Xencor’s experienced management team includes industry veterans with know-how in all areas of antibody and protein drug research and development as well as operating experience in the areas of business development, intellectual property protection and finance.
President & CEO
Dr. Bassil Dahiyat co-founded Xencor in 1997 to commercially leverage his and Dr. Stephen Mayo’s seminal work at Caltech on proteins and the development of Protein Design Automation™ technology. Under Dr. Dahiyat’s leadership, Xencor has applied PDA to develop a pipeline of proprietary protein and antibody drug candidates, both internally and in partnership with leading biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. He drives the company’s fundraising efforts, and has secured more than $85 million in financing to date. Dr. Dahiyat also leads the company’s scientific programs and has been instrumental in growing the company’s broad intellectual property portfolio. He is an inventor on 60 patents and patent applications, including Xencor’s Protein Design Automation® platform, and a co-author of 18 scientific papers. In 2005, Dr. Dahiyat was recognized as a technology pioneer by the World Economic Forum. Additionally, Dr. Dahiyat was named one of 2003′s Top 100 Young Innovators by MIT’s Technology Review magazine for his work on protein design and its development for therapeutic applications and has received awards from the American Chemical Society, the Controlled Release Society and Caltech. Dr. Dahiyat holds a Ph.D. in chemistry from Caltech and B.S. and M.S.E. degrees in biomedical engineering from Johns Hopkins University.
Chief Business Officer
Dr. Baracchini joined Xencor as chief business officer in January 2010. He has more than 15 years of experience in structuring and negotiating research and development partnerships, mergers and acquisitions, and in-licensing agreements. To date, Dr. Baracchini has negotiated more than 60 business transactions with multinational and Asian pharmaceutical firms, biotechnology companies and leading universities.
Most recently, he served as senior vice president of business development at Metabasis Therapeutics until its merger with Ligand Pharmaceuticals in 2009. Prior to joining Metabasis, Dr. Baracchini was vice president of business development at Elitra Pharmaceuticals, and the director of business development at Agouron Pharmaceuticals until its acquisition by Warner-Lambert in 1999. Prior to that, he was assistant director of business development at Isis Pharmaceuticals.
Dr. Baracchini holds a Ph.D. in molecular and cell biology from the University of Texas at Dallas and conducted his postdoctoral research at UCSD and The Scripps Research Institute. He also earned an M.B.A. from the University of California, Irvine, and a B.S. in microbiology from the University of Notre Dame.
Vice President, Research
Dr. Desjarlais oversees all aspects of discovery and research at the company including technology development, protein and antibody engineering and generation of drug candidates. Prior to joining Xencor, Dr. Desjarlais was an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Penn State University, where he developed protein engineering methods similar to Xencor’s PDA® technology platform. Dr. Desjarlais received a B.S. in Physics from the University of Massachusetts and a Ph.D. in Biophysics from Johns Hopkins University. He then conducted postdoctoral research at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Desjarlais has driven the company’s technology development and engineering efforts for over 5 years and participated in the business development and intellectual property strategies.
Chief Medical Officer
Paul A. Foster, M.D. joined us as Chief Medical Officer in January 2010. Dr. Foster has 27 years of experience in a career spanning academic basic research, academic medical practice, research & development, product development, clinical development, drug safety, medical affairs, regulatory affairs, and product commercialization. From June 2008 through May 2009 he served as Chief Medical Officer for Cardium Therapeutics and prior to joining Xencor provided Medical/Clinical consulting services as SVP Development and Chief Medical Officer of Development and Strategic Consulting Associates, LLC. He has held senior leadership positions in both large and small biopharmaceutical companies including Biogen Idec, IDEC Pharmaceuticals, Abbott Laboratories, Alpha Therapeutics, Reata Pharmaceuticals, Cardium Therapeutics and Dade Behring. He has experience with the development of biologics, small molecules, and in-vitro diagnostics in therapeutic areas including oncology, hematology, inflammation and autoimmune diseases. Dr. Foster received his M.D. from Duke University School of Medicine and trained in Internal Medicine and Hematology/Oncology, and received a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry degree from the University of Michigan.
Vice President, Finance
Mr. Kuch has primary responsibility for financial reporting, budgeting, cash-flow management, investments, and facility issues for the company. He has extensive experience working with emerging companies through the IPO process. Previously he worked over 15 years in public accounting most recently as a Director at Price Waterhouse. Mr. Kuch is a C.P.A. and received his B.S. and M.S. in Accounting from the University of Illinois.