Prof. Andrea Pfeifer
Prof. Adriano Aguzzi
Diego Braguglia, PhD
Gerald Cagle, PhD
Prof. Dr. med. Thomas D. Szucs
Prof. Dr. Andrea Pfeifer is CEO of AC Immune, a Biotech company with four products in clinical development for Alzheimer´s disease, which she co-founded in 2003 (www.acimmune.com).
As former Head of Nestlé's Global Research in Lausanne, Switzerland, she has more than 25 years of senior management experience leading the development of the first Functional Food and Cosmeceutical Products. During this time, she also co-founded the Nestlé Venture Capital Fund, a EUR 100 Mio. Life Sciences corporate venture fund. She is Chairwoman of BioMedInvest AG, serves on the board of Symrise AG and holds a professorship from the EPFL, Lausanne.
Prof. Pfeifer is a registered Pharmacist and Toxicologist and author of more than 200 papers and abstracts in leading scientific journals. In 2009, she was recognized as Technology Pioneer by the WEF and Swiss Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst&Young. Additional recognitions include the BioAlps prize 2013, the election as one of the top 10 women in biotech from Fierce Biotech and one of the 300 most influential personalities in Switzerland.
Prof. Adriano Aguzzi is a 2019 NOMIS awardee and has been full professor of neuropathology and director of the Institute of Neuropathology at the University of Zurich (Zurich, Switzerland) since 1997.
Prof. Aguzzi earned an MD from the University of Freiburg Medical School (Freiburg, Germany) in 1986. Following postdoctoral studies in Vienna, he obtained the venia legendi in neuropathology at the University of Zurich in 1993. Prof. Aguzzi has appropriated over 65 million CHF in competitive research funds over the past 25 years. Prof. Aguzzi is a world expert in neurodegeneration. He has elucidated the interplay between immune cells and brain in prion diseases. He brings extensive scientific expertise in how inflammatory pathways contribute to disease progression.
In the past 18 months he has focused on the immune response in Covid infections and has led Europe’s largest study of antibody seroprevalence to SARS-CoV-2. Prof. Aguzzi has established a high-throughput methodology to identify and clone rare therapeutic antibodies from extremely large human populations. To this end, over 200’000 individual blood samples were tested for the presence of antibodies to a large spectrum of disease-relevant antigens, and many unique antibodies were cloned therefrom. This technology is antigen-agnostic and can be applied to any disease area, including those studied by AB2 Bio. These activities led to several patents and to the creation of the biotechnology spinoff company, Mabylon.
Among numerous other honors, Prof. Aguzzi has been awarded the Ernst Jung Prize, the Robert Koch Award, the EMBO Gold Medal of the European Molecular Biology Organization, the Marcel Benoist Swiss Science Prize and the Baillet Latour Health Prize, as well as two ERC Advanced Grants from the European Research Council.
He holds three honorary doctorates from the Universities of Bologna, Teramo and Liège.
Dr. Diego Braguglia, is a Managing Partner at VI Partners, focusing on Healthcare investments.
Dr. Braguglia has more than two decades of venture capital experience and has developed a solid experience in creating, growing and exiting ventures in therapeutics and medical devices in Europe and in the USA. He served as chairman and non-executive director in Endoart (acquired by Allergan), Endosense (acquired by St Jude), Picodrill (acquired by Asahi), Neocutis (acquired by Merz), Amal (acquired by Boehringer Ingelheim), Sequana (IPO on Euronext) and board observer to Genkyotex (IPO on Euronext). Before entering the VC industry, he served as manager in several medical device and pharmaceutical companies in Europre and in the USA.
Dr. Braguglia holds an M.Sc. in Microbiology from the Biocenter of the University of Basel and a PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (ISREC) in Lausanne.
Dr. Cagle began his career as a faculty member of The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, USA. Thereafter, for more than three decades, he worked as a member of Alcon’s Research and Development team, including 13 years as Global Head and Chief Scientific Officer. Dr. Cagle holds more than 20 issued patents in both drug and device areas and has published numerous scientific articles. He has also worked outside eyecare with Cognoptix.
In addition to his work with AB2 Bio, he serves on the Boards of Aerie, Clearside Biomedical, GrayBug Drug Delivery and Foundation Fighting Blindness, a philanthropic ophthalmic research organization.
Dr. Cagle holds a PhD from the University of North Texas and completed the Harvard Business School PMD Program.
Mr. Helg’s career and business interests span various industries including real estate, finance, entrepreneurship and law.
His career began in finance as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs in New York. From there, he went on to be Global head of M&A at Nestlé, Switzerland and Managing Partner of Darier Hentsch &Co (later on Lombard Odier & Co.).
Mr. Helg is a board member of several companies and is a co-founder of AB2 Bio.
Mr. Helg holds a degree from Harvard Business School and is admitted to the Geneva and New York bars.
Mr. Hentsch has spent his career in the private banking and wealth management business in Switzerland and abroad. Mr. Hentsch holds a MBA in Economics, Law and Social Sciences as well as a Master in Banking from the University of St. Gall (1973).
Prior to rejoining Hentsch & Co in 1983, his family-owned private bank, he was working for J.P. Morgan in the M&A department in New York and as Representative for Brazil from 1976 to 1983. Mr. Hentsch was managing partner of Darier Hentsch & Co until 2001, which then merged in 2002 with Lombard Odier. During his 40 year career, he has been president or board member of several organizations such as Swiss Private Bankers Association, the Groupement des Banquiers Privés Genevois, the Swiss-American Chamber of Commerce, the ISC foundation at the University of St. Gall, SwissReinsurance Co, the Fondation Avenir Suisse and the International Center for Financial Asset Management and Engineering (FAME) in Geneva. In 2004, he founded Banque Bénédict Hentsch & Cie SA, and held the position of executive chairman of its board. From 2005 to 2012, Mr. Hentsch was a member of the board of BioMedinvest, a Swiss venture Capital company based in Basel, focusing in biotechnology industries in Switzerland and in the alpine rim. At the end of 2013, he sold his interest in the bank to his partner and retired from active private banking. Currently Mr. Hentsch is completing a vast real estate development in Geneva and the donation in 2015 to the City of Geneva of the Parc Gustave and Léonard Hentsch, situated on the former grounds of the soccer stadium Stade des Charmilles.
Thomas Szucs is Professor and Chair of Pharmaceutical Medicine and Director of the European Center of Pharmaceutical Medicine at the University of Basel. Previously he was Chief Medical Officer and Chief Operating Officer of Hirslanden Holding, the largest private hospital chain in Switzerland.
As an academic, he held appointments at the universities of Munich, Bayreuth, Milano and Zurich. In 2010 he received a honorary professor ship of the University of Peking. He has worked at F. Hoffman-La Roche, ulitmately as the global head of Health Economics and served as Chairman of BB Biotech, Bioxell SpA, Intercell AG, as founding Chairman of Okairos and founding Vice-Chairman of Biovertis. Since 2010 he is Chairman of the largest Swiss healthcare insurer, Helsana Group.
He holds a medical degree from the University of Basel, a Masters in Business Administration from the University of St Gallen, a Master of Public Health degree from Harvard University and an LL.M in International Business Law from the University of Zurich. Thomas is board certified in Pharmaceutical Medicine as well as in Prevention and Public Health.
He has published more than 400 articles, book chapters and monographies. He has worked extensively in the field of pharmaceutical economics and epidemiology. Recently he started a small practice in personalised medicine with special emphasis on pharmacogenomics at the Klinik Hirslanden in Zurich. In 2016 he was rated among the 20 most influential economists in Switzerland.