Founder, President & CEO
Robert DeBenedetto, CPA has over 25 years of global pharmaceutical / life sciences experience. Robert founded SFJ Pharmaceuticals® in January of 2009 on a premise that there was a better way to fund and conduct clinical trials globally. This premise is now a reality with SFJ Pharmaceuticals® as the premier global funding partner for many of the world’s largest pharma companies, with SFJ Pharmaceuticals® now having a proven track record of drug approvals with many more drugs with trials successfully completed and in regulatory submission. Prior to joining SFJ Pharmaceuticals®, Robert was Vice President of Global Business Development at Quintiles Transnational’s, pharmaceuticals investment unit. Preceding that Robert was Executive Committee Member, CFO, V.P. of Corporate Development, and V.P. of Corporate Marketing for Boston Scientific’s Japan subsidiary with 800 employees and sales exceeding $600 million. Robert spent the first 9 years of his professional career as a CPA with E&Y, advising some of the world’s largest companies. To date Robert has been involved in approximately 100 acquisitions, mergers, licensing and partnering arrangements valued at over $10 billion. Robert has a Master’s Degree from Bentley University and presently a Senior Adviser at Blackstone Life Sciences.
Executive Vice President, Project Lead
Mr. Andrews joined SFJ Pharmaceuticals® in February of 2021 with over 30 years of experience in the clinical and regulatory fields. As the Executive Vice President of Project Leadership, he is responsible for the management of clinical trials on a global scale. Working closely with members of the SFJ team around the world, he ensures the successful implementation of regulatory and clinical development plans in a variety of therapeutic areas. Mr. Andrews joins SFJ after a long career at Pfizer in statistics, operations and project leadership and most recently serving as the Executive Director of the Bavencio Development Team. Throughout his career he has successfully led submissions in both oncology (Sutent, Inlyta and Bavencio) and cardiovascular indications (Tikosyn). Mr. Andrews is experienced in all phases of the product lifecycle development, contributing to clinical strategy planning and leading teams in multiple therapeutics areas, and managing against budgets of up to $500m. He received his B.A. in Maths and Economics and his MSc. in Statistics from University of Kent at Canterbury.
Chief Accounting Officer
Mr. Cobo, has more than 20 years of experience in corporate accounting, including mergers and acquisitions, compliance, public offering, and financial analysis activities. Prior to joining SFJ, Mr. Cobo served as Vice President of Finance at Sangamo Therapeutics, Inc., a biotechnology company, with responsibility for accounting, procurement, IT and facilities, and held various roles of increasing responsibilities within Sangamo. Prior to joining Sangamo, Mr. Cobo was a Senior Manager, Accounting, at Responsys, Inc., a software company, when the company was acquired by Oracle Corporation. Prior to that position, Mr. Cobo held various roles of increasing responsibilities at Oracle, in the mergers and acquisition, technical accounting and SEC reporting teams. He started his career in audit at Ernst and Young LLP in the firm’s biotechnology and technology practices. Mr. Cobo holds a B.S. in accounting from Santa Clara University, and is a licensed Certified Public Accountant.
Chief Financial Officer
Mr. DeBenedetto joined SFJ Pharmaceuticals® in August, 2014, overseeing FP&A activities including helping to close and operationalize over $400 million of structured financing transactions. Prior to joining SFJ Pharmaceuticals, Inc., he was with Cytori Therapeutics, a biotechnology company pioneering treatments with adipose-derived regenerative cells, where he developed process/policy improvements, which included a temporary assignment to Japan, and helped the close of a $500+ million licensing transaction. Mr. DeBenedetto earned a B.S. in Finance-Economics from Bentley University.
EVP, Chief Compliance Officer
Ms. Alexandra (Alex) Dilis, J.D. joined SFJ Pharmaceuticals® as Global Head of Quality and Compliance in 2013. Currently she is Executive Vice President of Quality and Compliance and directs activities aimed at assuring straight forward approval of medicines; counsels SFJ Pharmaceuticals® on matters related to the US FDA and international laws and regulations governing the research and development of new medicines. Ms. Dilis has over 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry, including Bayer and Celerion, where she held key quality and compliance leadership positions, as well as several start-up firms, were she served as an independent advisor to the executive office. Ms. Dilis earned a B.S. in Business Administration from Providence College, and a J.D. from the New England School of Law, Boston.
Vice President, Clinical Development, Asia Pacific
Dr. Faith Fung joined SFJ Pharmaceuticals® in 2013 as Vice President, Clinical Development, Asia Pacific. She is responsible for Project Management and Clinical Operations of global Phase III clinical trials, from Pre-IND regulatory consultations, to study start-up, study completion and drug registration, collaborating with co-development Pharmaceutical Company partner and direct management of CRO to ensure the delivery of clinical trials with quality, on time and within budget.
Dr. Faith Fung has more than 20 years of experience in clinical research and 8 years in pre-clinical research. Prior to joining SFJ Pharmaceuticals®, Faith was the Clinical Operations Director of Pfizer Phase I Unit in Singapore. Before that, she was Head of Clinical Operations, Asia Pacific in Sanofi-Aventis. Faith started her career in the pharmaceutical industry in Year 2000, as a Clinical Research Associate at GlaxoSmithKline. Dr. Faith Fung graduated with a Ph.D. in Science from the National University of Singapore in 1998 and went on to obtain an M.B.A. from Victoria University, Australia in 2013.
EVP, Chief Operating Officer
Stewart Hallett joined SFJ Pharmaceuticals® in September of 2014 with over 20 years of clinical operations experience across multiple therapeutic indications. As the Global President of Clinical Operations Mr. Hallett is responsible for the management and execution of clinical trials throughout the world. He was most recently Vice President of Clinical Operations at Medivation, Inc. where he oversaw the Clinical Trials of their prostate cancer compound (Enzalutamide) from Phase I First in Man studies through FDA approval. Prior to that Mr. Hallett held roles of increasing responsibility at Chiron Corporation, until its acquisition by Novartis in 2006, Xoma, Abgenix, and Genentech. He holds a B.S. in Physiology from San Francisco State University and an M.B.A from St. Mary’s College of California.
EVP, Chief Medical Officer
Barbara White, MD, joined SFJ Pharmaceuticals® as Chief Medical Officer in September 2021, with 18 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, following a productive career as a physician scientist in academia. Barbara’s industry experience includes pre-clinical drug development, Phase 1-3 and post-approval clinical development, translational medicine, and medical affairs. Prior to joining SFJ, Barbara was Chief Medical Office and Head of Research at Corbus Pharmaceuticals, Inc., SVP and Head of R&D at Stiefel, a GSK company, and held leadership roles at UCB, MedImmune, and Amgen. Before starting her pharmaceutical career, Barbara was Professor of Medicine and Vice Chair for Research, Department of Medicine, at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Barbara received her medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and is board certified in internal medicine, rheumatology and allergy/clinical immunology. She did postdoctoral studies in basic cellular immunology at the National Cancer Institute, NIH. Barbara was recently elected Master, American College of Rheumatology.
EVP, Chief Business Officer
Mr. Owen joined SFJ Pharmaceuticals® in January of 2016 as Vice President, Business Development. With over 25 years of pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry experience, Geoff specializes in identifying, structuring and negotiating creative, risk-based product development and commercialization partnerships. During a 16-year career with Quintiles, he engineered financial and service partnerships with a wide spectrum of pharmaceutical and biotech companies, facilitating placement of >$700 million in risk capital and over $1 billion in sales. He also led global sales for Quintiles’ Integrated Health Services Division.Prior to joining Quintiles in 1998, Geoff worked at The Wilkerson Group, a New York-based consultancy that provided strategy, marketing, and business development advisory services to the healthcare industry.
He began his healthcare career at Deloitte and Touche Consulting Group in Atlanta, focusing mainly on operations and reengineering projects for hospitals and integrated healthcare systems.He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of North Carolina, and Masters in Business Administration from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Upon graduation from UNC, he served eight years on active duty as a United States Naval Officer.
Head Clinical Development Advisor, Japan
Mr. Tsuji joined SFJ Pharmaceuticals® in July of 2010 with over 25 years of clinical development experience across multiple therapeutic indications in the pharmaceutical industry. Mr. Tsuji was Head of Clinical Development at Schering-Plough KK, where he oversaw the Clinical Trials of hypercholesterolemia compound (Ezetimib) from Phase I studies through PMDA approval and malignant glioma compound (Temozolomide) from Phase II study through PMDA approval. Mr. Tsuji specializes in building development strategies for the approval of drugs. Mr. Tsuji has a Master’s Degree from Kanazawa University in Pharmaceutical Sciences.