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Jim Joyce
CEO and Co-Founder

Jim Joyce is the CEO and Co-founder of HealthBeacon plc, a Dublin Ireland based medical adherence technology company with offices in Boston. HealthBeacon was founded 10 years ago and has deployed its award-winning FDA Cleared Smart Sharps Technology in 14 markets, extensively in Europe through the Pharmaceutical Industry and more recently in the US through Specialty Pharmacy and Direct to Clinics. The technology is part of the Evernorth’s digital health formulary and has 9 peer reviewed studies demonstrating its impact to therapy adherence and patient engagement. HealthBeacon went public in 2021 on the Euronext Dublin and today employs 78 people. 

Originally from Boston, Jim has had a long career in the Pharmaceutical industry and he came to Ireland over 14 years ago to run Schering Plough (Merck) pharmaceuticals as their General Manager. Prior to HealthBeacon Jim co-founded a company called Point of Care went on to become one of the largest patient services companies in Ireland working with both the Irish Government Health Services Executive (HSE) and large pharmaceutical companies and it was acquired by Uniphar PLC, a UK and Ireland pharmaceutical distributor and service provider.  

Jim sits on the board of Health-XL, a digital healthcare community and technology platform, co-hosts a podcast called “Shot of Digital Health Therapy”, has an MBA from University College of Dublin and BA in Economics from Fordham University. 

René Beukema
Chief Corporate Development Officer & General Counsel
ProQR Therapeutics

René rejoined ProQR in 2022 having previously served as the Company’s Chief Corporate Development Officer and General Counsel from 2013 to 2018. Mr Beukema is a seasoned M&A and equity capital markets executive and an experienced corporate lawyer. From 2019 until June 2022 Mr Beukema held the Position of Chief Corporate Development Officer & General Counsel at Frame Therapeutics, a neoantigen immune-oncology biotechnology company. He was instrumental in financing Frame Therapeutics and selling it to CureVac, a Nasdaq Listed biotechnology company.

Prior to his initial tenure at the Company, he served as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Crucell for twelve years, following his positions as Senior Legal Counsel at GE Capital / TIP Europe and Legal Counsel at TNT Express Worldwide. Mr Beukema was also a venture partner of Aescap Venture, a life sciences venture capital firm from 2011 to 2012 and is co-founder of myTomorrows, a Dutch life sciences company.

He holds a post-doctoral degree in corporate law from the University of Nijmegen in co-operation with the Dutch Association of In-house Counsel (Nederlands Genootschap van Bedrijfsjuristen) and a master’s degree in Dutch law from the University of Amsterdam.

Stephan Christgau
Founding Partner
Eir Ventures

Stephan Christgau is founding partner of the Nordic Life Science venture fund Eir Ventures. Prior to that Stephan was a founding member of Novo Seeds, the early stage investment arm of Novo Holdings and for more than 15 years has worked in life science venture capital as an active company creator and early investor. His investments have mainly focused on the Nordic area, where Stephan has led the creation and funding of more than 25 companies.

Stephan holds a PhD in protein chemistry/immunology from UCSF/Technical University of Denmark.


Erik de Heus
Chief Executive Officer

Erik de Heus is an experienced business founder at the crossroad of technology, energy and healthcare market. Worked at HP in Netherlands, Switzerland and US. Built renewable energy provider Oxxio in the Netherlands and exited the company to Centrica (UK) creating 50X returns for shareholders.

Worked at Philips lifestyle group and is co-founder of PHS Capital.

Studied Economics at the Free University in Amsterdam.

Jan De Kerpel
Head of Life Sciences & Healthcare
Van Lanschot Kempen

Jan De Kerpel is a recognized biotech/healthcare business and finance expert with more than 20 years of experience in the fields of drug development, equity analysis, capital market growth financing and Life Science & Healthcare M&A. 

He currently serves as Managing Director Corporate Finance and head Life Science/Healthcare at Van Lanschot Kempen. Prior to Kempen, he was during one decade Senior Equity Analyst, Pharma & Biotech at KBC Securities, which earned him 3 times the Financial Times/Starmine “Best European Biotech analyst” award. He started his professional activities in drug development at Tibotec-Virco (now JNJ) and Devgen (now Syngenta). 

Jan has a proven track record in successfully identifying investment opportunities to a continuously expanding international investor base and has been instrumental in raising over €10 billion in IPOs and other equity/debt financing and M&A for numerous European biotech, medtech, life sciences services and pharmaceutical companies. 

Jan is an invited speaker on topics relating life sciences and healthcare innovation, strategic development with financing. In addition, he is consulted by several academic and governmental bodies on these subjects.

Academically, Jan earned a master and PhD in life sciences (Univ Leuven), postgraduate in Business Administration (Univ Leuven) and an executive MBA (Vlerick Business School).

David Flint
Head of M&A

David Flint is head of M&A at UCB and drives strategic deals to bring the best external innovation for core growth platforms and therapy areas (neurology, immunology and rare diseases). Primary responsibilities include the identification, evaluation and execution of transformative corporate development opportunities globally. Recent examples of UCB strategic M&A moves include: Zogenix ($1.9bn), Ra Pharmaceuticals ($2.5bn), Proximagen’s Nayzilam ($370m) and Engage Therapeutics ($270m).

David started his career in M&A advisory at Petercam (investment banking) before moving to the Chemicals Industry (Solvay) to run Corporate Development roles covering a large range of transactions (joint-venture, acquisitions, carve-outs).

David is fluent in French and English, is based in Brussels and holds a diploma from ICHEC Business School in Brussels, Belgium, London Business School and INSEAD.

Juergen Heitmann
Senior Director Business Development & Alliance Management

Juergen Heitmann, a biologist by training with a PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Tübingen. He started his professional career in the medical device industry as a product manager at BIOTRONIK. In parallel he started his own company around diagnostic tools invented during his PhD thesis. He then joined McKinsey & Company as a senior consultant where he spent several years on projects for big Pharma clients. As a consultant he built up the Search & Evaluation function in BD&L at a major Big Pharma client and subsequently joined Novartis BD&L where he spent 7 years in various in- and out-licensing roles. In 2008 Juergen joined Nycomed as a Director for International Licensing.

Following the acquisition by Takeda in 2011 Juergen took over Business Development, Alliance Management and Market Intelligence for Takeda in Russia/CIS based in Moscow. Upon his return to Switzerland in 2014 he joined the Biotech / Venture community and took over various roles for Biotech companies and VCs. In 2019 Juergen accepted the position as Chief Business Officer at Sensorion in Paris, a specialty company developing innovative gene therapies for inner ear diseases. Most recently he moved to Amsterdam where he is now working at Shionogi Europe as a Senior Director for BD & Alliance Management.

Wouter Joustra
General Partner

Wouter Joustra serves as a General Partner at Forbion, a leading European life sciences venture capital firm. At Forbion, Mr. Joustra is responsible for deal origination, general portfolio management and divestment strategies, and focuses on Forbion´s Growth Opportunities Funds, which concentrates on investing in late-stage life sciences companies. Previously, Mr. Joustra was a Senior Trader, as well as Executive Board member of the life sciences franchise at Kempen, a European boutique investment bank. Until Gyroscope Therapeutics’s acquisition by Novartis for up to $1.5 billion, Mr. Joustra served as a member of Gyroscope Therapeutics’s board of directors.

Mr. Joustra is currently on the board of Forbion’s SPAC vehicle, Forbion European Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ: FRBN), and VectivBio (NASDAQ: VECT), in addition to being a board observer at NewAmsterdam Pharma N.V. (NASDAQ: NAMS). Mr. Joustra holds an M.Sc. in Business Administration from the University of Groningen, and a B.Sc. in International Business and Management from this same university.


Hayfa Konrad
Legal Counsel

Hayfa joined in 2018 the Roche digital health innovation team at Roche Diagnostics International to support the team with collaboration models between early stage companies and Roche, joint development agreements and licensing.

She has over 20 years of experience in the legal industry, from practice in law firms, FTPA Avocats in 2021, to in-house legal positions, including eight years within the Generali group.

Her knowledge and experience cover strategic partnering, joint ventures, data privacy and compliance, product development, intellectual property and technology transactions.

Hayfa holds a law degree to practice in Beyrouth and Paris, an LL.M. master degree in US law from Florida Coastal School of Law and an eMBA from Mannheim Business School. She is Vice President of the Board of the Benelux Health Association.

Tim Knotnerus
Agomab Therapeutics

Tim is CEO and member of the Board of Directors of Agomab, a Belgian biotech company focusing on growth factor biology and developing therapeutics for fibrotic indications. Together with the team, he has raised around $140M from top US and EU investors since joining Agomab in 2019.

Prior to Agomab, Tim held the position of VP Corporate Development at AM-Pharma where he and the team executed a Phase IIb trial in patients with acute kidney injury, secured a $600M option-to-buy deal with Pfizer and raised significant private financing rounds. Prior to that, Tim was a Senior Associate at Aescap Venture, a VC fund investing in European medical companies.

During 2022, Tim received the CEO of the year award by European Lifestars and was selected as an Endpoints 20 under 40 and In Vivo rising leader. He holds an executive MBA from IMD, where he was named Valedictorian, and earned two Master degree programs from Utrecht University.

Stefan Luzi
Gilde Healthcare

Stefan Luzi joined Gilde Healthcare in 2015. He is a Partner focusing on venture and growth capital investments in the biopharmaceutical sector. He led several investments and currently represents Gilde on the boards of Amphista Therapeutics and Draupnir Bio.

Prior to joining Gilde, Stefan worked at Merck KGaA where he completed international assignments in the Global Business Intelligence and M Ventures divisions. Additionally, he was involved in various consulting projects spanning the pharmaceutical and chemical departments at Merck and co-moderated Merck Serono’s innovation competitions.

Stefan received a B.Sc. in Biology and M.Sc. in Biotechnology from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH) and his MPhil in Bioscience Enterprise from the University of Cambridge. He completed his Ph.D. with Nobel Laureate Sir Gregory Winter at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, where he developed a bicyclic peptide-based drug discovery platform.

He is a Swiss citizen based in Gilde’s Utrecht office.

Nadine Maalouf
Managing Director Life Sciences & Healthcare, Corporate Finance
Van Lanschot Kempen

Nadine joined the Corporate Finance division of Van Lanschot Kempen, in the specialized Life Sciences and Healthcare sector team in 2018. She has over 20 years of experience in pharma, including 15 years in Business Development, Licensing, M&A and Alliance Management at Allergan, Actavis, Aptalis Pharmaceutical Technologies, Eurand and Eli Lilly.

At Van Lanschot Kempen, her core responsibility is to assist life sciences companies in fulfilling their ambitions in M&A and fundraising strategy. She has racked up an impressive track record of more than 40 equity capital market transactions including several IPOs of European biotech companies on the US Nasdaq and follow-on transactions.

Geraldine O’Keeffe
Partner, Life Sciences

Geraldine O’Keeffe joined EQT in 2008 and is a Partner in the EQT Life Sciences team. Geraldine worked for LSP from 2008 until 2022, when LSP joined forces with EQT and was renamed EQT Life Sciences. 

Prior to joining LSP, Geraldine worked as a Senior Equity Research analyst at Fortis Bank in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Prior to Fortis, Geraldine was Head of Infectious disease at medical diagnostic company Biotrin (now part of Diasorin) in Dublin, Ireland.

Geraldine holds an BSc Hons in Microbiology and Biochemistry, University College Cork, an MSc in Biotechnology from University College Galway, and a Graduate Diploma in Business Studies from Dublin School of Business.

Richard Porter
Chief Business Officer

Richard Porter was named Chief Business Officer in April 2022. He is responsible for global business development, corporate strategic planning, market access and commercial planning.

Dr. Porter joined uniQure as General Manager of the Corlieve subsidiary following the acquisition of Corlieve Therapeutics in July 2021. He was the founder and CEO of Corlieve.

He brings more than 25 years of R&D experience to uniQure, having previously served as the COO of Therachon until its acquisition by Pfizer. Previously he was at Roche in positions of increasing responsibility, most recently as the Global Head of Scientific Business Strategy and Operations for Neuroscience Ophthalmology and Rare Diseases directing the strategic and operational activities of the department. He has also served as a Product General Manager of the Emerging Business Unit at Shire Pharmaceuticals and has held scientific leadership positions at Vernalis and ASTRA.

Richard earned his Ph.D. in neuropharmacology from Southampton University (UK) and conducted his postdoctoral training at the Strong Memorial Hospital, University of Rochester, NY (USA) and the University of Oxford (UK).

Hans Schikan
Chairman of the Board, Microbiotica

& former special envoy for vaccines

Hans Schikan brings more than 25 years of development, commercial and leadership experience in the biopharmaceutical sector, latest as CEO of Prosensa in The Netherlands, a company focusing on rare diseases, with a lead program in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. During his leadership, Prosensa entered into a collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline, was listed on NASDAQ with a successful IPO in 2013 and was acquired by BioMarin early 2015 for up to USD 840 million. 


His previous assignments include leadership roles at Genzyme (acquired by Sanofi) and Organon (acquired by Schering Plough). He currently serves on the board of a number of biotech companies (public and private) in The Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, the United Kindom and Switzerland, partly as chairman of the board. 


He is also member of the core team of the Dutch Top Sector for Life Sciences and Health. Finally, Hans is chairman of the Investor Board of Swanbridge Capital, Industry Adviser of Forty51 Ventures and co-founder/vice chairman of Pharvaris, listed on NASDAQ.


Nathalie ter Wengel
European Lead Worldwide Business Development

Nathalie ter Wengel M.D. is the European Lead Worldwide Business Development at Pfizer, where she is responsible for establishing new collaborations and exploring global licensing, M&A and other corporate development opportunities across all therapeutic areas that Pfizer is interested in with European companies.

Previous to this role, she was the European Head for External Science & Innovation at Pfizer. Nathalie obtained her Doctor of Medicine degree at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. She has a broad knowledge in the medical field, having worked in the hospital with extensive experience in Internal Medicine. Nathalie started her commercial career as European Medical Manager at Pfizer, where she successfully led ambitious international projects, combining a business perspective with her medical knowledge. It was this experience, coupled with her father’s illness that convinced her of the urgent need for change in the pharmaceutical industry. Consequently, she started up a company called myTomorrows focused on compassionate use, where she served as Chief Medical Officer before joining Galapagos as Business Development Director, where she played a key role in the very successful NASDAQ IPO and in the partnering of filgotinib.

Chris Vaes
Global Business Development
Johnson & Johnson

Chris Vaes leads strategy and planning of all business development activities in support of Janssen’s Infectious Diseases and Vaccines therapeutic area. He joined The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson in Belgium in 1994 and has held various finance positions in the USA, Switzerland, Germany and Belgium including the roles of VP, Finance, Janssen Pharmaceutica NV and chairman of the J&J Belgium Pension Fund.

In 2012, Chris became responsible for New Business Development for the Emerging Markets of EMEA before moving to Janssen’s global Business Development team where he initially focused in the Cardiovascular and Metabolic disease area.

Chris holds a Masters in commercial sciences from the University of Hasselt and an eMBA from the Antwerp Business School.

Eline van Beest
Chief Executive Officer
Hybridize Therapeutics

Eline is the CEO of Hybridize Therapeutics with the mission to help patients overcome untreatable kidney diseases with RNA-based therapies (anti-sense oligonucleotides). Besides that, she invests in early stage healthcare companies through her role as Venture Partner at Thuja Capital. Previously she founded the Medtech scale-up NightBalance in 2009 with a new therapy for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). NightBalance was acquired by Philips in May 2018.

Eline was nominated for several lists of female and/or tech entrepreneurs like amongst others The Inspiring 50, RisingTalent for the World Women’s Forum and 35 Innovators Under 35 by MIT (2018).

Erik van den Berg
Chief Executive Officer

Erik van den Berg serves as CEO at AM-Pharma from 2011 and has over 25 years’ experience.

Erik is Chairman of Step Pharma and co-founder and previous (executive) Chairman of Lava Therapeutics (NASDAQ: LVTX), co-founder and previous (executive) Chairman of Heatmatrix Group (sold to BosNieuwkerk) and was board member of Lead Pharma and the Dutch biotechnology organization.

As Senior Executive at Organon he was responsible for global biotechnology business development. Prior to joining Organon, Erik worked in business and corporate development at the biotechnology company IsoTis (SWX/Euronext: ISON – sold to Integra Lifesciences), and as a Management Consultant at Arthur D. Little. Erik has been involved in the execution of over 20 transactions and partnerships, including a $600M alliance with Pfizer, $290M partnership with Kyowa Kirin and raised close to €500M in equity and debt financing for biotechnology companies from seed through IPO.

Erik holds a Master’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Utrecht (NL) and an MBA from Manchester Business School (UK).

Jan Vandenneucker
Neurology Digital Strategy & Project Lead

Jan Vandenneucker is the strategy lead for UCB’s Digital Care Transformation team in its Neurology unit. He is focused on defining where digital health solutions can create value for the patient populations in which UCB is or aspires to be present.

Previously, he was leading UCB’s digital care transformation initiatives focused on unmet and underserved needs in epilepsy.

Jan is an experienced project lead, strategist, and technology architect for digital health concepts and initiatives in the field of neurology. Driven by a passion for solving complex problems, he takes pride in developing partnerships that have the potential to make a transformational difference in improving care for people living with a neurological condition.

In addition to his primary job functions, Jan is a mentor to UCB’s young professionals employee resource group. He holds a MSc in Applied Sciences & Engineering from the Free University of Brussels and currently resides in Belgium.

Paul van der Horst
Chief Business Officer
Agomab Therapeutics

Paul van der Horst is Chief Business Officer at Agomab Therapeutics, Belgium, where he leads the corporate development, strategy, IP and QA functions. Prior to Agomab, he was Head of Corporate Development at Galapagos NV (NASDAQ: GLPG) from 2016-2021. In this role, he led all major transactions, investments, licensing, and M&A activities. From 2013-2016, he worked at boutique investment bank Kempen & Co in Amsterdam, where he was responsible for broking and trading of European pharma & biotech stocks to institutional investors in Europe and the US. In his career, Paul has been the lead negotiator and deal lead in over 20 pharmaceutical licensing and M&A transactions and has raised over USD1.3bn through equity capital market transactions.

Paul is a member of the Board of Directors at Molecure (WSE: MOC, Warsaw, Poland) and holds a PhD in Gynaecological Oncology from the Erasmus University Medical Centre in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Martine van Vugt
Executive Vice President & Chief Strategy Officer

Martine van Vugt serves as Executive Vice President & Chief Strategy Officer at Genmab, an international biotech company specializing in creation and development of differentiated antibody therapeutics for treatment of cancer and other serious diseases. At Genmab, Martine is responsible for Corporate Strategy, Corporate & Business Development as well as Alliance Management. At Genmab, Martine has held many different positions and has been at a front row seat to building Genmab. She joined as a researcher in 2001, leading discovery project teams, and over the years build up key functions and departments such as Project & Portfolio Management as well as Alliance Management. Since 2011 she has led or co-led negotiations for the majority of Genmab’s partnerships and alliances and has been responsible for managing more than 20 strategic partnerships with pharma and biotech companies, including Janssen, BioNTech, Seagen and AbbVie.

Martine holds a post-doctoral degree in Immunology (University of Utrecht), is an inventor of Darzalex® (human CD38 antibody for treatment of Multiple Myeloma) and Tepezza (human IGF1R antibody for treatment of Thyroid Eye Disease) and serves on the board of Scandion Oncology.

Markus Werner
Head Search & Evaluation Oncology

Markus Werner overseas the Search & Evaluation activities of Novartis in solid tumors and hematology across all development stages (from development candidate to commercial stage) and in a deal agnostic fashion, i.e., encompassing R&D collaborations, corporate equity investments and clinical trial collaborations.

Markus has a scientific background in molecular bioengineering (PhD in bioengineering and molecular biology from the University of Stuttgart) and is a BD&L professional with more than 20 years of experience in pharmaceutical collaborations and partnerships.

Prior to his tenure at Novartis, Markus has led the partnering and alliance management teams of Molecular Partners and BioNTech and held various business development positions at Takeda, ratiopharm, Nycomed and Altana Pharma. During those years, his responsibilities spread across the four “BD&L verticals” of search & evaluation, transactions, due diligences and alliance management.

His deal track record covers partnerships across the pharmaceutical value chain from early drug discovery to commercial-stage agreements and includes both in- and out-bound deals as well as equity and asset based deals in different disease areas.

Markus received his doctorate degrees in bioengineering from the University of Stuttgart.

Francesca Wuttke
CEO and Founder

Francesca Wuttke is the CEO and Founder of nen – bringing evidence-based Digital Therapeutics (DTx) pain solutions to preschool kids with cancer. Dr. Wuttke brings broad drug development and healthcare expertise in both the US and Europe, with over 25 years of clinical, commercial, strategic and transactional experience. She has worked with diverse organizations including start-ups, consulting, large and specialty pharma as well as academia.

Formerly the Chief Digital Officer of Almirall where she created the Almirall Digital Garden to accelerate and incubate digital health startups. Previously she led European investments as Managing Director for the MSD Global Health Innovation Fund, LLC. Prior to that, Dr. Wuttke led Almirall´s Corporate Development Strategy team to transact on both med device and pharma M&A opportunities with a new and targeted focus for the company. Dr. Wuttke worked at Novartis where she was responsible for two Cell and Gene therapy opportunities that were successfully brought into the organization as well as managing the strategy and commercialization for the existing portfolio of cell therapy assets.

Dr. Wuttke holds a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences and a BA from Cornell University College of Arts and Sciences.

Ragip Ziyal
Head of Corporate Development
Tillotts Pharma

Ragip Ziyal joined Tillotts Pharma AG in 2014. He is currently heading the Corporate Development group and is a member of the Senior Management Committee at Tillotts Pharma AG.

During his more than 25 years of experience in different Corporate and Business Development functions at Merz Pharmaceuticals, Fujisawa (now Astellas) and Altana AG/Nycomed/Takeda he was covering broad range of therapeutic fields and has successfully managed and negotiated numerous multi-million deals over-spanning early discovery alliances to marketing co-operations, M&A transactions, strategic alliances, and major in- and out-licensing deals.

Ragip is a state-certified pharmacist and has a PhD in pharmacology both granted by the University of Frankfurt am Main, Germany. He also holds an MBA from the Warwick Business School, UK. He is a Board Member of the Swiss Healthcare Licensing Group (SWISS-HLG).

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