About

Developing Therapies to Benefit Patients.

Anaveon’s mission is to harness the power of the immune system for life-saving treatments. The Company was founded in 2017 by scientists and industry experts, who aspire to invent and develop therapeutic treatments that benefit patients and society.

This remains our vision today. Anaveon is a global clinical stage biopharmaceutical company that specializes in developing novel treatments for diseases with high unmet needs. The team has the skills and capabilites to make this vision a reality: we are committed to transforming immunological insights into life-saving therapies.

Our investors share our vision and have backed Anaveon with funding of more than 146 million CHF to date.

Our dedicated team of experts in immunology, protein engineering, & oncology have decades of experience in drug discovery and clinical development, supplemented by strong business expertise ranging from investment to operations. The team’s experience, curiosity, and drive to deliver tangible results set us apart.

 

Word from the CEO

«At Anaveon, we are a team of motivated scientists with decades of experience in drug development; our commitment to bring life-saving therapies to patients requires us to follow novel approaches with clear scientific rationale in order to reach our shared vision»

Andreas Katopodis, Co-Founder and CEO

Our Journey

Founded in 2017

Founded in 2017, Anaveon is on an exciting and fast-paced journey: the team has successfully taken our lead compound ANV419, a next-generation interleukin-2 (IL-2) immunotherapy, into clinical trials with first patients treated in 2021.

The company is initiating first in human studies with our second compound, ANV600, in Q2/2024.  ANV600 is a bispecific molecule which expands tumor specific T cells in the tumor microenvironment and has shown very promising pre-clinical data.

We continue to develop novel therapies for cancer with new immune therapy approaches in mid- and early- preclinical development.

Immunology Origins

Anaveon co-founder and CEO Andreas Katopodis has spent more than 25 years in the pharmaceutical industry, including 21 years as Director in the Autoimmunity, Transplantation & Inflammation group at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research.

Securing Funding to Develop a Cancer Treatment

With support from the Novartis Venture Fund, Anaveon secured funding rapidly after the foundation of the Company, receiving 1 million CHF from the University of Zurich Life Sciences fund, enabling the team to start the manufacturing process. BaseLaunch followed with a non-dilutive grant.

In 2019, Anaveon concluded a Series A financing round and raised 35 million CHF, with Syncona as the lead investor and the Novartis Venture Fund also contributing. With a state-of-the-art laboratory and a dedicated team of experts, in June 2021 Anaveon successfully dosed the first patient in a Phase 1 / 2 open label study of ANV419.

In 2021, an additional Series B financing raised further 110 million CHF funding to pursue the company’s human trials in various indications. In addition, the funding secured the further development of Anaveon’s preclinical pipeline which includes programs that leverage targeted cytokines for a range of immune-mediated diseases.

Executive Team

Andreas Katopodis ANAVEON Biotech Cancer IL-2 Cytokines Bispecific Phase Clinical

Andreas Katopodis

Co-Founder and CEO

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Andreas was a Director in the Autoimmunity, Transplantation & Inflammation group at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research. In this position, he was involved in many aspects of early to late drug development for immune-mediated diseases, taking several modalities to clinical trial and late stage development. He also supported multiple deals with startups. Prior to this, he worked at the Central Research Laboratories at Ciba Geigy, doing research on immune cell trafficking. Andreas studied Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and started his career as a faculty member at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

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Christoph Huber ANAVEON Biotech Cancer IL-2 Cytokines Bispecific Phase Clinical

Christoph Huber

Chief Scientific Officer

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Christoph has extensive industry experience in pharmaceutical drug discovery, preclinical development, and support of clinical development programs. He has led several therapeutic candidates from discovery to IND, including multispecific antibody modalities. Christoph has a deep scientific background in the areas of cancer immunotherapy, immunology, and inflammation. Before joining Anaveon in 2019, he held positions of increasing responsibility at Roche, Pfizer, and COI Pharmaceuticals and has built and led cross-functional R&D and strategic teams in both pharma and biotech environments. Christoph obtained his PhD in Molecular Biology from the University of Zurich and did his postdoctoral training in B cell immunology and innate immune receptor signaling at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California.

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Eduard Gasal ANAVEON Biotech Cancer IL-2 Cytokines Bispecific Phase Clinical

Eduard Gasal

Chief Medical Officer

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Eduard joined Anaveon from Innovent Biologics (USA), Inc. where he served as CMO and President and was responsible for the clinical development strategy and execution outside of China. Prior to that he was Executive Director and Global Program Clinical Head at Novartis leading the cross functional clinical team for the melanoma, and prostate cancer franchise with main accountability for a large clinical development program consisting of more than 25 clinical studies (Phase I to Phase III) with targeted and immune-oncology compounds. Previously he served in roles of increasing responsibility at Amgen and Roche. Eduard has accumulated a wealth of experience across all aspects of clinical development, clinical operations and medical affairs during his career located in the United States and Switzerland, and has helped to bring several high-profile oncology drugs to market. He received his Master’s Degree and Medical Doctor Degree in Human Medicine from the University of Zurich in Switzerland.

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Gary Phillips ANAVEON Biotech Cancer IL-2 Cytokines Bispecific Phase Clinical

Gary Phillips

Chief Business Officer

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Gary was named Chief Business Officer of Anaveon in May 2022. Gary has three decades of experience across healthcare. He was President & CEO of OrphoMed from 2018 to 2022. Before OrphoMed, Gary worked at Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, where he was EVP & Chief Strategy Officer as well as President, Autoimmune & Rare Diseases. He was the Head of Global Health & Healthcare at the World Economic Forum. He served in senior executive roles at Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals, Bausch & Lomb, Merck Serono, Novartis, and Wyeth. He earned a BA in Biochemistry summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania’s College of Arts & Sciences, an MBA from its Wharton School, and an MD Alpha Omega Alpha from its School of Medicine. Gary practiced as a U.S. Navy general medical officer. He currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Nanobiotix as well as a Director on the Boards of Aldeyra Therapeutics and Rheon Medical SA.

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Team

Alexander Rau

Alexander Rau

Scientist Protein Engineering

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Since 2016, Alexander has been dedicated to advancing innovative antibody-based therapies in immuno-oncology. Before joining Anaveon in June 2022, he contributed to the generation of novel antibody binder molecules in a mid-sized biotech company. Alexander holds a PhD in the field of cancer cell biology and antibody engineering, earned in Stuttgart. Throughout his academic journey, he collaborated closely with various academic partners and research organizations. His expertise encompasses the entire spectrum of antibody development, from early screening of binders derived from phage display, immune NGS, and immune library outputs. This proficiency extends to the process of developing multispecific antibody-fusion proteins, including in silico design and modeling, production, purification, and comprehensive biochemical and biophysical characterization.

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Anaïs Zurbach

Anaïs Zurbach

Scientist

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Anaïs joined Anaveon in April 2024 as Scientist, bringing over eight years’ experience in in vivo/in vitro research in a pharmaceutical company. Before, she worked as Senior Scientific Associate in the Immunology Pharmacology department of Idorsia, where she was responsible for the development and execution of in vitro assays, rodent models of various inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, and ex-vivo readouts. She contributed to several preclinical projects targeting G protein-coupled receptors and provided in vivo preclinical support by running efficacy and mechanistic studies. She holds a Master’s degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Strasbourg.

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Arkadi Khait

Arkadi Khait

Head of Finance

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Arkadi is a dynamic, self-motivated professional with over 14 years of proven track record in consulting and finance top roles in international groups such as AUTONEUM and KOSTAL. He has extensive experience in Accounting/Controlling/Reporting, international Tax and Treasury and a high degree of transformational leadership skills in intercultural and international environments. He is experienced in building and adapting overall structures and organizations, implementing best practices and high performing teams. Arkadi holds a master’s degree in economics from the University of Bielefeld in Germany.

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Christian Stocker

Christian Stocker

Scientist Protein Engineering

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Christian joined Anaveon in March 2022 after his PhD in biochemistry at ETH Zurich. During his doctoral studies, he performed in-depth characterization of novel exported bifunctional fusion enzymes and in vivo selections of cyclic peptide libraries for protein-protein interaction inhibition by directed evolution. Before that, Christian has worked in the Protein Engineering Group at ESBATech, a Novartis Company, where he was responsible for the affinity maturation of scFv antibodies using phage display and the generation of bi-valent and bi-specific variants.

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Christine Wurz

Christine Wurz

Senior Quality Assurance Director

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Christine has more than 40 years of experience in QA, QM and QC. She spent over 25 years at Roche Pharma/Vitamins with microbiological/pre-clinical analytics. She built up the GLP Test Facility, the ISO QM framework and computerized systems validations (CSV). As Head of Quality Management at Livec, she worked for several pharma companies worldwide. At Actelion she implemented QM to qualify the IT infrastructure and services hosting GXP validated systems, and therefore she supported all GXP businesses as Global IT Quality Manager. In the leadership of a biotech startup, she recovered the studies from potential clinical hold, assured the GCP re-inspection without critical findings, and elevated the company to a state of the art GXP level.

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Claudia Schusterbauer

Claudia Schusterbauer

Senior Medical Director

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Claudia joined Anaveon from Celgene/BMS in Neuchâtel, where she led, in Europe and Japan, a multicohort, registrational trial evaluating liso-cel, a CD19 directed CAR-T cell therapy in B cell lymphoma with successful submission and recent approval granted across regions. Claudia moved from clinic to industry in 2011, at Takeda then Debiopharm in Lausanne. She has 10+ years pharma experience, conducting global clinical trials in early and late-stage solid tumors and hemato-oncology. She obtained her medical degree and oncology board certification in Lausanne after completion of her doctoral thesis in the immunobiology of fibrosis at the University of Geneva.

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Daniela Di Blasi

Daniela Di Blasi

Senior Clinical Scientist

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Daniela joined Anaveon in February 2022, bringing more than ten years of clinical research experience in cancer immunology, autoimmunity, and allergy to the Anaveon Team. She previously worked as a Senior Scientist in Biomarker Discovery at Scailyte in Basel and as a Clinical Research Scientist at Sanquin in Amsterdam, where she was involved in early phase clinical trials. Daniela received her PhD in immunology from the University of Palermo in Italy, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship in cancer immunology at the University Hospital of Basel.

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Julie Mouton

Julie Mouton

Clinical Trial Leader

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Julie joined Anaveon in October 2021 as Clinical Trial Manager. Over the past 7 years, she has worked as project manager conducting global phase I to phase III clinical trials in a wide range of therapeutic areas, in biotechnology and large pharmaceutical companies located in France, Switzerland, and USA. Julie graduated from the faculty of pharmacy of Lille (France) with a PharmD and holds a master’s degree in project management and Clinical Operations.

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Kirsten Richter

Kirsten Richter

Head Biomarker and Bioanalytics

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Our Head of Biomarkers and Bioanalytics Kirsten joined Anaveon in June 2021 initially as preclinical lab head. Kirsten previously worked at Roche pRED where she led preclinical drug discovery projects using locked nucleic acids, small or large molecules to modulate the immune response in the fields of antibiotics, virology, and autoimmunity. Before that, Kirsten was Oberassistentin/senior scientist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich focusing on the immune response in chronic viral infection. She obtained her PhD in Freiburg, Germany. Kirsten has broad immunology expertise and especially likes T cells.

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Laetitia Petersen

Laetitia Petersen

Senior Scientist

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Laetitia started her carrier in 1999 in academic research at the Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics in Freiburg, and later at the Institute for Immunology of the LMU in Munich, working on DC and B cells fundamental research with transgenic mice. She joined Micromet (acquired by Amgen) to take part of the development on Bi-Specific T cell engager (BITE) technology and gained experience in toxicology studies. Laetitia spent the last 13 years at Roche, developing in vitro immunosafety assays, investigating the immunogenicity and pharmacodynamic properties of new bi-specific monoclonal antibodies in mice. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Biotechnologies from Lyon Catholic University, France.

Nicole Egli

Nicole Egli

Senior Scientist

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Nicole joined the Anaveon team in October 2020, bringing with her more than ten years’ experience in pharmaceutical research. Previous to Anaveon, she held a position as Senior Scientist at Novartis, where she gained expertise in various aspects of drug discovery research. She was involved in several preclinical and early clinical projects, mainly in the field of autoimmunity, transplantation and inflammation. Nicole holds a Master’s degree in Biology from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich.

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Patrizia Murer

Patrizia Murer

Associate Laboratory Head

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Patrizia joined Anaveon after obtaining her PhD degree from ETH Zürich. Her doctoral thesis focused on the generation of novel tumor-specific antibodies and antibody-fusion proteins for the immunotherapy of various cancer types. Before that, Patrizia spent one year at UCSF in the USA as a Junior Scientist, studying the antitumoral effects of oncolytic viruses in combination with immunecheckpoint inhibitors. She holds a Master’s degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences and a Swiss federal diploma as Pharmacist.

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Pius Gutzwiler

Pius Gutzwiler

I.T. Manager

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As a digital native, Pius is happy to use his influence to ensure that Anaveon remains modern, digital and open to cooperation with third parties. Pius previously worked on research and development in energy harvesting technologies and wireless communication at the Institute of Embedded Systems in Winterthur. He then held positions in which he was responsible for technology or was project manager of digitalization projects for various Swiss food companies. In addition to his part-time employment with Anaveon, Pius is currently working as an application developer.

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Reem Bazzoui

Reem Bazzoui

Executive Assistant

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With 20 plus years of financial consolidation, project management and training experience in the pharmaceutical / chemical industries and with a BSBA in Finance and International Business, Reem enjoys making good use of her experience to help organize and facilitate good administrative solutions for the Anaveon management and team as an Executive Assistant.

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Simone Wyss

Simone Wyss

Clinical Team Coordinator

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As a pharmaceutical assistant and nurse, Simone brings a broad and long-standing experience in the healthcare and pharmaceutical sector. She spent over 12 years at Roche Pharma within Marketing and QA as a personal Assistant to the Head of Department as well as 10 years of executive support to the Head of Diagnostic Hematology and the medical team at the University Hospital in Basel. Simone is passionate about patient care and coordinates the activities of Anaveon’s expanding clinical development team.

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Stephanie Fernando

Stephanie Fernando

Head of Corporate Affairs & Human Resources

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Stephanie joined the Anaveon team from a Swiss clinical stage oncology start up, where she was the Head of Corporate Affairs & Human Resources. Previously, she held management positions with increasing responsibilities in investment advisory, strategy development and sales & marketing. She has experience across various industries and geographic regions and is passionate about entrepreneurship and organizational development. Stephanie holds an MBA from IE Business School, Madrid.

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Virginie Casarotto-Collins

Virginie Casarotto-Collins

Clinical Trial Leader

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Virginie joined Anaveon in April 2023 as Clinical Trial Leader. She has more than ten years of experience in clinical trials, including data management and IRT, gained at CROs and pharmaceutical companies. Previously, she worked at Novartis as a Trial Manager in Global Drug Development on a Phase I/II study in haematology and in Global Medical Affairs on Phase II and III studies in solid tumours.

Virginie holds a Master’s degree in Chemistry from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Lille (France) and a PhD in Organic Chemistry from the University of Toledo (USA).

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Board

Alex Hamilton

Alex Hamilton

Director

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Alex is a Partner of Syncona Investment Management Ltd. He is a Director on the Board of SwanBio Therapeutics. Previously, he was a member of the Healthcare Investment Banking team at Jefferies, where he worked on a range of financings and mergers and acquisitions across the biotechnology, pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors. Alex has a PhD in Immunology from the University of Cambridge.

Alice Renard

Alice Renard

Board Observer

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Alice is a Partner of Syncona Investment Management Ltd. She is also Head of Operations at Purespring Therapeutics and works closely with Anaveon. Alice serves as an Observer on the Board of Purespring and Anaveon. Prior to Syncona, Alice was an Investment Banking Analyst within Barclays’ Healthcare M&A team, where she worked on transactions involving healthcare companies. Alice holds a Doctorate degree in Pharmacy from the University of Lille 2 (School of Pharmacy) and a Masters in International Health Policy & Health Economics from the London School of Economics.

Allison Jeynes-Ellis

Allison Jeynes-Ellis

Non-Executive Director

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Allison is Chief Executive Officer at Avillion LLP, a London-based drug development company focused on the co-development and financing of late-stage pharmaceuticals. A trained clinician with more than 30 years of senior leadership experience in the pharmaceutical industry, an expert in oncology drug development, she is now responsible for identifying high-potential drug opportunities to fund and operationalize clinical development programs through to regulatory approval. Previously, she held senior R&D roles at Wyeth, BMS, and Novartis and has secured numerous US and EU drug approvals. Allison also serves as a Non-Executive Director of Agenus Inc. plus Chair of Oxsonics. She is a Senior Advisor to Blackstone Life Sciences and a Special Advisor to Abingworth.

Andreas Katopodis

Andreas Katopodis

Executive Director and CEO

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Andreas was a Director in the Autoimmunity, Transplantation & Inflammation group at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research. In this position, he was involved in many aspects of early to late drug development for immune-mediated diseases, taking several modalities to clinical trial and late stage development. He also supported multiple deals with startups. Prior to this, he worked at the Central Research Laboratories at Ciba Geigy, doing research on immune cell trafficking. Andreas studied Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and started his career as a faculty member at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Anja König

Anja König

Observer

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Anja is the Global Head of the Novartis Venture Fund (NVF) in Basel, Switzerland, overseeing global investment activities. Previously, she was a Managing Director at NVF investing in Europe, the UK and Asia Pacific. Prior to joining NVF, she was an Associate Partner at McKinsey and Company in New York, where she worked with healthcare companies in the US, Europe and emerging markets. Anja holds a PhD in physics from Cornell University. She is active in the Swiss startup ecosystem and is a member of the board of the University of Zurich Life Sciences Fund.

Audrey Cacaly

Audrey Cacaly

Observer

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Audrey is a Senior Associate at Forbion and joined the team in 2021. At Forbion, Audrey focuses on the firms’ Growth Opportunities Fund concentrating on private growth capital, European cross over financing and under-valued public companies. Audrey started her career with Kurma Partners, a well-known venture capital firm based in Paris, specialized in the financing of innovation in healthcare and biotechnology. Prior to joining Forbion, Audrey was an Associate with Bpifrance – Large Venture, the Growth fund managed by the French Sovereign Wealth Fund. Audrey received her MSc in Biology from Université de Technologie de Compiègne (France) and is a graduate of ESCP Europe with a major in Biopharmaceutical Management.

Denis Patrick

Denis Patrick

Director

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Denis is Vice President, WRDM, Head of Partnering Innovation, and Managing Partner of Pfizer Ventures. Denis capitalizes upon his experience in evaluating external opportunities to identify and manage equity investments. He currently has responsibility for Pfizer’s investments in AnTolRx, Aquinnah Pharmaceuticals, EvolveImmune Therapeutics, FoRx Therapeutics, Metabomed, MISSION Therapeutics and Palleon Pharma. His prior investment responsibilities include Bolt Biotherapeutics (BOLT), eFFECTOR Therapeutics (EFTR), and NextCure (NXTC). Previously, Denis served as Head of Oncology Licensing for Worldwide R&D at Pfizer from 2010 to 2018. Previously, Denis worked for Merck, DuPont Pharma, and GSK. He contributed to the approval of three marketed therapeutic agents including nelarabine, trametinib, and dabrafenib. Denis received his PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Pennsylvania.

Florian Muellershausen

Florian Muellershausen

Director

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Florian is a Managing Director at the Novartis Venture Fund (NVF) in Basel, Switzerland. Previously, he worked as a Scientific Manager for the R&D Committee of the Novartis Board of Directors, and before that, he held various scientific and drug discovery roles at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, including as Laboratory Head in target discovery and in early clinical research as Translational Medicine Expert, Autoimmunity. Florian received his MSc degree in Biochemistry from Free University Berlin and his PhD with great distinction in Biochemistry from Ruhr University Bochum, and he completed his postdoctoral training at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research.

Jasper Bos

Jasper Bos

Director

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Jasper is a former Merck executive who joined Forbion as General Partner for its Growth Opportunities Fund. Before Forbion, Jasper was Senior Vice President and Managing Director at M Ventures (venture arm of Merck) which he joined in 2009. There he led a team of 21 investment professionals and with a fund size of €400 million invested in over 50 portfolio companies spanning biotech, life sciences tools, and tech companies across the investment spectrum. His track record includes the successful exits of Prexton Therapeutics, Epitherapeutics, Galecto, ObsEva, Translate Bio, and F-Star. Jasper holds a PhD in Pharmacy from the University of Groningen, the Netherlands.

Ran Nussbaum

Ran Nussbaum

Observer

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Ran is a managing partner and co-founder of The Pontifax Group. The fund runs more than 50 portfolio companies around the Globe. Ran’s work revolves around constant and active involvement in companies, providing them with strategic and business development oversight. In the past Ran served on Kite pharma BOD (sold to Gilead), cCAM Therapeutics (sold to Merck), and ArQule (ARQL) (sold to Merck) . he also chaired Ocon Medical, Nasvax, Spearhead and Biomedix. Currently, Ran sits on many of Pontifax’s portfolio companies including Eloxx Therapeutics (ELOX), UroGen (URGN), and Prevail Therapeutics. Ran also serves as Keros’ chairman of the board.

Tim Anderson

Tim Anderson

Director

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Tim Anderson is a Managing Director at Blue Owl and a member of the Healthcare Opportunities Investment Team. In his role, he focuses on investments in biotechnology, diagnostics, and digital medicine companies and sits on the Fund’s Investment Committee. Previously, Tim was a co-founding member and Managing Director of Cowen Healthcare Investments, the predecessor to Blue Owl Healthcare Opportunities. Prior to his role at Cowen Healthcare Investments, Tim was a biotechnology investment banker at Cowen and Company. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Lycia Therapeutics, F2G, Anaveon, Autobahn Therapeutics and Scipher Medicine. Tim previously served as a Board Member or Board Observer of Tourmaline Bio, Vectiv Bio Holdings, Therachon, Precision Biosciences, Livongo Health, Cadent Therapeutics, Cullinan Oncology and Compass Therapeutics. Tim received a BA in both Economics and Government & Legal studies from Bowdoin College.

Vacancies

There are currently no open positions at Anaveon > Read more
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