Princeton pharma firm picks new president, CEO

Princeton’s Taiho Oncology has named its chief operating officer, Timothy Whitten, as the company’s new CEO and president, it announced in a news release Wednesday.

The position also entails operational responsibility for parent company Taiho Pharmaceutical’s branches in Canada and Europe.

Whitten will become president as of Jan. 1, reporting directly to Masayuki Kobayashi, president of Taiho Pharmaceutical, headquartered in Tokyo. Whitten, who has been with Taiho since 2013, then will replace the retiring Eric C. Benn as CEO in April.

“It is an honor to take on the role of president at Taiho Oncology and build on the remarkable accomplishments that Eric has made to the company over the last nine years,” Whitten said. “Eric leaves behind an extraordinary legacy at Taiho Oncology and our employees owe him a debt of gratitude and wish him and his wonderful family well as he starts the next chapter of his life. I look forward to working with my colleagues at Taiho to ensure that patients continue to benefit from our products now and in the future.”

Whitten oversaw the launch of Lonsurf Tablets, Taiho’s first product in the United States, which helps treat metastatic colorectal cancer.

Of his successor, Benn said, “As I planned my retirement after nearly a decade at Taiho and 40 years in the pharmaceutical industry, Tim was an obvious choice to take our company to the next level of clinical development and commercial excellence in the West, and to support our quest to become a Top 10 oncology company globally.”

“Under Tim’s leadership,” he continued, “we have made great strides in establishing our global presence in the oncology pharmaceutical arena, and we have an exciting future ahead of us as we continue to focus on patients with cancer through the development of our robust global pipeline and product commercialization.”