OMEICOS Therapeutics GmbH - Board


Bernhard Kirschbaum, PhD, Chairman

Bernhard Kirschbaum, PhD studied and researched in biochemistry and physiological chemistry at the University of Konstanz (Germany), receiving his PhD in 1989. He moved on to work at the Rockefeller University (New Yortk) and the Pasteur Institute (Paris).  Subsequently, he joined the pharmaceutical industry where he covered a broad range of technological and disease areas. Before his retirement as executive Bernhard Kirschbaum was head of Global Research and Early Development at Merck Serono.  In this role he was a member of the Pharmaceutical Executive Committee. Prior to joining Merck KGaA in 2005 he was Vice President Discovery Research, Global Head of Therapeutic Domains “Thrombosis & Angiogenesis” for Sanofi-Aventis. He also worked for Aventis, Hoechst Marion Roussel in various senior positions and headed the Centre of Applied Genomics in Martinsried. Bernhard Kirschbaum is currently member of several biotech company boards.

Christian Schetter, PhD 

Christian has over 20 years' industry experience across the life sciences sector, and most recently joined venture capital firm Arix Bioscience plc as an Entrepreneur in Residence. He was instrumental in building German immuno-oncology company Rigontec GmbH as their CEO and managed the integration process after Rigontec was acquired by MSD in 2017. He was President and CEO of Neovii Biotech (previously Fresenius Biotech). During his tenure, one antibody product was brought to market and the indication for another product expanded. Christian was also instrumental in selling Fresenius Biotech to the Neopharm Group, Israel, to form Neovii Biotech and positioning it as a successful standalone business. He was SVP of European Operations at Coley Pharmaceutical Group and Managing Director of Coley GmbH. Christian was part of the leadership team which built Coley Pharmaceuticals from inception through multiple financing rounds, a NASDAQ IPO and, following several significant pharma deals, to a trade sale to Pfizer in 2007. Before entering the life science industry, Christian was successfully performing academic research at the Max Planck Institute in Martinsried, Germany. He received his undergraduate degree and PhD from the University of Cologne and did postdoctoral research in oncology and virology at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California.


Holger Reithinger, PhD 

Holger is General Partner and heads the Munich Office of Forbion and holds currently board seats at Allecra and catalYm. He is also member of the investment committee of the Hightech-Gründer Fonds, Germany’s biggest early-stage and seed investor. Holger has served on the Boards of numerous life sciences companies including Epigenomics* (IPO 2004), MBT* (assets sold to Medigene), 4SC* (IPO 2005), NeurogesX* (IPO 2007), Cellnovo (IPO 2015), Curetis (IPO 2015), Fibrex Medical* (assets licensed to Ikaria), Agendia*, Santaris* (sold to Roche) and Rigontec (sold to MSD). Holger joined Forbion in 2010, setting up its Munich office. Prior to joining Forbion, Holger was Partner at Global Life Science Ventures (a life sciences-focused partnership with offices in Switzerland and Germany) and Director at Germany's healthcare practice of 3i and Investment Manager at Technologieholding VC, at the time one of the leading German Venture Capital firms, respectively. Prior to his VC activities, Holger gained operational experience as a product development manager at Biometra/Whatman Plc, now part of GE Healthcare. Holger studied Molecular Biology/Microbial Biology and Biochemistry at the Universities of Heidelberg and Munich. He holds a PhD in Biochemistry from the Max-Planck-Institute of Biophysics, which he obtained under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Arne Skerra in the department of Prof. Dr. Hartmut Michel (Nobel Laureate 1988) *) prior to joining Forbion

Christian Schneider, PhD 

Dr. Christian Schneider is a managing Partner of Vesalius Biocapital and has been a venture capital executive for more than 15 years. He gained extensive work and investment experience in the areas of diagnostics, medtech, and therapeutics in positions of increasing responsibility in the life science and venture capital industry.

At Boehringer Mannheim/Roche (Germany, 1992-1995), he developed the first fully automated test for a new prostate cancer marker, free PSA, which is marketed by Roche worldwide. Subsequently, at Centocor (Pennsylvania, USA, 1995-2000, sold to Johnson&Johnson for USD 5B in 1999), he led the development of a panel of tumor markers in a transatlantic collaboration between Centocor and Boehringer Mannheim/Roche. Later, as a business developer and external research manager in Centocor’s / Johnson&Johnson’s biological therapeutics business, he negotiated licenses and development agreements, and managed international early-stage product development projects.

As a managing partner of venture capital firm PolyTechnos (Germany 2001-2008), he was directly responsible for the investments in and IPOs of OncoMethylome Sciences (Euronext, 2006), Devgen (Euronext, 2005) and Jerini (Frankfurt, 2005). As a support partner, he was further responsible for the investments and exits of Addex (SWIX, 2007) and BiPar (USD 500 m trade-sale to Sanofi-Aventis, 2009). He served as an independent director on the boards of Hepa Wash and MagnaMedics. Dr. Schneider joined the pan-European life science venture capital firm Vesalius Biocapital as a Managing Partner in 2008. He was responsible for the investments and exits of Skyline (write-off) and Activaero (EUR 130m trade sale to Vectura, 2014) and currently serves on the boards of portfolio companies Ventaleon, Omeicos, and Humedics.

Dr. Schneider holds a doctorate degree in veterinary medicine (1992) and a PhD in immunology (1995), both from the University of Munich, Germany, and an MBA with focus on healthcare administration from Penn State University, Pennsylvania (1999). 

Ute Mercker

Investment Director / Authorised Officer at IBB
Ute Mercker is Investment Director at the Life Sciences Team of IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft, the regional Venture Capital funds of Berlin.
Since 1997 she had been responsible for IBB´s Biotech and Medtech portfolio and managing investments into companies like Jerini or Scienion. Spin-offs from Universities or research institutions like Humedics, Scopis and EternyGen have always been an important part of her investment activities. Ute enjoys discussing and developing strategic and financial options with the founders / management / Board of their portfolio companies.
Since 2001 Ute Mercker had been serving as Deputy Chairwoman of the Supervisory Board of Scienion AG and she was appointed as member of the Board of Omeicos GmbH in March 2015. Ute represents the funds managed by IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft on the Board of Humedics and caprotec.
She holds an MBA from the Freie Universität Berlin.

Peter Seiler 

Head of Treasury Vice President SMS GmbH

Wolf-Hagen Schunck, PhD

Max-Delbrück-Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC)
Dr. Schunck represents the group of scientific founders in the Board of Directors of OMEICOS. He is a biochemist at the Max Delbrueck Center for Molecular Medicine in Berlin-Buch and has over 30 years of research experience in the field of cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes.

In the late 1990s, Dr. Schunck’s laboratory started to investigate mammalian CYP enzymes involved in the formation of bioactive lipid mediators derived from omega-6 and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). Collaborating with cardiologists and nephrologists, he became interested in the role of CYP-eicosanoids as mediators of intrinsic mechanisms protecting against cardiac and renal injury. Searching for metabolites mediating the cardioprotective effects of omega-3 PUFAs, Dr. Schunck’s laboratory identified 17,18-epoxyeicosatetraenoic acid (17,18-EEQ) as the most promising candidate and developed together with Dr. John R. Falck from the UTSW in Dallas robust synthetic analogues for in vivo administration.

From 2010 to 2013, Dr. Schunck supervised the MDC-granted PreGoBio-project on the development of novel eicosanoid-like antiarrhythmic drugs that provided the scientific basis for the foundation of OMEICOS.
The research of Dr. Schunck yielded 98 publications, the title of which can be retrieved from Pubmed:

The current work of Dr. Schunck is focused on dissecting the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the unique biological properties of 17,18-EEQ and developing new fields of clinical application in collaboration with academic partners and OMEICOS.


Observer to the Board


Martin Pfister, PhD

Senior Investment Manager HighTech Gründerfonds


Martin Pfister studied a combination of Medicine, Pharmacy and Biology in Germany and the US and gained his PhD in Immunology from the University of Leipzig. Since 2000, he held several management positions in Biotech/Dx start-ups and co-founded two companies in Diagnostics (sold)  and health services (shareholder). Before joining the High Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) in Bonn in 2010, he was head of ‘biosaxony’ to foster the Life Sciences/Pharma industry in Saxony.

HTGF, the leading and most active European Seedfonds with about 900 Mio EUR under management and more than 260 active portfolio companies, invests with its third fund in technology-based start-ups with significant growth potential. Martin is in charge of sourcing, negotiation and support of investments in technology enterprises in the sectors of Biotech-, Medtech-, Chemistry and digital health. He managed and completed financings with leading German and international investors and successfully sold two companies. Martin is member of board in three portfolio companies.


Gaston Matthyssens, PhD

Dr. Gaston Matthyssens has a Ph.D. and M.Sc. from the Free University of Brussels. He received training in the laboratories of three Nobel Prize winners, Dr. Susumu Tonegawa at the Basel Institute of Immunology and Dr. Cesar Milstein and Fred Sanger at the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England.
Following an academic career as Professor at the Free University of Brussels, Gaston joined the biotech company Plant Genetic Systems NV in 1986 as a member of the management team and laboratory director. Plant Genetics Systems was acquired by Hoechst Agrevo for USD 750m.
When his protein-engineering group was acquired in 1991 by Corvas International, San Diego, he became its European Vice President responsible for drug discovery and international operations.
In 1997 Gaston became VP Business Development for the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology (VIB), Gent, Belgium, where he identified mature intellectual property and conceptualized new businesses around it. He was responsible for setting up the businesses, recruiting management and forming venture capital syndicates for VIB's first three spin-offs: deVGen (successfully floated on Euronext in 2005), CropDesign (sold to BASF) and Ablynx (successfully floated on Euronext in 2007). In total Gaston was responsible for raising EUR 18m in seed money for these companies.
Before joining Vesalius Biocapital, he was a partner at Value4Growth, a consulting firm specializing in start-up companies, and worked with Mr Verdood and Mr Geldhof since 2001.

Taro Inaba

Taro Inaba is Founder and Managing Partner at Remiges Ventures. He has over 25 years of business development and venture investment experience. Prior to establish Remiges Ventures, he spent 13 years in the venture investment field at Mitsui & Co. While at Mitsui & Co. he built and managed the biopharma investment team and investment portfolio. He served as President & CEO of Mitsui Ventures in Menlo Park, California from 2008 to 2009. Prior to Mitsui Ventures Taro spent 10 years in various capacities at Mitsui & Co., including extensive experience in business development roles. Taro holds a B.E. in Polymer Chemistry, Kyoto University and MBA from European University. Taro is a CFA charter holder.