Anja HarmeierChief Executive Officer
Anja Harmeier is an experienced drug developer, scientist and entrepreneur in neuroscience and rare diseases. She brings extensive R&D and operational capabilities complemented by a strong track record in company development and venture capital.
Anja joined Rewind from Pureos Bioventures where, as Partner, she was responsible for investments in innovative life sciences companies in the US and Europe including Vico Therapeutics, Corlieve Therapeutics (acquired by UniQure), and River Renal 2 and River Renal 3. Prior to Pureos, Anja held several positions at F. Hoffman-La Roche, initially joining the Neuroscience R&D group before working in positions of increasing seniority, including franchise and senior project leader in rare diseases. Starting in 2016, she served as an Investment Director at Roche Venture Fund, where she was on the Board of Directors at several of the fund’s portfolio companies, including Vivet Therapeutics (which Pfizer has an option to acquire), Entrada (IPO) and NMD Pharma.
Anja Harmeier holds a PhD in Neuroscience/ Biochemistry from the Institute of Biochemistry at Freie Universität Berlin and an MBA from Instituto de Empresa (ie) Madrid.
Irene KnueselChief Scientific Officer
Irene Knuesel brings longstanding experience in CNS research, drug discovery and development. She is also the founder of Scienza Consulting GmbH, an independent science consultancy company, and serves as external advisor on the board of the NIH Alzheimer’s Disease Sequencing Program (ADSP).
Irene worked for six years at F. Hoffmann-La Roche; initially as lab head and drug discovery project leader, later as Head of the Neuroimmunology and Neurodegeneration section. In this role, she was accountable for the definition and implementation of the corresponding discovery strategies and responsible for 11 research laboratories focusing on neuroimmune and neurodegenerative mechanisms underlying disease and disability progression in Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease. Prior to her career at F. Hoffman-La Roche, she held several academic positions in the neurobiology field, including an assistant professor position at the University of Zurich, a group leader position at the Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich, Switzerland), and a postdoctoral fellowship at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA (USA).
Irene Knuesel obtained a PhD in Molecular Neuroscience from the University of Zurich and also a PD (Venia Legendi in Neuropharmacology) from the University of Zurich’s Medical faculty.
Christophe Van VaeckChief Financial Officer
Christophe Van Vaeck brings almost 20 years of operational and strategic experience from the life sciences financial community. Since the end of 2017, Christophe has been advising promising life sciences companies on getting ready for the next phase of their development. In addition to his role at Rewind Therapeutics, Christophe is also CFO of Handl Therapeutics.
During his career, he managed for 10 years investments and successful exits for both early stage VC and mature PE companies in the biotech, diagnostic, medtech and healthcare service sectors at Gimv. Christophe held board positions at Multiplicom, Spinart, Almaviva Santé and others. During his time at KBC securities, he was actively involved in the successful initial public offerings and subsequent fundraisings of biotech companies such as Galapagos, Devgen, Thrombogenics and Ablynx.
Christophe started his career at Bank Degroof in 2001, after obtaining a PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology at KU Leuven, Belgium.
Guillaume DuveyHead of Medicinal Chemistry
Guillaume brings over 20 years of experience in early and late-stage small molecule drug discovery in biotech/pharma.
Prior to joining Rewind in 2020, he co-founded Pragma Therapeutics, where he served as CSO and was in charge of the research and development of Pragma’s portfolio. From 2015 to 2018, he was Senior Director of Chemistry at Prexton Therapeutics, and, from 2004 to 2013, he served as Group Leader and subsequently as Research Director at Addex Therapeutics, where he led several preclinical programs. During his tenure at Addex, he was also responsible for developing strategic scientific partnerships and technological platforms, integrating modern techniques for the identification, characterization, and optimization of preclinical molecules for novel targets and new indications. Prior to Addex, he joined the R&D division of Janssen in France in 2000, where he focused on small molecule drug discovery and advanced several research programs in oncology, virology and CNS disorders.
Guillaume holds a PhD in Organic Chemistry from the University of Rouen (France) and is co-author of more than 25 patents and peer-reviewed articles.
Ricardo HermosillaHead of Translational Medicine
Ricardo Hermosilla is a seasoned drug development expert today working as an independent preclinical and clinical consultant for biotech and pharma companies. Before his consultancy, he worked for several departments at F. Hoffmann-La Roche, i.e., Cardiovascular & Metabolism, Neuroscience, Ophthalmology, and Rare Diseases. In his last position at Hoffmann-La Roche as Project Team Leader and Translational Medicine Leader in the Department of Neuroscience, Ophthalmology, and Rare Diseases, he was, among others, responsible for the development of innovative strategies, supporting research teams from non-clinical to clinical development, and leading clinical development plans and trial protocols. Prior to that, he held various roles such as Head of Study Directors, COO, Medical Director, Head of Clinical Development in Biotechs, midsize Pharma and a CRO. Ricardo started his career in academia at the University of Chile and as a Post Doc at the Research Institute for Molecular Pharmacology (FMP Berlin), before he was appointed as Junior-Professor at the Charité in Berlin. Besides his consultancy activities, he is an advisory board member for startups and NGOs and a guest professor at the University Austral, Chile. Ricardo Hermosilla holds PhD in Molecular Pharmacology from Justus-Liebig-University.
Stephen BurbidgeHead of Research and Discovery
Dr. Burbidge is an experienced drug hunter with an in-depth expertise in both small molecule and biological drug discovery and development. In addition to his role at Rewind Therapeutics, he is currently Director of Discovery and Preclinical Projects at 3D Consultants, Cambridge (UK), an advisory company focusing on drug discovery and development. From 2009 to 2018, he held positions of increasing responsibility at Proximagen Ltd, Cambridge (UK), most recently as Head of Discovery and Preclinical Projects. During this period, he led multiple discovery and preclinical stage programs, successfully driving the selection of multiple clinical candidates. He was Project Leader for the VAP-1 inhibitor program, which as subsequently licensed to Roche following a successful Phase 2a clinical trial. He also led an Alpha-7 nicotinic program successfully in-licensed from GSK. From 1996 to 2008, he held roles of increasing responsibility at GlaxoWellcome and GlaxoSmithKline, leading, among others, external drug discovery programs. Dr. Burbidge started his career at GlaxoWellcome in early-stage drug discovery with a focus on neuroscience. He received his BSc in Biological Sciences and a PhD in Molecular Genetics from the University of Warwick (UK) and completed Post-Doctoral studies at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, London (UK).
Board of Directors
Jim Van heusdenChairman, Managing Director bioskills bv
Jim Van heusden has served as member and executive chair of our board of directors since March 2018. Jim has more than 25 years’ experience in research and development and financial, business and operating management in the biotech industry. He is the managing director of bioskills bv. Previously, Jim served as chief executive officer of Karolinska Development, a publicly listed Nordic life science investment fund, where he executed a strategic turnaround and repositioned the company to become a leading Nordic life science investment company. Jim worked as a partner at Gimv, a Belgian based investment company, from 2001 – 2013 focusing on investments in life sciences.
Former investments and BoD representation include: Ablynx (acquired by Sanofi), ActoGeniX (acquired by Intrexon), Ambit Biosciences (acquired by Daiichi Sankyo), ChemoCentryx, CropDesign (acquired by BASF), Fovea Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Sanofi-Aventis), Hypnion (acquired by Eli Lilly), Movetis (acquired by Shire), Memory Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Hoffmann-La Roche), Multiplicom (acquired by Agilent Technologies), Nereus Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Triphase), Plexxikon (acquired by Daiichi Sankyo), Pronota (acquired by MyCartis), Prosensa (acquired by BioMarin), Santhera Pharmaceuticals, and Xanthus Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Antisoma).
Jim holds BSc and MSc degrees in chemistry and biochemistry from the University of Antwerp and a PhD in molecular and cellular biology from the University of Maastricht.
Kees BeenIndependent Board Member
Kees Been was CEO of Bial Biotech until 2022, after the company acquired Lysosomal Therapeutics Inc (LTI), a biotech company he founded and led since 2013. LTI focused on probing the lysosomal glycosphingolipid metabolism system for new drug targets in neurodegenerative diseases. Specifically, the approach leverages the genetic link between Gaucher’s and Parkinson’s disease (PD) to develop compounds that enhance the lysosomal glucocerebrosidase (GCase) enzyme activity as an entirely new and breakthrough class of agents for the personalized and disease-modifying treatment in “genetic PD”.
Kees was formerly the CEO of EnVivo Pharmaceuticals (FORUM Pharmaceuticals), a neuroscience biotech company, recognized for its broad pipeline of several NCE drug compounds that were tested for cognition improvement in Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia. He spent four years at Biogen, where he directed the Oncology Business Unit which was sold to Idec, and, as Senior Vice President of Business Development.
Kees holds an MBA degree from INSEAD in France and graduated from the University of Agriculture in Holland, majoring in Molecular Biology and Process Engineering.
Cheryl ZimberlinInvestment Director, M Ventures
Cheryl Zimberlin, PhD, joined M Ventures in May 2016 and is an Investment Director in the biotechnology team. Cheryl received her BSc. Hons. in Biology from the University of Utrecht, an MSc in Biotechnology from the University of Wageningen and a PhD in Oncology from the University of Amsterdam. Before joining M Ventures, she had a successful academic career publishing in top-tier academic journals, including Nature. Cheryl is based in Amsterdam and has board presence on several healthcare portfolio companies.
Sebastian KreuzInvestment Manager, Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund
Sebastian Kreuz joined the Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund (BIVF) as an investment manager in 2019, focusing on innovative life science investments in Europe. With more than 15 years of experience in translational research and drug discovery within the pharmaceutical industry, he has a strong scientific background in various disease areas and is familiar with a broad range of therapeutic modalities.
Sebastian started his industrial career in 2004 by joining Boehringer Ingelheim (BI) as a research scientist to establish novel experimental platforms based on transcriptomics, RNAi and viral vectors for the exploration of early drug targets. In the following years, Sebastian held various positions within BI’s R&D organization thereby further broadening his drug discovery expertise in early and late-stage projects.
From 2015 to 2019, Sebastian joined BI’s newly formed Research Beyond Borders department to implement a platform concept for viral vector based gene therapy as a novel therapeutic modality for BI. During this time he also established a global collaboration network in the gene therapy space with collaborations in Europe, China and the US.
Sebastian studied Technical Biology in Stuttgart (Germany) and holds a PhD in molecular cell biology and immunology. In addition to Rewind Therapeutics, he serves as a board member for Abalos Therapeutics GmbH, Quantro Therapeutics and Topas Therapeutics GmbH.
Alexandra ToliaIndependent strategic advisor
Alexandra Tolia is an independent strategic advisor to biotech companies. Previously, Alexandra led investments in private and public companies as a Partner at venture capital firm Fund+, at PMV and Hunza Ventures, where she built strong VC portfolios in Life Sciences in Europe and the US. She holds a PhD in Medical Sciences from the KU Leuven, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at UCSF, and an executive degree in General Management from the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management. Alexandra is the author of high impact publications in the fields of neurodegeneration and cardiovascular disease and has served as board member in several companies active in biotech, diagnostics and medical technologies.
Claus AnderssonGeneral Partner, Sunstone Life Science Ventures
Claus is a General Partner at Sunstone Life Science Ventures, where he has been actively involved in building the network and sourcing deal flow for the past 18 years. Prior to Sunstone, Claus spent some years developing medical devices at an international blood diagnostics company which he left to start 4 companies and gained exposure to venture capital through these activities. As a partner at Sunstone, Claus has hands-on experience with building venture capital rounds, initial public offerings (IPOs) in New York and Stockholm, supported private investment in public equity (PIPEs), and worked closely with life science venture funds, bankers and advisories in Europe. In addition to his role at Sunstone, Claus has served as a chairman or board member for over 19 venture capital funded companies, sharing his expertise in strategy execution, technology development, and the European life science ecosystem.
Claus holds a Master’s degree in Civil Chemical Engineering from the Technical University of Denmark and a PhD in Mathematics from the University of Copenhagen and the Humboldt University in Berlin.
Stefan LohmerCo-Founder, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, Axxam SpA
Stefan Lohmer, PhD, is the President, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Axxam. Since its inception in 2001, he has positioned Axxam as an innovator for the identification of bioactive small molecules by applying high throughput screening for membrane proteins like GPCRs, Transporters and Ion Channels.
Dr. Lohmer brings more than 25 years of experience in the field of small molecule drug discovery. Prior to founding Axxam, he held various positions with increasing seniority at Bayer Pharmaceuticals, culminating in the World Wide Head of Genomics.
Dr. Lohmer holds a PhD in Molecular Biology and Genetics from the Albertus Magnus University Koeln, Germany. He is an inventor on 18 patents and has authored 20 peer-reviewed publications. Dr. Lohmer has also an observer seat on the Board in Acousia Therapeutics, a company dedicated for generating treatment opportunities for hearing loss.
Stefaan AllemeerschExecutive Director Business Development at the Centre for Drug Design and Discovery (CD3)
Stefaan Allemeersch has been at the Centre for Drug Design and Discovery (CD3) since 2011. He has more than 20 years of broad experience in business development, corporate finance and marketing within the life sciences industry. Before joining CD3, he was a Director Healthcare, Corporate Finance & Capital Markets and Corporate Banking at Fortis/BNP Paribas. Prior to that, he held several positions at GlaxoSmithKline Biologics in Strategic Marketing, Tender Business and Business Development. He also served as Vice President Business Development at Kiadis Pharma. He holds an M.Sc. in bioengineering from KU Leuven (Belgium) and a Masters of Management from Vlekho Brussels.
Scientific Advisory Board
Professor of Neurology, Chairman of the Department of Neurology, and Director of the Institute of Experimental Neurology at Vita-Salute Sa
Giancarlo ComiHonorary Professor of Neurology, Vita Salute San Raffaele University, and Founder and Director of the Institute of Experimental Neurology at the Scientific Institute San Raffaele (Milan, Italy)
Giancarlo Comi brings world-renowned expertise in multiple sclerosis. In addition to his role at Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, he is President of the European Charcot Foundation (ECF), a member of the Board of Administration of the Italian Multiple Sclerosis Foundation and the Scientific Committee of Associazione Italiana Sclerosi Multipla, Co-Chair of the Scientific Steering Committee of the Progressive MS Alliance, and a fellow of the European Academy of Neurology (EAN). In recent years, he has been awarded honorary memberships of the Russian Neurological Academic Society, the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS), the European Neurological Society (ENS) and the Sociedad Espanola de Neurologia.
Robin FranklinPrincipal Investigator at Altos Labs - Cambridge Institute (Cambridge, UK)
Robin Franklin is a Principal Investigator at Altos Labs – Cambridge Institute, having previously been Professor of Stem Cell Medicine at the Wellcome Trust-MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute. His laboratory has made many pioneering discoveries on the mechanisms by which adult CNS progenitors replace lost oligodendrocytes, describing how their function declines with aging and how this can be reversed, by, for example, partial reprogramming and manipulation of physical properties of the niche. Dr. Franklin’s laboratory will develop multidisciplinary collaborative links to further explore the underlying mechanisms of adult somatic stem cell aging. He is a Fellow of both the Academy of Medical Sciences and the Royal Society, as well as the recipient of the 2017 Barancik International Prize for Research Innovation and the 2021 King Faisal Prize for Medicine.
Daguang WangManaging Director of Yonjin Capital, the North America and Europe investment arm of Yonjin Group (Shanghai, China)
Daguang Wang combines expertise in neuroscience discovery with board-level leadership experience. Before moving into venture investment, he spent more than 20 years in the biotech and pharmaceutical industry with Amgen, Memory Pharmaceuticals, PsychoGenics, EMD Serono and Sanofi. Dr. Wang started his career as an R&D scientist in neuroscience, before moving to business development and external innovation with a focus on neuroscience, multiple sclerosis and rare diseases. He was global lead of business development and external innovation for neuroscience at Sanofi before joining Yonjin Capital in 2018. He serves on the boards of multiple start-up biotech companies.
Catherine LubetzkiProfessor of Neurology at Pierre and Marie Curie University and Head of the Department of Neurological Diseases in Salpêtrière Hospital (Paris, France)
Catherine Lubetzki is Professor of Neurology at Pierre and Marie Curie University and Head of the Department of Neurological Diseases in Salpêtrière Hospital. She coordinates the Salpêtrière Multiple Sclerosis clinical research center. Her basic research activity is focused on the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in central nervous system myelination and remyelination, with the perspective to develop strategies aimed at stimulating endogenous remyelination, hence preventing axonal damage and limiting disability progression in Multiple Sclerosis patients.