Alder BioPharmaceuticals brings together the brightest minds from leading companies. Together, we possess the operations, development and commercialization experience to bring novel therapies to market.

Robert Azelby, MBA, Chief Executive Officer
Robert Azelby, MBA

Chief Executive Officer

Prior to joining Alder BioPharmaceuticals, Mr. Azelby was Juno Therapeutics’ Executive Vice President, Chief Commercial Officer reporting to the CEO where he was a standing member of Juno’s Executive Team participating in the management of all aspects of Juno’s operations and was personally accountable for leading and developing Juno’s commercial capabilities. In addition to the commercial function, Mr. Azelby oversaw and led the development of Juno’s project management, corporate affairs and medical science liaison functions. Before Juno, Mr. Azelby was the Vice President and General Manager of Amgen’s US Oncology Business Unit representing $6.5 Billion. Over his 15 year career with Amgen, Mr. Azelby held numerous sales and marketing positions including Vice President U.S. Oncology Sales, Vice President of North American Commercial Operations, General Manager, Amgen Netherlands, Senior Marketing Director, etc. Prior to Amgen, Mr. Azelby was Chief Operating Officer for a venture-capital-backed early-stage company specializing in catastrophic event medical management. Mr. Azelby also held the position of Chief Financial Officer for a subsidiary of Oxford Health Plans and was also a Professional Sales Representative for GlaxoWellcome. Mr. Azelby received his undergraduate degrees in Economics and Religious Studies from the University of Virginia and his Master of Business Administration from Harvard University.

John A. Latham, Ph.D., MBA, Chief Scientific Officer
John A. Latham, Ph.D.

Chief Scientific Officer

Dr. Latham has served as our Chief Scientific Officer since cofounding Alder BioPharmaceuticals in January 2004. From 1998 to 2004, Dr. Latham served as a Director, Senior Director, and most recently as Vice President of Gene Function and Target Validation for Celltech Group plc. From 1994 to 1998, he served as a founding director of Darwin Molecular Corporation, a first-generation gene-to-drug biotechnology company. Dr. Latham was one of the early scientists hired by Gilead Sciences, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, and, from 1989 to 1994, he was a member of a core group established to exploit novel oligonucleotide-based technologies. Dr. Latham holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a B.S. in Chemistry from Colorado State University.

Elisabeth A. Sandoval, MBA, Chief Commercial Officer and Executive Vice President of Corporate Strategy
Elisabeth A. Sandoval, MBA

Chief Commercial Officer and Executive Vice President of Corporate Strategy

Ms. Sandoval joined Alder in 2016 and is the Chief Commercial Officer and Executive Vice President of Corporate Strategy, with primary responsibility for leading and developing the commercial strategy, capabilities and execution. Ms. Sandoval is also responsible for developing and leading medical affairs, investor relations, corporate communications and business development functions. Before joining Alder, she was Chief Commercial Officer for KYTHERA Biopharmaceuticals where she led the commercial strategy and execution including the hiring and development of all commercial functions and launch of a first-in-class product prior to KYTHERA’s acquisition by Allergan. Before KYTHERA, Ms. Sandoval was Vice President of Marketing for Bausch and Lomb Surgical leading all marketing strategy and execution globally. Prior to this position, Ms. Sandoval was Vice President of Global Marketing at Allergan with responsibility for marketing strategy globally of the Medical Aesthetics division and execution of key product launches. She spent 23 years at the company in sales and marketing leadership roles in the specialties of dermatology, neurology, and aesthetics. Ms. Sandoval serves on the board of directors for Alastin Skincare, a privately held company. Ms. Sandoval began her career in research and development at Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon division. She holds an MBA from Pepperdine University and a B.S. in Biology from the University of California, Irvine.

Erin Lavelle, Chief Operating Officer
Erin Lavelle

Chief Operating Officer

Ms. Lavelle has served as the Chief Operating Officer of Alder BioPharmaceuticals since April 2018. She has more than 20 years of cross-functional experience leading strategic and operational initiatives in the biopharmaceutical industry. Before joining Alder, Ms. Lavelle worked at Amgen for 15 years in a variety of roles in the Corporate Development, Finance and Commercial organizations. Her most recent role was General Manager of Amgen’s Taiwan affiliate where she managed a portfolio of six commercialized products. Prior to that, Ms. Lavelle worked in Hong Kong as an Executive Director for the Japan Asia-Pacific region during its initial build. She began her career in 1998 as an investment banker in the healthcare group at Merrill Lynch & Co. Ms. Lavelle holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Yale University.

Eric Carter, Ph.D., M.D., Interim Chief Medical Officer
Eric Carter, Ph.D., M.D.

Interim Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Carter has served as the Interim Chief Medical Officer of Alder BioPharmaceuticals since April 2018, having previously consulted for the company. Dr. Carter has more than 20 years of experience as both a physician and pharmaceutical executive and has overseen the introduction of new drug candidates into clinical development and practice. Before joining Alder, he served as Senior Vice President, Chief Medical Officer and Global Head of Clinical & Non-Clinical Development of Allergan Inc. Dr. Carter is currently the Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board of Bioniz Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, and serves on the Board of Directors of Adverum Biotechnologies, a public gene therapy company. Dr. Carter earned his medical degree from the University of Miami School of Medicine and his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Cambridge, England.

Jeffrey T.L. Smith, M.D., FRCP, Managing Director
Jeffrey T.L. Smith, M.D., FRCP

Managing Director

Dr. Smith has served as our Managing Director since March 2017. He cofounded the company in January 2004. Dr. Smith served as our Senior Vice President, Translational Medicine from 2012 to March 2017 and in other senior management positions from April 2004 to 2012. From 1999 to 2004, Dr. Smith served as Senior Director of Medical Research for Celltech R&D, where he was responsible for planning and managing the CDP870 anti-TNF clinical trials for RA as well as several other key autoimmune clinical development programs. From 1997 to 1999, he served as Medical Director at Simbec Research Ltd., a contract research organization. From 1995 to 1997, Dr. Smith served as Head of Clinical Pharmacology at Hoechst Marion Roussel Ltd., a pharmaceutical company. From 1994 to 1995, Dr. Smith served as a Senior Clinical Physician at the Proctor and Gamble Company, a publicly-traded consumer products company, and from 1989 to 1994, he served as a Senior Research Physician in the clinical pharmacology department at Glaxo Research and Development Ltd., now a division of GlaxoSmithKline plc, a healthcare company. Dr. Smith holds an M.D. from the University of London and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in London.

Larry Benedict, Executive Vice President and Principal Accounting Officer
Larry Benedict

Executive Vice President and Principal Accounting Officer

Mr. Benedict joined Alder in 2008 and has served as our Executive Vice President and Principal Accounting Officer since October 2016. Since joining Alder, Mr. Benedict has held increasing financial leadership roles including Vice President of Finance and, most recently, Senior Vice President of Finance. From 2000 to 2008, Mr. Benedict served in various positions at Seattle Genetics, Inc., a publicly traded biotechnology company, most recently as Director of Finance and Controller. From 1998 to 2000, he served as Chief Financial Officer at Sensible Solutions, Inc., a financial software consulting company, and from 1997 to 1998, he served as Finance Manager at SmithKline Beecham Clinical Laboratories, now Quest Diagnostics Incorporated. From 1990 to 1997, Mr. Benedict held various finance roles at Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, a biopharmaceutical company. Mr. Benedict holds a B.S. in Accounting from Central Washington University.

Randy Hassler, Executive Vice President, Pharmaceutical Operations
Randy Hassler

Executive Vice President, Pharmaceutical Operations

Mr. Hassler joined Alder in 2014 and has served as our Executive Vice President of Pharmaceutical Operations since February 2018. Prior to joining Alder BioPharmaceuticals, Mr. Hassler served as Vice President of Operations and Finance and Chief Operating Officer for seven years at Seattle Biomedical Research Institute, working on the fight against global infectious diseases. From 1995 to 2007, he served in various leadership positions at Amgen including Process Development, Quality Control, and Quality Assurance. In addition, he played major roles in Amgen’s acquisitions of both Immunex and Abgenix. From 1983 to 1995, Mr. Hassler served in a variety of research and development positions at Synergen in Boulder, Colorado. Mr. Hassler holds a B.S. in Microbiology from Indiana University and an M.S. in Microbiology from Colorado State University.

James B. Bucher, J.D., Senior Vice President and General Counsel
James B. Bucher, J.D.

Senior Vice President and General Counsel

Mr. Bucher has served as our Senior Vice President and General Counsel since January 2016. Prior to joining Alder BioPharmaceuticals, Mr. Bucher served as Vice President, Corporate Legal Affairs and Secretary, and as the Corporate Compliance Officer, of Exelixis, Inc., a Nasdaq-listed biopharmaceutical company, which he joined in 2007. From 1991 to 2007, Mr. Bucher practiced as a corporate attorney at the international law firm Shearman & Sterling LLP, becoming a partner in 2001. Mr. Bucher holds a J.D. with distinction from Emory University School of Law, and a B.A. in Biology from Colgate University.

Annette Vahratian, Senior Vice President, Quality
Annette Vahratian

Senior Vice President, Quality

Ms. Vahratian has served as our Senior Vice President of Quality since 2017. Prior to joining Alder as Vice President, Quality in 2015, Ms. Vahratian served as Principal Quality Consultant for ten years at AV BioPharma Consulting, serving the greater biopharmaceutical industry in support of innovator biologics drug development and regulatory product registrations. While at Immunex Corporation (now Amgen) from 1989 to 2002, she served as VP, Quality and in various management positions, where she was instrumental in gaining FDA approval of Enbrel® and managing Enbrel® commercial operations at multiple sites worldwide. Ms. Vahratian supported Wyeth (now Pfizer) in their international registration of Enbrel® in the European Union, and she has been involved in more than 15 IND applications and two FDA marketing authorization drug approvals. Ms. Vahratian holds a B.S. in Biology and Psychology from Hope College.

Melissa Yeager

Senior Vice President, Regulatory Affairs

Ms. Yeager has more than 25 years of management responsibility for regulatory and marketing activities in the pharmaceutical, medical device and biotechnology fields. Prior to joining Alder, she co-led development and approval of Tobramycin Inhalation Solution (TOBI®) and Aztreonam Inhalation Solution (Cayston®) and played an instrumental role in gaining on multiple appeals, including the approval for Cayston after both the EMA and FDA rejected the initial applications. Ms. Yeager’s broad experience in product development includes management positions with Gilead Sciences, Becton Dickinson and other Fortune 500 corporations, as well as smaller, specialized biotechnology ventures. In these roles, she has provided key leadership through all phases of drug, device and combination product development both in the US and overseas. Most recently, Ms. Yeager held positions as Chief Regulatory Officer, Breath Therapeutics, and Chief Operating Officer at Cardeas Pharma. Prior to joining Breath and Cardeas, Ms. Yeager was Vice President of Regulatory Affairs at Corus Pharma and Gilead Sciences for nine years, guiding multiple regulatory and quality assurance activities for small molecule products. Her key responsibilities in these roles included provision of nonclinical, clinical and CMC regulatory strategies and managing pre- and post-approval regulatory activities for compliance with FDA and world health agency standards. Ms. Yeager received her B.A. degree in Human Biology from Stanford University and her J.D. degree from Santa Clara University. She currently holds positions on scientific advisory boards for start-up entities and is a lead board member of several nonprofit organizations.

Roger K. Cady, M.D., Vice President, Neurology
Roger K. Cady, M.D.

Vice President, Neurology

Dr. Cady has served as Vice President, Neurology of Alder BioPharmaceuticals since June 2016. Prior to joining Alder, Dr. Cady served as the Medical Director of the Headache Care Center and was the founder of Clinvest Research and Primary Care Network, a CME education company. He also served as Medical Director for the Shealy Institute in Springfield, Missouri. During his career, Dr. Cady has authored over 250 scientific papers and received numerous awards, including the Harold Wolff Award in 2000. Dr. Cady is also a Fellow of the American Headache Society and a member of the Board of Directors for the National Headache Foundation. Dr. Cady holds a bachelor’s degree from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa and received his medical degree from the Mayo Medical School in Rochester, Minnesota. He then completed his residency in family practice at Mayo Clinic Health System – Franciscan Healthcare in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Eric Kassel, Pharm.D., Vice President, Medical Affairs
Eric Kassel, Pharm.D.

Vice President, Medical Affairs

Dr. Kassel was appointed as the Vice President, Medical Affairs of Alder BioPharmaceuticals in April 2017, having served previously as a consultant to the company. He has more than 20 years of experience as a clinician and in medical affairs leadership. Before joining Alder, Dr. Kassel spent 15 years with medical affairs at Allergan, Inc, supporting the development and approval of onabotulinumtoxinA for the treatment of chronic migraine. Most recently he served as Senior Director, Payer and Health Outcomes, Regional Scientific Services of Allergan, where he managed the payer facing medical affairs strategy across six therapeutic areas and accounting for $500M in portfolio sales. Dr. Kassel began his career as a clinical pharmacist in critical care at Illinois Masonic Hospital in Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Kassel is a residency trained clinical pharmacist who earned his doctorate in pharmacy degree from the University of Illinois in Chicago after completing undergraduate degrees in biology and chemistry at Illinois State University.

Heather Malcolm, Vice President, Human Resources
Heather Malcolm

Vice President, Human Resources

Ms. Malcolm joined Alder BioPharmaceuticals in June 2008 and was appointed Vice President of Human Resources in January 2018. Altogether, Ms. Malcolm has more than 20 years of experience in biopharmaceutical and healthcare human resources. Prior to joining Alder, she served as a Human Resources Consultant at Seattle Children’s Hospital Research Institute, and previously held human resources positions at Seattle Genetics, Chiron Corporation, and Pathogenesis Corporation. Ms. Malcolm has been a longtime participant in the Life Science Washington HR Group, an industry networking association, including serving as a past Steering Committee Co-Chair. Ms. Malcolm holds a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College in Santa Fe, New Mexico.