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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). Stephan holds a Master´s and Bachelor´s degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from ETH Zürich.

Dr. Stephan Emmerth

Business Development Senior Manager
Leo-web

PhD | Business Strategy and Investor Outreach Manager BaseLaunch
Dr. Leonildo Delgado joined BaseLaunch in March 2018. As Business Strategy and Investor Outreach Manager, he supports the Basel Life Sciences Accelerator program of BaselArea.swiss.
Previously, he worked as a research postdoc at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel, where he collaborated with GE Healthcare in the implementation of laboratory automation systems.
Before that, Leonildo was employed by the Biozentrum as a doctoral student between 2012 and 2017, where he established his first research collaboration with the pharmaceutical Hoffmann-La Roche.
Leonildo Delgado studied Biochemistry, food chemistry and molecular biotechnology at the University of Aveiro (Portugal) and gained his doctorate in Structural Biology at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel.

Dr. Leonildo Delgado

Business Strategy and Investor Outreach 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
Isabelle-web

Isabelle Wymann works since February 2018 as Project Manager Marketing for BaselArea.swiss and supports among others the BaseLaunch accelerator program in marketing matters. Previously, Isabelle was a long-term employee at Evolva and thus was actively involved in evolving a biotech start-up into a commercial enterprise. Lastly, as Director, Communications, Isabelle led various projects in communications, branding and bio-design and supported the launch of novel products in the B2B market.

In 2015 Isabelle graduated her executive Master of Business Administration (eMBA) in Cross-cultural Leadership studies with a dual degree from FHNW, School of Business, Basel and Edinburgh Business School, Heriot-Watt University.

Isabelle Wymann

Manager Marketing

Selection Committee

Julian Bertschinger

Julian Bertschinger is VP, Head Therapeutic Platform Innovation at Janssen R&D and Managing Director of Covagen, one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. Prior, Julian Bertschinger was Covagen’s Chief Executive Officer and successfully developed and executed Covagen’s business and R&D strategy. He raised CHF 58.9 million of venture capital, entered a strategic collaboration and licensing agreement with Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma (Osaka, JP), and advanced Covagen’s lead asset to Phase I/IIa clinical trials.
Julian Bertschinger studied molecular biology and biochemistry and obtained his PhD from ETH Zurich, Switzerland. He serves on the legal entity board of Actelion and other Johnson & Johnson companies in Switzerland.

Julian Bertschinger, PhD

VP, Head Therapeutic Platform Innovation at Janssen R&D and Managing Director of Covagen
Sascha Bucher_neu_JAN_2018_quadr

Sascha Bucher is the Head of Global Transactions at Roivant based in Basel. Prior to joining Roivant, Sascha worked for Roche in numerous Business and Corporate Development functions including as Deputy Head of Global M&A where he was involved in 100+ transactions and negotiated and closed over 35 global deals. Prior to Roche, Sascha was a banker at UBS. He holds an MBA in Finance and Economics from the University of Basel, and is both a Harvard Business School GMP alumnus and a Certified European Financial Analyst and Asset Manager.

Sascha Bucher

VP and Head of Global Transactions, Roivant
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

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 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

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

Our advisors have deep hands-on knowledge and expertise in all relevant aspects of drug development and entrepreneurship. We connect entrepreneurs with advisors that have the most relevant experience in a particular therapeutic or functional area and that can 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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