Board of Directors

Gerd Zettlmeissl, Chairman

Gerd has more than 30 years of R&D and General Management leadership experience in the biopharmaceutical industry. Since 2012 he served on the Board of Directors of several non-profit organizations and biotech companies.
 Until 2015 he was chairman of GlycoVaxyn (Switzerland) sold to GSK, and until 2020 chairman of Themis (Austria) sold to MSD. He is the former CEO of the Austria-based Intercell (now Valneva). Prior to that, he was Managing Director of Chiron-Behring (Germany) and held senior management roles in biopharmaceutical R&D and Technical Operations at Chiron (USA) and Behringwerke (Germany). In 2010, he was named Vaccine Biotech CEO of the Year at the World Vaccine Congress. Gerd Zettlmeissl holds a doctoral degree in biochemistry of the University of Regensburg and did a post-doctoral fellowship at the Institut Pasteur Paris in virology. Current key positions:
 Chairman of the Supervisory Board for Medigene (Germany) & Hilleman Laboratories (Singapore) and Member of the Strategic and Scientific Advisory Board for Biological E (India).

Emmanuelle Coutanceau

Emmanuelle is Investment Director of Novo Seeds, the early stage investment arm of Novo Holdings A/S. Prior joining Novo Seeds, Emmanuelle was Investment Director at Auriga Partners, where she was in charge of seed stage investments for Auriga IV Bioseeds, a seed fund dedicated to projects related to infectiology and microbiology. Emmanuelle has more than 8 years of experience in venture capital investment and was part of Omnes capital (formerly Crédit Agricole Private Equity) from 2007 until 2014. She was in charge of the Seed Stage Investment Program and actively invested in Belgium and The Netherlands. Emmanuelle also serves on the Board of Directors of Draupnir, IO Biotech and Corwave.

Sten Verland

Sten is founding partner at Sunstone Capital A/S. He has more than 20 years experience as an international executive, entrepreneur and venture investor in biotech companies as well as pre-clinical and clinical CROs. Dr. Verland holds a M.Sc. in Biology and a Ph.D. in Immunology from the University of Copenhagen. After completing his doctorate, he held a number of academic positions in the field of biomedical research including the position of Assistant Professor in Immunology at the University of Copenhagen. In 1994, Dr. Verland headed a Management Buy-Out of a contract research organization (CRO) specializing in laboratory animal science and non-clinical development. After 4 years as a major shareholder, Dr. Verland merged the company with another CRO thus forming M&B A/S, which was subsequently acquired by Taconic, Inc., New York, in 2000. In 1998, Dr. Verland participated in the foundation of Synarc, Inc., San Francisco, and served for 4½ years as VP, General Manager Europe. During his tenure, Synarc developed from a small start-up clinical service provider into the world’s largest central radiology service company dedicated exclusively to global clinical trials. From 2003 to 2007, Dr. Verland operated his own investment company where he co-founded or invested in 7 life science companies and served as non-executive director on 16 Boards.

Bita Sehat

Bita is an investment manager at Industrifonden and plays a key role in the life science investment team for evaluation and structuring of new investment opportunities with a special interest in therapeutics. Prior to joining Industrifonden, Bita Sehat held the position of Head of Business Development and Strategic Partnerships for Battat Inc., a consumer goods company. Her previous experience also includes positions in the health care team at Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, the Canadian investment fund, and Foster Rosenblatt Consulting, a forecasting and valuation firm in the pharmaceutical area. Bita Sehat holds a Master of Science in Biomedicine and a Ph.D. in molecular oncology, both from Karolinska Institute. Her scientific experience also includes two post-doctoral fellowships at Karolinska Institute and McGill University. Bita also holds an MBA degree in Strategy and Business Valuation from Concordia University John Molson School of Business. Currently, Bita serves on the Board of Directors of Gesynta and MinervaX.

Karl Nägler

Karl joined Wellington Partners in January 2020 as Managing Partner. He has a strong track record of investments in early and later stage life science companies as well as deep sector knowledge and an extensive global network from 20 years of industry experience. Previously, he was a Partner at Gimv, a publicly listed private equity and venture capital investment firm, where he had been responsible for life science investments within Gimv’s Health & Care team, since 2011. He began his professional career in 2002 at Atlas Venture in London and Munich, and later joined Ventech, a Paris-based venture capital firm focused on Europe and China. Karl earned his Ph.D. in Molecular Neurobiology from Max-Delbrück-Center for Molecular Medicine, Berlin.

Kabeer Aziz

Kabeer co-founded Adjuvant Capital in 2018 to build an investment fund designed to accelerate the development of new technologies for the world’s most pressing public health challenges. Prior to Adjuvant, Kabeer was with the Global Health Investment Fund (GHIF), where he co-led the fund’s investments in Themis (acquired by Merck), Univercells, Atomo Diagnostics (ASX: AT1), and Access Bio (KOSDAQ: 950130), among others. Prior to GHIF, Kabeer spent time at Metalmark Capital investing across the healthcare sector, as well as Greenhill & Co., where he advised on biopharmaceutical M&A transactions. Kabeer serves on the Board of Directors of MinervaX, AN2 Therapeutics, and Univercells Vaccines, while also supporting Adjuvant’s engagement on the Boards of Yisheng Biopharma and previously, Themis. He graduated with honors from the Stern School of Business at New York University.

Christopher Gagliardi

Dr. Christopher Gagliardi is a Director of Investments at Sanofi Ventures. Prior to joining Sanofi Ventures, Dr. Gagliardi was a management consultant at L.E.K. Consulting where his work focused on corporate strategy, due diligence, commercial launch planning and asset valuation across the pharmaceutical, biotech, R&D and API manufacturing sectors. Prior to a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University, Chris earned a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as well as graduated with honors from Roger Williams University.