Prof. Semir Beslija is a well-recognized oncologist whose interests specifically target breast cancer treatments. Currently he is working as a Head of the Oncology Division at the University Clinical Center Sarajevo and as Professor at the Department of Oncology of the University of Sarajevo, School of Medicine. He is a member of several professional associations including the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO). In addition, Dr. Beslija is a member of the Scientific Committee of the Central European Cooperative Oncology Group. He is an author and co-author of more than 50 scientific publications and a visiting lecturer of the European Institute of Oncology in Milan and Austrian Oncology Academy. Besides, Dr. Beslija is a member of the editorial board of the MEMO magazine (Magazine of European Medical Oncology).
Prof. Filip Janku is a competent and experienced scientist whose research interests focus on proof-of-concept clinical trials, molecular profiling of cell-free DNA and therapeutic use of oncolytic bacteria. Prof. Janku serves as an Associate Professor and medical oncologist in the Department of Investigational Cancer Therapeutics (Phase I Program) at MD Anderson Cancer Center in the US. In 2018, he became a Center Medical Director in the Clinical and Translational Research Center at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Prof. Janku is the principal investigator for numerous phase I trials, most of which study novel targeted agents. He was involved in multiple clinical trials, initiated by pharma giants Roche and Novartis. Prof. Janku is a winner of several Research Grants and received numerous awards for his research achievements, including the Sidney Kimmel Scholar award. He is the author of 218 articles in peer-reviewed journals.
Prof. Jean-Yves Blay is a well-known scientist and a medical oncologist whose main research interests focus on clinical and basic research in sarcomas. Dr. Blay is a General Director of the Centre Leon Bérard, the Comprehensive Cancer of Lyon, France, as well as a Professor of Medicine at the Université Claude Bernard. He serves as a President of the French Federation of Cancer Centres “Unicancer” and as a President of the French Sarcoma Group. In 2016, Prof. Blay was designated by the EU Commission to be a Network Director of ERN-EURACAN to improve the quality of care for patients with rare cancers in the European Union. He has co-authored over 1000 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters and was distinguished as a Highly Cited Researcher in 2019. He advises various national and international institutions and research organizations and is an active member of several oncology scientific organizations and societies, such as ESMO, CTOS, ASCO, and AACR. Besides, Prof. Blay is a winner of several scientific awards.
Prof. Richard Herrmann is a leading expert in Oncology with extensive experience in cancer clinical trials methodology in Phases I–III. He is Professor of Oncology at the University of Basel and former Head of the Division of Oncology and the Department of Clinical Research at the University Hospital Basel. During his career, Prof. Herrmann headed various national oncology societies and study groups as President of the Swiss Group for Clinical Cancer Research and President of OncoSuisse. In 2009, he became Vice-President of the Cancer Research Switzerland Foundation. Besides that, Prof. Herrmann has remarkable 20 years of experience (1991-2011) as a Head of the Division of Oncology at the University Hospital Basel. Prof. Herrmann is the winner of several scientific awards, honorary member in the Scientific Association of Swiss Radiation Oncologists, the Hungarian Society of Medical Oncology and the German Society of Haematology and Medical Oncology as well as an elected personal member of the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences. He is an author of more than 300 scientific publications.
Prof. Solange Peters is an experienced scientist whose main fields of research include discovery and validation in preclinical/clinical settings of new biomarkers for thoracic cancers, as well as targeted therapy and immunotherapy. Prof. Peters runs the Thoracic Malignancies Program and the Medical Oncology Service in the Department of Oncology at the Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV) in Switzerland and manages the organization and coordination of clinical trials. She acts as the scientific coordinator and member of the Foundation Council of the European Thoracic Oncology Platform (ETOP). Prof. Peters is a referee for numerous scientific journals and serves as a grant reviewer for the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF), Swiss Cancer League Grants and many others. She is the author of more than 200 peer-reviewed journal publications, book chapters and book editions. In 2014, Solange received the Prize of the Faculty of Biology and Medicine of Lausanne for her excellence in clinical research. Prof. Peters is the youngest ever President of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) for the 2020-2021 term.
Prof. Alex A. Adjei is an accomplished researcher in the field of experimental therapeutics and clinical drug development. He is a Professor of Oncology and a Professor of Pharmacology in the Mayo College of Medicine (Rochester, USA) as well as a consultant in Medical Oncology at Mayo Clinic. Prof. Adjei is a Director of the Early Cancer Therapeutics Program and leads the Lung Cancer Program across all Mayo Clinic campuses in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota. Prof. Adjei is co-chair of the Thoracic Malignancies Steering Committee as well as the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Thoracic Oncology. He received the first American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Drug Development Research Professorship 2012-2017, in recognition of his mentorship and his work in cancer drug development. In 2018, Prof. Adjei was recognized by ASCO for his extraordinary volunteer service, dedication, and commitment. He served on several National Cancer Institute Committees and is an author of 260 scientific publications.
Dr. Thomas Ladner, Board Member and Secretary of the Board, became in 2002 the youngest partner at Meyerlustenberger Lachenal, one of Switzerland's leading law firms, where he specialized in private equity and M&A. From 2000 to 2004, Thomas lectured on corporate law and contract law at the University of St. Gallen (Switzerland), from where he also holds a Ph.D. Since 2009 he is a Counsel to the law firm and active as an angel investor. To date, two of the several start-ups he co-founded went public. In addition, he sits on the board of more than a dozen companies ranging from tech-start-ups to mature companies with a turnover of several billion Swiss francs.
Thomas is passionate about creating communities of business and thought leaders and has founded or co-founded the Entrepreneurs' Roundtable (with chapters in Switzerland, Germany, France, The Netherlands and Poland), the Club zum Rennweg in Zurich and the WORLD.MINDS Foundation. In addition he is engaged in several nonprofit initiatives as a member of their board of trustees.
Dr. Paul Hebeisen is a highly experienced medicinal chemist with an impressive track record in drug discovery over 28 years of service at F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG, Switzerland. Paul served in various positions, most notably as a Group Leader in Chemistry in the discovery of novel anti-infectives. In collaboration with Sumitomo Corporation, Japan, Paul was the Chemistry Leader in the search for novel carbapenems overcoming resistance to marketed agents, a major and an on-going global public health problem. He is a co-inventor of Zevtera, a cephalosporin antibiotic with activity against a range of drug-resistant microorganisms. Paul also has experience in metabolic research, where he successfully contributed to the introduction of appetite suppressants as well as anti dyslipidemia drugs into the clinics. He is a member of several professional organizations and author of more than 60 publications and patents.
Dr. Doriano Fabbro is a renowned drug discovery and kinase expert with more than 20 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical industry, following 10 years in academia. Until 2005, Doriano was an Executive Director for the Oncology Drug Discovery Division of the Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research (NIBR) in Basel, Switzerland and was a member of the NIBR Oncology Advisory Board overseeing the oncology portfolio from target discovery to clinical development. From 2005 to 2012, he was an Executive Director of the NIBR Expertise Platform Kinases dedicated to global Kinase Drug Discovery Projects of all indication areas of Novartis. During his exemplary career, Doriano contributed to the discovery and development of several approved drugs, including Afinitor, Alpelisib, Glivec, Midostaurin and Tasigna. From 2012 until 2019, Doriano was the Chief Scientific Officer of Piqur Therapeutics, Switzerland. He is currently a scientific advisor for several pharmaceutical companies in the area of kinase drug discovery. Doriano is an author of more than 140 scientific publications.
Dr. Marc Lang is a medicinal chemist with an outstanding career served in Novartis, Basel, Switzerland and spanning more than 30 years in drug discovery across various therapeutic fields, including infectious diseases and oncology. Marc contributed personally to the discovery of three compounds that were successfully developed and approved to treat patients (Femara, Reyataz and Tasigna). As Executive Director of the Medicinal Chemistry Unit for Oncology in Basel and a member of the Global Oncology Decision Board, Marc oversaw the discovery of many other innovative drugs in the Novartis Oncology portfolio that progressed into clinical trials and some of which are now on the market. Marc is currently a scientific and strategic advisor to several biotech companies. He is an author of numerous publications, a co-inventor of 50 patents and a winner of several scientific awards.
Dr. Donald Ogilvie is currently an independent scientific consultant providing expert advice on cancer drug discovery to academic, industrial and venture capital organizations. Donald has had a highly successful career of over 20 years in cancer drug discovery and early clinical development, spent mostly in AstraZeneca, United Kingdom, where he held senior research positions. He led the discovery of many innovative cancer drug candidates, which have progressed to the stage of clinical development and some to regulatory approval. After leaving AstraZeneca, Donald set up and led the Drug Discovery Unit at the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute (University of Manchester, UK). Under his leadership, the team built a drug discovery infrastructure and a leading cancer project portfolio; three projects were successfully licensed to downstream partners. Donald is an author on more than 80 peer-reviewed academic publications.
Dr. Elena Levitskaia is an accomplished scientist with broad experience in research program building across infection biology, virology, human parasitology and onco-immunology. Elena has established laboratories and directed independently funded research programs at world-leading academic institutions, including Karolinska Institute, Sweden and Johns Hopkins University, USA. She has supported the development of pre-clinical portfolios of several biotech companies in the US, Europe and Japan. Most recently, Elena served as a Differentiation Strategy Advisor and Ad hoc Executive Team Member of Crescendo Biologics, Cambridge, UK, helping the company to develop its biologics-based portfolio in onco-immunology. She is an author of numerous scientific papers published in prestigious scientific journals.
Dr. Jeanette Wood is an accomplished scientist with extensive experience in all aspects of drug discovery across multiple disease areas, including cancer. Jeanette has held senior management positions in big Pharma (Novartis, Switzerland and AstraZeneca, United Kingdom) and small Biotechs (S*BIO, Singapore and Genkyotex, Switzerland) and has contributed to the discovery and profiling of several drugs which entered clinical trials (including Vatalanib, Pacritinib, Pracinostat, Setanaxib) and some that reached regulatory approval (Diovan, Aliskiren, Osimertinib). She serves as a Board Member and Scientific and Strategic Advisor to several biotech companies and university drug discovery groups around the world. Jeanette has been awarded several prizes for her scientific and drug discovery excellence and is an author of numerous patents and academic publications.
Sergey Shneyerson is a founding partner of Basil Street Advisory, a strategy, private equity, and M&A advisory business. Previously, Sergey was Partner with Exigen Capital, USA, where he led the firm’s investment activities. Sergey held several senior management positions with global technology companies. At Microsoft, he led the development of cloud strategy and offerings for Microsoft Services, the largest division within the company, with over 20,000 employees worldwide.
Earlier in his career, Sergey co-founded a pioneering consumer Internet business and led its acquisition by Amazon.com. Sergey also worked for the Boston Consulting Group in Chicago, advising senior management at companies in the software, financial services, and private equity industries.
Dr. Kenneth C. Korfmann is an experienced professional in the fields of banking, business, and human resources consulting. In 1997 Kenneth founded the executive search firm Korfmann Burnett & Partner AG, after two years as the Partner responsible for the Financial Services Practice across Europe at another prominent international consulting firm. He previously served as the Chief Operating Officer of Coutts Bank with responsibility for all non-UK international activities of the bank, and before he was the Chief Executive Officer responsible for Private Banking at Citibank Switzerland.
Kenneth is presently a member of the Senior Advisory Board of Agilitas Partners LLP and was Co-Founder and Vice Chairman of PBS Private Bank Switzerland until it was sold to Credit Suisse. He also served as Chairman of ScienceMatters, an internet open-platform science publishing company, as a non-executive member of the board at Lazard GmbH, Zürich, and as a member of the Advisory Board of the Symbiotics Group, Geneva.
Christoph Rentsch is a well-known expert in corporate finance as well as private and public funding markets with more than 25 years of experience in the life science field. From 1991 to 1994, Christoph was developing his professional carrier in Switzerland and the US, where he led various senior management functions for the Alusuisse-Lonza Group. Subsequently, he joined F. Hoffmann-La Roche to become Head of Group Funding and Capital Markets, responsible for all of Roche’s Finance transactions on Group level for almost 10 years. He was a partner at Caperis Ltd, a life science investment management firm, Chief Financial Officer and member of the executive committee of both Polyphor, and most recently, Santhera Pharmaceuticals. With outstanding experience in business and finances, Christoph is also a board member of TargImmune Therapeutics AG and is a partner at Independent Capital Group AG since 2020.
Dr. Sabina R. Korfmann-Bodenmann is a specialist in the financial sector, who gained international experience in the US and India. After a successful banking career, Sabina founded Korfmann Corporate Communications Consulting AG (KCCC) in 2001, a communications company exclusively specialized in financial institutions. Today, KCCC serves leading international firms in the financial sector. Dr. Korfmann-Bodenmann is a member of several boards of directors and trustees. She has written several books, including Living Heritage – Centuries in Business (2016) and Brooklyn – Heritage Reclaimed (2017). Sabina is a Visiting Artist at the Art History Institute of the University of Zürich.
Michel Petignat is a qualified HR Specialist in the Life Sciences industry. During his long and outstanding professional career, Michel worked as an HR Manager in leading pharma and biotech companies such as Sandoz, Novartis Pharma, Syngenta Crop Protection and Actelion Pharmaceuticals. He was responsible for the selection and recruitment of personnel and the support of line managers (HR policy, disciplinary procedures, recruitment, etc.).
From 2001 until 2004, Michel worked in addition as a Head of Recruitment and Support Basel in Syngenta Crop Protection. From 2005 he was an expert for the “Human Resources Swiss Exams” society in the domain “Leadership and Communication” and served as a member of the association’s managing committee in 2012 - 2018. In 2013 he became an HR Business Partner of the Department Drug Discovery in Actelion Pharmaceuticals. Michel has in-depth experience in an operational HR work from recruitment through support and development to exit. Due to exceptional technical and personal skills, he always received a high degree of personal acceptance and respect from customers (managers, employees).
Dr. Josef Künzle, Chief Quality Officer, joined Swiss Rockets AG as Chief Quality Officer after taking early retirement from Basilea in 2018, where he was Head of Global Quality Management in the independent Quality Unit, and as a member of the Extended Management Team since August 2015. He joined Basilea in 2007 as a Quality Assurance Project Manager. He was promoted in May 2009 to Head Quality Unit Technical Operations, a position in which he led the GMP/GDP QA group. In 2013, he became Head of Global QM.
Since 1989, he has held various positions in the pharmaceutical industry with increasing responsibility, from 1989 to 1998 as Analytical R&D/QC at Sandoz Pharma AG/Novartis Pharma AG in Basel (including FDA inspection on Sandimmun Neoral), from 1998 to 2003 in QC/QM at Carbogen AG in Aarau, and from 2003 to 2007 in QC/QM at Permamed AG in Therwil. Josef holds a PhD in Organic Chemistry from the University of Zurich (Switzerland) and was a Post-Doc in the Civil Engineering Department at Stanford University, California. Since 1997, he has given numerous GMP training classes in the area of QC/QA.