Industry experts take the lead in startups' management


The Life sciences startups InterAX and Protemedix and ICT startups CodeCheck and Sparbatze have welcomed experienced industry leaders to support them on their growth journey. The new management members have previously worked in top management positions at renowned companies including Serono, Bank Cler and HelloFresh.



InterAx Biotech
With PICARD, InterAx built an innovative and unique lead discovery platform for the design and selection of drug candidates. For its growth phase, the startup has made changes in the top management by appointing Kurt Kessler, a Senior Executive with 30 years of international experience in the biopharmaceutical industry to lead the company as CEO. Throughout his career in the biotech sector, Kessler has gained expertise in portfolio strategy, clinical development, go-to-market strategy, positioning, segmentation, and promotional optimisation as marketing tools. He has been working with both small pre-clinical start-ups and some of the largest pharmaceutical firms in the world from early discovery through full commercialisation of their assets.

Two new members have joined Proteomedix, a healthcare startup developing Proclarix, a CE marked intended for in vitro diagnostic use and indicated for prostate cancer diagnosis. Maurizio Ballerini joins Poteomedix as VP Market Development EMEA. Ballerini is a diagnostics industry expert who brings more than 25 years of international business experience in market development, scientific affairs, medical science liaison, marketing and sales to the company. Before joining Proteomedix, Ballerini held various medical, commercial and country management positions with MDxHealth, GenProbe, Stryker, Randox Laboratories and Abbott. He received his MD in medicine and surgery from the Sapienza University of Rome, Italy.

The second new hire is Helene Peyro Saint-Paul who will take over as a Medical Advisor. Helene obtained her MD specialised in Neurology from the Toulouse Medical School in France and holds an Executive MBA (ESSEC, France). Over the last 25 years, she has a track record in international development, regulatory affairs, market access and launch of innovative drugs and in vitro diagnostics. Throughout her corporate leadership positions at Serono, Actelion, Ipsogen and QIAGEN, and as a startup founder, she has also developed substantial expertise in corporate growth and strategic marketing.

Elena Bazai has taken over the newly created role of Head of Growth at CodeCheck, Europe's largest app for sustainable and healthy purchasing. Previously Elena Bazai was responsible for Made For_ (now hundred) and HelloFresh mainly for growth marketing. In her new role, she is primarily responsible for the interaction between product and marketing, thus increasing the visibility and traction of the app.

Founded by Oliver Steeg and Ivan Sosio, the Zurich based Sparbatze is developing a digital pension platform that will be launched in July 2020. The startup has welcomed Peter Schnellmann, an experienced banker and sales expert to develop the distribution and partner business of Sparbatze.

Schnellmann was a member of the Executive Board of Bank Cler and the Group Executive Board of Basler Kantonalbank until 2019. Following positions at UBS and Holcim, he headed various departments at Cembra Money Bank (formerly GE Money Bank) from 2005. At the same time, he was a member of the Board of Trustees and Head of the Investment Commission of the GE Switzerland/Cembra pension fund. For several years, he also chaired the Swiss Association of Consumer Financing (formerly Schweizer Kreditbankenverband, VSKF) and sat on the Steering Committee Retail Banking of the Swiss Bankers Association. Today Peter Schnellmann is an entrepreneur, board member and active investor in various start-ups.

(Press release/RAN)
Photo L-R: Kurt Kessler, Maurizio Ballerin, Helene Peyro Saint-Pau, Elena Bazaiand Peter Schnellmann