Healthcare Startup Laboratoy work visual

Introduction

BaseLaunch, a 15-month accelerator program specifically tailored to the needs of healthcare startups provides handpicked ventures with access to founder-friendly venture grants, insights, industry access and state-of-the-art infrastructure, and connects them to one of the most dynamic biotech and pharma ecosystems in Europe. BaseLaunch is backed by four industry leaders — Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Novartis Venture Fund, Roche and Pfizer — as well as other public and private partners.

 

The project was launched in 2017 as an initiative of BaselArea.swiss, the official innovation and economic promotion agency for the region of Basel, which oversees and manages the operations of BaseLaunch. Through its extensive network of decision-makers, innovators and experts, BaselArea.swiss supports entrepreneurs and companies from abroad with the successful implementation of innovation and business ventures in the Basel region.

 

BaselArea.swiss is a member of digitalswitzerland, a cross-industry association to strengthen the country’s position as a digital hub.In order to tap into the unexplored potential of life sciences innovation, BaseLaunch has entered into a partnership with Kickstart Accelerator, a key initiative of digitalswitzerland and one of Europe`s leading multi-corporate accelerators, to offer a healthcare-specific program in Basel.

 

Applications for our next program cycle, which starts in September 2017 and runs in two phases through December 2018, are now closed.  The next application round will start in early 2018.

Basel region: leading life sciences hub

The Basel region is home to headquarters of world-leading healthcare companies Roche and Novartis and the base of numerous successful biotech businesses. Famous and world-class biomedical research institutions such as the ETH Zürich, with its Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering, the Biocenter of the University of Basel, the Friederich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research, the Department of Biomedicine of the University Hospital of the University of Basel and the Life Sciences Branch of the University of Applied Sciences and Arts are present.

 

This dynamic academic and industrial setting, together with the availability of venture capital from top-tier investors such as the Novartis Venture Fund, Versant Ventures, Bay City Capital and the Roche Venture Fund, provide the ideal environment for the creation of new companies. In addition, there is a very active and highly experienced business angel community, with a track-record in the pharma and biotech industry and an eagerness to invest in new companies.

 

Thanks to its vibrant entrepreneurial healthcare environment, the Basel region has become a hotspot for biotech companies such as Piqur Therapeutics, CRISPR Therapeutics, Nouscom, as well as established players such as Basilea and Santhera.

 

BaseLaunch is ideally placed in this life-sciences epicenter to provide access to what matters when starting and operating a healthcare company: access to financing as well as talent and specialists from all fields, including research, regulatory, clinical, intellectual property, legal, finance and manufacturing.
For more information on the Basel region as a business location, please visit BaselArea.swiss, northwestern Switzerland’s joint initiative for innovation and economic promotion by the cantons of Basel-Stadt, Basel-Landschaft and Jura.

BaseLaunch Team

Alethia de León Managing Director BaseLaunch

Alethia leads BaseLaunch from within BaselArea. She is also the CEO and founder of Senes Science GmbH, whose mission is to develop medical technologies improving elderly quality of life. Previously, she was at Novartis as Global Head of the Search and Evaluation Business Development Activities for the Neuroscience Unit of Novartis Pharmaceuticals AG. She was also part of the Strategy Team of Novartis Pharmaceuticals, and previously had product development and business development roles in biotech and in investment management in private equity. Alethia has an MBA from Harvard Business School, and a Master’s and Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Alethia de Leon

Managing Director
Dr. Stephan Emmerth Business Development Senior Manager BaseLaunch

Stephan is Senior Manager Business Development for BaseLaunch. In addition, he has been working since 2013 as Senior Project Manager for BaselArea.swiss. For the predecessor organization, i-net innovation networks Switzerland, he set-up the Life Sciences practice and accompanied several biotech companies from their earliest steps to acquiring seed financing. He has also been heavily involved in establishing BaseLaunch. Previously, Stephan worked as a postdoc at Roche and in the Medical Affairs Department of Lipomed. Stephan performed his PhD studies at the Friedrich Miescher Institute (Novartis and University of Basel) and holds a Master´s and Bachelor´s degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from ETH Zürich.

Dr. Stephan Emmerth

Business Development Senior Manager
Katrin_Koller

Katrin Koller is Project Manager Marketing for BaseLaunch. Before, she worked as a Senior Brand Manager for Beiersdorf AG Switzerland with responsibility for the strategic and operational management of various categories of consumer goods. Katrin Koller was in the further education department at University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW) and lectured in Marketing. She was Key Account Manager and worked in Marketing for the Vitra Group. Katrin Koller studied international business management at FHNW, School of Business, Basel, the Université de Haute Alsace, Colmar and the Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University in Lörrach. She earned an MBA with specialisation in marketing at the Edinburgh Business School, Heriot-Watt University.

Katrin Koller

Project Manager Marketing
Julia Meyer Marketing Manager BaseLaunch

Julia is Marketing Manager for BaseLaunch and heads the Marketing and Communication Department for BaselArea.swiss. Before, she was responsible for developing strategic partnerships at Fondation Beyeler, led marketing campaigns at L’Oréal and managed a media startup in Mexico. After completing her MBA at ESADE Business School, which focused on Marketing and Entrepreneurship, Julia worked as Marketing Manager with Unibail-Rodamco, one of the largest real estate companies in Europe.

Julia Meyer

Marketing Manager
Cornelia Reist BaseLaunch Operations Manager

Besides heading the operations area of BaseLaunch, Cornelia is in charge of stakeholder management and serves as Executive Assistant to the Managing Director of BaselArea.swiss. She was previously employed at i-net innovation networks in the area of administration and as an assistant to the Management Board. Prior to those positions, she worked for The Little Gym Europe, FIPRA in Brussels and as a programmer, analyst and database administrator at Swisscom.

Cornelia Reist

Operations Manager

Selection Committee

Dr. Fabian Buller Johnson & Johnson Innovation

Fabian is Director of New Ventures at Johnson & Johnson Innovation. Fabian is based in Zurich, Switzerland, and affiliated with Covagen AG, one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. Before joining the Johnson & Johnson family, Fabian was Director of Business Development at Covagen, a company acquired by Janssen in August 2014. In this role, he helped grow a successful biotech company and was instrumental in entering a strategic research & licensing partnership and, ultimately, in the sale of the company. Fabian holds a PhD degree from the Institute of Chemistry and Applied Biosciences at ETH Zurich.

Dr. Fabian Buller

Director New Ventures, Johnson & Johnson Innovation
Jakob_Busch-Petersen_600

Dr. Jakob Busch-Petersen is an Intrapreneur in Roche’s External Innovation Group (Therapeutic modalities) where he is responsible for scouting, developing and executing novel early stage therapeutic and technology programs with external partners. Before joining Roche in 2015, he worked in a similar capacity in GlaxoSmithKline’s Discovery Partnerships with Academia. Jakob started his industrial career in 2000 as a medicinal chemist at SmithKline-Beecham. His track record includes the marketed muscarinic antagonist umeclidinium bromide (Anoro/Incruise) as well as the late stage CXCR2 antagonist danirixin for which he was the project leader and sole inventor. Jakob holds a Ph.D in organic chemistry from the University of Hawaii and conducted post-doctoral research with Nobel laureate with E. J. Corey at Harvard University.

Dr. Jakob Busch-Petersen

Intrapreneur in Roche’s External Innovation Group
Dr. Philipe Dro BaseLaunch Selection committee

Dr. Philippe Dro is CEO of NeMo Devices and has over 20 years’ entrepreneurial experience in the life science industry, including playing a pivotal role in executing strategic transactions at several biotech/medtech companies. He has previously served as CEO of GlycoVaxyn AG, a Swiss biotech startup in vaccines, which was acquired by GSK in early 2015. Before GlycoVaxyn, Mr. Dro was CEO of EndoArt SA, a medical technology company spin-out from the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), which was acquired by Allergan in early 2007. From 1999 to 2003, he was Chief Financial Officer and Head of Business Development at drug discovery company Axovan AG. Mr. Dro received a doctorate in Pharmacy from the School of Pharmacy of the University of Grenoble, France and holds an MBA jointly from École supérieure de Commerce de Lyon (France) and Cranfield School of Management in the United Kingdom.

Dr. Phillipe Dro

CEO, NeMoDevices
Trudi Haemmerli BaseLaunch Selection Committee

Trudi Haemmerli started her career at the Paul Scherrer Institute and then joined Ciba-Geigy. She had a key role during the merger in 1996 to create Novartis and continued her career with increasing responsibility in Regulatory Affairs, and leading the Global Regulatory CMC department for over 5 years. She then moved to the US to run Global Research Operations before returning to Basel in 2010 to help restructure Novartis’ Compliance organisation and policies. In April 2014, she left Novartis to become CEO and Director at PerioC Ltd., a Life Sciences start-up. She is also Managing Director of TruStep Consulting GmbH. She joined as a new member of the Swiss Commission for Technology and Innovation for Startups and Entrepreneurship (CTI) in January 2016 and has recently been appointed to the Board of Directors for the new Innosuisse that replaces CTI from January 2018. She is also an active Business Angel investor.
Trudi Haemmerli studied Chemistry in the UK, completed the ECPM Certification at the University of Basel in 2007 and graduated with the St. Gallen MBA in 2013.

Trudi Haemmerli

CEO and Director, PerioC LtdManaging Director, TruStep Consulting GmbH
Dr. Anja König Novartis Venture Fund

Dr. Anja König is Global Head of the Novartis Venture Fund based in Basel, Switzerland. She is active in the UK, Switzerland and the rest of Europe. Prior to joining NVF, she was an Associate Partner at McKinsey and Company in New York, a global consultancy, where she worked with healthcare companies in the US, Europe and Emerging Markets. Anja holds a PhD in physics from Cornell University. She serves on the boards of Bicycle Therapeutics, F2G and Forendo Pharma.

Dr. Anja König

Global Head, Novartis Venture Fund
Dr. Alexander Mayweg BaseLaunch Selection Committee

Dr. Alex Mayweg is a Venture Partner at Versant Venture’s Basel office in Switzerland.
Alex joined Versant in 2016 from F. Hoffmann La Roche where he served as global head of medicinal chemistry. He previously held various other appointments and positions at Roche’s Basel and Shanghai site, having joined Roche in 2003. Prior to Roche, Alex earned a Ph.D. in organic chemistry at Oxford University, followed by post doctorate training at Stanford University. His undergraduate degree was in chemistry from the Imperial College of Science and Technology in London.

Dr. Alex Mayweg FRSC

Venture Partner, Versant Ventures
Dr. Nathalie ter Wengel MD BaseLaunch Selection Committee

Nathalie ter Wengel, a medical doctor, is the European Head Global External Science and Innovation at Pfizer, where she is responsible for establishing new collaborations and exploring licensing and other corporate development opportunities across all therapeutic areas. After having worked in the hospital, with extensive experience in internal medicine, Nathalie started her commercial career as European Medical Manager at Pfizer. It was this experience, coupled with her father's illness, that convinced her of the urgent need for change in the pharmaceutical industry. Consequently, she started up a company called myTomorrows focused on compassionate use, and served as Chief Medical Officer before joining Galapagos as Business Development Director, where she played a key role in the very successful NASDAQ IPO and in partnering filgotinib.

Dr. Nathalie ter Wengel MD

European Head External Science and Innovation, Pfizer

Advisors

BaseLaunch is proud to have a network of advisors with deep knowledge and expertise in strategic aspects of drug development and entrepreneurship. We match our entrepreneurs with the advisors that have the most relevant experience in a particular therapeutic or functional area and that help generate an immediate impact.

Bertozzi

Carlo Bertozzi is the Director of Operations at Heptares Therapeutics Zurich AG in Schlieren Switzerland. He holds a Diploma in Biophysics and Physical-Chemistry from ETHZ and a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Zurich.
During his PhD Carlo Bertozzi co-founded a boutique chocolate consulting company, with the focus on market enabling for Italian companies. In 2014, he stepped down from his position as a partner, yet remain as a supervisor to the board and management, since he established G7 Therapeutics in 2014. He served the company as CEO and was a member of the Board until it was sold in December 2016 to Heptares Therapeutics Ltd. After the M&A he remained the CEO and a member of the Board of G7 Therapeutics, which was subsequently renamed to Heptares Therapeutics Zurich AG until November 2017. To align with the company structure and responsibilities, his job description changed since November to Director of Operations.

Dr. Carlo Bertozzi

Heitmann

Juergen Heitmann, a Biologist by training served more than 20 years in various positions in the healthcare industry with significant career steps at McKinsey & Co., Novartis and Nycomed/Takeda. His main focus in on business development and corporate strategy. Since 2014 he operates as an independent Business Development Consultant for various clients.

Dr. Juergen Heitmann

Jenner

Paul N. Jenner qualified in medicine from St Mary’s Hospital, University of London and, after spending 8 years in clinical medicine, has over 30 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical industry. He is a Member of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine of the Royal College of Physicians and a Member of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology.
Dr Jenner has held a variety of roles in clinical development, medical affairs and marketing in the neuroscience area. He was formerly Vice President, Commercial Development, Psychiatry Clinical Development & Product Strategy, GlaxoSmithKline and, from 2002 to 2016, was Global Head, New Products, Neuroscience, Novartis AG based in Basel, Switzerland. He has extensive worldwide strategic marketing experience in USA, major European markets, Japan and key international markets with responsibilities for products in depression/anxiety, psychosis, ADHD, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, stroke, neuropathic pain and migraine.

Dr. Paul N. Jenner

Jorga

Dr. Karin Jorga is the owner of KarinJorga Life Science Consulting GmbH based in Basel. She offers drug development consulting to Biotech and Pharma companies and supports investors with Due Diligence assessments. Her focus includes early drug development and in particular the transition of innovative drug candidates from pre-clinical assessments to entry-into-human and clinical proof-of concept. Before opening her own business, Karin worked for F. Hoffmann La Roche at the Basel and several US sites including Genentech in South San Francisco. She held various positions in Pharma R&D including Global Head Clinical Pharmacology, Global Head Modeling and Simulation and Global Head Biomarker Science and Technology. Prior to joining Roche in 1991, Karin earned a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the Christian-Albrechts University in Kiel, Germany, followed by post doctorate training at the University of Lexington in Kentucky, US.

Dr. Karin Jorga

Kaufmann

Dr. Martina Kaufmann has roughly 20 years industry experience in the field of personalized medicine - from biomarker validation, companion diagnostics development to implementation of such products in the market.
She served in various roles of increasing responsibility in business and development functions in small biotech / diagnostic companies as well as in global pharmaceutical & diagnostics corporations (Hoffmann-La Roche AG, Novartis Pharma AG, Novartis Molecular Diagnostics).
Since April 2012 she is offering her comprehensive and longtime experience as a consultant to an international clientele in both pharma and diagnostics industry
Her services range from strategic concept development to project specific consulting for CDx development under consideration of strategic, scientific, regulatory, operational and commercial aspects.

Dr. Martina Kaufmann

Kessmann

Helmut is a serial entrepreneur and successful Business / Corporate Development Executive in Biotech. He is co-founder of two Biotech companies which both developed to IPO and beyond (Disovery Partners, IPO at NasdaQ in 2000; Santhera, IPO at SIX in 2006), is cofounder / Board member of T3 Pharma, and advisor to other Biotech companies. He has a strong track record of successful negotiation and deal making with extensive experience in technology, development stage and product focused transactions across therapeutic areas world-wide. These deals included in- and outlicensing tranactions, non-dilutive fundings, MBOs and several M&As. Prior to that he held research management positions at Ciba-Geigy, now Novartis. Helmut studied biology, philosophy and business administration and completed his PhD in biochemistry in 1988 at the University Münster, Germany.

Dr. Helmut Kessmann

Machacek

Matthias Machacek is Managing Director at LYO-X, a service and consulting company for Systems Pharmacology and the PK/PD of biologics and novel therapeutic formats. Previously he was head of the Engineering Cluster at Novartis managing the in silico modelling support for the biologics in the preclinical and translational portfolio. Matthias has a Masters Degree that he completed at the University of Tokyo in Fluid Dynamics and he holds a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the ETH Zurich. He got his Life Science exposure during his postdoctoral research at the Scripps Research Institute in San Diego.

Dr. Matthias Machacek

McAllister

Kevin McAllister is the Managing Director of Neurenable GmbH, a company enabling Neuroscience research and development by offering advisory, project management and due diligence services to entrepreneurs, venture capital, pharma and non-profit organisations. Prior to this he was Executive Director in the Neuroscience Disease Area, Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, and Principal Medical Scientific Expert in the Novartis Neuroscience Development Franchise. Kevin holds a PhD from the University of Wales, UK, and an MBA from the International Institute for Management Development, Lausanne, Switzerland.

Dr. Kevin McAllister

Staufenbiel

Matthias Staufenbiel currently is Research Consultant at the Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research, University of Tübingen. Previously he had leading positions in Novartis and Sandoz Preclinical Neuroscience Research focusing on Neurodegeneration and in particular Alzheimer's Disease. Before he hold an independent research position at the Max-Planck-Institute for Cell Biology in Ladenburg and a postdoc position in cell biology at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena. Matthias has studied biology at the University of Konstanz and received his Ph.D. from the Max-Planck-Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen and the University of Ulm. He is co-author of more than 200 scientific publications.

Dr. Matthias Staufenbiel

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