Senior Management Team

Lewis H. Bender, M.S., M.A., M.B.A.

Position: Founder and CEO

Mr. Bender has over 28 years of biopharmaceutical leadership experience and has helped take products leveraging novel drug delivery techniques from discovery through product approval. Prior to founding Intensity Therapeutics, Mr. Bender was the CEO of Interleukin Genetics, a personalized medicine company, from January 2008 until August 2012. Prior to joining Interleukin, Mr. Bender held numerous positions at Emisphere Technologies, Inc., a drug delivery company specializing in the oral delivery of poorly absorbed molecules.  His roles included: Interim President & CEO, President, Chief Technology Officer, Senior Vice President of Business Development, and Senior Vice President of Manufacturing and Process Development.

During his career, Mr. Bender has partnered with several major pharmaceutical and biotech companies using structures such as joint ventures, licensing and research collaboration agreements. In addition, Mr. Bender has been successful in raising capital from institutional investors through multiple types of transactions.

Lewis H. Bender, M.S., M.A., M.B.A.

Founder and CEO

Mr. Bender has over 28 years of biopharmaceutical leadership experience...

James M. Ahlers

Position: Chief Financial Officer

James M. Ahlers has served as Chief Financial Officer since January 2022 through a consulting agreement with Mr. Ahlers’ employer, Danforth Advisors LLC, a company that provides strategic and operational finance and accounting services to life science companies. From February 2002 to November 2019 Mr. Ahlers served as Chief Financial Officer of Intarcia Therapeutics, Inc. Mr. Ahlers is an accomplished finance leader with 25 years of experience building life science businesses. He has raised through equity, debt and complex structured instruments, including IPOs during his career and has developed and implemented international operations and global tax strategies. Mr. Ahlers holds a B.S. in accounting from the University of San Francisco.

James M. Ahlers

Chief Financial Officer

James M. Ahlers has served as Chief Financial Officer since...

Ian B. Walters, MD

Position: Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Walters has over 20 years of oncology/immunology drug development experience. Prior to joining Intensity Therapeutics, Dr. Walters spent seven years at Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS), where he led the clinical research and matrix development teams. During his tenure at BMS, he contributed to the development of multiple immuno-oncology products including the anti-CTLA-4 compound Yervoy® (Impilimumab) and the anti-PD-1 compound, Opdivo® (Nivolimumab), as well as the licensing and partnering strategy for other immuno-oncologic agents.

Dr. Walters has worked at multiple biotech companies, including Millennium Pharmaceuticals, where he was responsible for corporate development, translational medicine, clinical development and medical affairs. Dr. Walters has also been a consultant to biotech, pharma and investment companies specializing in the evaluation, prioritization, and development of innovative technologies in the treatment of severe diseases. Before entering the private sector, Dr. Walters was a lead investigator at the Rockefeller University and initiated cutting-edge immunology research to understand the mechanism of action of several compounds. Dr. Walters received his MD from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Ian B. Walters, MD

Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Walters has over 20 years of oncology/immunology drug development...

Rebecca Drain

Position: Vice President, Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance

Prior to joining Intensity Therapeutics, Inc. Rebecca (Peggi) Drain was Director of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Oncology Regulatory Submissions group. She was responsible for the operational and technical execution of multiple complex, high visibility Investigational and Marketing application submission strategies including issue mitigation, staff management, resource planning and quality oversight. Peggi led the global application process for the Immuno-Oncology (I-O) portfolio for large and small molecules, including over 80 global investigational and marketing applications resulting in numerous regulatory approvals. She is a regulatory framework subject matter expert with over 25 years of drug development expertise spanning multiple therapeutic areas including neuroscience, anti-infectives and oncology.  She also spent several years in the early drug development space at Bristol-Myers Squibb and Protein Sciences, developing anti-infective products and vaccines including those for HIV.

She has a Bachelor of Science in Pathobiology from The University of Connecticut.

Rebecca Drain

Vice President, Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance

Prior to joining Intensity Therapeutics, Inc. Rebecca (Peggi) Drain was...

Steve Innaimo

Position: Vice President of Project Management

Steve Innaimo has served as our Vice President of Project Management since October 2018.  Steve is a has more than 25 years of experience in drug development from the large pharma, biotech and contract research organization sectors. Prior to joining Intensity, Steve spent two years at Covance as Executive Director and Head of the Global Project Management Office for Covance’s Clinical Development Services. He previously spent 23 years at Bristol-Myers Squibb in roles of increasing responsibility within Discovery, Oncology Project Management and Global Clinical Operations & Strategy.  Steve held pan-therapeutic responsibilities across BMS’s asset portfolio and was integrally involved in managing the drug development governance process.  During his time at BMS, Steve directly managed or provided development oversight for a number of BMS’ immuno-oncology value driver assets including YERVOY® and OPDIVO®.  He has driven multiple therapies to initial and post-marketing registrations globally.  Prior to BMS, Steve began his R&D career as a molecular biologist for TargeTech Inc.  Steve holds a B.S. in Molecular Biology, a M.S. in Endocrinology from the University of Connecticut and a Project Management Certificate from Boston University.

Steve Innaimo

Vice President of Project Management

Steve Innaimo has served as our Vice President of Project...

Brian Schwartz, MD

Position: Executive VP, Clinical Development

Brian Schwartz M.D. serves as our Head of Clinical Development. He has significant experience in a drug development spanning several therapeutic areas including oncology, hematology, dermatology, neurology and rare diseases. During the past decade Brian has served as Senior Vice President, Head of Research & Development and Chief Medical Officer of ArQule Inc., which was acquired for $2.7bn by Merck & Co. in 2020. Prior to ArQule Inc., Brian was CMO at Ziopharm, having previously held several senior leadership roles at Bayer and LEO Pharma. Brian is a Board Member of several companies and acts as an independent consultant for numerous biotech companies. Brian received his medical degree from the University of Pretoria, South Africa, completed a fellowship at the University of Toronto, Canada and practiced medicine prior to his career in the biopharmaceutical industry.

Brian Schwartz, MD

Executive VP, Clinical Development

Brian Schwartz M.D. serves as our Head of Clinical Development....

John Wesolowski, CPA, MBA

Position: Controller

Prior to joining Intensity Therapeutics, John was Director of Costing in the Yale University Controller’s office from 1998 until 2016. In that role, he conducted financial reporting, property tax management, was responsible for calculations of overhead and benefit rates, and was involved in numerous special projects related to accounting process and controls. Also, at Yale, he was involved in financial reporting and the accounting matters related to clinical trials and other organized research. Prior to joining Yale, John was the Vice President and Controller for Automatic Fastener Corporation in Branford, CT from 1988 to 1998. In this role, he oversaw all accounting, purchasing and human resource functions. John also has five years of experience in public accounting and auditing from working at KMG Main Hurdman, now KPMG.

John received a Bachelor of Science in Finance from The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State at University Park) and an M.B.A in Management Science from The University of Connecticut. He is a Certified Public Accountant since 1983.

John Wesolowski, CPA, MBA

Controller

Prior to joining Intensity Therapeutics, John was Director of Costing...