July 13th, New York, NY Poignantly crafted from the clearest crystal, the Retina Innovation Award that now claims pride of place in Endogena Therapeutics’ trophy
Endogena Therapeutics’ approach for endogenous regenerative medicine will result in a novel treatment paradigm for common degenerative diseases that are becoming more prevalent due to demographic changes.
Endogena Therapeutics is focusing its drug discovery and development efforts on indications with high unmet medical needs.
Recent discoveries in stem cell biology together with technological advances for phenotypic, functional screening, have unlocked our ability to harness the potential of adult stem- and progenitor cells. Our novel drug discovery approach is based on the concept of selective regulation of these endogenous cells for controlled tissue repair by small molecules.
In our most advanced programs, we are targeting degenerative diseases of the eye, including retinitis pigmentosa, which progressively leads to complete loss of vision – our pioneering approach enables the discovery of breakthrough therapies based on cutting-edge knowledge of molecular pathways that regulate retinal stem cells and retinal pigment epithelial cells, which nourish the eye’s photoreceptors and retina.
Phase I / IIa
Phase I / IIa
is a leading cause of irreversible vision loss in the developed world and it has been estimated that almost 9% of the population older than 45 years of age are affected. Dry-AMD is associated with atrophic cell death of the central retina or macula and it accounts for 80-90% of the AMD population. Unfortunately, there is no approved treatment for this condition.
July 13th, New York, NY Poignantly crafted from the clearest crystal, the Retina Innovation Award that now claims pride of place in Endogena Therapeutics’ trophy
Zürich, Switzerland and Toronto, Canada; 12th July 2022 Endogena Therapeutics Inc. announced today that the first patient has been treated in a phase 1/2a clinical
We work well together, and it shows. We are driven from within, which is in itself – endogenous. Our passionate team loves to discover and develop. Science is at the heart of everything we do and helps us to pursue our purpose.
Endogena’s leadership team is actively supported by a highly knowledgeable Board of Directors with extensive experience in the healthcare industry and capital markets.
Endogena’s shareholders include two anchor investors and a small group of individual investors whose combined support and commitment over the years has been the cornerstone of our success.
Rejuveron Life Sciences AG is a Swiss integrated biotechnology platform company that develops and invests in drugs and technologies which have the potential to improve longevity. As well as providing startup-coaching and incubator lab space, they provide direct investment in promising means to improve health aging, with the ultimate goal of increasing human healthspan.
DEFTA Partners is a technology venture capital firm founded in the 1980s and has offices in San Francisco and Tokyo – DEFTA Healthcare Technologies, the firm’s newly formed fund, invests in seed and early stage companies developing advanced therapeutics and digital health in the USA, Japan, Israel, and beyond – the current investments in healthcare include endogena therapeutics, Orig3n, Two Pore Guys, Lifeguard Health Networks, and Graftworx. DEFTA Partners also supports the annual World Alliance Forum in San Francisco, a premier, international conference focused on game changing healthcare innovations and technologies.
The Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM) is a not-for-profit, public-private consortium supporting the development of foundational technologies that accelerate the commercialization of cell and gene therapies, and regenerative medicine technologies.
These technologies have the potential to transform health care, with the promise to treat, manage and perhaps cure some of the most debilitating and costly diseases in the world today. However, many new potentially life-changing cell, gene and regenerative medicine-based treatments never reach patients because they are not successfully moved from the laboratory to the clinic.
Canadian scientific excellence in stem cells, bioengineering and biomaterials combined with existing infrastructure positions CCRM to coordinate product development and commercialization in a capital-efficient manner.
We are a passionate team of diverse scientists aligned around our vision and purpose.
Are you curious to find out more? Do you think you can complement our team?
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Matthias Steger’s long career in pharma and biotech began with F. Hoffmann-La Roche in 1999, when he worked in the design and synthesis of active molecules for a variety of therapeutic indications – next, he joined Axovan (later acquired by Actelion), where he built and implemented a new platform for orphan GPCR drug discovery – Matthias then branched out into investment banking at Kepler Equities before returning to Roche in 2007 – he became the firm’s global head of research and technology partnering, a role in which he investigated and managed more than 50 collaborations – in 2015 he followed his strong entrepreneurial instincts, first establishing SequelBlu, an independent advisory firm aimed at assisting companies with sustainable innovation, and then Endogena.
Matthias earned his MSc in organic chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Zurich, and his PhD in medicinal chemistry at the University of Sussex. In 2005 he completed an MBA at the University of St Gallen, where he was awarded Dean’s Honors.
Tim joined Endogena in 2022 with 30 years’ experience in financial leadership roles. He started his career at Deloitte in Columbus, Ohio (USA). After nine years as a practicing CPA, he went on to serve as Finance Director and CFO for a number of international companies in the United States and Europe. Besides accounting and finance, Tim has extensive experience in business combinations, stock exchange regulations, and corporate governance.
Tim holds a degree in Business Administration from The Ohio State University.
PD Dr. med. Moreno Menghini is a vitreoretinal specialist with research background in medical retina and imaging. He studied medicine at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, where he gained his MD. Moreno’s clinical training was undertaken at the University Hospital of Zurich, and the Cantonal Hospital of Lucerne, Switzerland. In 2012 he was awarded the George and Rosalie Hearst Fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco, USA to undertake a clinical fellowship under the mentorship of Professor Jacque Duncan. Thereafter he worked for a Swiss private eye clinic before having been granted 2016 the position of vitreoretinal fellow at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in Perth, Australia, where he trained under the supervision of Professor Ian Constable. In 2019, Dr. Menghini completed an academic fellowship with focus on retinal gene therapy at the University of Oxford, UK under the mentorship of Professor Robert MacLaren. As an honorary clinical research associate of the University of Oxford, he continues to be involved scientifically through various joint collaborations. Through his continuous academic achievements Dr. Menghini has recently received the venia legendi at the University of Zurich, and holds the title of “Privat Dozent”. In January 2021, Dr. Menghini was nominated Head of Department of Ophthalmology at the Ospedale Regionale di Lugano, Switzerland, and is now also responsible for the ophthalmology teaching module at the medical school of the Università Svizzera Italiana (USI). Furthermore, Dr. Menghini is adjoint consultant ophthalmologist at the Eye Clinic of the Luzerner Kantonsspital (LUKS), Lucerne, Switzerland, where he holds a monthly retinal dystrophy and oculogenetics clinic.
Christiane Hyvert joined Endogena in 2022. With a background in communications and sales & marketing, and after spending several years living and working in big European & American cities, Christiane gained broad experience in human resources while working at Novartis. Her expertise covers leadership development, talent management, business partnering, employee engagement, diversity and inclusion and organizational development.
Christiane holds a MA in Communications from the University of Zürich, a MAS Human Resources Leadership from the HWZ Hochschule für Wirtschaft Zürich and is an accredited agile coach. She is passionate about HR and healthcare and is an Alumni of the Woman Back to Business Program at the University of St.Gallen (HSG).
Daphna Mokady is a science-innovation and results-driven professional with 15+ years of academic and industry experience in leading research projects in a broad spectrum of biomedical fields, including regenerative medicine, cancer research, neurodegenerative disease modelling, and microbiology. Her versatile experience enables her to promote innovative ideas and lead pioneering research with demonstrated results. Throughout her work, Daphna cultivated a network of successful collaborations with global pharmaceutical companies, top researchers, and key opinion leaders in various fields. She is a passionate advocate of gender equality in STEM and the founder and president of a Toronto-based initiative aimed at promoting women’s careers in all STEM disciplines up to the boardroom.
Daphna holds a PhD in Microbiology from Tel Aviv University and an MSc (summa cum laude) in Genetics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Michael is a specialist pharmaceutical physician with over 20 years of clinical research experience in the industry. He has been involved in the clinical development of therapies in diverse therapeutic areas, including ophthalmology, cardiology, immunology and infectious diseases, and has supported successful registrations in the US, EU, China, Japan and Australia.
Michael obtained his medical degree from the University of Western Australia, his MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management and is a Fellow of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine in the UK.
Susanne Raab is an accomplished in vivo pharmacology leader in drug discovery and development research. She has a solid track record of successful contributions to the R&D pipeline, advancing projects through development to clinical proof of concept. Susanne has worked at Roche for over 17 years as in vivo pharmacologist as well as project leader in different therapeutic areas. Susanne was in charge of in vivo pharmacology in the ophthalmology group at Roche, whereby she advanced candidates to clinical proof of concept. She was further involved in the planning, leading and managing of outsourcing activities with CROs and academic collaborators worldwide.
Susanne holds a MSc and PhD in Agricultural Biology from the University of Hohenheim in Germany and a Diploma in Medicines Development Sciences. Her main research focus lies on ophthalmological, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.
Marco Randazzo is a cheminformatic data scientist with a research background in chemistry, machine-learning (ML), and cheminformatics applied in drug discovery. He has developed ML and cheminformatics tools for automatic compound annotation in metabolomics approach at the University of Geneva. Giuseppe Marco also worked in a joint venture between the University of Geneva and a private industrial partner Firmenich, delivering new active nature-identical compounds. He also worked for the Dalle Molle Institute for Artificial Intelligence (IDSIA) and later for Hoffmann-La Roche, implementing new AI methods for drug discovery. Marco completed his Ph.D. in chemical science at the laboratory of chemometrics and cheminformatic University of Perugia (Italy).
Arturo Ortin Martinez is a retina researcher with 15 years of experience in the experimental ophthalmology field. After completing an MSc in Vision Science through an international program, Arturo graduated from the University of Murcia (Spain) with a PhD with a Cum Laude qualification and International Mention. He was also awarded the “Extraordinary Doctorate” Prize for his thesis in neurodegeneration and neuroprotection of the retina. After moving to Toronto, Arturo received a postdoctoral joint fellowship from the Ontario Institute of Regenerative Medicine, University of Toronto’s Medicine by Design initiative, and the Foundation Fighting Blindness Canada. During this period, Arturo led and managed a dedicated group of researchers at the Wallace Lab in exploring the therapeutic potential of photoreceptors transplantation in retinal degeneration. This period culminated in a pivotal discovery that shifted the paradigm of the photoreceptor transplantation mediating vision rescue.
Arturo’s extensive academic work has contributed to advancing our understanding of the cellular and molecular foundations of retinal pathologies and developing novel therapeutic strategies for fighting them. Recently, Arturo joined the Endogena Team, extremely motivated to help develop novel therapeutics. Through advanced projects and initiatives for Endogena Therapeutics, he hopes to help millions of people living with progressive vision loss and blindness.
Jason Charish is an experienced molecular biology / bio-medical researcher who is passionate about translating insights on eye and central nervous system pathology into new treatments. During his MSc, PhD (University of Toronto) and subsequent post-doctoral work (University Health Network), he gained expertise in numerous models of human diseases, with an emphasis on the retina. His MSc work provided insight into how the eye and brain develops, while his PhD established that the same molecular pathways guiding normal development can become dysregulated in various disease states in the adult. His work has been published in leading academic journals including the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Nature Chemical Biology, Cell Death & Differentiation, among many others. Throughout this time, he has established numerous successful cross-disciplinary collaborations with both academic groups and pharmaceutical companies.
Mariana Oliveira is a biomedical science researcher with physiology and cellular biology background. During her M.Sc. and Ph.D., Mariana participated in studies testing potential treatments for metabolic and neurologic diseases, working together with different pharmaceutical companies. With a passion for learning and collaborating with others, she has participated in many exciting projects during her time at the Université de Montréal. Being skilled with in vivo and in vitro models, Mariana has developed a surgical model of metabolic disease in female animals, explored the function and natural pathways of specific enzymes in the blood-brain barrier and the impact of systemic insults in the central nervous system.
Céline Maeder is an accomplished preclinical scientist with 15+ years of work experience in in academia and the pharmaceutical industry. Céline graduated from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory with a PhD in Biochemistry and Biophysics. During her postdoc at Stanford University, she combined genetic and phenotypic screens, genomics, and transcriptomics to identify and characterize novel molecular targets that are associated with neurodegenerative disease.
Céline has worked at two biotech startup companies in the Bay Area, where she gained expertise in different areas of early drug development such as proprietary platform development, high throughput compound screening, lead identification as well as mechanism of action studies. She served as project lead in multiple disease indications such as CNS and metabolic diseases.
Pat is a research scientist with a background in GLP/ISO17025 study practices. He worked for Labstat International ULC in Toxicology, determining the genotoxicity of combustible and e-cigarette products. Pat is an experienced experimentalist and developed the in vitro and in vivo screening platforms for our lead ophthalmology project.
Pat graduated from the University of Western Ontario with a BSc in Microbiology and Immunology.
Johanna Vunder has a proven track record in executing clinical trials on time, within budget, with full oversight. During her work for Novartis and PRA Health Silences, she gained experience in international phase II-IV trials. She was exposed to a broad array of operational tasks, such as: regulatory submissions, trial document creation, trial budget planning and negotiation, site selection, trial monitoring and management. Her indication expertise covers neurology, cardiology, dermatology, oncology, ophthalmology, and renal & metabolic diseases. Johanna studied at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm and King’s College London for her BSc in Biomedicine, and she holds a MSc in Neurobiology from the University of Zürich.
Elona is a Managing Director of DEFTA Partners and heads the investment function for its healthcare technologies fund. The fund focuses on early-stage investments in innovative therapeutic and digital health technologies including regenerative medicine, point of care devices, and sensor technologies. Elona’s career spans more than 20 years in the drug development sector, initially at Genentech and then at the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). She has held leadership roles in business development, legal and regulatory. In this capacity she oversaw $1 billion of investment in regenerative medicine research and clinical programs, the creation of a $40M induced pluripotent stem cell bank and a re-vamping of intellectual property regulations governing CIRM grants. At Genentech Elona managed legal matters relating to Raptiva and the company’s Spanish manufacturing subsidiary while also engaging in matters of regulatory policy and strategy. Elona currently serves as a Director on the boards of Endogena, Abilitech, Aegle, BioEclipse and Orig3n.
Dan is a part-time Venture Partner at Decheng Capital. Prior to joining Decheng, Dan worked over 20 years for Roche in a number of key global leadership positions, including Global Head of Regulatory Affairs, Global Head of Development Operations, Global Head of Roche Pharma Partnering, President of Ventana Medical Systems and President of the Roche Sequencing Unit. During his tenure in Business Development and Diagnostics, Dr. Zabrowski and his teams delivered 300+ acquisition and partnership deals. In addition, he was Board member of Chugai Pharmaceuticals. Prior to joining Roche, Dan worked at Syntex, Fujisawa (now Astellas) and G.D. Searle in their pharmaceutical R&D organizations and served as Adjunct Assistant Professor at the School of Pharmacy, University of Illinois — Chicago.
Dan received his PhD in Organic Chemistry from Indiana University, Bloomington and his BA degree in Chemistry from Saint Louis University.
Aaron is a seasoned investor and operator of life science companies. He has provided expert counsel on numerous types of capital market issuances, emerging markets debt, covered bonds, high yield and restructurings. He has lead investor relations experience across several portfolios.
Assistant Professor, University of Toronto Clinician-Scientist, University Health Network Staff Ophthalmologist, University Health Network, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, and Kensington Vision & Research Centre Scientist, Krembil Research Institute
PD Dr med FEBO
FMH Ophth / Ophth Surg
Vice Chair Department of Ophthalmology, University Hospital Zürich, University Zürich
MD PhD FARVO
Kenneth C. Swan Endowed Professor of Ophthalmology
Professor of Molecular and Medical Genetics Chief, Paul H. Casey Ophthalmic Genetics Division Casey Eye Institute Oregon Health & Science University
T. Boone Pickens Director
Molecular Ophthalmology Laboratory
Director, Clinical Center of Innovation for AMD
Chief Executive and Medical Officer
Retina Foundation of the Southwest
MD FARVO FEBO
Professor of Ophthalmology and Chairman of the University Eye Clinic
Director of the University Eye Clinic Department of Biomedical and Clinical Science Luigi Sacco Hospital, Milan
Professor of Ophthalmology, University of California, Davis Health