Dr John Ford has built innovative biotechnology companies for over 20 years. He co-founded Xention (CSO), Ario Pharma (CEO) and Metrion Biosciences (Co-Owner) and is currently the CEO of Enterprise Therapeutics, a company that is developing mutant agnostic mucokinetic drugs approaches for Cystic Fibrosis and other respiratory diseases. At Xention he was responsible for the Kv1.5 ion channel atrial fibrillation project which was partnered to Servier (up to 120M EUR). He was a member of the Executive Team at Dezima (Project Director & COO) that developed TA-8995 for dyslipidaemia (Phase 2b study published in The Lancet) and sold the company to Amgen ($300M upfront, potential deal size of US$1.55bn + royalties). In 2020, he partnered the TMEM16A portfolio developed at Enterprise Therapeutics to Roche/Genentech for £75M upfront with undisclosed milestone payments. Dr Ford holds a first class degree in Biotechnology and has a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Leeds.
Rafiq has pursued a highly successful career in the pharma industry globally, including senior positions in ophthalmology with Bayer and Novartis. Most recently as SVP and Global Head of Ophthalmology at Bayer, Rafiq grew the business of Eylea® from launch to over USD 2.5bn in 5 years, including its launch in 5 indications in 3 years.
Steve is currently the CEO of Glycomine, a clinical-stage company focused on developing new therapies for serious unserved orphan diseases. Steve has more than 20 years of corporate development and leadership experience in pharma and biotech. Prior to Glycomine, he served as CEO of Prothelia, a preclinical company focused on the development of a protein replacement therapy for patients with congenital muscular dystrophy. Prior to Prothelia, Mr. Axon served as Chief Business Officer of Apellis Pharmaceuticals, a global biopharmaceutical company that develops treatments focused on disorders of the innate immune system. Prior to joining Apellis, Mr. Axon worked at Serono and Merck KGaA in Switzerland and the US with progressive leadership roles in Corporate Strategy, Alliance Management and Business Development. Most recently, he served as Senior Vice President, Business Development. During his 12 year tenure at Merck, Mr. Axon led more than 50 transactions across all therapeutic areas and stages of development. He received a B.Sc and M.Sc. in biomechanical and biomedical engineering from the University of Toronto and his MBA from the International Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Non Executive Director
Daniela Couto is a Partner at BGV having joined the fund in 2015. Daniela is an experienced investor and entrepreneur who has lead successful transactions. Daniela serves on the board of four portfolio companies and works closely with management teams on the development plan, scientific programs, and strengthening the teams, from seed to clinical stage.
Daniela served as Managing Director of cardiovascular-focused Staten Biotech, an anti-apoC3 antibody approach that is now being validated in the clinic. Previously, she was co-founder and CEO at Cell2B, a cell therapy company dedicated to treating immune and inflammatory diseases.
Daniela is a Biomedical Engineer by training and holds a PhD degree in Bioengineering (summa cum laude) from Technical University of Lisbon (IST), in collaboration with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT-Portugal Program).
Dmitrij Hristodorov is Partner at Forbion and core member of the investment team working on new investments across funds and therapeutic areas. Before joining Forbion, he held roles in R&D Ophthalmology and Business Development at Bayer Pharma. His current portfolio covers various stages, treatment modalities and disease areas. To date, he serves as a board member for Oxular, ARMGO Pharma, Seamless Therapeutics, AAVantgarde Bio and as a board observer for VectorY. He previously served as a board observer and R&D committee member of Gyroscope Therapeutics that was acquired for up to $1.5BN by Novartis in December 2021.
Michaël is a Bio-Engineer (Cell & Gene Biotechnology) holding a Master in Management from the Antwerp Management School. He started his professional career in 2012 at Oxypoint, a medical device spin-off of the University of Antwerp. In February 2016, he switched to investment banking at KBC Securities as a Biotech/Healthcare analyst where he worked on initial public offerings and several other capital market transactions while providing coverage of the Benelux Biotech & Healthcare stocks.
Late 2017, Michaël joined Gimv and is active in the Life Sciences platform. Today he is representing Gimv on the board of directors of Precirix (BE), Complement Therapeutics (DE/UK) and Paleo (BE) while supporting several other portfolio companies.
Prior to joining CIC in 2021, Anne was a Partner at Advent France Biotechnology (now AdBio Partners), a Paris-based venture capital firm specialising in Life Sciences seed investments and company creation, and Senior Associate at Sofinnova Partners.
Anne brings over 20 years’ experience in the field of Life Sciences innovation, acquired as a Business Development Executive at Cancer Research Technology (now Cancer Research Horizons) and Senior Medicinal Chemist at Cambridge Biotechnology Ltd (now part of Benevolent AI).
Anne’s experience includes equity financing (seed and series A), technology transfer and scouting, business development, drug discovery and biotech R&D.
Anne carried out postdoctoral research at Yale University after her PhD in synthetic organic chemistry from the University of Bristol. She holds a diplôme d’ingénieur (Chemistry) from the Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Rouen, authored several peer-reviewed papers and is an inventor on eight patent families.
Dr. Rob Woodman has led the biotech at Panakes since 2021. He has global experience in biotech gained in both institutional and corporate venture firms, encompassing de novo start-up through to growth investments, with a track record of value creation in all of these settings as demonstrated by multiple acquisitions and NASDAQ listings of the companies he has invested in. Previously, Rob was Senior Partner at Takeda Ventures, where he helped build the investment team and portfolio, and was also the Head of Genesis Labs, Takeda’s internal concept incubator. Prior to joining Takeda, Rob was Director of Healthcare Investments at Touchstone Innovations (formerly Imperial Innovations) in London where he led the formation of and investment into a portfolio of UK biotech companies including Enterprise Therapeutics (potentiator programme acquired by Roche) and Inivata (acquired by Neogenomics). Before this, Rob was a Principal in the life science team at Sofinnova Partners, a leading European venture capital firm. Whilst at Sofinnova, he was actively involved in numerous investments throughout Europe and the US.
Roger Franklin is partner at Hadean Ventures, leading the firm’s Stockholm office and sitting as a member of the investment committee. Moving to Hadean in 2018, he has more than 15 years experience focused on the life science industry across investment banking, consulting and venture capital. He focuses on investments in the biotech/therapeutics space, currently acting as board member or observer at seven of Hadean’s portfolio companies in this segment including Emergence Therapeutics, Pipeline Therapeutics, Step Pharma, Targed Biopharmaceuticals, Abliva and Gesynta Pharma. His academic background is in biochemistry where he studied at Oxford University, followed by a PhD in the oncology space from Cambridge University in the UK.