Pioneers in neutralizing GDF-15
to overcome cancer therapy resistance
CatalYm has identified GDF-15 as a key cancer therapy resistance mechanism and is developing a safe and efficacious immune therapy for solid tumors. GDF-15, an immunosuppressant important for feto-maternal tolerance, is hijacked by cancer cells to evade immune system attacks. Visugromab, CatalYm’s lead antibody, has demonstrated durable anti-tumor efficacy with long-lasting objective responses in relapsed and refractory metastatic solid tumor patients in combination with anti-PD-1. CatalYm is now advancing into Phase 2b studies to confirm visugromab as a new class of cancer immunotherapy in a broad range of anti-cancer regimens.
Phil L’HuillierPhD, MBA Managing Director and
Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
Phil L’Huillier serves as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer at CatalYm. He brings over two decades of experience in executive leadership positions in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, with an outstanding track record of success in the commercial development of businesses and partnerships. Prior to joining CatalYm, he served as Head of the European Innovation Hub & Business Development at MSD (known as Merck & Co. in North America). In this role, he was an active member of MSD’s global Business Development and Licensing Leadership and led a team of scientific and business development professionals. Phil worked for a decade as Executive Director and Board Member of Cancer Research Technology, where he was responsible for development, commercialization and licensing of numerous programs, from discovery to early clinical stages. He simultaneously played key roles in the formation of a number of biotech companies and served as Non-Executive Director for Achilles Therapeutics, Artios Pharma, BliNK Therapeutics, PsiOxus Therapeutics and Revitope Therapeutics. Phil holds a PhD in cellular and molecular biology from the University of Auckland, New Zealand, as well as an MBA.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
Christine Schuberth-WagnerPhD, MBA Chief Scientific Officer (CSO)
Christine Schuberth-Wagner serves as Chief Scientific Officer at CatalYm. She joined the company in November 2018 with more than 10 years of experience in drug discovery and non-clinical development of immunomodulatory drugs in the immuno-oncology space. She has established a track record as a successful leader and entrepreneur in the biotech industry. Prior to joining CatalYm, Christine co-founded Rigontec in 2014 where she led the company’s discovery and non-clinical development activities as Senior Vice President, Research. Her discoveries on the first-in-class RNA-based innate immune receptor agonist RGT100, built the foundation for the initiation of a Phase I clinical trial as well as the successful acquisition of Rigontec by MSD (known as Merck & Co. in North America) in late 2017. Christine holds a PhD in Molecular Biomedicine from the University of Bonn and an MBA from the University of Potsdam.
Eugen LeoMD, PhD, MBA Chief Medical Officer (CMO)
Eugen Leo serves as Chief Medical Officer at CatalYm. Prior, he served as CMO for Rigontec, where he helped facilitate the company’s acquisition by MSD (known as Merck & Co. in North America). Eugen brings more than 20 years of experience in industrial phase I-III development of targeted molecules in the immuno-oncology space, ranging from kinase inhibitors, antibodies and antibody derivatives to vaccines, antisense molecules and cell therapies. His contributions were instrumental in reaching proof-of-concept for the BiTE (bi-specific T-cell engager) antibody platform, ultimately leading to Micromet’s acquisition by Amgen in 2012, as well as for the development of various other first-in-class molecules in the immuno-oncology space. Previously, he served in various positions with increasing levels of responsibility in both biotech (e.g. Micromet, Oxford Biotherapeutics, Ambit Biosciences, Isarna Therapeutics) and large pharmaceutical companies (Johnson & Johnson, Merck-Serono). Eugen is a board-certified Hematologist and Medical Oncologist and holds an Associate Professorship at the University of Heidelberg. He studied medicine at the Universities of Freiburg, Cincinnati and Münster and obtained an MBA from Colorado State University.
Anne BurgerChief Financial Officer (CFO)
Anne Burger serves as Chief Financial Officer at CatalYm. She brings more than 15 years of experience in financial operations at biotech and medtech companies throughout Europe. She also served as the CFO and Co-Founder of Breath Therapeutics GmbH, where she was instrumental in securing the financing (EUR 43.5million) as well as executing the sale of the company to Zambon S.p.A. in 2019, with a deal value up to EUR 500 million. Previously, Anne served as CFO at Rigontec and had an active role in the execution of Rigontec’s trade sale to MSD (known as Merck & Co. in North America), a deal worth up to EUR 464 million. Throughout her career, Anne has been responsible for corporate fundraising, executing trade sales and licensing agreements, and preparing for IPOs in several senior executive and advisory roles in the life sciences industry. Anne holds a graduate degree in Business Administration from Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich and has completed graduate studies in public health.
Board of Directors
John HaurumMD DPhil Chairman
John Haurum serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors at CatalYm. In addition, John is a non-executive director of Agomab, Neophore, SynKlino and Storm. Previously, John served as CEO of F-star Therapeutics in Cambridge, England, and held the position of Vice President, Research at ImClone Systems. He also co-founded and served as the CSO of Symphogen, Denmark. He holds a D.Phil. in Immunology from The University of Oxford and an MD from Aarhus University, Denmark.
Andreas WallnöferBoard member
Andreas Wallnöfer is Partner at Jeito Capital and has over 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry, including 12 years as a member of the F. Hoffmann-La Roche Pharma R&D Executive Leadership team. Andreas is Partner at Jeito Capital a global leading investment company. Prior to joining Jeito as Member of the Investment Committee in 2021, he was General Partner at BioMedPartners, a Swiss based venture capital firm.
Andreas has been successful as investor and in developing many innovative companies. He is and has been board member of several European biotech companies. Prior to his career in Venture, he has been Head of Cardiovascular & Metabolism R&D and member of the Roche / Genentech R&D Committee. Andreas was part of several successful product developments and market introductions. Before the integration of Genentech, Andreas was Global Head of Clinical Research & Exploratory Development and led the R&D organization at multiple sites in Europe, US and Asia. He had a key role in the integration of the Roche and Genentech Development organizations and led subsequently Roche’s Early Development Department.
Roy BaynesMB, BCh, PhD Advisor to Board
Roy Baynes received his MB, BCh (Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery) from the University of Witwatersrand, where he also received an MMed (specialist registration), and completed a PhD exploring mechanisms of human iron metabolism.
After additional clinical training in Johannesburg, and service on the faculty of the Department of Medicine at the University of Witwatersrand Medical School, Roy moved to the United States and joined the Division of Hematology in the Department of Medicine at the University of Kansas Medical Center where he served as Professor of Medicine in both hematology and bone marrow transplantation. From 1997 until 2002, he led the bone marrow transplantation service at the Karmanos Cancer Institute at Wayne State University in Detroit, where he was also a Professor of Medicine (Hematology and Oncology), and the Charles Martin Professor of Cancer Research.
Thereafter, Roy joined Amgen, Inc., where he became Vice President of Global Development and head of the hematology/oncology development team. He left Amgen in 2012 to become Senior Vice President at Gilead, Inc. where he led the establishment of the Oncology, Respiratory and Inflammation TAs, and joined Merck in 2013 where he was Senior Vice President and Head of Clinical Development and Chief Medical Officer. At Merck he was responsible for the development of the entire clinical portfolio in Merck Research Laboratories and was the architect of the development strategy for dozens of important new medicines including Keytruda®, a drug that has revolutionized cancer treatment around the world.
After retiring from Merck in 2022, Roy took on the role of EVP and Chief Medical Officer at Eikon Therapeutics.
Hans van EenennaamPhD Independent board member
Hans van Eenennaam most recently served as Chief Scientific Officer of AIMM Therapeutics and up until March 2019, as Executive Vice President of Antibody Research and Site Head for Aduro Biotech Europe. In 2015, Aduro acquired BioNovion, a company advancing novel antibody therapies for immuno- oncology, which van Eenennaam co-founded in 2011 and also served as its Chief Operational Officer. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Lygature. Dr. van Eenennaam received his doctorate in autoimmune biochemistry from Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands.
Jonathan TobinPhD Board member
Jonathan Tobin prior to joining Brandon was a Managing Director at Arix Bioscience, a UK and US-based biotech venture firm. Prior to working at Arix, Jonathan spent five years at UK early-stage venture capital firm Touchstone Innovations, where he was a Principal in the Healthcare Ventures team. He also worked at LifeArc, sourcing and evaluating new small molecule and antibody drug discovery projects. Jonathan has a degree in Biology from the University of Oxford, a PhD in Molecular Medicine from University College London (UCL) focusing on genetic disease genetics and therapeutics; carried out postdoctoral research on cancer cell signaling at the Crick Institute, and has an MBA Imperial College London.
Marc LohrmannBoard member
Marc Lohrmann is Managing Partner at Vesalius Biocapital III. He has over 20 years of experience and joined Vesalius Biocapital in 2012 as a venture partner and became a Managing Partner in 2017. Marc co-founded Reverse Medical (acquired by Covidien in 2014), was an investment manager at Bayer Innovation and worked with several corporate finance boutique firms focused on M&A transactions in the life sciences space. He holds a diploma degree in Business Administration of the University of Stuttgart-Hohenheim.
Marianne UtengPhD Board observer
Marianne Uteng is a Principal at the Novartis Venture Fund (NVF) in Basel, Switzerland. Prior to joining NVF, she worked at Novartis Global Drug Development and, before that, in the Pre-Clinical Safety Department at the Novartis Institutes of Biomedical Research, where she led teams delivering health authority-required and non-routine safety assessments for early and late-stage programs across many therapeutic areas. Concurrently, she supported the Novartis BD&L Search & Evaluation Team and spearheaded collaborations with biotechnology companies and academia for development of innovative in vitro/in vivo systems. Marianne received her MSc in Biochemistry from the University of Oslo and her PhD in Molecular Biology, Cell Biology and Biophysics from a joint program between European Molecular Biology Laboratories and the University of Oslo.
Nathalie WeitemeyerBoard observer
Nathalie Weitemeyer is senior investment manager at Bayern Kapital, the venture capital organisation of the Free State of Bavaria. She works on various projects in life science, computer science, engineering and in the energy sector. She started her career as a scientist for a biotech-start-up company in the field of drug carrier systems. Nathalie holds a PhD in Chemistry from the Eberhard-Karl-University in Tübingen and a degree in Economics (Dipl. Wirtschafts-Chemikerin) from Fern-Universität Hagen.
Oskar SlotboomBoard member
Oskar Slotboom joined BioGeneration Ventures as a partner in 2016, strengthening the team with his commercial, business development and consulting experience. Oskar started his career in McKinsey & Company as a management consultant. After that he held positions in Crucell, first as Business Development Director and later he became responsible for its pediatric franchise. After the acquisition of Crucell by Johnson & Johnson, Oskar led the Vaccines & Infectious Diseases business unit in Johnson & Johnson’s pharma joint venture, Xian Janssen, in Beijing, China. Oskar holds a degree in chemical engineering from the Twente University and holds an MBA from INSEAD.
Rogier RooswinkelPhD Board member
Rogier Rooswinkel is Partner at Forbion where he is responsible for evaluation and structuring of new investment opportunities across all disease areas with an emphasis on oncology. He currently serves as a board member of Achilles and as a board observer for Enterprise, Prilenia and Escalier. Prior to joining Forbion, Rogier worked as a post-doc in immunology at the Netherlands Cancer Institute. Rogier holds a PhD from the University of Amsterdam and a master’s degree in Oncology from the VU University of Amsterdam.