The first spark of interest in cancer research flared for Dr. Robert Sims during his college years, with a summer job at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. This stint in a tumor immunology lab fueled his interest and was the beginning of a nearly 30-year career in cancer therapeutics and research, as a board-certified hematologist-oncologist in private practice and an industry-based drug developer. Dr. Sims has spearheaded the development of a broad range of cancer therapeutics at various stages of drug development, from pre-clinical research through to Phase III trials and FDA approval. Now, as senior medical director for Novella Clinical, Dr. Sims provides medical and scientific input to clinical research programs and ensures medical activities run according to Good Clinical Practice (GCP).
Dr. Sims has spent the past 18 years in oncology clinical research for many companies. For more than 10 years at Dendreon Corporation, he was the medical lead on many studies, including the Phase III trial of sipuleucel-T (Provenge®), a unique immunotherapy for men with advanced prostate cancer, which gained FDA approval in 2010. He has overseen the development of numerous immunotherapies and targeted therapies, including monoclonal antibodies and small molecules. In addition to prostate cancer, he has extensive clinical development experience in multiple other tumor types, including mesothelioma, ovarian cancer, urothelial cancer, myeloma, and breast cancer. Immediately prior to joining Novella, he was the principal consultant at RBS Consulting Services, LLC, where he provided strategic clinical development for biopharmaceutical companies, including Janssen Research, where he served as the medical lead of a global Phase III trial of the androgen receptor inhibitor, apalutamide, in metastatic prostate cancer.
Dr. Sims received his BS in Biology from the University of Oregon in Eugene and then received his MD from the School of Medicine at the Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland. He subsequently headed east and completed his residency in Internal Medicine at the NYU Medical Center in New York. Dr. Sims continued his education with hematology-oncology fellowship training at the Fox Chase Cancer Center and Temple University Medical Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He returned to his home state of Washington in 1989 as an attending physician in hematology-oncology at Valley Medical Center in Renton. This was followed by a position as an attending physician at Kootenai Medical Center and medical director of the North Idaho Cancer Center in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. In 2000, along with his wife and three sons, he moved back to the Seattle area to launch his career in the biopharmaceutical industry.
In addition to his vast experience in the design, conduct, analysis, and reporting on Phase I through Phase III clinical oncology studies, Dr. Sims has published 18 manuscripts and 41 abstracts. He is a member of several professional organizations, including the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American Society of Hematology, the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.