Board of Directors

Jim Van heusden

Executive Chairman, 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.

Stefaan Allemeersch

Executive 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.

Kees Been

CEO of Bial Biotech

Kees Been is now CEO of Bial Biotech, after the acquisition of Lysosomal Therapeutics Inc (LTI), a biotech company he founded and led since 2013. Bial Biotech continues the groundbreaking science at LTI that focused on probing the lysosomal glycosphingolipid metabolism system for new drug targets in neurodegenerative diseases. Specifically, it is leveraging 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”. Bial Biotech is now preparing to take LTI-291, its lead drug compound, into a phase 2 clinical efficacy study.

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. Kees likes to spend his weekend mornings flying his single-engine airplane, exploring local airports in the New England area that offer brunch menus.

Sebastian Kreuz

Investment Manager, Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund

Sebastian 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 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 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 modalitiy 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.

Stefan Lohmer

Co-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 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  at  the Board in Acousia Therapeutics, a company dedicated for generating treatment opportunities in Hearing Loss.

Alexandra Tolia

Alexandra Tolia is an independent strategic advisor to biotech companies and a Partner at venture capital firm Fund+. Previously, Alexandra led investments in private and public companies 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.

Cheryl Zimberlin

Principal, M Ventures

Cheryl Zimberlin, PhD, is part of M Ventures, the corporate Venture Capital arm of Merck KgAA. M Ventures takes an active role in company creation and investment, with the mandate to invest in innovative technologies and products with the potential to significantly impact Merck‘s core businesses. Prior to joining the team she had a successful academic career at top-tier Universities, with a good track record publishing in top-tier academic journals, including Nature. She holds a PhD in Oncology and MSc in Biotechnology. Currently she holds board positions in several M Ventures portfolio companies.