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Team

DR. GRIT ZAHN
HEAD OF RESEARCH ETERNYGEN GMBH
  • Head of research, Eternygen
  • >15 years in pharmaceutical drug development
  • Former positions:
    • From 2000-2010 she worked at Jerini AG, a Germany based pharmaceutical company which recently approved the drug Firazyr for the treatment of the orphan disease hereditary angioedema and was acquired by Shire plc. for € 330 mio.
    • She holds several positions with leading responsibilities at the biology and screening department including Senior Director Lead Discovery Biology. She was also involved in starting Jerini Ophthalmic Inc, New York US.
    • 2011-2013 she worked at ipal GmbH, the technology transfer and commercialization company of all Berlin Universities. She was head of Project Management R&D and responsible for the evaluation, development and commercialization of early innovative technologies in the area of Life Science in particular drug development with investments of the Technology Development Fund of the Investment Bank Berlin (IBB).
  • Grit Zahn started her career at Charité University Hospital in Berlin in the field of antibody engineering, molecular libraries and molecular evolution. She holds a PhD in Biochemistry from Humboldt University Berlin, Germany.
  • > 2 years research and development on INDY
MARCO JANEZIC
CEO ETERNYGEN GMBH & FOUNDER
  • CEO, Eternygen
  • Entrepreneur and investor with activities in a variety of sectors, such as Media (vertical network media, wunder media, fem.com), Biotech/LifeSciences (Eternygen), IT (IntraWorlds), Services (Clevis Group) and Impact/Social Investments (Talents4Good, Auticon, Media4Care). He is also Founding Partner of Blue Ribbon Partners, a corporate finance boutique, where he is primarily responsible for media related projects.
  • Founding Partner of Blue Ribbon Partners, previously a corporate finance boutique, which is now focusing on building and growing successful companies
  • Prior to his entrepreneurial endeavors he worked in investment banking in the UK as well as in management consultancy in Germany.  He holds an M.A. in Theoretical Physics and Philosophy of the University of Oxford. He is lecturer in “Cultural Entrepreneurship” at the Munich University of Music and Theater (Hochschule für Musik und Theater), sits on board of NFTE Germany e.V. (Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship), member of the Ashoka Support Network and President of the Munich Branch of the Oxford Alumni Organization. Furthermore, Marco is member of the German Unit of the G8 Impact Investment Taskforce and coaches young entrepreneurs as a mentor of the ProSieben Accelerator Program.
  • He holds an M.A. in Theoretical Physics and Philosophy from the University of Oxford.

Advisors

PROF. DR. MED. ANDREAS BIRKENFELD
FOUNDER & ADVISOR

Chair of Medicine and Director of the Department of Diabetology, Endocrinology and Nephrology, University Clinic Tübingen

  • Since 1st of October Andreas Chair of Medicine and Director of the Department of Diabetology, Endocrinology and Nephrology at the University Clinic Tübingen. He also leads the Institute for Diabetes Research and Metabolic Diseases of the Helmholtz Center Munich at the University Tübingen.
  • Since 2015 he is also professor of Diabetes, Section of Diabetes and Nutritional Sciences, King’s College London, Transcampus King’s College London- TU Dresden
  • Andreas is Board certified specialist in internal Medicine and Senior Physician in Diabetes Medicine, endocrinology and lipidology (DGFF)
  • From 2014-2019 he was head of the Section of Metabolic Vascular Medicine, Medical Clinic III and Director, Competence Center of Metabolic Vascular Medicine GWT-TUD, TU Dresden, Germany
  • From 2009-2014, he holds several positions at Charité-University School of Medicine in Berlin including Assistant Professor of pathogenesis and therapy of diabetes, Head of Energy Metabolism Research Unit, Department Endocrinology, Diabetes and Nutritional Medicine, Charité-University School of Medicine, Berlin, Germany.
  • Previous positions include the Yale University School of Medicine with Prof. Dr. Gerald I. Shulman in the Department of Endocrinology and Molecular and Cellular Physiology at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, USA and Franz-Volhard Clinic, Humboldt University Berlin, Germany.
  • Andreas received Research Awards from the American Diabetes Association (ADA), the European Association of the Study of Diabetes (EASD), the German Obesity Society (DAG), the German Association of Endocrinology (DGE), the German Diabetes Association (DDG), and American College of Cardiology (ACC).
  • He is head of the work group “Diabetes and Heart’ at the German Diabetes Association (DDG).
  • He published more than 85 original manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals.
  • His research focuses on understanding molecular, cellular and clinical mechanisms of the regulation of energy homeostasis. Specifically, his focus is directed towards the interaction between lipid and glucose metabolism and the development of obesity and T2DM and the contribution of mitochondrial dysfunction to the complex pathophysiology of these entities.
PROF. DR. MED. JENS JORDAN
FOUNDER & ADVISOR

Head of Institute of Aerospace Medicine, Cologne

  • Since 1st of December 2016 Head of Institute of Aerospace Medicine, Cologne
  • Previous positions include: Until November 2016 Director of the Institute for Clinical Pharmacology, Medical School Hannover (MHH), Germany. Before, until 2008 Director of the Franz-Volhard Center for Clinical Research, Charité and Clinical Working Group Leader at the Max-Delbrück Centrum (MDC), Berlin, Germany; 1996-98 Research Fellowship, Vanderbilt University with Prof. David Robertson at the General Clinical Research Center.
  • He is board certified clinical pharmacologist and internist specialized in cardiovascular and metabolic disease management.
  • His research group focuses on mechanisms and causes of obesity-associated metabolic and cardiovascular disease.
  • He is founder and former chair of the Working Group on Obesity, Diabetes, and High Risk Patients of the European Society of Hypertension.
  • In 2013, he received the prestigious Peter Sleight Award of the European Society of Hypertension.
  • Editor in Chief of Clinical Autonomic Research and Associate Editor of Journal of the American Society of Hypertension. Member of several editorial boards e.g. “Hypertension”
  • Published more than 220 original manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals.
DR. KLAUS SCHOLLMEIER
ADVISOR

Former CEO of SuppreMol GmbH

  • More than 25 years of successful international management experience in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry as well as in investment banking.
  • From 2013-2015 Chief Executive Officer of SuppreMol GmbH in Munich, Germany. In 2015 SuppreMol was acquired by Baxter in a € 220 Mio. deal.
  • Before that he led Santhera Pharmaceuticals AG as CEO since the company’s foundation in 2004, took the company public in 2006 and launched the first product in 2008.
  • Before that he spent 16 years in the pharmaceutical industry at BASF, Knoll and Abbott. His scientific responsibilities included head of oncology/immunology research at BASF’s central laboratories in Germany, and senior director of biotechnology at BASF Bioresearch Corporation in Cambridge, US. His business functions included General Manager of BASF Pharma Netherlands and Vice President and General Manager for Western Europe
  • Today, Klaus is CEO of KCS-GmbH, a consulting and investment company and he serves as non-executive chairman of several European Biotechnology companies
  • Klaus holds a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Düsseldorf, Germany.
DR. TIMM JESSEN
ADVISOR

CEO of Topas Therapeutics GmbH

  • Since March 2016 CEO of Topas Therapeutics GmbH which was spun-out of Evotec AG and financed by a strong strategic syndicate of Epidarex Capital, EMBL Ventures, Gimv and Evotec AG.
  • From 2014-2016 Executive Vice President Business Development EVT Innovate of Evotec AG (Hamburg, Oxford).
  • From 2006-2014 Managing Director of Bionamics plc, an asset management company set up to identify, develop and commercialize innovative projects in the Life Science arena, e.g. the NEU² consortium focusing on neurological diseases, especially Multiple Sclerosis. In 2014 Evotec acquired Bionamics GmbH
  • From 1997-2004 Chief Scientific Officer of the listed biotech company Evotec AG (Hamburg, Oxford), a technology and service provider to the pharmaceutical industry.
  • Before that 6 years in the pharmaceutical industry (Sanofi Aventis) in preclinical research and alliance management.
  • He studied chemistry and biochemistry and received his education and scientific career in Kiel, Munich, Cambridge/UK and Boston/US.
DR. CHRISTOPH GIBSON
ADVISOR

Director and head of Medicinal Chemistry department at AnalytiCon GmbH, Potsdam, Germany

  • Since 2010 Christoph is Director and head of Medicinal Chemistry department at AnalytiCon GmbH, Potsdam, Germany.
  • Before that he was Head of Development and Project Management at ViroLogik GmbH, Erlangen, Germany.
  • From 2002-2009 he holds several positions with leading responsibilities at the medicinal chemistry department at Jerini AG, Berlin, Germany including Director, Medicinal Chemistry.
  • He was postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the Technical University of Munich, Germany (Prof. Kessler) and at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla (Prof. J. Rebek, Jr.), CA, US.
  • He studied chemistry in Freiburg and Göttingen and holds a Ph.D. in chemistry from the Technical University of Munich.

Board

Kyparissia Sirinakis
BOARD

Managing Partner Epidarex Capital

  • Managing Partner Epidarex Capital
  • Sirinakis has more than 25 years of experience in creating and growing companies both as an early-stage venture investor and a senior executive in various technology and life science companies
  • Prior to co-founding Epidarex Capital, she was part of the senior management team of MASA Life Science Ventures (MLSV) an early stage life science venture fund where she co-led the fund’s investment strategy and managed several MLSV portfolio investments through successful exits.
  • Sirinakis was the Founder and Managing Director of WomenAngels.net LLC, a top performing fund investing in startup technology and healthcare companies in the Mid-Atlantic. Before that she was the Chief Financial Officer of Oncologix, a venture-backed, early-stage biotechnology company based in Gaithersburg which was subsequently sold to Antigenics, Inc.
  • She serves on the Board of the Tech Council of Maryland, and on the Investment Committees for Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology BioLife Fund and the Ivy Foundation (University of Virginia).  She has held numerous directorships of start-up companies throughout her career and is currently on the Board of Harpoon Medical Inc., Confluence Life Science Inc., Nodthera Ltd., and Sirakoss Ltd.
  • She is a graduate of Boston College’s School of Management Honors Program and a Certified Public Accountant in Maryland
Dr. Klaus Schollmeier
BOARD

CEO KCS-GmbH

  • More than 25 years of successful international management experience in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry as well as in investment banking
  • From 2013-2015 Chief Executive Officer of SuppreMol GmbH in Munich, Germany. In 2015 SuppreMol was acquired by Baxter in a € 220 Mio. deal
  • Before that he led Santhera Pharmaceuticals AG as CEO since the company’s foundation in 2004, took the company public in 2006 and launched the first product in 2008
  • Before that he spent 16 years in the pharmaceutical industry at BASF, Knoll and Abbott. His scientific responsibilities included head of oncology/immunology research at BASF’s central laboratories in Germany, and senior director of biotechnology at BASF Bioresearch Corporation in Cambridge, US. His business functions included General Manager of BASF Pharma Netherlands and Vice President and General Manager for Western Europe. Today, he is Chairman of the board of directors of several European Biotech companies and acts as an advisor to the Pharma/Biotech industry
  • Klaus holds a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Düsseldorf, Germany
Dr. Cord Dohrmann
BOARD

Chief Scientific Officer Evotec AG

  • Chief Scientific Officer Evotec AG
  • Dr Cord Dohrmann joined Evotec AG as Chief Scientific Officer and Member of the Management Board on 01 September 2010. Dr Dohrmann has spent over 20 years in biomedical research at leading academic institutions and in the biotech industry
  • Prior to Evotec he started his career as a Shiseido as a research fellow at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston before joining DeveloGen in 1999. He served the company in various management positions including CEO, leading DeveloGen from a start-up to an internationally recognised metabolic disease company with a pipeline of highly innovative preclinical and clinical products for the treatment of diabetes and related disorders
  • Dohrmann has been advising the European Commission, the Max-Planck-Institute as well as various venture capital firms.
  • He holds a degree from Tübingen University in Germany and conducted research as a DAAD scholar at Duke University, Durham, USA. Dr. Dohrmann completed his MA thesis at the Max-Planck Institute in Tübingen and subsequently enrolled at the Harvard Medical School in Boston, USA, where he received his Ph.D. in 1996
Ute Mercker
BOARD

Investment Director IBB Ventures

  • Ute Mercker is Investment Director / Prokuristin at IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft, the Venture Capital fund of Berlin
  • Since 1997 she had been responsible for IBB´s Biotech and Medtech portfolio and managing investments into companies like Jerini or Scienion. Spin-offs from Universities or research institutions like Humedics and Scopis have always been an important part of her investment activities. Ute enjoys discussing and developing strategic and financial options with the founders / management / Board of their portfolio companies
  • Since 2001 Ute Mercker had been serving as Deputy Chairwoman of the Supervisory Board of Scienion AG and she represents the funds managed by IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft on the Board of Humedics and Omeicos Therapeutics GmbH
  • She holds an MBA from the Freie Universität Berlin

Observers

Peter Finan (Ph.D.)
OBSERVER

Venture Partner Epidarex GmbH

  • Venture Partner Epidarex Capital
  • Finan joined Epidarex Capital as a Venture Partner in 2014. He has more than twenty years of experience in drug discovery within the pharmaceutical industry
  • Prior to joining Epidarex, Dr. Finan was Global Head of the Respiratory Disease Area and Site Head for the Novartis Institute of BioMedical Research in the United Kingdom. In this role, Dr. Finan had strategic and operational oversight for the respiratory portfolio from target discovery through to proof-of-concept trials in the clinic
  • He is a former Executive Director of the Novartis Developmental and Molecular Pathways Platform based in Cambridge, Massachusetts were he led he initiation of the PI 3-kinase drug discovery program within Novartis and was awarded the Novartis Leading Scientist Award in 2007
  • Earlier in his career, Dr Finan worked at Cancer Research UK and the Yamanouchi Research Institute (now Astellas) and served as the Head of Biology at Karus Therapeutics
  • Finan currently serves on the Board of Directors of Caldan Therapeutics Ltd., Clyde Biosciences Ltd., Enterprise Therapeutics Ltd., Mironid Ltd., and Topas Therapeutics GmbH. In addition to his role at Epidarex, Dr Finan is a Non-Executive Director at the Knowledge Transfer Network, a member of the Board of Directors and Scientific Advisory Board of the Keystone Symposia
  • Finan holds a BSc and Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Leeds
Dr. Kurt Schwarz
OBSERVER

Founder & Managing Director Leifina GmbH

  • Managing Director of Investment Company Leifina GmbH, which he founded in 1990
  • Prior he joined Merck & Co. (New Jersey) in 1986 and returned to Germany to work for the German subsidiary in Product Management and Medical Affairs
  • In 1982 he was awarded a visiting fellowship by the German Research Foundation at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston
  • Dr. Kurt Schwarz studied medicine and law at the University of Heidelberg and obtained his MD degree in 1979. After his doctoral thesis in Experimental Pharmacolog he joined the Department of Internal Medicine of the University Hospital in Heidelberg
  • Dr. Schwarz holds several board seats and is actively involved as an investor and business angel in various biotech companies