Board of Directors
Seng Chin Mah
Seng Chin Mah is Chief Executive Officer of the Canyon Pharmaceuticals Group AG and has over 30 years experience in the Pharma and Biotech industry. Prior to Canyon, he was the Head of Development of the Integration Office during the integration of Chiron into Novartis and has previously held positions including Global Head of Clinical Safety and Epidemiology, Head of Drug Regulatory Affairs Europe. He also had oversight responsibility for Clinical Quality Assurance. Dr. Mah was also a member of the Novartis Corporate Executive Group and a member of the board of directors for Novartis Europharm Ltd. During his tenure with Novartis and Ciba, he has driven transformational programs, managed large global organizations, and achieved significant business results such as the numerous global registrations of major products including Diovan. Dr. Mah has worked extensively on both development projects and marketed products. He has held numerous research and academia positions, and is currently on the boards of several biotech companies. Dr. Mah is an award-winning CEO of a biotech - The Frost & Sullivan 2011 Product Differentiation Excellence Award in Parenteral Anticoagulants recognized Canyon Pharmaceuticals Group AG for the development and launch of Iprivask® (desirudin for injection). He subsequently effected an asset transaction of the product. He possesses deep knowledge in strategic decision-making within the Pharma and Biotech industry, late stage clinical development & regulatory experience as well as people development skills.
Marc Gitzinger is Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of BioVersys. He has over 10 years of experience in the biotech industry, having launched a university spin-off in the field of antimicrobial resistance and growing it into a multi-asset early clinical stage company. Some of these assets will address significant unmet medical needs in infectious conditions such as tuberculosis and hospital acquired Acinetobacter infections. He has raised over $30 mio in equity financing and secured over $20 mio in non-dilutive funding. He has also established several important partnerships with a Big Pharma and other development organizations. Dr. Gitzinger is a multi-award-winning Biotech CEO, having received amongst others the Swiss Technology Award 2011, Venture Kick 2009 and Venture Leaders 2008 and 2017 awards for his work in founding and advancing BioVersys. He is also vice-president of the board of the BEAM Alliance, a European association representing over 60 European and international SMEs active in antimicrobial research and development and board member of the AMR Industry Alliance. Dr. Gitzinger is a young thought leader in the field of antimicrobial research and development. He is passionate about next generation antimicrobial therapies and leads a highly motivated team striving to bring life-saving antimicrobial therapies to patients in need. He is also co-author on several high ranked scientific publications and patents in the field.
Eduard Holdener currently serves on the board of HBM Healthcare Investments. Following his retirement from F. Hoffmann-La Roche, he became Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors at Novimmune S.A. He was also a member of the Board of a number of companies in Europe and the USA. Novimmune S.A. was sold in July 2019. Dr. Holdener first moved into the pharmaceutical industry as Head of Clinical Oncology and Global Clinical Operations of F. Hoffmann-La Roche. Subsequently, he was elected Head of Development Nippon Roche Japan to lead major organizational changes and supporting the merger between Chugai and Nippon Roche. Returning to Switzerland, he became Head of Global Clinical Development. During his time with F. Hoffmann-La Roche, Dr. Holdener he was responsible for many successful global filings and approvals of new medicines in primary and secondary indications across all therapeutic areas. He also was a member of the Business Development Committee, the Research & Development Committee, the Life Cycle Committee, the Pharma Executive Committee and he chaired the Clinical Drug Safety Committee. Subsequently, as Chief Medical Officer, he developed interfaces with Chugai Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd in Japan and with Genentech in the US as well as setting up a new Roche development centre in Shanghai, China. Before joining the pharmaceutical industry, Dr. Holdener held positions as Oberarzt for Medicine at the Kantonspital in Lucerne and for Haemato-Oncology at the Kantonspital in St. Gallen. Prior to that, he completed a fellowship in Experimental and Clinical Oncology at the University of Kansas, USA.
David Hunstad is Professor of Pediatrics and Molecular Microbiology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. He also serves as Chief of their Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, leading their growth to 18 faculty with diverse basic and clinical research programs in childhood infections and epidemiology. Dr. Hunstad’s laboratory research in Gram-negative bacterial pathogenesis, novel treatments for urinary tract infections, and emerging infectious diseases in children has been funded continuously by the US National Institutes of Health for nearly two decades. His work has been recognized by election to the Society for Pediatric Research and the American Pediatric Society. Dr. Hunstad received the Faculty Achievement Award from the Washington University Medical Center in 2019. Listed among the Best Doctors in America, Dr. Hunstad has been in clinical practice in pediatrics and infectious diseases since 1999. He also has participated in numerous industry-sponsored pediatric clinical trials of new anti-infective agents.
Marina von Schönau
Marina von Schönau is Chairwoman of Almacos AG and investor representative of a family office where she takes care of the private equity portfolio. Almacos AG is a management consultancy that is active in companies in the private equity space in real estate, healthcare including digital health, recycling, food appliances and financial services, with an emphasis on helping management retain entrepreneurial values. She holds various board positions in privately held companies, including dacadoo AG as well as foundations such as the Coralma Stiftung AG. Over the last decade, Ms. von Schönau has been focused on advising venture opportunities, growth scenarios and complex restructurings especially within biotechnology, digital healthcare and recycling. As an investor, she has particular interests in the healthcare sector especially nutrition and in the recycling industry. In her prior career, Ms. von Schönau has worked in senior positions at different multi-national companies in the pharmaceutical sector including Janssen Cilag AG and Bayer (Schweiz) AG where she gained in depth knowledge of marketing, product launches and leadership. She has worked on products in the central nervous system (CNS) therapeutic area and women’s health. She was also a member of an international marketing frame group for a new product where she drove e-business ideas. Under her leadership, the CNS therapeutic area played a leading role in the initiation and expansion of the company's e-business platforms. Ms. von Schönau has a strong interest in the tremendous business potential and culture of Asia, in particular the fast pace of innovation in the fields of nutrition and hedge fund portfolios.