Verena is a co-founder and the CEO of MyoPax. She is a physician trained in myology and clinical pharmacology. Verena holds a Master of Business Administration, in which she focused on the Advanced Therapy Medicinal Product market.
Verena spent several years diagnosing and caring for patients with muscle diseases at the Charité Universitätsmedizin in Berlin and had the opportunity to learn from and work closely with Simone Spuler. She conducted several years of basic research on skeletal muscle at the Charité and the Max Delbrueck Center for Molecular Medicine. More recently, Verena has been dedicated to the preclinical and clinical development of the Satori muscle stem cell product and to securing its non-dilutive funding.
Before coming to Berlin, she studied medicine at the Ruprecht-Karls-University in Heidelberg and the University of Rostock. She has worked in London, UK and Stellenbosch, South Africa. Verena grew up in several European countries.
Simone is a co-founder of Myopax, inventor of MyoPax proprietary technology, a clinical and scientific advisor and a board member. She is a professor of myology and heads both the Charité Outpatient Clinic for Muscle Disorders and the Muscle Research Unit at Charité and the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association.
Simone has more than 30 years of experience in clinical care of patients with muscle diseases. She represents the sponsor (Charité) for the first clinical trial of the muscle stem cell therapeutic Satori-01. Simone has a vigorous scientific background in immunology and skeletal muscle. Her research group is doing pioneering work in the development of new technologies for muscle therapies including gene correction using CRISPR/Cas editing. Simone founded the first international graduate school in skeletal muscle, MyoGrad.
She studied medicine in Würzburg, Germany, and completed internships at Harvard and Johns Hopkins Medical School. Her focus settled on muscle after she completed a two-year clinical fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, US, working with Dr. Andrew Engel, a world-leading expert in the field. Simone is a member of several international advisory boards for the development of muscular dystrophy therapies.
Diane Seimetz brings more than 24 years of experience in drug development, regulatory strategies, and management to MyoPax. Diane is a serial entrepreneur with a successful exit and supports international biotech companies as board member.
She was co-founder and former CEO of Biopharma Excellence GmbH. There she supported more than 250 international clients in bringing their products to the clinical trial stage or to approval incl. cutting edge cell- and gene therapies. In 2020 Biopharma Excellence was acquired by the PharmaLEX group, where Diane and her team developed the premium brand for biotechnology products. Two years later the group was acquired by AmeriSource Bergen for 1,28 bn USD.
Diane was Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of the Fresenius Healthcare group, biotech division. Together with her team she developed on an international level first in class biotech products, such as the first bispecific, trifunctional antibody. After initial approval, this program was awarded the “Prix Galien” which honors outstanding research and innovative drug development.
In 2023 she joined the co-founder team of MyoPax and co-founded Avocet Bio.
Diane received her degree in pharmaceutical science from the University of the Saarland and completed her PhD at the German Cancer Research Center and the Johns Hopkins University in the USA.
Eric is the MyoPax principal stem cell scientist. He has many years of experience in studying the human muscle stem cell and in engineering myogenic cells from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs).
Prior to joining MyoPax, he was a postdoctoral researcher at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine and the Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin alongside Simone Spuler and Sebastian Diecke. During his PhD, he was affiliated with MyoGrad, an international research training group for myology. His thesis centred on hiPSC generation and redifferentiation into induced myogenic cells. He is a member of the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) and the German Stem Cell Network (GSCN).
Eric studied biological sciences at the University of Konstanz (BSc), the Technical University of Darmstadt (MSc) and the Freie University Berlin (PhD). He has experience in the pharmaceutical and food industries.
Mina is a MyoPax scientist with more than 10 years of research experience in the field of neuromuscular disorders. She has expert knowledge in genetic engineering, generation of preclinical mouse models and mouse embryonic- and adult muscle stem cells.
Prior to joining MyoPax, Mina was working as a postdoctoral researcher on her own DFG-funded project at the Charité University Medicine Berlin alongside Markus Schuelke. Her work focused on understanding the genesis of revertant muscle fibers in DMD, an intriguing phenomenon that represents cells own mechanism to self-repair. She started investigating this topic during her PhD as part of MyoGrad, an international research training group for myology, and during her work as postdoctoral researcher at the University of Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines in the group of Helge Amthor. During her PhD, she has done a research internship at the Children’s National Medical Center, Washington DC.
Mina won the Duchenne Research Award 2017 from the German Duchenne Foundation.
Mina studied biological sciences with focus on biochemistry and cell biology at the Goethe University Frankfurt (Diploma), studied advanced immunology at the University of Stockholm and obtained her PhD in a bi-nationally supervised doctoral thesis between University Pierre and Marie Curie (Paris) and Free University (Berlin).
William helps steer strategic planning and financing activities. He has 6 years of experience consulting for biopharma companies on go-to-market, disease area strategy, and M&A.
Prior to joining MyoPax, Will was an engagement manager on the life sciences consulting team at Guidehouse. He led strategic planning engagements for new and developing medicines across all stages of the life cycle in US and EU markets. In 2020, Will led the team responsible for emergency-phase supply and distribution of a leading COVID vaccine candidate as part of a comprehensive launch support engagement.
Will grew up in the US and studied biomedical engineering at Northwestern University.
Mark brings over 25 years of experience in industry across CEO/C-Suite and Board roles in the biotech environment. He is experienced with both gene and cell therapy companies and has worked across a variety of therapeutic areas, including rare diseases as muscular dystrophies.
Currently, Mark serves as the President and CEO of Myrtelle, Inc., a Biotechnology firm using rAAV-based gene therapy to treat rare neurological conditions. Before this, Mark was the Chief Scientific Officer at PTC Therapeutics and prior to that led Agilis Biotherapeutics as its President and CEO from 2014 until it was acquired by PTC Therapeutics in 2018. Earlier in his career, he was CEO at Navidea Biopharmaceuticals and served as the President of Alseres Pharmaceuticals, Cygenics, and Cytomatrix. Mark is also a board member for the privately-held companies Myrtelle, and InFlectis BioSciences, and the publicly-listed Pharming Group.
Mark earned a PhD in Molecular Biology and a VMD from the University of Pennsylvania, holds a B.A. in Biology from Amherst College, and completed an MBA at Northeastern University.
– Regenerative medicine and stem cell therapy in muscle diseases –
Giulio Cossu is internationally recognized for both his contributions to skeletal muscle development and his pioneering work in regenerative medicine using stem cells to treat muscular dystrophy.
To this end, he developed preclinical models and conducted phase I/II clinical studies. He is the author of > 250 publications (H-index 74) and has obtained important funding for his research from European Research Council, European Commission, Medical Research Council, Wellcome Trust, amongst others.
He is fellow of the Medical Academy, Accademia dei Lincei, European Academy of Science, member of the Advisory Board of the Basel Institute of Biomedicine. He was Italian member at EMA (CAT) He is EMBO member and Senior Editor of EMBO Molecular Medicine.
Since 2013 Giulio Cossu is Constance Thornley Professor of Regenerative Medicine at the University of Manchester, since 2019, Visiting Professor at Max Delbruck Center-Charitè in Berlin, since 2021 Head Unit at the Institute of Experimental Neurology, San Raffaele Hospital in Milan. He was previously Professor of Human Stem Cell Biology at UCL, Director of the Division of Regenerative Medicine at San Raffaele (2000-2011), Professor of Histology at the University of Milan and at Sapienza di Roma. He was also Visiting Professor at Pasteur Institute and USPHS-Fogarty fellow at the University of Pennsylvania. Giulio graduated in Medicine at Sapienza University in 1977.
– Clinical development of advanced therapy medicinal products –
Prof. Heiko von der Leyen, MD, was trained in Pharmacology, Internal Medicine, and Cardiology at University of Hamburg and Hannover Medical School. After three years of research at Stanford’s Falk Cardiovascular Research Center with focus on cardiovascular gene therapy he was appointed as junior faculty member at the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine of Stanford University from 1995 to 1996.
From 1998 to 2005 Prof. von der Leyen served on several top management positions in the biotechnology industry with focus on the clinical development of advanced therapy medicinal products (tissue engineering, gene therapy, DNA medicine).
In 2005, he became managing director (until 2020) of Hannover Clinical Trial Center GmbH (HCTC), an academic Contract Research Organization (CRO) with focus on clinical trial management services and early product development support, now incorporated into Hannover Medical School.
Since 2020 Prof. von der Leyen serves as Medical Director of Orgenesis, Inc, a biotech company focussing on cell and gene therapy.
– Business development: Founder, executive and investor in Biotech and AI –
Lars Staal Wegner is a medical doctor, seasoned entrepreneur, a highly experienced executive and investor in the Tech, AI and Biotech industries. He has been a key player in several start-ups and early ventures, with a strong track record in business development and commercial expansion. Until 2022, Lars served as the co-Founder and CEO of Evaxion Biotech, a company he built and helped take public on the US Nasdaq.
Lars has extensive experience in the pharmaceutical industry, having previously worked at Pfizer, followed by 10 years as part of the senior management team at Bavarian Nordic.
Lars holds a medical doctorate from the University of Southern Denmark and gained clinical experience in Internal Medicine and Surgery. Lars has continued his education in leadership and strategy at IMD Lausanne and Harvard Business School.
Today, Lars is a General Partner at Bristlecone Pacific Venture and serves as the board chairman of G-Mendel, a company that focuses on AI and nanopore technology for diagnostic purposes related to genetic diseases. In addition, Lars is the Vice Chairman of Gain and Co and How to Robot.
Lars is a MyoPax mentor in the Nordic Mentor Network for Entrepreneurship (NOME).
– Drug portfolio and business development, partnerships, biotech/pharma –
Daniel B. Timmermann holds an MSc in Pharmaceutical Science and a PhD in neurobiology from University of Copenhagen (Denmark) which included studies at University of Chicago and University of Washington (Seattle).
He brings over 22 years of professional experience in early drug discovery, project/portfolio management within multiple disease areas, ranging from neurology and psychiatry over diabetes and diabetic complications to rare blood and endocrine disorders, including gene therapy and genome editing. Before, joining Novo Nordisk in 2013, he worked in the biotech sector and during his tenure with Novo Nordisk, he has held various management positions in the Global Drug Discovery and Business Development divisions of the company. Since 2020, he has been responsible for innovation scouting and advancing early external innovation partnerships, through engagement programs targeting both academic innovators and lifescience entrepreneurship communities.
Daniel is a MyoPax mentor in the Nordic Mentor Network for Entrepreneurship (NOME).
– Company building and fundraising in biotech/pharma –
Lasse has worked more than 30 years with commercial leadership in global pharmaceutical companies. He was more than 10 years with Sanofi, where he held positions such as Vice President, Global Head of Commercial Excellence, VP Head of Central & Eastern Europe, and General Manager for Nordic & Baltic Region. Previously he was also 20 years at Eli Lilly in various executive positions such as Managing Director in Norway and Marketing Director of Oncology in the European Region.
Lasse is experienced in life science business and product launches, both on a national and global level. He has extensive experience within disease areas such mental diseases/CNS, diabetes, oncology, and cardiovascular. Lasse has been a board member of The Association of the Pharmaceutical Industry both in Denmark and Norway. Today Lasse is a Partner in Ventac Partners, a global group focused on Company Building, Business Development, Fundraising and Consulting with a focus on Life Sciences. He also works as an independent advisor, board member and investor supporting Life Science companies.
Lasse is a MyoPax mentor in the Nordic Mentor Network for Entrepreneurship (NOME).