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.

 

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,

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.

 

Henning Schwanhäusser (serial entrepreneur)

Henning Schwanhäusser serves as a Director at NBE-Therapeutics and is involved in strategic development as well as providing IT support for the company's operations. Henning Schwanhäusser is a serial entrepreneur and CEO of IT company AccapiStudio SRL, in Vicenza, Italy, as well as managing partner of Prime-Energy, Switzerland, a company leveraging financing of large (up to 5 MWp) photovoltaic projects in Italy, Germany and Switzerland. Most recently, Henning Schwanhäusser has co-founded Agavee SRL in Italy and he is member of the supervisory board of Sketchin, a rapidly growing Ticino, Switzerland-based IT-company. Henning Schwanhäusser holds a diploma in Business Engineering from the University of Padova, Italy, and a diploma in Technology Entrepreneurship from the Executive School of Management of the University St. Gallen, Switzerland (www.es.unisg.ch).

 

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).