dr. Benjamin received a B.S. in Chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in Medicinal Chemistry from the University of California, San Francisco. He also completed a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the University of Oxford.

“Dennis has built strong scientific teams who have driven promising programs through early- and late-stage research, enabling Seattle Genetics to have a robust pipeline that positions us for continued success,” says Jonathan Drachman, M.D., Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President of Research and Development. “He has shown tremendous commitment to bringing innovative, promising therapies to patients through our industry-leading ADC technology platform.”

Robert J. Lechleider, M.D., recently joined Seattle Genetics as Senior Vice President, Clinical Development. Previously, Dr. Lechleider held key roles at several biopharmaceutical companies, including MacroGenics and MedImmune. Before joining the biotechnology industry, he served as Assistant Professor of Pharmacology at Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, and Associate Professor of Cell Biology at Georgetown University Medical School. Dr. Lechleider received his A.B. cum laude from Princeton University and his M.D. from the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago. He received clinical training in internal medicine at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston and in medical oncology at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda. He was also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Scholar and a Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell postdoctoral fellow.

“Dr. Lechleider brings a wealth of clinical and biotechnology experience which will help Seattle Genetics continue to fulfill its mission of improving the lives of people with cancer around the world, and keep us at the forefront of scientific excellence,” added Dr. Drachman. “We are pleased to have Bob join the company as the head of Clinical Development where he will oversee the development of ADCETRIS and more than 10 programs in our growing oncology pipeline.”

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