In Vivo is part of Pharma Intelligence UK Limited

This site is operated by Pharma Intelligence UK Limited, a company registered in England and Wales with company number 13787459 whose registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. The Pharma Intelligence group is owned by Caerus Topco S.à r.l. and all copyright resides with the group.

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use. For high-quality copies or electronic reprints for distribution to colleagues or customers, please call +44 (0) 20 3377 3183

Printed By

UsernamePublicRestriction
UsernamePublicRestriction

In Vivo’s 2023 Rising Leaders: Healthcare Innovators At The Top Of Their Game

30 Rising Leaders Across The Biopharma, Medtech And Health Technology Sectors

Executive Summary

The fourth annual listing of In Vivo’s ‘Rising Leaders’ includes entrepreneurs and innovators from across the world who represent the next wave of creativity in healthcare.

2023 Rising Leaders

Haig Aghajanian

Haig Aghajanian

Jared Baeten

Jared Baeten

Amira Barkal

Amira Barkal

Ashleigh Batchen

Ashleigh Batchen

Jesse Chen

Jesse Chen

Anthony DeBoer

Anthony DeBoer

Lisa Deschamps

Lisa Deschamps

Cécile Dupont

Cécile Dupont

Alexandra Ekman Ryding

Alexandra Ekman Ryding

Christoffer Ekström

Christoffer Ekström

David Fajgenbaum

David Fajgenbaum

Jessica Federer

Jessica Federer

Cedric Francois

Cedric Francois

Jennifer Fried

Jennifer Fried

Denise Gavin

Denise Gavin

Jeb Keiper

Jeb Keiper

Jesper Kimer

Jesper Kimer

Dave Lennon

Dave Lennon

Paxton Maeder-York

Paxton Maeder-York

Daniela Marino

Daniela Marino

John McGee

John McGee

Urmi Prasad Richardson

Urmi Prasad Richardson

Farzana Rahman

Farzana Rahman

Gaurav Shah

Gaurav Shah

Philipp Spycher

Philipp Spycher

Julia Tsai

Julia Tsai

Miquel Vila-Perelló

Miquel Vila-Perelló

Erin Wenzel

Erin Wenzel

Michelle Werner

Michelle Werner

Galit Zuckerman

Galit Zuckerman

Rising Leaders Home
Rising Leaders homeRising Leaders Home

Included for 2023 are investors, CEOs of small and mid-sized companies, rising employees in larger biopharma and medtech businesses, as well as people driving unique health initiatives worldwide.

Age is not a criterion for inclusion – or exclusion. The 30 people below have been recognized for bringing something new to the game. The list focuses on achievements, talent, creativity and strong leadership qualities.

Look out for other features in the Rising Leaders series, including exclusive interviews with innovators and disruptors, alongside insights from established industry executives on leading top companies in the 2020s.

In Vivo’s 2023 Rising Leaders are listed in alphabetical order.

Haig Aghajanian

Haig Aghajanian

Capstan Therapeutics

Jared Baeten

Jared Baeten

Gilead Sciences

Amira Barkal

Amira Barkal

Pheast Therapeutics

Ashleigh Batchen

Ashleigh Batchen

British In Vitro Diagnostics Association, BIVDA

Jesse Chen

Jesse Chen

Triana Biomedicines

Anthony DeBoer

Anthony DeBoer

Synaffix

Lisa Deschamps

Lisa Deschamps

AviadoBIO

Cécile Dupont

Cécile Dupont

Sofinnova

Alexandra Ekman Ryding

Alexandra Ekman Ryding

Atrogi

Christoffer Ekström

Christoffer Ekström

AI Medical Technology

David Fajgenbaum

David Fajgenbaum

Every Cure

Jessica Federer

Jessica Federer

Supernode Ventures

Cedric Francois

Cedric Francois

Apellis

Jennifer Fried

Jennifer Fried

Portfolia

Denise Gavin

Denise Gavin

Office of Therapeutic Products, CBER

Jeb Keiper

Jeb Keiper

Nimbus Therapeutics

Jesper Kimer

Jesper Kimer

Hei Therapeutics

Dave Lennon

Dave Lennon

Satellite Bio

Paxton Maeder-York

Paxton Maeder-York

Alife Health

Daniela Marino

Daniela Marino

Cutiss AG

John McGee

John McGee

FogPharma

Urmi Prasad Richardson

Urmi Prasad Richardson

Thermo Fisher Scientific

Farzana Rahman

Farzana Rahman

Hexarad

Gaurav Shah

Gaurav Shah

Rocket Pharma

Philipp Spycher

Philipp Spycher

Araris Biotech

Julia Tsai

Julia Tsai

Ovid

Miquel Vila-Perelló

Miquel Vila-Perelló

SpliceBio

Erin Wenzel

Erin Wenzel

Spero Therapeutics

Michelle Werner

Michelle Werner

Alltrna

Galit Zuckerman

Galit Zuckerman

Medasense Biometrics

Haig Aghajanian

Haig Aghajanian

Co-Founder and Head of Research

Capstan Therapeutics

As well as being head of research at Capstan Therapeutics, Haig Aghajanian is adjunct assistant professor of medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania.

Capstan Therapeutics is advancing precision in vivo cell engineering to develop therapeutics for a broad range of disease categories with unmet clinical need. The core technology comprises targeted Lipid Nanoparticles (tLNPs) to enable engineering or ablation of pathogenic cells in the body.

In September 2022, Capstan raised $102m in a series A financing round led by Pfizer Ventures and joined by Leaps by Bayer, Eli Lilly, Bristol Myers Squibb, Polaris Partners, Alexandria Venture Investments and existing investors. This followed a November 2021 $63m seed financing led by Novartis Venture Fund and OrbiMed, joined by RA Capital and Vida Ventures.

Aghajanian’s research has focused on the etiology of cardiac disease and cell therapy for the treatment of fibrosis, with recent work published in the Nature and Science journals.

He holds a PhD in cell and molecular biology from University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and a BSc degree in biology from Villanova University.

Jared Baeten

Jared Baeten

VP of Clinical Development and HIV Franchise Head

Gilead Sciences

Jared Baeten joined Gilead in October 2020 as head of the company’s HIV franchise. He has conducted extensive research for over two decades on HIV globally, including clinical trials, large-scale epidemiologic studies and behavioral and implementation science research. He led the Partners PrEP Study, which supported the approval of Gilead’s Truvada as the first medication for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV prevention in 2012 and a second trial that led to the first global approval of the dapivirine vaginal ring as a topical microbicide for HIV prevention in women. In 2022, he oversaw the team that received approval of Sunlenca, the first HIV capsid inhibitor and first medication for HIV dosed once every six months.

Prior to joining Gilead Sciences, Baeten was director of the University of Washington/Fred Hutch Center for AIDS Research, co-principal investigator of the NIH-funded Microbicides Trials Network, and tenured professor of global health, medicine and epidemiology at the University of Washington, where he was the vice dean for strategy and faculty affairs at the School of Public Health. He has published over 500 scientific articles on HIV and is dedicated to the growth of next-generation researchers around the world.

Gilead is a leader in the development of antiretroviral therapy for HIV. The company has developed 11 commercially available HIV medications.

Baeten holds a medical degree and PhD in epidemiology from the University of Washington, and a BA in biochemistry and comparative religion from Washington University in St. Louis. He is also a Fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America and an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation.

Amira Barkal

Amira Barkal

Chief Development Officer

Pheast Therapeutics

Pheast Therapeutics is developing novel checkpoint therapies against cancer indications. Last year the company raised $76m in series A round led by Catalio Capital Management and ARCH Venture Partners. Alexandria Venture Investments and Risk and Reward (R2) also participated in the financing.

The company was founded in 2020 as a spinout from Stanford University, based on Amira Barkal’s research around boosting macrophage appetites for cancer immunotherapy. Carried out in Irving Weissman’s lab, Barkal’s work led to the discovery of CD24, a novel “don’t eat me signal” that cancer cells express to evade destruction by macrophages from the innate immune system.

The company is initially focused on breast and ovarian cancers.

Barkal holds a PhD in stem cell biology and regenerative medicine and is a resident physician in internal medicine at Brigham & Women's Hospital. She also holds a BSc in biochemistry and biophysics from Oregon State University.

Lessons In Leadership And Biotech Growth
From Rallybio CEO Martin Mackay.
Read More. Martin Mackay
 
Ashleigh Batchen

Ashleigh Batchen

Head of Regulatory Affairs

British In Vitro Diagnostics Association, BIVDA

Ashleigh Batchen joined the British In Vitro Diagnostics Association (BIVDA) in October 2021 after almost five years working with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). Her transfer from public to private sector came at a time when regulation of diagnostics and devices was and remains on the cusp of far-reaching change in both the UK and EU.

Ashleigh joined the MHRA as a medical device specialist and left it having risen to regulatory affairs manager – the role she assumed on moving to BIVDA.

A matter of months into her time at BIVDA she was promoted to head of regulatory affairs, helping the association’s members adjust to the challenges of compliance with the forthcoming UKCA system and the requirements facing the UK market and issuing advice and insight on the EU’s In Vitro Diagnostics Regulation.

It could hardly be a busier time for a regulatory affairs professional, given the UK-based diagnostic industry’s need for advocacy from BIVDA and, from the authorities, market certainty. Ashleigh has immersed herself into this melting pot and has rapidly won plaudits for her insight and abilities in diagnostics regulation, and her interest in the general regulatory landscape.

Jesse Chen

Jesse Chen

Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer

Triana Biomedicines

Triana Biomedicines came out of stealth mode in April 2022 with $110m in series A funding. The company is building a “molecular glue” discovery platform to regulate disease targets that are difficult to address with other modalities. Triana’s platform aims to generate products that stabilize pre-existing or create de novo interactions between two proteins and alter the fate or functionality of the disease target. Molecular glues may allow for the pursuit of highly disease-relevant targets long considered undruggable or inadequately addressed by traditional drug discovery approaches.

Its drug discovery engine is powered by high-resolution structural insights, state-of-the-art AI and computational tools and bespoke chemical libraries.

Chen has more than a decade of discovery research and management experience, from early discovery through preclinical development. He joined RA Capital Management in 2019 as an entrepreneur-in-residence and co-founded both Triana Biomedicines and Avilar Therapeutics.

Prior to joining RA Capital, Chen was senior director of discovery at Kymera Therapeutics, responsible for building the company’s targeted protein degradation platform and pipeline. He also previously held roles at Moderna Therapeutics and Millennium Pharmaceuticals, responsible for developing novel platforms and leading discovery programs.

Chen holds a PhD in biological chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a BSc in biochemistry from Nanjing University.

Anthony DeBoer

Anthony DeBoer

VP of Business Development

Synaffix

"When you're working in an innovative industry, you're doing things that haven't been done before and solving problems that have not been encountered before. Being creative, in terms of coming up with solutions for problems that you face, is critical."

Anthony DeBoer is head of business development at Synaffix, where he has helped shape the company’s strategy and steered it through significant deals with pharma and biotech partners.

DeBoer’s deal-making activities at Synaffix have resulted in 13 agreements across the globe. This has resulted in 22 antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) now in development that were built using Synaffix’s proprietary technology platform, where five programs have already commenced clinical development.

In 2023 already, DeBoer has led the company’s $2bn license agreement with Amgen, a $2.2bn deal expansion with MacroGenics, along with deals with Hummingbird Biosciences (Singapore) and Chong Kun Dang Pharm (South Korea).

Prior to joining Synaffix, DeBoer served as the associate director of business development at Allozyne, a Seattle-based biotech, where he was focused on partnering efforts around pipeline programs and ADC technology leading up to an acquisition by MedImmune.

Previously, he studied in the laboratory of Irving Weissman at the Stanford Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine. He is a published co-author in Nature and PNAS.

In Vivo's 2023 Rising Leaders at a glance.
View Now. 2023 Rising Leaders infographic
Lisa Deschamps

Lisa Deschamps

CEO

AviadoBio

In college, Lisa Deschamps intended to get into the fashion business, however she took a job as a sales rep at Novartis – working her way up the ladder at the big pharma.

Deschamps is now CEO and an executive board member of AviadoBIO, a London, UK-based private gene therapy company. Prior to joining AviadoBIO, she was senior vice president and chief business officer of Novartis Gene Therapies and was previously head of Novartis’ global neuroscience franchise.

She holds an MBA in general management from NYU Stern School of Business and a BBA in marketing from IONA College, Hagan School of Business. Deschamps serves as a non-executive director for Verona Pharma and sits on the strategic advisory board and serves as a non-executive director for Reset Pharma.

Founded in 2019 on the back of research collaboration between King’s College London and the UK Dementia Research Institute, AviadoBIO is building a pipeline of investigational gene therapies for neurodegenerative diseases. Its lead preclinical candidate is AVB-101 for GRN frontotemporal dementia (FTD-GRN).

Cécile Dupont

Cécile Dupont

Principal

Sofinnova

Cécile Dupont joined Sofinnova Partners in 2019 as principal and program director for its MD Start Strategy. She is also CEO of HEPTA Medical, developing a unique minimally invasive non-surgical treatment modality for early lung cancer.

Dupont also brings her operational and strategic expertise to Endoron Medical to accelerate the development of its technology.

She was previously chief operating officer of Gradient Denervation Technologies, and director of clinical, regulatory and market access at SafeHeal, the first company created by MD Start II, where she managed the execution of its first-in-human study and regulatory approvals in the EU and US.

Prior to joining MD Start, Dupont held various clinical, marketing and regulatory positions in both mature and start-up medical device organizations in the fields of endoscopy, pulmonology, dermatology, surgery and diabetes care; for single and multi-use disposable products and capital equipment.

She holds degree in biomedical engineering from Université de Technologies de Compiègne in France and a degree in corporate finance from HEC in Paris.

Alexandra Ekman Ryding

Alexandra Ekman Ryding

CEO

Atrogi

Atrogi AB, an early-stage Swedish pharma company, is developing a potential first-in-class drug with a unique mechanism for the oral treatment of type 2 diabetes. CEO Alexandra Ekman Ryding joined the company in 2018. She holds a PhD in medical epidemiology and has experience in venture capital and corporate broking.

In January 2023, the company announced that the first patient had been enrolled in a Phase Ia/b study of drug candidate, ATR-258.

The drug is based on research by Professor Tore Bengtsson at Stockholm University. It uses adrenergic signalling to selectively stimulate b2-adrenergic receptors to promote glucose uptake in skeletal muscle resulting in a reduction of blood glucose levels, achieved independently of insulin. Atrogi believes ATR-258 has potential as a treatment for type 2 diabetes, normalizing glucose homeostasis as well as combating common comorbidities and restoring normal physiological functions.

Atrogi is using its findings in diabetes to also pursue treatments for other metabolic disorders, such as obesity.

Christoffer Ekström

Christoffer Ekström

CEO and Founder

AI Medical Technology

AI Medical Technology is a company operating in the interdisciplinary fields of data science, software development and medicine. Having raised initial funding in 2021, the company is focussed on bringing its first solution, Dermalyser, through clinical trials and into the market.

Dermalyser is a diagnostic decision support system using advanced artificial intelligence. The primary function is to classify skin cancer, such as malignant melanoma, using image analysis combined with deep learning. The tool is developed and trained based on quality-controlled dermatoscopic images of patients’ skin lesions together with associated patient data. Medical professionals, for example general practitioners, can use Dermalyser on a mobile phone together with a dermatoscope mounted in front of the mobile phone camera. The GP takes a picture of the patient’s skin lesion and receives a melanoma risk label within a few seconds, and with higher diagnostic precision and speed than traditional and alternative methods.

CEO Christoffer Ekström is one of the founders of AI Medical Technology and also a board member. He is a serial entrepreneur and holds a MSc in immersive technologies from Stockholm University and is finalising a BBA in business administration at Uppsala University.

David Fajgenbaum

David Fajgenbaum

Co-Founder

Every Cure

David Fajgenbaum is an immunologist and co-founder of Every Cure, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to unlock the full potential of approved medicines to treat every disease possible. The organization, which he launched at the Clinton Global Initiative in 2022, employs AI to search through existing data to identify potential additional indications for approved medicines. The company has entered into several industry partnerships.

Fajgenbuam’s interest in repurposing medicines was sparked after he was diagnosed with Castleman disease. After nearly succumbing to the disease several times, he identified an existing drug that could treat his illness. Fajgenbaum published a best-selling account of his experience called Chasing My Cure: A Doctor’s Race To Turn Hope Into Action.

Fajgenbaum also runs the Center for Cytokine Storm Treatment and Laboratory at the University of Pennyslvania School of Medicine. He studies hyperinflammatory diseases such as Castleman disease and COVID-19, and identifies novel treatments for these illnesses. The 38-year-old is one of the youngest University of Pennsylvania faculty appointees.

Jessica Federer

Jessica Federer

Managing Partner

Supernode Ventures

Jessica Federer is managing partner at Supernode Ventures, where she invests in early-stage digital health companies with a focus on women’s health.

Founded in 2018, Supernode’s first fund was sector agnostic. With its second fund, the investment group is focused on getting in as early as possible in pre-seed, seed and series A financings for women’s health and healthtech start-ups.

Federer was the first chief digital officer for German big pharma Bayer AG, as well as the first woman to hold that role across the biopharma industry. During her tenure, Federer united the company’s global digital strategy and investments to accelerate growth. She also held leadership positions in regulatory affairs, market access, communications and public affairs during her almost 10 years with Bayer.

She was appointed a board member of Sage Therapeutics in March 2023. Sage has one product on the market for major depressive disorder and a pipeline of treatments addressing disorders of the brain, such as Parkinson’s disease and Huntington's disease.

Federer has served on the United Nations International Telecommunications Union (UN-ITU) advisory board, as well as participated in engagements with the World Economic Forum, and is considered a thought leader in digital health. She began her public health career as an analyst at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality in the US Department of Health and Human Services. She earned a BSc from the George Washington University and a master's degree in public health from Yale University.

Where Are The Women?
Nordic Biotech Searches For The She-Suite.
Read More. Nordic Leaders, Jessica Martinsson, Helena Strigard, Kara Brotemarkle
Cedric Francois

Cedric Francois

CEO

Apellis

Apellis Pharmaceuticals achieved a major milestone in 2023, with the US approval of Syfovre – the first treatment for geographic atrophy.

Geographic atrophy is a leading cause of age-related blindness, affecting around one million people in the US and five million worldwide. The condition is an advanced form of dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and distinct from wet AMD, where VEGF-based therapies like Regeneron/Bayer’s Eylea (aflibercept) are multi-billion-dollar sellers, but these drugs cannot treat GA.

Over the years, many large and small biopharma companies have tried and failed to develop treatments, making approval of Syfovre (pegcetacoplan injection) a clinical breakthrough and a coup for the small biotech Waltham, MA-based biotech; Jefferies analysts are forecasting peak annual revenues of $3bn or more for the product in GA.

Cedric Francois has been CEO of Apellis since its founding; the company was spun out of Potentia Pharmaceuticals in 2009.

Francois holds a medical degree from the University of Leuven in Belgium and a PhD in physiology from the University of Louisville. Following postgraduate training in pediatric and transplant surgery, Francois joined the research team that performed the first successful hand transplantation in Louisville in 1999.

Jennifer Fried

Jennifer Fried

Partner

Portfolia

"Building a healthcare company is like building any type of company – it always takes longer and it’s harder than you thought."

Jennifer Fried started her career at the global management consulting firm Bain & Company after graduating from Northwestern College in 2010.

She left the firm in 2013 to pursue an MBA at the University of Chicago Booth School of Medicine to realize her dream of becoming a venture capitalist.

Whilst working at Hyde Park Angels, she first met head and neck surgeon Alexander Langerman, who was running a research laboratory at the University of Chicago and looking to develop a digital platform to help bring order and accountability to operating rooms. Fried started volunteering her time to learn about the challenges in the OR.

She was well under way in her VC career when she and Langerman co-founded Explorer Surgical in 2016. Fried led Explorer Surgical’s software to commercialization and the company was acquired in October 2021 by Global Healthcare Exchange for an undisclosed amount.

Fried joined Portfolia in 2018 to help its founder and CEO, Trish Costello, build the VC’s Femtech Fund. Portfolia’s Femtech Fund diversifies across six to 10 early-stage companies in the emerging women’s health and wellness space with investments from seed to pre-IPO. The company will be launching its third fund this year.

Denise Gavin

Denise Gavin

Director of Gene Therapy Branch 1

Office of Therapeutic Products, CBER

The Office of Therapeutic Products, formerly known as the Office of Tissues and Advanced Therapies, was officially reorganized and promoted to ‘super office’ status within the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research in February 2023. The OTP name change and super office promotion are intended to create flexibility and allow future growth within the office.

Denise Gavin was recently named permanent director of Gene Therapy Branch 1. She holds a PhD in microbiology and immunology from Rush Medical College.

Retiring OTP director Wilson Bryan said in February that the reorganization was an opportunity for younger leaders in the office, such as Denise Gavin, “to develop and grow with the field.”

Jeb Keiper

Jeb Keiper

CEO

Nimbus Therapeutics

In December 2022, Nimbus Inc. completed one of the largest single-asset deals in the history of biotech, selling their TYK2 inhibitor program NDI-034858 for an upfront payment of $4bn and up to $2bn in additional milestone payments. Jeb Keiper has been CEO of Nimbus since 2018.

The Takeda deal was finalized after NDI-034858 significantly bested placebo according to topline results of a Phase IIb study of patients with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis. In addition to the handsome upfront sum of $4bn, Nimbus could ultimately receive two $1bn payments if annual net sales reach $4bn and $5bn.

Nimbus was founded in 2009 with Atlas Venture, Schrödinger Inc and Bill Gates based on the idea that innovation occurs in the interfaces between humans and technology.

Keiper joined Nimbus in 2014 and initially served as chief business officer. He helped to set the strategic direction of the company. Between 2014 and 2018, Nimbus brought in over $775m of partnership and financing into the company, including a series B financing in March 2015, the sale of Nimbus’ clinical NASH program to Gilead in May 2016 for $400m upfront, a strategic immunology alliance with Celgene announced in October 2017, and a round of private expansion capital in 2018.

Prior to Nimbus, Keiper was VP of business development at GSK Oncology and spent a decade at GSK in various leadership roles. Keiper led the oncology portion of the GSK-Novartis three-part business swap for $16bn announced in April 2014.

Jesper Kimer

Jesper Kimer

CEO and Co-Founder

Hei Therapeutics

Jesper Kimer is CEO and co-founder of HEI Therapeutics, a digital therapeutics company that is part of the BioInnovation Institute’s Venture House program. The company is developing a novel medical-grade, home monitoring solution for patients with hypothyroidism, based on research from Prof. Winnie Svendsen at DTU Bioengineering and Endocrinologist Steen Bonnema from Odense University Hospital. The technology will enable patients to manage their condition from the comfort of their homes and aims to reduce the share of patients that today are poorly regulated and at risk of sick-leave and comorbidities.

Kimer has several advisory roles and investments in Greentech startups across a range of industries, and serves as the owner and chair at Loftbolig A/S, a start-up helping housing associations and professionals convert unused drying lofts in Copenhagen into modern, environmentally friendly homes.

Prior to his entrepreneurial journey, Kimer served as the global director of innovation and portfolio management in a leading hearing aid company (Widex, today WS Audiology).

Dave Lennon

Dave Lennon

CEO

Satellite Bio

Dave Lennon is CEO of Satellite Bio, a tissue biology and bioengineering company that raised $91.5m in a series A financing in April 2022.

Satellite Bio’s tissue therapeutics approach begins by programming cells and assembling them into “satellites” within thin sheets of implantable tissue designed for introduction into patients via minimally invasive surgery to restore, repair or replace dysfunctional or diseased tissue or organs.

The company, built on work from Sangeeta Bhatia and Christopher Chen, researchers from MIT and Boston University, respectively, is in preclinical development for its first product candidate, targeting elusive diseases of the liver.

Prior to Satellite Bio, Lennon spent more than 15 years with Novartis working across multiple therapeutics and geographies. He was most recently president of Novartis Gene Therapies, where he led the approval and launch of Zolgensma, the first systemic gene therapy for spinal muscular atrophy that has been approved in more than 40 countries.

Lennon also led the expansion of Novartis’s gene therapy research and manufacturing footprint to oversee five different sites and more than 2,000 associates. By the time of his departure, Novartis’s gene therapy pipeline had expanded to include 15+ new gene therapy programs, and Zolgensma achieved blockbuster sales.

Paxton Maeder-York

Paxton Maeder-York

CEO and Founder

Alife Health

Fertility startup Alife Health is leveraging artificial intelligence to support clinical decision-making advancements and to lower costs and improve outcomes for in vitro fertilization treatments.

In 2022, the company raised $22m in series A funding round to support its goal of bringing AI-based fertility products to market and to conduct clinical studies for products still in development.

Alife Health’s software uses one of the largest and most diverse IVF datasets in the world to analyze millions of data points from patient cycles and provide insights on what treatment has worked best for patients that are similar situations. A fertility clinician can then use this report to craft a personalized, data-driven treatment plan.

Prior to being CEO of Alife Health, Maeder-York was a product manager for Google, and before that for Auris Health, a surgical robotics company that develops integrated systems for a broad spectrum of medical interventions.

He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a MS in computational science from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Daniela Marino

Daniela Marino

CEO

Cutiss AG

Daniela Marino is the CEO and co-founder of CUTISS, a Swiss life science company and spin-off of the University of Zurich. She holds a master’s degree in biotechnology and a PhD in sciences from ETH Zürich. During her PhD and post-doc, Marino’s research focused primarily on vascular biology and skin engineering.

Founded in 2017, CUTISS is focused on regenerative medicine, tissue engineering, and skin pigmentation. Its lead product, denovoSkin, is a personalized human skin graft that can be bio-engineered in large quantities, starting from a small, postage stamp-sized piece of healthy skin. It promises to grow with the patient, limit scarring and reduce the number of follow-up corrective surgeries required, particularly in children.

CUTISS is also developing the world’s first machines that can automate the entire production process of the personalized skin graft. The company’s knowledge in skin bio-engineering and biology offers several growth opportunities in regenerative medicine.

John McGee

John McGee

Scientific Co-Founder and VP of De Novo Discovery

FogPharma

As a Harvard graduate student working in the lab of Greg Verdine, John McGee made seminal contributions toward the invention of a novel class of hyperstabilized alpha-helical polypeptides called Helicons. As a scientific co-founder of FogPharma, McGee transitioned Helicon technology from academe to industry and effectively reinvented the way these molecules are discovered.

The hit discovery platforms led by McGee contributed to the discovery of the first and only drug that directly targets the driver oncogene β -catenin, a protein involved in pathways linked to cell-cell adhesion and signalling problems, which are themselves linked to a variety of cancers.

FOG-001 acts inside the cell, where it directly binds β-catenin. FogPharma plans to file an investigational new drug application with the US FDA for FOG-001 and initiate clinical development by mid-2023.

Verdine, CEO of FogPharma, said FOG-001 “could well be the most important oncology medicine in history.”

FogPharma was launched in 2016; in late 2022 the company raised $178m via a series D financing.

Urmi Prasad Richardson

Urmi Prasad Richardson

President, Europe Middle East and Africa (EMEA)

Thermo Fisher Scientific

Leadership ̶ in strategic planning, business development, product commercialization and market expansion in EMEA, Asia, and South America – is the defining business quality of Urmi Prasad Richardson, who joined Thermo Fisher Scientific in June 2021 as president, EMEA.

She brought to the role more than two decades of experience in biotechnology and healthcare, in areas such as molecular diagnostics, cancer genomics, infectious diseases, point of care, medical devices, clinical laboratory testing and respiratory care.

Urmi was previously global head of healthcare at Linde, prior to which she had roles as VP International at Foundation Medicine (Roche) and in business development and strategy at Novartis, Immucor, Chiron and GD Searle.

Global health equity, improving access to vaccines and therapeutics in developing economies, driving uptake of predictive genomics and precision medicine and the life sciences industry’s role in global decarbonisation are among her passions. She is also a firm advocate for diverse and visible leadership.

Urmi has an MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management, an MS in Biochemical Engineering from the University of Houston and a BA in Biology and French from Rutgers University.

Farzana Rahman

Farzana Rahman

CEO and Founder

Hexarad

Headquartered in London, UK, Hexarad was founded in 2016 by a group of National Health Service consultant radiologists. Since then, the company has grown rapidly and is now a major provider to both the NHS and private healthcare customers.

In 2021, the UK performed approximately 70 scans per minute, but delays on reporting those scans mean that patients are waiting longer for their diagnoses and treatment. Hexarad’s technology platform is a combination of people and technology. It has a community of radiologists able to report scans remotely through a teleradiology system, alongside the Optirad software tool that helps hospitals to better manage their radiology resources with tools such as rota management, scan allocation and supply demand forecasting.

Hexarad raised £4.5m in September 2022 via a series A financing round.

CEO of Hexarad, Farzana Rahman, previously worked at University College Hospital London as a consultant radiologist. She was also head of data and digital strategy at the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges.

Gaurav Shah

Gaurav Shah

CEO

Rocket Pharma

"We really focus on thinking differently about how we want to engage with customers."

Rocket Pharma is developing a pipeline of gene therapies for rare, inherited genetic diseases. Its pipeline includes Phase II programs for Fanconi anemia and leukocyte adhesion deficiency and Phase I candidates for Danon disease and pyruvate kinase deficiency. Gaurav Shah is co-founder and CEO of the company, which raised $94.3m in October 2022 in a public offering.

Prior to leading Rocket Pharma, Shah was a global program head in the cell and gene therapies unit at Novartis, where he had strategic oversight of 12 functions and helped spearhead pivotal trials with CART-19 for patients with leukaemia and lymphoma. Earlier roles at Novartis included global clinical program head for CART-19 and for biosimilars, and lead physician for Afinitor in several global oncology submissions.

Shah started his career in the pharma industry at ImClone/Eli Lilly as a medical director overseeing oncology trials focused on monoclonal antibodies. He is also a Grammy award winning musician; in 2022 the album he and his wife created, called A Colorful World, won the Grammy for Best Children’s Album.

Philipp Spycher

Philipp Spycher

CEO and Co-Founder

Araris Biotech

Philipp Spycher has an extensive background in bioconjugation and antibody drug conjugates. He obtained a master’s and PhD from ETH Zürich in material science and protein engineering. During his post-doctoral work at Paul Scherrer Institute, Spycher introduced the novel approach of using transglutaminases for antibody conjugation that led to the discovery of a novel ADC peptide linker technology.

Araris Biotech is using this linker technology to develop next-generation ADCs with the potential to be safer and more efficacious for cancer patients. In head-to-head animal model studies against FDA approved ADCs, the ADCs created using Araris’ linker technology demonstrated improved efficacy, even at low doses, as well as high tolerability.

In October 2022, Araris raised $24m via a series A round co-led by 4BIO Capital and Pureos Bioventures, with participation from new investors, including Wille AG and the Institute for Follicular Lymphoma Innovation.

Julia Tsai

Julia Tsai

Head of Epilepsy Program

Ovid

"There are evolving landscapes, changes in competition, new ways of developing treatments, and new technologies. Somebody who is open to that, will be very successful."

Julia Tsai has played a vital role in founding, establishing and building one company from scratch, and in significantly advancing and diversifying the pipeline for another.

She supported the early development of Marinus Pharmaceuticals, a neuroscience company focused on epilepsy and central nervous system disorders. As a then-graduate student, Tsai supported building the company on a small business grant and later attracted venture capital funding – all from her home. The company’s IPO in 2014 served as the underpinning of Tsai’s career trajectory.

At Marinus, she played a role in the early development of ganaxolone, a positive allosteric modulator of GABAA receptors for a range of seizure disorders. Prior to Marinus licensing ganaxolone, it was in development for migraines and epilepsy. With Julia supporting the team, Marinus reformulated the compound to improve bioavailability, gave it patent life and reduced the cost of goods to make ganaxolone commercially viable. While the drug was previously dormant, not being evaluated for several years, Marinus took it back into the clinic and ultimately developed an intravenous formulation, for which Tsai was listed as an inventor on the patent.

Shortly after joining Ovid Therapeutics in 2020, Tsai led the development of soticlestat, a treatment for developmental and epileptic encephalopathies, from Phase II through Phase III development, as well as the subsequent licensing of the product with Takeda. The deal resulted in an upfront payment of $196m to Ovid, with up to $660m in additional regulatory and commercial milestone payments.

Miquel Vila-Perelló

Miquel Vila-Perelló

CEO and Co-Founder

SpliceBio

Miquel Vila-Perelló co-founded SpliceBio and serves as CEO and chief scientific officer. The company is using protein splicing to develop next-generation gene therapies, with its platform technology coming from the Muir Lab at Princeton University.

After obtaining a PhD at the University of Barcelona, Vila-Perelló carried out postdoctoral studies at the Rockefeller University. He later became a research scholar at Princeton University, where he managed the Protein Center at the Department of Chemistry.

Over the last 10 years, Vila-Perelló has contributed to the discovery and development of novel protein ligation technologies. He has authored more than 23 publications, including patent applications, and has a proven track record for the leadership of scientific teams and non-dilutive fund raising.

In February 2022, SpliceBio raised €50m in a series A financing co-led by UCB Ventures and Ysios Capital with participation by New Enterprise Associates, Gilde Healthcare, Novartis Venture Fund and Asabys Partners.

Erin Wenzel

Erin Wenzel

Director of Alliance Management

Spero Therapeutics

Erin Wenzel, director of alliance management, has been instrumental to the recent growth of Spero Therapeutics, a company advancing new therapies for patients with rare orphan diseases and serious, multi-drug resistant bacterial infections in hospital and community settings. Wenzel joined Spero as a program manager for contracts and grants and, in less than four years, climbed to her current director role. She was involved in bringing in and managing partnerships with upwards of $95m in capital.

Wenzel’s work at Spero has led to critical partnerships with industry leaders like GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer, as well as public entities like the Department of Defense, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Wenzel holds a degree in biochemistry from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a PhD in Pharmacology from Georgetown University.

Michelle Werner

Michelle Werner

CEO

Alltrna

Michelle Werner joined Alltrna, a biotech company pioneering the unique biology of transfer RNAs (tRNAs), in April 2022. Two years prior, her son was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a rare genetic condition marked by muscle-wasting, for which this is no cure. This diagnosis brought to light how woefully underserved patients are in the rare disease space. For someone who has been in the industry for the past 20 years (including at Novartis, AstraZeneca and Bristol Myers Squibb), Werner saw first-hand that the current drug development framework does not fulfil the needs of the rare disease community.

Founded at Flagship Labs in 2018, Alltrna has mapped tRNA biology to systematically design tRNA medicines and encode a completely new, unifying approach to treating both rare and common human diseases driven by shared genetic mutations. Flagship unveiled the company in 2021, with an initial commitment of $50m.

Prior to joining Alltrna, Werner was worldwide franchise head, solid tumors at Novartis Oncology. In this role, she was responsible for delivering the disease area strategies across multiple tumors and led business development efforts to strengthen the long-term portfolio value for the franchise.

Werner is a board member for the non-profit organization Rare Disease Renegades. She received a BA in biology and anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the London Business School. She also completed an Executive Education program for Women on Boards at Harvard Business School in 2018.

Galit Zuckerman

Galit Zuckerman

CEO and Founder

Medasense Biometrics

Galit Zuckerman founded Medasense Biometrics, a developer of the NOL (Nociception Level Index) technology for pain-response monitoring, in 2008. In 2020, the company raised $18m in series C funding led by Spanish VC firm Sabadell Asabys, Israeli investors, and returning investors Baxter Ventures, Olive Tree Ventures and LGL Capital.

Medasense’s NOL technology uses advanced AI algorithms to convert data into a patient’s “signature of pain,” showing a patient’s pain response on a scale of its proprietary pain monitoring device. The tool is currently utilized in operating rooms and critical care settings, where patients are under anesthesia and unable to communicate.

The latest funding will allow us the company to expand its commercial deployment of NOL technology in Europe.

Before founding Medasense, Zuckerman led algorithm teams at Applied Materials and worked at Nokia-Siemens and Nice Systems. She started her technology career at the elite Israeli Defense Forces “Haman Talpiot” program. She has also served as a consultant for several start-up companies in the field of signal and image processing.

Zuckerman holds an MSc degree in electrical engineering and a BSc in computer engineering from Tel Aviv University, Israel.

Back To Top

Topics

Related Companies

Latest Headlines
See All
UsernamePublicRestriction

Register

IV147706

Ask The Analyst

Ask the Analyst is free for subscribers.  Submit your question and one of our analysts will be in touch.

Your question has been successfully sent to the email address below and we will get back as soon as possible. my@email.address.

All fields are required.

Please make sure all fields are completed.

Please make sure you have filled out all fields

Please make sure you have filled out all fields

Please enter a valid e-mail address

Please enter a valid Phone Number

Ask your question to our analysts

Cancel