New management at life sciences start-ups

Three executives have joined the management board of Aktiia, Cutiss and Polyneuron, bringing a range of expertise to support the start-ups in reaching their goals. Three years following its exit, Selexis is parting ways with its long-standing CEO Igor Fisch. And on the side of the investors, Edouard Treccani has joined Wingman Ventures as a Venture Partner. 

Aktiia SA is a Swiss-US start-up developing an accurate, wrist-worn optical blood pressure monitor that can automatically take measurements 24/7. As the company rapidly approaches the commercial launch of its product, Aktiia welcomed Michael Kisch to the team as CEO. Michael is a digital health veteran who previously led two successful and award-winning digital health start-ups as CEO. Most recently, Michael was the Co-Founder and CEO of Beddr, a sleep health-technology company that has developed the first integrated, digital approach to understanding and improving sleep. He has raised over $50M of private capital from leading Silicon Valley venture firms and strategic partners. Earlier in his career, Mike was part of the Emerging Technologies team at Cisco Systems.

CUTISS welcomes new Chief Financial Officer
The Swiss life sciences Company aims to provide patients that suffer from large and deep skin defects with an automatically produced, personalized skin tissue therapy, denovoSkin. The start-up has enhanced its Management Team by appointing Peter Harboe-Schmidt as Chief Financial Officer (CFO).  Peter brings a broad industry, finance, corporate development and Start-Up experience to CUTISS. He was, among others, Co-Founder and CEO of Xigen Pharma (Ecublens/Lausanne) and Co-Founder of SpiroChem (Basel). In addition, at Innosuisse, he was a Head Coach and regularly coached founders and CEOs of young Swiss-based Life Science companies. Peter started his professional career in various positions at Amgen Europe and DuPont de Nemours. Besides his new professional challenge at CUTISS, he continues to serve as executive Chairman of SpiroChem.

Polyneuron Pharmaceuticals appoints new Chief Business Officer
The Basel based clinical-stage company developed a new class of antigen-specific polymers for the treatment of patients with serious autoimmune diseases. Polyneuron has appointed Aled Williams to the position of Chief Business Officer. Williams joins Polyneuron with more than 25 years’ of leadership experience in the pharmaceutical industry, with a recent focus on developing and commercialising rare disease therapeutics. He most recently held chief commercial officer positions at VectivBio and Therachon. As a member of the Executive team at Therachon, he played a key role in the acquisition of GLyPharma Therapeutic, which expanded Therachon’s rare disease portfolio, and the subsequent acquisition of Therachon by Pfizer in July 2019 for a total deal value of $810M. Prior to these roles, he was at Shire Pharmaceuticals and worked in global leadership roles at Bristol-Myers Squibb, Novartis and Roche. In his new role, he will support the company in developing a business strategy that will help to maximise the potential of Polyneuron’s platform.

Selexis Igor Fisch steps down
Igor Fisch led Selexis since he co-founded it in 2001. Three years following the acquisition of Selexis by JSR Lifesciences, Igor is departing to pursue other opportunities. Igor Fisch has been active in the Swiss start-up ecosystem for years. He is currently member of the Venture Kick strategy board. His successor Dirk Lange will help advance the continued market adoption of Selexis’ cell-line development technologies and oversee the company’s operational and corporate strategy.

Wingman Ventures with a Swiss Romandie partner 
The Swiss venture capital firm Wingman Ventures has also expanded its team with the addition of Edouard Treccani as a Venture Partner for the Suisse-Romande. This announcement comes after the firm announced the closing of its CHF 76m fund. Edouard will support the firm in strengthening its presence in the French region.

Photo L-R: Michael Kisch, Peter Harboe-Schmidt, Aled Williams, Igor Fisch, Edouard Treccani