Exelixis has announced three high-level appointments as the company prepares for the potential commercialization of its lead compound, cabozantinib, for the treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC) following positive results from the METEOR pivotal phase III trial. William Berg, M.D., has joined the company as senior vice president of medical affairs, Jonathan Berndt as vice president of sales, and Gregg Bernier as vice president of marketing.
“Exelixis is moving rapidly to thoughtfully expand our medical affairs and commercial capabilities in advance of our planned U.S. and E.U. regulatory filings for cabozantinib in advanced renal cell carcinoma in late 2015 and early 2016, respectively,” said Michael M. Morrissey, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of Exelixis.
Berg will oversee medical affairs in the U.S. He joins Exelixis after spending more than 12 years at Novartis, where he served in roles of increasing responsibility, including vice president and franchise head within global medical affairs. Before entering the pharmaceutical industry, Berg served on the faculty of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
Berndt will lead all sales activities for cabozantinib and also direct U.S. co-promotion efforts for cobimetinib, including Exelixis’ plans to field up to 25% of the cobimetinib U.S. sales force in the event of a potential regulatory approval later this year. Berndt joins Exelixis with two decades of commercial sales experience in the biopharmaceutical industry. Most recently, he served as senior director, oncology sales at Gilead Sciences. Previously, Berndt worked at Genentech for 13 years.
Bernier will lead the marketing group in its commercialization of cabozantinib for RCC. Bernier has more than 20 years of experience in biotech and pharmaceutical sales and marketing, primarily in oncology. Prior to joining Exelixis, he was senior director of marketing at Medivation. Bernier joined Medivation from Genentech, where he worked on a variety of product launches.