Leadership changes in startups' C-Suites

Engimmune and Insiders have appointed a new Chief Executive Officer to drive the companies through their growth journey. Insurtech startup grape and Biotech startup Cellvie have also welcomed their Chief Operating Officers. The new Chief Scientific officer has also assumed his role at cellvie.

Engimmune Therapeutics AG, a Swiss biotech company developing novel T-cell receptor (TCR)-based therapeutics, has appointed Lars Nieba as Chief Executive Officer. Lars brings more than 25 years of experience in biopharmaceutical leadership in R&D, business and clinical development, venture capital, manufacturing and product strategy and has been CEO and a Scientific Advisor to a number of biotechnology companies. He has held previous positions in big pharma and VC firms including Roche, Bayer and Pureos Bioventures where he touched a wide variety of modalities in drug development, from small molecules to therapeutic proteins, antibodies and gene therapies. Søren Mouritsen, co-founder and previous CEO, steps down in a planned transition.

Insiders welcomed new CEO
Julie Royer Coutts is the new Chief Executive Officer of Insiders, the startup offering an easy to implement data solutions that will drive audience engagement and revenue streams for the entire sports ecosystem: event organisers, right holders, partners, broadcasters, and professional teams. With more than 15 years of experience in the sports industry, Julie brings deep knowledge of endurance sports and will lead Insiders into a new development phase. She will provide solid governance to support the startup’s growth in her new role.

Grape’s new COO is also a member of the board of directors
Alfred Widmer, former Head of Distribution and Member of the Allianz Suisse Executive Board, has joined insurtech startup grape as Chief Distribution Officer and Member of the Executive Board. Alfred brings a wealth of industry experience gained from working in senior positions at some of the world’s biggest insurers, such as Allianz, AXA and Zurich. He will strengthen the existing team, while accelerating the already successful growth path of the grape. The startup offers insurance products with a software-as-a-service solution and healthcare services in the area of personal insurance in the Swiss market. The software platform digitises and automates interactions of insurance relationships between grape, the company, insured employees and distribution partners in order to reduce the administrative burden and facilitate the best health care possible.

Two appointments at Cellvie
Cellvie, the startup specialising in Therapeutic Mitochondria Transplantation currently accelerating the translation of its off-the-shelf mitochondria therapy towards the clinic, has strengthened its leadership team with Stephen Helliwell joining as Chief Scientific Officer and Martijn Brugman as Chief Operations Officer. Stephen has close to 20 years of experience in bringing about medicinal innovations. After his PhD in the Biozentrum, University of Basel, and a Post-Doc at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he joined Novartis in 2005, where he gained deep expertise in mitochondria biology by starting and leading a mitochondrial dysfunction program, amongst other research activities. He then joined Rejuveron Life Sciences AG in 2020, where he helped build a portfolio of companies focusing on multiple hallmarks of ageing. Stephen will guide cellvie’s scientific endeavours, help optimise the product and prepare it for clinical trials.

Martijn joins cellvie after a 20+ year career in gene therapy, in internationally acclaimed academic institutions and for the last seven years in GSK’s Cell and Gene Therapy unit. His experience ranges from small-scale production via cell and molecular biology assay development to the characterisation of cell and gene therapy products. Martijn will lead the evolution of our manufacturing and quality control processes to meet the regulatory requirements, and its off-the-shelf mitochondria may be produced reliably at a large scale.

Photo L-R: Lars Nieba (Engimmune), Julie Royer Coutts (Insiders), Alfred Widmer (grape), Stephen Helliwell and Martijn Brugman (cellvie).