Strategic Funding and Joint-Development
Management Team
Robert DeBenedetto, CPA
Founder, President & CEO

Robert DeBenedetto, CPA has over 25 years of global pharmaceutical / life sciences experience. Robert founded SFJ 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 as the premier global funding partner for many of the world’s largest pharma companies, with SFJ 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, 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.

Bruce A. Bouchard, CPA
Chief Financial Officer

Prior to joining SFJ Pharmaceuticals, Bruce served as a partner and the Global Biotechnology Sector Tax Leader for Ernst & Young LLP.  For 32 years, he provided advice and counsel to clients and other partners on life science industry related matters including structuring transactions, collaborations, joint ventures, and license arrangements, intellectual property planning and migration, global and domestic supply chain planning, pre-IPO planning, and equity based incentive programs. In addition, Bruce was responsible for managing the audit, review, and sign-off of numerous public pharmaceutical and biotechnology clients’ annual and quarterly ASC 740 analysis, including income statement and balance sheet implications as well as footnote related presentation and disclosures.  He presented at many EY sponsored client events as well as internal training events and was a frequent speaker at industry organization events sponsored by BIO and Massachusetts Biotechnology Council.  Bruce served as a member of the BIO tax and finance committee.

Bruce received an MBA from Bentley University and his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree from Merrimack College. He is a past Chairman of the Board of a State Affiliate of the American Heart Association, past President of the Board of a local affiliate of the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Association and a current Member of the Merrimack College Leadership Council.

Stewart Hallett
Global President Clinical Operations

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.

Rolf Linke; MD
Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Linke joined SFJ Pharmaceuticals Group in April 2013.  As a clinician and scientist with focus in immunology and clinical oncology he brings more than 18 years of experience in European, US and global leading roles in clinical development; medical affairs, and pharmacovigilance in established organizations as well as in Biotech companies (Bristol-Myers Squibb, Roche, Fresenius Biotech and Genentech). As protocol author/ lead scientist and/or medical monitor he was responsible for numerous clinical programs in several indications including paclitaxel, catumaxomab, bevacizumab and vemurafenib. He was actively involved in several interactions with health authorities (FDA and EMA). In his recent clinical positions Dr. Linke supported several launches of new products including Removab (EU), Zelboraf and Erivedge (both US).  He received his MD degree from the medical school, University of Freiburg in Germany

Alex Dilis
Executive Vice President Global Head Quality and Compliance

Ms. Alexandra (Alex) Dilis, J.D. joined SFJ 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 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.

Geoff Owen
Vice President, Business Development

Mr. Owen joined SFJ Pharmaceuticals in January of 2016 as Vice President, Business Development. He brings with him over 18 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 as a United States Naval Officer.

Maria Rojas
President Clinical Operations - Europe

Ms. Rojas joined SFJ Pharmaceuticals in 2013 with over 20 years’ experience in Clinical Operations, in Biopharma, Pharma and CRO industries across multiple therapeutic indications. This included a wide spectrum of clinical roles with increasing responsibilities along with an excellent clinical understanding as she started her career as a nurse in a large Hospital in Spain.  Ms. Rojas is based in Barcelona, Spain.

As President of Clinical Operations EU, Ms. Rojas leads, manages and supports all SFJ clinical activities in the European Region as well as promotes key relationships with different stakeholders and KOLs.

Most recently, Ms. Rojas was with ImClone (now fully acquired by Eli Lilly) where she served as a Global Director of their Clinical Operations Team with leading responsibilities for a critical global Phase III registration study with a VEGFR monoclonal antibody (Ramucirumab) in HCC.; this required working cross functionally with all Departments involved. Prior to joining ImClone, Ms. Rojas worked in the Clinical Operations area for several additional Pharma companies including Ferrer International, Novartis and Almirall as well as a CRA/Clinical Trial Manager with two CROs (Omnicare and Parexel).

In addition to holding a Nursing Degree from Barcelona University, she also holds a Post-Graduate Course in Pharmaceutical Marketing from Universtitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona).

Min Young Lee
President, SFJ Pharmaceuticals Asia Pacific PTE. LTD. (excluding Japan)

Mr. Lee, has 28 years experience of biotech & pharmaceutical and life sciences. 16 years experience of which was in the Asia bio-pharmaceutical and health care industry. In 2009 – 2011, Mr. Lee was the Senior Vice President and led the Bio Business Unit of the Hanwha Group with biosimilars & new large molecules. Prior to that Mr. Lee, was the Vice President at Samyang Corporation and he led oncology products development and clinical trials in US, Russia, China, Korea, Singapore, etc. Prior to that Mr. Lee was the President and led CMIC a large Asia CRO business in Korea / Asia tripling the business size in two years. Prior to that Mr. Lee was Asia regional manager at P&G Asia worked on Asia regional regulatory, human safety, clinical & ER. Mr. Lee also worked for U.S. FDA. Mr. Lee has Ph.D. in Toxicology from Oregon State University.

Fumito Tsuji
President, SFJ Pharma Japan K.K.

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.