Board of Directors

Citryll has gathered some of the best senior people in the industry to join the Board. Their expertise is of significant value to Citryll from drug discovery, to clinical development to in academia, pharma, to biotech. Our investors are renowned nationally and internationally and their investments as well as their experience and networks provide significant value to the company.

Helmuth van Es, Ph.D.

CEO, Executive Director

Helmuth van Es has more than 30 years of experience in the health and life sciences as a scientist and entrepreneur. He has an MSc in Biology/Chemistry and a Ph.D. in Medicine from the University of Amsterdam; his Ph.D. work was on genetic disorders in bilirubin and drug metabolism. Subsequently he was a postdoctoral researcher at Einstein College in New York, and later at McGill University in Montreal, Canada where he worked on drug resistance in malaria. He started his biotech career as a senior scientist at IntroGene, Crucell (now part of J&J). At IntroGene he was responsible for stem cell-based gene therapies for Gaucher disease in partnership with Genzyme. He then co-authored the business plan for Galapagos with former Crucell CEO Ronald Brus to co-found Galapagos. At Galapagos he was Head of Science of the Leiden site under the leadership of CEO Onno van de Stolpe until 2006. He co-developed the strategy of the company that then moved from an adenoviral RNAi technology platform company to a biology driven, drug discovery, development and commercial company. His therapeutic area expertise includes osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, hearing loss, SLE, Dengue, bacterial infections and cystic fibrosis. As part of the Galapagos team he was responsible for setting up alliances with companies like GSK, Bayer, Incyte and Celgene and the CF foundation. Helmuth is co-inventor of the Galapagos discovery including the groundbreaking industrial application of RNAi.

In 2006 he co-founded a number of companies. Audion Therapeutics BV, is now a pioneering clinical stage, regenerative medicine, small molecule based company focusing on treating acquired hearing loss originally built on intellectual property from Professor Albert Edge (co-founder) at Harvard in Boston. He is co-inventor of LY3056480 a small molecule Notch inhibitor currently in the final stages of phase 2.. He co-founded Effecta Pharma Ltd, discovering antivirals for Dengue and related viruses. He is co-founder and board member of Antabio in France, UK, USA, a company focusing on a new generation of anti-bacterials combatting antibiotic drug resistance. He has advised number of companies including the France, USA, and China based antibody discovery and development company Hifibio. He is co-founder of Citryll, a development stage therapeutic antibody company.

Eric Meldrum, Ph.D.

Chairman of the Board, Non-executive Director

Eric Meldrum has 12 years of drug discovery experience at GSK in Switzerland and the UK. Until 2005 he was head of the Asthma and Rhinitis Disease Biology Department responsible for drug development from early optimization to Phase 2 proof of concept. Since then, Eric has gained 10 years of experience as CSO in several biotech companies and brings Citryll a depth of experience in translational approaches to prioritise therapeutic opportunities and the strategic considerations behind successfully enhancing asset value. He is currently CSO at ENYO Pharma, a French biotech currently in Phase 2 in Chronic Hepatitis B and NASH. 

Paul Peter Tak, M.D. Ph.D. FMedSci.

Non-executive Director

Paul Peter Tak received his medical degree cum laude from the Free University in Amsterdam and was trained as an internist, rheumatologist and immunologist at Leiden University Medical Center, where he also received his PhD. He has worked as a scientist at the University of California San Diego. Next, he served as Professor of Medicine and founding Chair of the Department of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology at the Academic Medical Centre/University of Amsterdam (AMC). His scientific work includes pioneering work on the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway (inflammatory reflex) in models of chronic inflammation and he led the first clinical trial in this field.

He has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals (570 publications, H-index 127, >70,000 citations), and served on numerous editorial boards, including as Co-Editor of Arthritis & Rheumatism. He received the Medal of Honour from the Netherlands Society for Rheumatology, was elected ‘Toparts Reumatologie’ (Elected by peers as ‘Best Rheumatologist’ in the Netherlands based on his clinical work making innovative therapies accessible to patients), was awarded Honorary Membership by EULAR and has been elected Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in the U.K.

At GlaxoSmithKline he served as Senior Vice President, Chief Immunology Officer, and Global Development Leader. He oversaw the creation of a portfolio of potential medicines for immune-mediated inflammatory diseases, cancer, infectious disease and pain, including anti-OSM antibody, anti-LAG3 antibody, ESM-BET inhibitor, RIP1 kinase inhibitor, anti-GM-CSF antibody, anti-CCL17 antibody, molibresib, belantamab, and Benlysta sc. He was the Chair of the Scientific Review Board, the governing body accountable for the scientific assessment of GSK’s R&D portfolio.

He has served as President and CEO of Tempero Pharmaceuticals, President and CEO of Kintai Therapeutics, Board Member of Galvani Bioelectronics, ViiV Healthcare, Sitryx Therapeutics, Kintai Therapeutics, Omega Therapeutics, and Levicept.


Nora Frey, Ph.D.

Non-executive Director​

Nora brings more than 23 years of professional experience in healthcare research, investment, management and business development. She co-founded several companies and has assumed board- and chairman-ship roles over the years of companies in different sectors including biotech, nutrition and financial/investment.

She studied modern biology and economics in Basel and holds a masters degree in Microbiology and a PhD in Biochemistry in the field of Immunology from the University of Basel.

Nora was part of the BB Biotech management team (Bellevue Group, Switzerland) managing USD 4 bn in public and private biotech investments. Nora then founded Adamant Biomedical Investments AG in Basel, Switzerland, a successful healthcare asset management boutique, managing different healthcare funds. As CIO, she headed research and portfolio management. Among several other awards, Nora was voted finalist in the Ernst&Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in Switzerland. 

After selling the company to Zürich Cantonal Bank, Nora co-founded Cederberg GmbH, a Swissmedic-registered and regulated company licensing and distributing prescription pharmaceuticals and medical devices.

Nora also has been involved in the project management of several pre-clinical stage molecules. 

In 2019, Nora joined Seventure Partners as venture partner based in Basel.

Jos Raats, Ph.D.

Non-executive Director

Dr. Jos Raats has vast experience in the discovery and development of antibodies as specific molecular binders for diagnostic and therapeutic applications.

He performed scientific research and technology development for more than 30 years. He obtained a Fellowship award from the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1998, after which he continued in the commercial sphere by obtaining a Biopartner First Stage Grant in 2002. This resulted in the start of ModiQuest BV in 2004. In 2011 ModiQuest obtained the Mercator Award for best performing spin-off from the Radboud University, UMC, and the HAN. His scientific output resulted in more than 50 publications from work at the University of Nijmegen, the Wellcome/CRC Institute (Cambridge, UK), the University of Minnesota (Minneapolis, USA), ModiQuest Research BV, ModiQuest BV and its spin-offs, AbSano BV, Citryll BV, and TACPA BV. 

 

Dr. Raats is expert in the development of recombinant phage-display antibodies for a wide range of applications. For example, in the area of rheumatoid arthritis, he co-invented antibodies for a gold-standard diagnostic test and he was co-inventor of the anti-citrullin antibodies for anti-rheumatic treatment.

Dr. Raats has been CEO of the ModiQuest group since 2004, where he managed numerous antibody generation programs for large and small companies. In 2018 the service branch ModiQuest Research BV was sold to the Canadian CRO Immunoprecise.

AbSano BV was founded by Dr. Raats in 2018. AbSano develops antibodies for new applications and business areas. This includes the development of antibodies for food testing, diagnostic applications, and therapeutics.

Daniela Couto, Ph.D.

Non-executive Director

Daniela Couto is a Partner with BGV (BioGeneration Ventures). She joined BGV in 2015 and serves on the board of Catalym, an antibody oncology company.

Daniela served as Managing Director of cardiovascular-focused Staten Biotech, an antibody company that is now collaborating with Novo Nordisk (€ 430 million potential deal). Previously, she was co-founder and CEO at Cell2B, a life sciences company dedicated to treating immune and inflammatory diseases.

Daniela holds a M.Sc. degree with honors in Biomedical Engineering from Universidade do Minho and a PhD degree with the highest honors in Bioengineering from Instituto Superior Técnico (IST) – Technical University of Lisbon and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT-Portugal Program).

Mariette van der Velden-Roesink

Observer

In her first job, Mariëtte van der Velden was responsible for the European product launch and marketing of Cerezyme, one of the first biological orphan drugs. She was inspired by the patient-focus and leadership of the international pioneering company, Genzyme, During the years in business development at Uniqure she was active the international field of gene therapy and viral vaccines and GMP manfacturing services. Through her work as Business Developer at the Amsterdam UMC she helped in the start-up phase of many spin-out companies and became Managing Director for one of the companies. Since 2012 Mariette has built her track record in investments in Dutch life sciences companies. For BOM Capital she realised many investments (25 million euro) and managed a portfolio of up to 13 ventures. In 2018 Mariette decided together with business partner Han de Groot to start and manage a new fund, Curie Capital, to enable promising health care companies to bridge the funding gap in their early development phase, and make an significant impact to improve the health and life of patients.