The Team

Between them, the Allecra team has more than 150 years’ experience in bringing innovative pharmaceutical products to patients and doctors. Much of that experience is focussed on novel antibiotics which may be effectively used against a broad range of pathogens including multi-drug-resistant bacteria

  • The Board of Directors
  • Management Team
  • Scientific Advisory Board

Omar Lalhou,
Director of Regulatory Affairs

Ph. D., Univ. Monastir, Tunisia; M. B. A., Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées, Paris, France. Omar has 15 years of experience in regulatory affairs, starting as Regulatory Affairs and Safety Manager in Pfizer’s Francophone African Region. Later he became Manager of Pfizer’s Global Manufacturing and Quality Operations at their headquarters in New Jersey; Director, Regulatory Affairs at Lumavita AG, where he was instrumental in the establishment and implementation of regulatory development plans from preclinical up to Phase I and Phase IIb approvals in the EU

Stefano Biondi,
Head of Chemistry, Manufacturing and Controls

Dr., Univ. Bologna, Italy; MRSC CChem, UK. Stefano is a medicinal chemist with experience in both major pharma and biotech companies. For 12 years in GSK, he had several positions; as Antibacterials Laboratory Head, he contributed to the discovery of sanfetrinem and other tricyclic carbapenems, and invented and developed a number of novel ketolides. Previous roles include Director of Chemistry at Neuro 3D S.A. Director Research Laboratories, NicOx; inventor on over 40 patents for antibiotic (macrolides, β-lactams), CNS, cardiovascular, ophthalmic, and anti-inflammatory drugs

Brice R. Suire,
Finance Director

Master in Finance Paris Dauphine, CPA, IEP Insead. Brice has 25 years’ experience in finance. He worked over 15 years at Novartis in Finance positions of increasing responsibility. Brice played a significant role in establishing the Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research in Cambridge, MA, where he worked as Head of Finance for Research Collaborations, getting exposed to strategic alliances with biotech companies and Global Head of Financial Reporting and Accounting for Research (6 sites). Brice started his career with Audit Consultancy firms Mazars in Paris and London and Price Waterhouse Coopers in Madrid

Jeff Hardenberg,
Head of Clinical Operations

Jeff Hardenberg has a B.A. from Kalamazoo College, USA. He has over 30 years’ experience in clinical drug development including positions as the Director of Clinical Development, Strasbourg R&D Center for HMR and Director of Biostatistics and Data Management. More recently he was Director of Project Management within the Quintiles European Anti-Infective Business Unit, followed by Head of clinical operations at Basilea Pharmaceutica, Switzerland, where the focus was on anti-infective drug development

Leila Tilaoui,
Project Assistant

With a master degree of Sciences in chemoinformatics from the University Louis Pasteur (ULP) of Strasbourg (France), Leila has 5 years’ experience as Scientific Project Assistant. She has worked 3 years as Product Manager in the Sales & Marketing Department at France 3B Scientific before joining Allecra therapeutics to support the Scientific team. She started her career at Nestlé where she contributed in the development and validation of a new system for predicting the Lowest Observed Adverse Effect Level (LOAEL) Toxicity.

Iain Buchanan,
Member of the Advisory Board

Iain Buchanan was appointed to the Allecra Therapeutics Advisory Board upon its formation in 2013 and brings to the company over 40 years’ experience in the Pharmaceutical and Biotech industries. Iain was Chief Executive Officer of Novexel S.A. in Paris from its creation as the anti-infective spin out of Sanofi-Aventis in 2004 until its sale in 2009. Previously, he held a variety of management positions including positions in Vertex Pharmaceuticals (Europe) Limited, Cilag A.G. and in Biogen S.A. Iain holds a Bachelor of Science in Physiology from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland and is a non-executive director of Synairgen plc

Holger Reithinger,
Member of the Advisory Board

Holger Reithinger (Chairman) is a General Partner at Forbion Capital Partners since 2010. He holds a PhD in Biochemistry, obtained at the Max-Planck-Institute of Biophysics. After his studies, Holger gained operational experience as a product development manager at Biometra/ Whatman Plc (now part of GE Healthcare). His career in Venture Capital started in 1997 as Investment Manager at Technologieholding VC GmbH, and more recently he was Partner at Global Life Science Ventures. Holger has served on the Boards of numerous life sciences companies including Epigenomics, MBT, 4SC, NeurogesX, Fibrex Medical, Agendia BV and Santaris A/S. Holger additionally holds board seats at Curetis NV, Cellnovo Group S.A.and Rigontec GmbH

Olivier Litzka,
Member of the Advisory Board

Olivier Litzka is a partner at Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners (EdRIP) since 2006. Olivier is also a member of the boards of Autonomic Technologies Inc., Noxxon Pharma, JenaValve and SuperSonic Imagine. Up to their acquisition, he was also a member of the boards of Novexel, Endosense, Sapiens Steering Brain Stimulation Stimulation, and the public company Probiodrug. Before EdRIP, Olivier spent six years with 3i’s life science venture capital practice, before which he worked as a strategy consultant with Mercer Management Consulting. Olivier holds a PhD in molecular microbiology from the Institut für Mikrobiologie at the University of Munich

William Jenkins,
Member of the Advisory Board

William Jenkins joined the pharmaceutical industry 25 years ago after a successful career in clinical medicine, medical research and as deputy of the UK’s Medicines Control Agency. His career within the industry has spanned many senior roles including Head of Worldwide Clinical Research at Glaxo and later at Ciba-Geigy. After the merger with Sandoz to create Novartis, William was Global Head of Medicine, Clinical Development & Regulatory Affairs. During his industry career William was responsible for managing the development of numerous blockbuster drugs such as Zofran, Imigran, Serevent, Diovan & Gleevec. Since 1999 he has been a consultant to the pharmaceutical industry & a member of several boards at companies achieving significant transactions including BTG, Tanox, Monogram Biosciences, Eurand, Evotec, Acambis, Glycart, Ablynx & Consort Medical as well as a chairman or member of several scientific advisory boards

Henry Chen,
Member of the Advisory Board

Henry Chen is a founder and Managing Partner of Delos Capital. Prior to establishing Delos in 2014, he was a Partner and Co-Head of Asia at Permira, a European private equity firm with total global committed capital of approximately €20bn. While at Permira, he worked on a number of transactions including Asia Broadcast Satellite and Galaxy Entertainment Group. Prior to joining Permira in 2008, Mr. Chen spent nine years in Investment Banking at Goldman Sachs, where he was a Managing Director and co-headed the General Industrials Group, Asia (excluding Japan). Prior to that, he was a corporate finance lawyer with Davis Polk in New York and Hong Kong. Mr. Chen holds Bachelor and Masters degrees from Harvard University, USA, and has a Juris Doctorate degree from Harvard Law School, USA

Stefan Herr,
Board Observer

Stefan Herr is funding partner of EMBL Ventures. Over the past 20 years, he led several venture investments in Europe and the US. Before starting EMBL Ventures, he served as Managing Director of Verivox, a 3i backed start-up company. Previously Stefan was Vice President at Heidelberg Innovation and Director Cooperations and Licensing at Hagenuk. Stefan earned his PhD in Physics from the University of Heidelberg and received additional training in law and business at the University of Hagen. He was a recipient of the Boehringer Ingelheim fellowship and is an alumni of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory Ph.D. program

Prof. Karen Bush,
Indiana University, Bloomington, USA,
Member of the Scientific Advisory Board

Professor Bush received her PhD in Biochemistry from Indiana University and then spent 35 years in the pharmaceutical industry, leading drug discovery and development teams in anti-infective research. She was on the team that discovered aztreonam and participated actively on development teams for piperacillin-tazobactam, levofloxacin, doripenem and ceftobiprole. During that time she was employed by Squibb (Bristol-Myers Squibb), Lederle (Wyeth) and Johnson & Johnson. She is a Fellow of the American Society for Microbiology, was a member of the ICAAC Planning Committee for 8 years, and served as an Editor for Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy for ten years. Professor Bush has published over 200 primary publications, most of which are related to antibiotic drug discovery and resistance, particularly related to beta-lactams. She is currently a Professor of Practice in the Biotechnology program at Indiana University Bloomington where she continues research on beta-lactamases and new drug testing

Yehuda Carmeli,
Tel Aviv University, Israel & Harvard Medical School, Boston USA,
Member of the Scientific Advisory Board

Professor Carmeli is a professor of medicine at the Tel Aviv University, the Head of the Israeli National Center for Antibiotic Resistance, and the chief of the Division of Epidemiology at the Tel Aviv Medical Center, in Tel Aviv, Israel. He is also on the research staff at the Division of Infectious Diseases, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA. Professor Carmeli received his MD degree from Ben Gurion University, Israel and his MPH degree at Harvard School of Public Health. He served his residency at Hadassah Medical Center, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, and then served as a fellow in Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston. Professor Carmeli completed his fellowship in Infectious Diseases at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA. His primary research interest is the epidemiology of resistance to antibiotics. He is the author of over 200 research articles, the recipient of multiple research grants and awards, and member of editorial board of major journals in the fields of Infectious Diseases and antibiotic research

Prof. George L. Drusano,
University of Florida, USA,
Member of the Scientific Advisory Board

Professor Drusano is Professor of Medicine (tenured) and Director, Institute for Therapeutic Innovation of the University of Florida. He was Section Editor for Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy for 10 years. He is currently an Editor for mBio. He is the author of over 290 peer-reviewed articles. Prof. Drusano has focused his research on mathematical modeling and pharmacodynamics of anti-infective chemotherapy. He was a member of the ICAAC and IDSA Program Committees. He served as an ad hoc member of NIAID Council. He consults for NIAID and CDC on Biodefense issues. He was Chair of the Gordon Conference on New Antimicrobial Discovery and Development (2010). Prof. Drusano has won a number of awards: 1) Distinguished Investigator (2003) by the American College of Clinical Pharmacology 2) Maxwell Finland Award for Scientific Achievement (2012) from the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases 3) Cubist-ICAAC award (2013) from ASM

Prof. David Livermore,
Member of the Scientific Advisory Board

Professor Livermore gained his BSc in 1978 and his PhD in 1983. He worked at the London Hospital Medical College from 1980 until 1997 when he joined the Health Protection Agency, becoming Director of its Antibiotic Resistance Monitoring and Reference Laboratory in 1998, where he remained until October 2011. In October 2011 he became Professor of Medical Microbiology at the University of East Anglia, with 30% of his time supplied back to the Health Protection Agency as its Lead on Antibiotic Resistance. He also consults widely for the pharmaceutical and diagnostics industries. Prof. Livermore has broad interests on the evolution and epidemiology of antibiotic resistance. ß-lactamases are a particular interest and his work here is centred on the emergence and spread of ‘CTX-M’ extended-spectrum types, and on carbapenemases, particularly the newly-discovered NDM-1 type, which received extensive media coverage. Prof. Livermore sits on several learned society committees and has edited for several journals including Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy and Journal of Medical Microbiology and, currently, International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents

Prof. Patrice Nordmann,
S-Paris Uni, France & University of Freibourg, Switzerland,
Member of the Scientific Advisory Board

Professor Nordmann is the Chief of the Dept of Bacteriology-Virology at the Hospital Bicetre and Professor in Clinical Microbiology at the South-Paris Medical School (South-Paris University). He received MD and PhD degrees from Paris University in Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. He has also been trained as a postdoc in molecular genetics and biochemistry in the US (University of Wisconsin-Madison) and in Switzerland (Biozentrum,University of Basel). He founded a research unit „ Emerging Antibiotic Resistances“ at the Bicetre hospital- South-Paris Medical School in 1997 (becoming INSERM Unit 914 in 2008). Professor Normann is member of the editorial board of several journals including Emerging Infectious Diseases, Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, Future in Microbiology, and PlosOne. He is co-author of more than 535 peer-reviewed publications (ISI Web of Knowledge Microbiology, 2012: 18th /2,849 worldwide) mostly on biochemistry, genetics and epidemiology of emerging antibiotic resistance in Gram negatives. He is the recipient of several awards, the latest being the Medaille Louis Pasteur from the French National Academy of Sciences, Paris 2012 and the Excellence Microbiology and Infectious Diseases award from the European Society for Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Berlin, 2013.

Philipp Knechtle,

Ph.D., Biozentrum, University of Basel; Postdoc, Institut Pasteur, Paris. Philipp has 18 years experience in microbiology with over 10 years in biotech companies. Previous roles include Junior Group Leader in Microbial Mechanisms of Pathogenicity at the Biozentrum, University of Basel; Group Leader Discovery and Development at Evolva SA; and Group Leader/Project Manager Antifungals at Polyphor Ltd. Philipp has further co-founded the Swiss antimicrobial start-up Selmod Gmbh where he was responsible Research and Development.

Bert Tjeenk Willink,
Chairman of the Advisory Board

Engelbert (Bert) Tjeenk Willink has more than 25 years of experience within the pharmaceutical industry, most recently at Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH as a member of the Board of Managing Directors. In this role, Mr Tjeenk Willink managed the Corporate Board Division Marketing and Sales (M&S) in human pharmaceuticals and had global responsibility for the Prescription Medicines (PM) and Consumer Health Care businesses. Mr Tjeenk Willink has extensive strategic and operational experience across marketing and sales, health economics and outcomes, research, medical and business development functions. Since 2012 he holds a number of non-executive board positions at smaller pharma/biotech companies. Mr Tjeenk Willink holds a degree in Medicine from the Erasmus University Rotterdam School of Medicine and is a member of the Royal College of Pharmaceutical Industry Physicians. He is fluent in English, Dutch and German.

Paola Motta,
DMPK Director

B.A., Ph.D. Alma Mater Studiorum Bologna, Italy; M.B.A. University of Lausanne, Switzerland. Paola has 20 years of experience of drug Research and Development within the pharmaceutical industry, the majority of which was spent in the DMPK Department of GlaxoSmithKline. Paola has gained significant expertise in the pre-clinical safety aspects of clinical drug development during her career.

Andrew Smith,
Chief Financial Officer

FCMA, CGMA. Andrew has over 30 years’ experience in finance within the pharma and medical device industry as well as in public accounting. He served as Vice President Finance and Chief Financial Officer of Sucampo Pharmaceuticals Inc between 2011 – 2017 and has held other management positions with a number of other companies within Europe, Asia and USA. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Management Accountants and a Chartered Global Management Accountant and has studied business and accounting at Liverpool John Moore’s University and Durham University Business School.

Tim Xiao,
Board Observer

B.Sc., FRM. Tim is a Principal at Delos Capital since its inception in 2014 and has over 10 years’ experience in investment banking and life sciences investment. Tim started his career as an investment banker at China International Capital, and later joined the Investment Banking Division of Goldman Sachs where he completed a series of transactions with total deal value over US$4 billion. Tim also serves as a Board member for Liposeuticals Inc., Curatia Medical and as an Observer for Intrinsic Therapeutics Inc.

Jason Rushton,
Member of the Advisory Board

B.Sc., M.Sc. Mr. Rushton is a partner at Xeraya Capital, a global venture capital firm that invests in the life sciences sector. From February 2011 to June 2016, Mr. Rushton was a director in the corporate finance advisory arm of Deloitte & Touche LLP. Prior to that, Mr. Rushton was an independent strategy consultant and an investment manager at Inventages Venture Capital Investment, Inc., an investment arm of Nestle S.A. specialising in the health care and life sciences sectors. Mr. Rushton was an associate for Merlin Biosciences Fund, L.P., a venture capital firm specialising in life science companies, and a management consultant for PA Consulting Group, a global management consulting firm. Mr. Rushton started his career at Eli Lilly and Company as a biologist.

Thomas Möller,
Board Observer

M.B.A., C.P.A. After his studies, Thomas gained experience as a senior manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Switzerland and the US. His career in Venture Capital started in 2001 as CFO at NMT New Medical Technologies, and from 2003 at BioMed. Thomas has served on the Boards of numerous life sciences companies including idiag AG, Mediservice AG, Xiril AG, Middle Peak Medical GmbH, Thommen Medical AG and Polyphor AG. Thomas currently holds board seats at EyeSense AG, Sequana Medical AG and Inotrem SA. He has also been a General Partner at BioMedPartners AG since inception.

Mathias Knecht,
Chief Development Officer and Managing Director

MD from Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich, board certified in Internal Medicine and Cardiology. Mathias is a medical expert in global drug development with over 15 years of senior global medical, regulatory, Business Development and project management roles within Boehringer Ingelheim in Germany, Canada and Japan. Most recently he was Senior Vice President Medical in Japan where he oversaw the introduction of four key products in different therapeutic areas and was responsible for a large team of medical staff. Before joining the Pharmaceutical industry, Mathias spent 10 years in medical research and academia in Germany and USA.

Kerstin Eyrich,
Executive Assistant

Kerstin started her career as Sales Manager and worked for over 25 years in the pharmaceutical and medical technology industries. She gained experience as Customer Service Manager, Marketing and Business Support Manager and Event Manager. With this wide-ranging background she is very well qualified to support the management team of Allecra in the areas of meeting organization and other key administration projects.    

Björn Peters,
Head of Business Development

Björn has extensive experience in Licensing, M&A, Investments and Divestments in the biopharmaceutical industry. He started his career as a Consultant at Arthur Andersen before moving into the industry 17 years ago. Björn held senior positions in business and corporate development in multinational, specialty pharma and small biotech companies and has been pivotal in numerous buy- and sell- side transactions with a total deal value of more than $7bn USD.

Huw Tippett,
Chief Commercial Officer

Huw has over 30 years commercial experience in the Life Sciences industry, spanning numerous executive positions in both country operations and global within major pharmaceutical companies.  In the 8 years prior to joining Allecra Therapeutics, Huw was Global Head Commercial Excellence for Baxter/Baxalta and Global Head of Sales and Commercialization at Novartis AG where he led the transformation initiatives of the commercial organizations during periods of significant change.  He has led launches of over 25 brands from both a marketing and sales perspective, including multiple injectable and oral anti-infectives during his earlier career with Aventis.

Jutta Heim,
Member of the Advisory Board

Jutta Heim, Ph.D. worked for more than 20 years at Ciba-Geigy/Novartis (CH and US) on the development of anti-thrombotic products. As a member of the Research Management Board she headed the Lead Discovery Center with worldwide responsibility. From 2004 to 2009, Jutta served as CSO at Basilea Pharmaceutica Ltd., focusing on anti-infectives and oncology. From 2009 to 2013, she served as CSO at Evolva SA. She holds a Professorship in Biotechnology from the University of Basel.
Jutta holds board positions at Evolva SA and Nuevolution SA and chairs the scientific advisory committee of DNDi/GARDP, a not-for-profit organisation on antimicrobial resistance.

Adam Belley,
Scientist, Microbiology

Adam has over 25 years of research experience in infectious diseases, with 14 years in antibiotic development and discovery.   In his previous role as a Principal Scientist at the Medicines Company, he was involved in the scientific development of the novel lipoglycopeptide antibiotic Orbactiv® (oritavancin), a single-dose therapy for acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections.  Furthermore, he assisted in authoring the regulatory submission for Vabomere™ (meropenem-vaborbactam), a combination beta-lactam/beta-lactamase inhibitor for the treatment of complicated urinary tract infections caused by Enterobacteriaceae.  He has published over 25 research papers in peer-reviewed journals and is the inventor/co-inventor on two patents.  Adam performed doctoral studies at the Institute of Parasitology of McGill University and post-doctoral research at the Montreal General Hospital Research Institute of the McGill University Health Center.

Jorge Vigueras,
Clinical Trial Manager

Jorge Vigueras, has a B.B.A. from Universidad Anáhuac del Sur, Mexico and Centro Universitario Francisco de Vitoria, Madrid, Spain. He has over 16 years’ experience in pharma, CRO and biotech companies managing clinical trial protocols development processes and leading internal teams and vendors, having ensured all trial deliverables were met according to timelines, budget, quality standards and operational procedures. Roles in drug development and clinical research have included CRA in Mexico at Eli Lilly and Schering-Plough, Regional LATAM Project Manager at PPD, Regional LATAM Clinical Trial Manger at ICON, Global Sr. Clinical Project Manager at Novartis. More recently he was Global Clinical Project Manager at AB Science in Paris, France.

Klaus Wilgenbus,
CEO and Managing Director

Klaus Wilgenbus has worked for more than 25 years in the biopharmaceutical industry and served most recently as CEO of Biosilu Healthcare AG and held leading management positions at Boehringer Ingelheim for many years, including Global Head of Business Development, Licensing and Strategy. Klaus Wilgenbus has gained significant management experience covering General Management, R&D, Business Development, Corporate Venture Capital and Corporate &  Commercial Strategy. Klaus Wilgenbus was trained as a Medical Doctor in Germany and the US.