Board of Directors

Dr. Manus Rogan

Dr. Manus Rogan is a Managing Partner and co-founder of Fountain Healthcare Partners. He has over 27 years of investment and operating experience in the life science sector in both the US and Europe. Manus earned a PhD in chemistry from the University of York (sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline) and an MBA from Trinity College Dublin.

Manus began his career in product development at GlaxoSmithkline in the UK and in 1996 joined Elan Corporation's business development group. For four years he was responsible for licensing products and drug delivery technologies in Europe and Japan. In 2001, Manus joined Elan's Corporate Venture Capital group in New York where he invested in private and public biotechnology companies. Investments included Sirna (acquired by Merck, 2006) and Beyond Genomics (IPO, 2011). In his 7 years at Elan, Manus concluded over twenty five investment and technology licensing transactions involving companies in the US, Europe and Japan.

Manus led Fountain's investment in Innocoll Inc. and currently serves on the board of Opsona Therapeutics, Mainstay Medical (IPO, 2014), Neuromod Devices and Inflazome Ltd. He was formerly Chairman of the Irish Venture Capital Association ('IVCA') and previously represented Fountain on the board of Amarin Corporation.

Managing Partner, Fountain Healthcare Partners

Dr. Marco Boorsma

Dr. Marco Boorsma is General Partner at Forbion having joined the firm in 2007. Marco completed his Masters in Molecular Biology at the University of Groningen (the Netherlands) and received his PhD in Biotechnology from the ETH Institute for Technology in Zürich (Switzerland).

Marco brings over 20 years of investment, operational, and business development experience in the Life Sciences sector. Prior to joining Forbion he held Business Development and Operational roles at DSM Pharmaceutical Products and Cytos Biotechnology.

During his time at Forbion he was involved in the start-up of NorthSea Therapeutics and currently serves on their Board. He also serves on the Boards of Escalier Biosciences, RSPR Pharma, Milestone Pharmaceuticals, and EnGene, and is an observer on the Board of Oxyrane.

Previously, Marco was instrumental in the start-up and served on the board of Dezima Pharma (acquired by Amgen), and was on the Board of Akarna Therapeutics (acquired by Allergan), Prexton Therapeutics (acquired by Lundbeck), as well as being observer to the board of Exosome Diagnostics (acquired by Bio-Techne).

Marco joined Inflazome's Board in 2018 following the Series B investment.

General Partner, Forbion

Dr. Matthew Cooper

Dr. Matt Cooper completed a PhD in Chemistry in 1995 then spent 13 years in the UK, first at the University of Cambridge, then 9 years in start-ups and biotechnology companies. He returned to academia in 2009 to work on therapies that block inflammation via modulation of the innate immune system, novel antimicrobials, rapid diagnostics and modulators of the human microbiome.

He has advised and worked with venture capital, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies worldwide, was a co-founder, CSO and Director of Akubio, and the Founder and Managing Director of Cambridge Medical Innovations (acquired by Alere). He is currently a co-founder and Director of Defensin Therapeutics, Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of Adenium Biotechnology, and co-founder and Executive Director of Inflazome. He has more than 20 patents and 200 scientific papers.

Co-founder & Chief Executive Officer

Bart Dzikowski

Bart Dzikowski is the Head of Transactions and Legal for the Novartis Venture Fund based in Basel, Switzerland. In this capacity, he leads the NVF transactional function and advises the NVF team on a broad scope of transactional and shareholder, director and corporate governance matters. During his time at Novartis, Bart has also served as the Head of Corporate Legal M&A (a.i.) and Senior BD&L and M&A Counsel with Novartis International AG and, in this capacity, advised Novartis teams on a variety of strategic corporate and divisional transactions. Before joining Novartis in 2009, Bart was a Vice-President with the Investment Banking Division of Bank of America | Merrill Lynch in New York and, before that, he was an attorney with the Corporate/M&A Group at the law firm of Allen & Overy LLP in New York. Bart holds degrees in common law (LL.B.) and civil law (B.C.L.) from McGill Law School in Canada and is a member of the New York State Bar. 

Head of Transactions & Legal, Novartis Venture Fund

Dr David Hirsch

Dr. Hirsch is a Managing Director and Founder of Longitude Capital. Prior to Longitude Capital, Dr. Hirsch was a Vice President of Pequot Ventures, where he worked in the life sciences practice. Prior to Pequot Ventures, Dr. Hirsch was an Engagement Manager in the pharmaceutical practice of McKinsey & Company. Dr. Hirsch currently serves on the boards of Collegium Pharmaceutical (COLL), Molecular Templates (MTEM), Poseida Therapeutics, Rapid Micro Biosystems, Tricida (TCDA) and Velicept. Previous boards include Civitas Therapeutics (acquired by Acorda), Precision Therapeutics and Zavante Therapeutics (acquired by Nabriva). Dr. Hirsch also led Longitude Capital’s investments in Amarin (AMRN) and Cadence Pharmaceuticals (CADX). Dr. Hirsch holds a Ph.D. in Biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an M.D. from Harvard Medical School and a B.A. in Biology from The Johns Hopkins University.

Managing Director, Longitude Capital

Prof. Luke O'Neill

Luke O’Neill is Inflazome’s Chief Scientific Officer as well as Professor of Biochemistry, Trinity College Dublin. His 18-person research lab focuses on the molecular basis to inflammation.  He is a world authority on innate immunity, which lies at the heart of inflammation, with a particular interest in Toll-like receptors, inflammasomes and metabolic reprogramming.

He was awarded the Royal Dublin Society / Irish Times Boyle Medal for scientific excellence in 2009, the Royal Irish Academy Gold Medal for Life Sciences in 2012  and the European Federation of Immunology Societies Medal in 2014.  He was elected a member of EMBO (European Molecular Biology Organisation) in 2005 and a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2016.

In 2014 Thomson Reuters named him as being in the top 1% in the world working in the areas of Immunology and Pharmacology.  

Co-founder & Chief Scientific Officer

Dr. Dhavalkumar Patel

Dhaval is an Independent Director of Inflazome, based in Brussels, Belgium. He received an MD and PhD (Microbiology and Immunology) from and further clinical training in Internal Medicine, Rheumatology, and Allergy and Clinical Immunology at Duke University. He was an Eminent Professor of Medicine, Chief of Rheumatology, Allergy and Clinical Immunology, and Director of the Thurston Arthritis Research Center at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill prior to joining industry in 2006. During a 10 year career at Novartis, he led Research in Europe and the Autoimmunity, Transplantation and Inflammation Disease Area which contributed to the registration of secukinumab (Cosentyx), fingolimod (Gilenya), canakinumab (Ilaris) and everolimus (Zortress/Certican, Affinitor) in multiple indications. He was also an Entrepreneur in Residence at the Novartis Venture Fund.

Indepedent Director

Scientific Advisory Board

Trinity College Dublin

Dr. Marco Colonna

Dr. Marco Colonna was born in Parma, Italy, received his medical degree at Parma University and completed his postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School (Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA). He became a scientific member of the Basel Institute for Immunology in Basel, Switzerland. Since 2001 he has been a Professor of Pathology & Immunology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, MO. Dr. Colonna’s research focuses on immunoreceptors. In this field his accomplishments encompass identification and characterization of the Killer cell Ig-like receptors and HLA-C polymorphisms as their inhibitory ligands, as well as the discovery of the LILR and TREM inhibitory and activating receptor families. Through analysis of the cellular distribution of these receptors, he identified plasmacytoid dendritic cells as source of IFN-/ in anti-viral responses and innate lymphoid cells that produce IL-22 in mucosae. His current areas of research include: 1) Innate lymphoid cells in mucosal immunity. 2) Plasmacytoid dendritic cells in host defense and autoimmunity.
3) TREM2 and innate immunoreceptors in Alzheimer's disease.

Washington University School of Medicine

Dr. Veit Hornung

Veit Hornung studied medicine at the University of Munich (Germany) and conducted his postdoctoral training at the University of Munich and the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester (USA). From 2008 to 2015 he was faculty at the University of Bonn (Germany) and in 2015 he was recruited to become the chair of Immunobiochemistry at the Gene Center of the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich. Veit’s research focuses on the mechanisms of non-self recognition by the innate immune system and its functional consequences in microbial infection as well as sterile inflammation. His group was involved in the identification and characterization of several receptor molecules, their ligands, and their downstream signaling cascades. More recently, his group has focused its efforts on the dissection of innate signaling pathways in human immune cells employing genome-engineering technologies.

Since 2014 Veit has been listed as a Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researcher in the field of immunology. In 2015 he was elected to become an EMBO member and in 2016 he was appointed a member of the German Academy of Sciences, Leopoldina. His current research is funded by the European Research Council and the German Research Foundation.

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich

Dr. David Morris

Dave joined Novartis in Basel in 2009 to develop new medicines for patients with serious medical conditions. From 2010-2014, he was the Development Franchise head for Respiratory and Primary Care where he and his team were responsible for the clinical development, regulatory approvals and lifecycle management of multiple Novartis medications including new treatments for serious respiratory diseases (COPD, asthma, pulmonary hypertension), diabetes, and hypertension. In June, 2014, he was appointed the Global Head of Clinical Operations, Analytics and Regions with overall responsibility for global clinical operations, quantitative sciences, digital innovation, development informatics, and global clinical research capabilities development for Novartis Global Drug Development. In September, 2016, he moved over to the Novartis Venture Fund to leverage his basic and clinical scientific background and operational experience to better speed the discovery and development of new medicines by working closely with external entrepreneurs and venture backed start-ups.

Dave received his Bachelor of Sciences with honors in Neurosciences and his MD with honors in research from the University of Rochester in the US. His clinical training in internal medicine was at the Massachusetts General Hospital followed by a fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. He was subsequently a faculty member at UCSF and, thereafter, Yale University where he led the interstitial lung disease clinical and research units. His research work in respiratory cell and molecular biology, immunology and translational sciences was at the National Institutes of Health, the UCSF Cardiovascular Research Institute, the Lung Biology Center and Yale University School of Medicine. Prior to joining Novartis, Dave led the respiratory research and then translational medicine groups at Roche in Palo Alto, California. His basic and clinical research work has been published in Nature, PNAS, Journal of Immunology, and AJRCCM among others. He has contributed to several major textbooks of respiratory medicine in the areas of interstitial lung diseases and the genetics of lung diseases.

Novartis Venture Fund

Prof. Mihai G. Netea

Mihai Netea completed his PhD at the Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands, on studies investigating the cytokine network in sepsis. After working as a post-doc at the University of Colorado, he returned to Nijmegen where he finished his clinical training as an infectious diseases specialist, and where he currently heads the division of Experimental Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Nijmegen University Nijmegen Medical Center. He is a leading authority on infectious diseases, sepsis, primary immunodeficiencies in innate immunity and has pioneered work on the study of the memory traits of innate immunity. He has won numerous awards for his research including most recently the European Society for Clinical Investigation Award for Translational Research. He has published extensively on his research in journals of the highest rank, including Science and the New England Journal of Medicine.

Nijmegen University

Prof. Paul M. Ridker MD, MPH, FACC

Prof. Paul M. Ridker MD, MPH, FACC is a Eugene Braunwald Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and serves as a Director of the Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention at Brigham and Women's Hospital. Prof. Ridker specialized in therosclerosis and cardiovascular disease including the role of inflammation in the disease process and the role of CRP.

Prof. Ridker’s particular areas of interest involve molecular and genetic determinants of hemostasis, thrombosis, and inflammation with a focus on "predictive medicine", early disease diagnosis, and the underlying causes and prevention of acute coronary syndromes. His research efforts are primarily supported by RO1 research grants from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), a Distinguished Clinical Scientist Award from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and through philanthropic research grants from the Leducq Foundation and the Donald W Reynolds Foundation.

Dr. Ridker has been the recipient of a Clinician Scientist Award (1992-1997), an Established Investigator Award (1997-2002), and a Distinguished Scientist Award (2013) from the American Heart Association. His pioneering work on inflammation, CRP, and atherothrombosis, was also recognized by Time Magazine who named him among America's Ten Best Researchers in Science and Medicine in 2001 and as one of the "Time 100" in 2004.

In addition to his work in cardiovascular epidemiology, Dr Ridker has been the Principal Investigator or Study Chairman of several multinational clinical trials including PREVENT, PRINCE, Val-MARC, LANCET, JUPITER, SPIRE-1, SPIRE-2, as well as the ongoing Canakinumab Anti-Inflammatory Thrombosis Outcomes Study (CANTOS) and the NHLBI-funded Cardiovascular Inflammation Reduction Trial (CIRT), both designed to directly test the inflammatory hypothesis of atherothrombosis. Dr. Ridker is also Trial Chairman of PROMINENT, an ongoing study of triglyceride reduction among patients with diabetes.

Dr. Ridker is the author of over 800 original articles and 5 textbooks related to cardiovascular medicine. A frequent invited lecturer at national and international conferences, he is also a member of multiple editorial boards and co-inventor on patents filed by the Brigham and Women's Hospital that relate to the use of inflammatory biomarkers in cardiovascular disease.

Harvard Medical School


Senior Advisors

Dr. Philip Bentley

Philip Bentley is currently Principal Consultant at Toxicodynamix International LLC. He spent 35 years working for Ciba-Geigy, later Novartis Pharmaceuticals where he held various management positions with responsibility for Investigative Toxicology; Drug Metabolism; Drug Metabolism and Toxicology; Preclinical Safety Europe; Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics; Toxicology/Pathology USA; Preclinical Safety USA and Global Preclinical Safety. In these positions he had responsibility for various preclincal aspects of drug discovery and development projects and contributed to the registration of more than 45 marketed drug products and the preparation of several hundred IND’s.

He has vast experience in the areas of drug metabolism and disposition, toxicology/pathology, genetic toxicology, pharmacokinetics/toxicokinetics and all aspects of investigative toxicology. He is well grounded in biochemistry, cell biology, molecular biology and pharmacology with the ability to integrate data from the different preclinical disciplines to enable translation to determine the clinical relevance of the findings. He is very familiar with global drug registration requirements and working on global projects.

He has authored more than 80 scientific publications, has lectured in toxicology at the University of Basel for more than 30 years, and is a past President of the European Society of Biochemical Pharmacology and the Swiss Society of Toxicology. He was a member of the PhRMA/IQ Preclinical Leadership (DruSafe) Committee for 16 years, a member of the advisory board of the PSTC Biomarker consortium and a member of the expert working group for revision of the ICH S2 guidance on genotoxicity testing and the PhRMA expert group on genotoxic impurities.

He has a BSc and PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Hull, UK and held Post-Doctoral Fellowships at the University of Basel, Switzerland and Mainz, Germany.

Pharmaceutical Development

Dr. Paul Leeson

Paul Leeson is a medicinal chemistry consultant with >35 years’ experience in major pharmaceutical companies: Smith Kline and French, Merck Sharp and Dohme, Wyeth (USA), AstraZeneca, and GlaxoSmithKline. Since 2014 he has advised large and small pharmaceutical companies, start-ups, and academia. At AstraZeneca (1997-2011), Paul was head of medicinal chemistry at the Charnwood site, where his Department invented >40 candidate drugs, with one marketed. He led AstraZeneca’s Global Chemistry Forum, which managed global activities and implemented improved practices in hit-to-lead, lead optimisation, prediction, synthesis and outsourced chemistry. Paul’s drug discovery contributions have been in the cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory and inflammation therapy areas. He has a special interest in compound quality, recognised in 2014 by the receipt of the Nauta Award from the European Federation of Medicinal Chemistry. Paul has a PhD from the University of Cambridge and holds an honorary professorship at the University of Nottingham.

Medicinal Chemistry

Dr. Peter Nussbaumer

Peter has more than 30 years of industry experience in drug discovery and early drug development. Currently, he is Managing Director and Head of Medicinal Chemistry at the Lead Discovery Center GmbH (LDC) in Dortmund, Germany. In this function Peter has been co-responsible for building-up and running this unique translational drug discovery organisation founded by the Max Planck Society, working at the interface of academia and industry. He is member of the PreSeed and Seedfinancing board of the austria wirtschaftsservice and of several international scientific advisory boards and serves as advisor to venture funds and public European funding bodies.

Before joining LDC, Peter was Executive Director at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research in Vienna, Austria, heading the Chemistry Department. During his time at Sandoz/Novartis, he held various positions in the area of medicinal chemistry and interdisciplinary project management. Peter has a Dr. degree from the Vienna University of Technology, Austria.

Drug Discovery