WALTHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Deciphera Pharmaceuticals, a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on developing tumor-targeted and immuno-targeted advanced kinase inhibitors, announced today that it has elected Edward J. Benz, Jr., M.D., and Patricia L. Allen to its Board of Directors. Dr. Benz is the outgoing President and Chief Executive Officer of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Ms. Allen is the Chief Financial Officer of Zafgen, Inc.
“We are pleased to have Dr. Benz and Ms. Allen join our Board of Directors, and we value the expertise that they bring to Deciphera at this important stage of our development,” stated Michael D. Taylor, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Deciphera Pharmaceuticals. “The extensive clinical oncology leadership experience Dr. Benz brings to Deciphera will be invaluable as we continue to execute on our strategy of developing advanced kinase inhibitors for the treatment of patients with cancer. Ms. Allen’s twenty-plus years of financial leadership experience within the biotechnology industry will be instrumental in guiding Deciphera through a host of potential financial and strategic initiatives.”
“I believe Deciphera’s advanced kinase inhibitors have the potential to offer improved treatment options for patients with cancer and I am honored to join the Deciphera board to help guide the leadership team during this significant phase of the company’s evolution,” said Dr. Benz.
“Deciphera has rapidly emerged over the last few years as a leader in developing innovative cancer therapies designed to address key limitations of cancer treatment. I am looking forward to lending my biotechnology and public company experience and expertise at such an exciting time as the company works toward the goal of advancing patient care,” said Ms. Allen.
Edward J. Benz Jr., M.D. is President and Chief Executive Officer Emeritus of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, which he led from 2000-2016. Dr. Benz is also the Richard and Susan Smith Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Professor of Pediatrics and Genetics at Harvard Medical School. Immediately prior to assuming the presidency at Dana-Farber, Dr. Benz was chairman of the Department of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the Sir William Osler Professor of Medicine. He received a bachelor's degree, cum laude, from Princeton University, a medical degree, magna cum laude, from Harvard Medical School, and a master's degree (privatum) from Yale University. Author of more than 300 articles, books, chapters, reviews, and abstracts, Dr. Benz is a past president of both the American Society of Hematology and the American Society of Clinical Investigation, and was an associate editor of the New England Journal of Medicine from 2002-2016.
Patricia L. Allen has served as Chief Financial Officer of Zafgen, Inc. since January 2013. Ms. Allen has over 20 years of financial leadership experience in the biotechnology industry at both publicly-traded and private companies. From 2011 to 2012, she provided independent consulting services to biotechnology companies in a variety of areas, including interim CFO services, fundraising, deal structures, financial planning, organizational structure, investor relations and business development. Previously, from 2004 to 2011, Ms. Allen served as the Vice President of Finance, Treasurer and Principal Financial Officer of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a publicly-traded biotechnology company, where she had significant interactions with the investment community and was influential in raising over $900 million via the company’s initial public offering, follow-on common stock offerings and multiple business development transactions with top-tier pharmaceutical companies. Prior to Alnylam, Ms. Allen was at Alkermes, Inc., a publicly-traded biotechnology company, for twelve years most recently as the Director of Finance. Ms. Allen began her career as an auditor at Deloitte & Touche, LLP. Ms. Allen graduated summa cum laude from Bryant College with a B.S. in business administration.
About Deciphera Pharmaceuticals
Deciphera Pharmaceuticals seeks to improve treatment for patients with cancer by designing innovative kinase inhibitor therapies that address key drug resistance mechanisms. Deciphera’s unique approach leverages its deep understanding of kinase biology to develop a robust pipeline of tumor-targeted and immuno-targeted drug candidates that can improve the rate and durability of response to treatment. Deciphera’s innovative switch control platform enables the creation of tumor-targeted agents designed to control therapeutic resistance causing mutations and immuno-targeted agents designed to control activation of immuno-kinases that suppress critical immune system regulators, such as macrophages. This two-pronged approach to kinase inhibition represents an advance over other methods of inhibiting kinases for the treatment of cancer.