New CEO and CMO for biotech startups

13.06.2018 11:15

Two Basel-based biotech startups have welcomed new experts to their companies; Memo Therapeutics appointed Karsten Fischer to the position of Chief Executive Officer while Nouscom attracted ex-Pfizer executive as chief Medical officer. The new appointees will support their respective startups in further developments.

Memo Therapeutics specializes in antibody discovery and immune repertoire analysis. Its lead product is MemoMAB, a single cell-based technology platform and the only technology to date that enables banking and expression screening of large authentic antibody repertoires (antibodyomes) of human and animal origin.

One month following its financing round, Memo Therapeutics has made a strategic decision. The startup has appointed Karsten Fischer as its new CEO. Fischer was previously a partner at BioMedPartners AG and has invested in several successful companies in the life science field. He also brings vast experience from working for WestLB on equity, M&A, and debt transactions in the healthcare and chemicals sector. Moreover, he has a record of accomplishment in management consulting with McKinsey and pharmaceutical sales and marketing with Sanofi. He holds a Ph.D. in infection biology (MPI Infection Biology and Colorado State University, with distinction).

As the new CEO of Memo, Fischer will lead the company as its orientation shifts from technological excellence towards pharma partnerships and product development. Founder and former interim CEO Christoph Esslinger will focus his efforts as Chief Scientific Officer on the continued advancement of the MemoMAB platform and on the expansion of MEMO’s proprietary antibody discovery programs in immune-oncology and infectious diseases.

“Memo is poised to establish its MemoMAB technology as a world leading platform for antibody discovery and has developed a highly promising pipeline. I am very much looking forward to help the company to manage the next evolutionary step and on bringing its strong value proposition into partnerships and its own pipeline” said Fischer.

Former Pfizer executive joins Nouscom
A management change was also seen at Nouscom. The oncology startup is developing neoantigen based cancer vaccines using on its Exovax platform. Following its capital raise of €42 million in series B round, the startup has now won Adrian Woolfson, the former global clinical leader of early and late stage immuno-oncology/hematology at Pfizer, as its new Chief Medical officer. Woolfson is a seasoned pharmaceutical industry executive with highly relevant immunotherapy experience.

He will employ his experience, gathered from leading clinical trials in oncology and hematology, in leading the Nouscom’s clinical development of its neoantigen off-the-shelf vaccine targeting tumors associated with Microsatellite Instability (MSI), as well as the personalized neoantigen vaccines and oncolytic virus programs.

Photo: Karsten Fischer, CEO of Memo Therapeutics


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