Board of Directors
Theo . H . Walthie (Business consultant and strategic advisor)
Chairman of the Board
Theo Walthie holds a degree in Chemical Engineering from Technical University of Delft, The Netherlands. He is an experienced senior executive who had assumed global responsibilities in the leading global petro-chemical company Dow Chemical. Theo Walthie joined Dow Europe in 1970 where he started his career in Sales Technical Service, Marketing and Manufacturing in both Switzerland and The Netherlands. In 1974, he joined the Dow Europe Purchasing group in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, followed by becoming business manager for Dow Chemical Iberica in 1978, where he was instrumental for significantly growing Dow in this region. In 1982, he became responsible for Dow Europe’s Hydrocarbon Feedstock Supplies operating out of Switzerland and in 1986 Business Vice President for Dow's Hydrocarbons Group and later Vice President Polyurethanes. He took on management responsibility for Dow's Thermosets Business Group by merging Polyurethanes with Epoxy Resins and Intermediates in 1991 and the Dow Europe Automotive group in 1992.
In 1995 Theo Walthie was named Global Vice President and subsequent Business Group President for the Hydrocarbons & Energy Business of Dow worldwide until his retirement in 2007.
During his tenure in DOW He assumed responsibilities as president-elect and board member in various industry organizations (e.g. among others, the Association of Petro-Chemical Producers Europe, APPE, the European Petro-Chemical Association, EPCA, the European Chemical Industry Council, CEFIC, An High Level Group of the EU Commission ). After his retirement he has also been advisor to the CEO/Chairman of the Dow Chemical Co.,The Accenture Energy Advisory Board, the Kuwait Petroleum Co, and Chairman of the Energy Transition Board for the Dutch Government. Since 2010, Theo Walthie also serves as a Board member of German DAX-company, Lanxess, and is involved as strategic advisor in life science companies.
Nanna Lüneborg PhD MBA (Partner at Novo Ventures)
Nanna Lüneborg is a Director of NBE Therapeutics, and as a Partner of Novo Ventures, she represents Novo Holdings A/S on the board of NBE. Nanna joined Novo Holdings in 2012, spent four years as part of the Seeds team, where she helped build a strong portfolio of seed and Series A stage companies, primarily in Scandinavia. She led the initial investments and served on the Boards of IO Biotech, MinervaX, and Pcovery, and as an Observer with Forendo and Galecto. Nanna joined the Ventures team in 2016, where she has taken two private companies through successful public listings, Orphazyme (ORPHA) and ObsEva (OBSV), and currently serves on the boards of Inventiva (IVA), Epsilon-3 Bio and Stargazer Pharmaceuticals.
From 2008-2012, Nanna was an Associate with Apposite Capital, a London-based venture fund, where she was part of the life science investment team and participated in both primary and secondary investments, with multiple portfolio companies leading to highly successful exits for the fund. Earlier in her career, she worked at Cancer Research UK as a research analyst, and as a consultant to various biotech and healthcare venture projects during her MBA.
Nanna received her PhD in Neuroscience from University College London as a Wellcome Trust Scholar. She holds an MBA with distinction from University of Cambridge, where she was a Sainsbury Scholar, and a 1st class BA from University of Oxford.
Knut Elbers, PhD (Partner at Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund)
Knut Elbers is Director of NBE-Therapeutics and is closely involved in the strategic development of the company. As Partner of the Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund, he is representing the fund at NBE-Therapeutics. Knut Elbers has been with Boehringer Ingelheim since 1995, when he joined the pharma organization in the international research and development department of the animal health business. From 1999 to 2008 he was heading the European vaccine research organization for animal health at Boehringer. Subsequently he collected experiences in human antibody related research and development being involved in R&D project management and Collaborative Research for New Biological Entities (NBEs). During his work at Boehringer Ingelheim, Knut Elbers was involved in 12 patent applications and the driver behind key development projects like (Ingelvac PRRSV, Enterisol Ileitis, Ingelvac CircoFLEX) contributing significantly to the vaccine business success of the animal health business of Boehringer Ingelheim. Knut Elbers has studied biology at the Eberhard-Karls-University in Tübingen with specific focus on virology and immunology. He performed his Ph.D. work at the federal institute for viral diseases in Tübingen focusing on protein processing during viral replication and pathogen/host interaction mechanism.
Jens Hennecke, PhD (Representative of PPF Group)
Jens Hennecke is Chief Business Officer of SOTIO a.s. since March 2015. He is responsible for business strategy as well as for licensing, M&A and investments at Sotio, and as such, for PPF Group’s investment and partnering activities in the biotechnology sector. Jens is a molecular biologist by training and has more than 15 years of business and deal-making track record in the biopharmaceutical industry. Before joining SOTIO, he had his own business consulting firm and has been serving as an advisor for business and corporate development for various European biotech companies. Until 2012, Jens was Senior Vice President for Business Development and a member of the executive management team of Nasdaq-listed Micromet, Inc.. At Micromet, he was responsible for business development, alliance management, intellectual property and other operational functions. During his 12 years tenure at Micromet, Jens closed corporate deals and managed the alliances with multiple large pharma companies on Micromet’s T cell engager BiTE platform and products, and has been instrumental in the $1.2 billion acquisition of Micromet by Amgen in 2012. He received a diploma in biology from the University of Göttingen and completed his Ph.D. thesis at the ETH Zurich. He also carried out post-doctoral research at Harvard University. Jens currently also serves on the supervisory board of Cytune Pharma.
Hans-Peter Gerber, PhD
Since April 2017 Hans-Peter Gerber serves as an independent, non-executive Director on the Board at NBE Therapeutics. Hans-Peter has more than 20 years of research and development experience in the field of Biotherapeutics in Oncology, including antibody-drug conjugates (ADC), redirected T-cell targeting compounds and nanoparticles. Most recently he was CSO of Pfizer’s Bioconjugates division where he was leading Pfizer’ s efforts in the ADC and bispecific, redirected T-cell targeting field. He also held senior leadership positions at Seattle Genetics and Genentech. Hans-Peter is currently CSO and President at the immune-oncology company Maverick Therapeutics, Inc.
Hans-Peter holds a PhD in Molecular Biology from the University of Zurich, Switzerland and he is an internationally recognized leader in Oncology drug research and development with a strong record of accomplishments in the field of antibody-based targeted therapeutics. His work led to over ten IND filings for ADCs and bi-specifics, and contributions to BLA submissions of therapeutic antibodies and two ADCs in Oncology. He is an author on over 90 peer-reviewed published papers and inventor on 15 patents in the field of oncology.
Nicole Onetto, MD
Dr. Nicole Onetto has joined NBE-Therapeutics' Board of Directors in November 2017 as an independent Board member. Nicole is a medical doctor with over 20 years industry experience in clinical development of targeted cancer therapeutics. Previously, from 2009 to 2016, she was Deputy Director & Chief Scientific Officer at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) in Toronto, Canada.
From 2005-2009 she was Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at ZymoGenetics Inc., a Seattle-based Biotechnology company specializing in the development of protein therapeutics. Between 2002 and 2005, she served as Executive Vice President-Oncology and Chief Medical Officer at OSI Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a New York based biopharmaceutical company developing targeted cancer therapies. Her career in the pharmaceutical industry also included senior management positions at Bristol-Myers Squibb, Nexstar Pharmaceuticals, Immunex R&D Corporation and Hoechst Canada, Inc.
Nicole is currently also serving on the Boards of Sierra Oncology, a Vancouver-based Oncology Hematology company, and of Basilea Pharmaceuticals, a Basel-Switzerland-based clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company active in the development of anti-infective and cancer drugs. Previously, Nicole also served for eleven years on the Board of Waltham/Boston-area-based ImmunoGen Inc., which is one of the pioneers in the ADC development field. Nicole obtained her MD from the University of Paris and holds a Master of Pharmacology from the University of Montréal.
Ulf Grawunder, PhD (founder and CEO)
Ulf Grawunder is an experienced Swiss Life-Science entrepreneur with over 10 years experience in the therapeutic antibody development industry. With NBE-Therapeutics, he has recently founded his second Swiss Biotech company and is leading NBE-Therapeutics as its CEO since June 2012. Ulf Grawunder has invented two new patent-pending technologies at NBE-Therapeutics that allow the company to develop most innovative antibody-based drugs, including next-generation antibody drug conjugates (ADCs) for the therapy of cancer. Before that, Ulf Grawunder co-founded the Swiss Biotech company 4-Antibody, recently sold to U.S.-based Agenus (AGEN), where since 2004 he served as founding CEO and after 2006 assumed the role of CSO. During his tenure at 4-Antibody, Ulf Grawunder raised about CHF 50 million capital for the company, secured two pharma/biotech collaborations with Boehringer Ingelheim, Germany, and Human Genome Sciences, U.S.A. and grew the company to 50 employees.
Ulf Grawunder is serving on various Boards of non-profit and for-profit life-science organizations and is vice-president and Board member of the Swiss Biotech Association. Ulf Grawunder holds a PhD in Cell Biology from the University of Basel, for work on early B cell development performed at the Basel Institute for Immunology. In addition, Ulf Grawunder holds a Diploma in Technology Entrepreneurship from the Entrepreneur and Business School in St. Gallen, Switzerland (HSG=Hochschule St. Gallen).