Board of Directors


Chairman, Dr. Peter Hirth, M.Sc., PhD

Dr. Hirth has an exceptional history of value creation in the field of oncology and has led the development of a range of new therapies in the field, co-founding or leading companies such as SUGEN, Plexxikon and Daiichi Sankyo. He serves or has served on the board or advisory board of several companies, including Iconic Therapeutics, SutroVax, Afferent Pharma (acquired by Merck in 2016), Alios BioPharma, Inc. (acquired in 2014) and Trovagene, Inc. Dr. Hirth received his M.Sc. and his Ph.D. degrees in molecular genetics from Heidelberg University, Germany, and completed his post-doctoral work at the University of California, San Diego. management.

Member, Kathleen Sereda Glaub, MBA

Ms. Glaub brings more than 30 years of experience in executive-level corporate development, financing and company-building for leading life science and technology innovation-based companies. Most recently, as Chief Executive Officer of Afferent Pharmaceuticals from 2014-2016, Ms. Glaub led the company’s development of its lead molecule, AF-219/MK-7264, through a full complement of mid-stage clinical trials to Phase 3 readiness as a novel treatment for chronic cough, and ultimately, the sale of the company to Merck in 2016 for USD 1.25 billion, including USD 500 million upfront. She also raised USD 80 million additional private funding, including a crossover round. She had joined the Afferent Board in 2013. Prior to Afferent, Ms. Glaub co-led Plexxikon Inc. as President for 12 years, until May 2013. In this role, she led the business and financing strategy for the company, including negotiating six partnerships generating over several hundred million in non-equity funding, and led the company’s buyout by Daiichi Sankyo for nearly USD 1 billion cash in 2011.  Prior experience also included positions as SVP & CFO of Cell Genesys, Treasurer of Genentech, and various finance and treasury roles with Intel Corporation. Ms. Glaub received her MBA from Northwestern University, and her BA from the University of California, Berkeley.

Member, Emmanuelle Coutanceau, PhD

Emmanuelle Coutanceau is a Partner of Novo Seeds. Emmanuelle has close to 10 years of experience in venture capital investment. Prior to joining Novo Seeds, Emmanuelle was Partner Life Sciences 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. From 2007 until 2014, she was part of Omnes capital (formerly Crédit Agricole Private Equity) life sciences team with multiple portfolio companies leading to successful exits or IPOs. She was also in charge of the Seed Stage Investment Program and actively invested and sat on the board of directors of several companies in Belgium and The Netherlands.

Member, Christian Elling, PhD

Christian Elling is a partner at Lundbeckfonden where he leads its early stage investment unit, Lundbeckfonden Emerge. He joined Lundbeckfonden in 2012. He is CEO of Insusense Therapeutics, a Lundbeckfonden portfolio company, and former board member of Epitherapeutics (sold in 2015) and Inagen. Prior to joining Lundbeckfonden, Christian Elling was VP and later CEO of 7TM Pharma, which he also co-founded. Christian Elling received his early training in Biochemistry and received his Ph.D. from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. He serves on the steering committee for Biopeople for The Danish Association of Biotechnology Industries and is a member of The Danish Academy of Technical Sciences.

Member, Claus Andersson, M.Sc., PhD

Claus Andersson is a partner in Sunstone Life Science Ventures and has been with the team since it was established. Claus focuses on medical technology, diagnostics and therapeutics investments and is actively involved in maintaining a strong network to universities and research centers. Claus Andersson has extensive experience in strategy execution and technology development from various parts of the Life Science ecosystem: both as an entrepreneur, venture capitalist, scientist, and corporate manager. Claus Andersson holds a Master’s degree in Civil Chemical Engineering from the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) and a Ph.D. in Mathematical Statistics from the University of Copenhagen and the Humboldt University in Berlin.

Member, Dr. Priyanka Belawat

Dr. Belawat is an Investment Advisor at HBM Healthcare Investments and has over thirteen years of experience in venture and private equity investing in the healthcare space. Actively manages investments in bio-pharma, especially drug development in oncology, neurology, sepsis, fibrosis etc. in geographies like the US, Europe and selected emerging markets like China and India. Dr. Belawat holds a doctorate in molecular biology and genetics from the University of Zurich and a post-doc at HKUST. Board member of Neurelis Inc. (USA), Adrenomed AG (Germany), BioAtla (USA), iTeos (USA) and board observer to Sai Lifesciences (India).

Member, Jack B. Nielsen, M.Sc.

Jack B. Nielsen joined Vivo Capital as a Managing Director in 2017. Prior to joining Vivo, Jack worked within the Novo A/S organization and its venture activities since 2001 in several roles, most recently as a Senior Partner. From 2006 to 2012, Jack was employed as a Partner at Novo Ventures (US) Inc. in San Francisco, where he established the firm’s U.S. office. Jack currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Aligos Therapeutics, ALX Oncology, Harmony Biosciences, Instil Bio, Macologix, and Reata Pharmaceuticals Inc. He previously served on the board of directors of publicly-traded companies Akebia Therapeutics Inc., Merus, B.V and Apollo Endosurgery, Inc. He was also a member of the board of directors of a number of private companies including Alios Biopharma, Anokion, Kanyos Bio, NeoMend, Procept Biorobotics, ProteinSimple, Tobira Therapeutics, and Unchained Labs. From 1990 to 2001. Jack served various positions in Novo Nordisk A/S, ranging from R&D projects over large-scale production of enzymes to marketing and technical service in the textile areas. Jack received a M.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from the Technical University in Denmark and a Master’s in Management of Technology from Center for Technology, Economics and Management; Technical University of Denmark.

Member, Vanessa Malier, M.Sc.

Vanessa joined Kurma Partners in September 2013 where she currently holds the position of Managing Partner. Prior to joining Kurma Partners, Vanessa began her career at CDC Innovation, a venture capital subsidiary of the CDC, now BPI, between 1997 and 1999. Then she joined DAS, a biotech company based in California, and was in charge of business development. Vanessa joined Ipsen in 2003, as advisor to the CEO, then led the group's gastroenterology franchise, before taking responsibility for Adenuric®, a product approved for the treatment of gout. Vanessa was then in charge of the oncology business development activity, before being VP R&D Strategic Planning.  Since 2013, Vanessa has completed the investments of Asceneuron (Switzerland), Vivet (France), Xeltis (Switzerland), Step Pharma (France) and Corlieve (France), of which she is a member of the Boards of Directors. Vanessa is graduate of Institut Pasteur, Ecole Normale Supérieure and is Agrégée de Biologie - Biochemistry.