Principal – Novartis Venture Funds

Dr Beat Steffen

Dr. Beat Steffen is a Principal at NVF in Basel, Switzerland. Prior to joining NVF, he worked at Novartis Pharmaceuticals in commercial roles in the US and in Switzerland launching several products mainly in the cardiovascular area.

Beat joined Novartis from Wellington Partners Venture Capital where he worked with biotech and medical device startup companies.

Prior to that, he was at McKinsey & Company in Zurich working with clients in the pharmaceutical industry. Beat is a Swiss-trained physician having focused in cardiovascular surgery and intensive care. He graduated from the University of Zurich Medical School and qualified as a Medical Doctor in Basel. Beat holds an MBA with distinction from INSEAD.

Partner – HealthCap

Dr. Mårten Steen

Dr. Mårten Steen. Partner of HealthCap. Previously, he has worked with business development at Merck Serono focusing on both product and technology licensing. Mårten is a Medical Doctor trained at Lund University. He has pursued research in the field of protein chemistry and coagulation at Lund University and Novo Nordisk, rendering him a PhD in Clinical Chemistry in 2003. He is the author of 16 scientific papers and published in peer-reviewed journals. He has also a B.Sc. degree in Business Administration from the Lund University School of Economics and Management.

Managing Partner – Kurma

Vanessa Malier

Scientist by training, Vanessa started joined the Paris based VC fund CDC-Innovation in 1998 as an analyst, prior to joining a California based start up to be in charge of the business development activities. Vanessa then joined Ipsen in 2003, as Strategic Advisor to the CEO and headed the portfolio management team for the gastro-enterology product range (totaling more than 130M€). Vanessa was appointed in 2005 as Product Manager and Team Leader for febuxostat (Adenuric), which received EMA approval in 2008. Vanessa was then successively appointed as Senior Director, Business Development Oncology in 2009 and VP, R&D Strategic Planning in 2011. Vanessa graduated in Biology at Ecole Normale Superieure, Cachan and in Immunology at Pasteur Institute. Vanessa joined Kurma in September 2013 and is responsible for the investment in Xeltis (Switzerland), Asceneuron (Switzerland), Step Pharam (France) and Vivet Therapeutics (France).

General Partner – Ysios Capital

Karen Wagner, PhD

Karen Wagner is a Managing Partner at Ysios Capital where she focuses on therapeutic investments. She joined the firm at its inception in 2008. Ysios Capital is a leading Spanish venture capital firm that provides private equity financing to early- and mid-stage human healthcare companies, with an exclusive focus on therapeutics and close to € 200 million under management.

Besides Vivet Therapeutics, Karen serves on the boards of Galecto, Aelix Therapeutics, Minoryx and Xeltis.  Formerly she was a board member of Kala Pharmaceutics and Cardoz. Karen has over 20 years of experience in business development and financing in the biotech/pharma sector working for companies such as F. Hoffmann-La Roche and GlycArt. Previously she was a Consultant with McKinsey & Company’s Global Healthcare Practice.

She holds a master’s degree in Molecular Biology and a PhD in Cell Biology, both from the University of Konstanz, Germany.

responsable roche venture fund

Dr Carole Nuechterlein

Carole Nuechterlein has headed the Roche Venture Fund since 2001. Prior to her current position, she worked in the pharmaceutical/biotech industry as an attorney for ten years. She joined Roche from SangStat in Fremont California where she was General Counsel.

She currently serves as a director at CiVi Biopharma, Lumos Pharma, Lysosomal Therapeutics, Inc., Millendo Therapeutics, Mission Therapeutics, Second Genome, Tioma Therapeutics and Vivet Therapeutics and as board observer on Allakos, C4 and Maculogix. Carole also led the investments on Alios, Ambit, AveXis, Conatus, Envoy & Pharmasset. She has a BA from Valparaiso University and a JD from University of Michigan.

More information on the Roche Roche Venture Fund can be found at


Rana Al-Hallaq, PhD

Rana Al-Hallaq, PhD is Executive Director and Partner at Pfizer Ventures. Rana leverages her preclinical, clinical, and business development experience to assess, invest in, and manage equity investments for Pfizer Ventures. She currently has responsibility for Pfizer’s investments in Mitokinin, Inc. (San Francisco, CA), Autifony Therapeutics Ltd. (Stevenage, UK), Blade Therapeutics (South San Francisco, CA), RefleXion Medical (Hayward, CA), Montis (Leuven, Belgium), Biograph55 (San Francisco, CA), and Arkuda (Cambridge, MA) among others. Prior to her current role, Rana was a Transactionalist in Worldwide Business Development at Pfizer where she was responsible for negotiating and transacting licenses, acquisitions, and partnerships across therapeutic areas. Rana joined Pfizer in 2015 as an Early Candidate Clinical Lead where she advised early clinical programs in CNS to ensure alignment with business strategies. Prior to joining Pfizer, she held roles at Allergan (formerly Actavis, formerly Forest Laboratories), first in Clinical Development Psychiatry as scientific and operational lead on Phase 2 and Phase 3 studies investigating novel treatments for Major Depressive Disorder and schizophrenia, and later in Business Development where she assessed and executed on a number of acquisitions and licenses across therapeutic areas. She began her training as a research fellow at the National Institutes of Health. Rana graduated Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a BA in Biology from Hamilton College and holds a PhD in Neuroscience from Georgetown University Medical Center.

Founder and Managing Partner of Columbus Venture Partners

Javier García

Javier Garcia has spent almost 30 years working in healthcare and the biopharmaceutical industry. He spent 25 years at Eli Lilly and Company. He hold senior management positions in Business Development and Information Technology. Currently he serves on the Board of Askbio, Viralgen Vector Core, Artax Biopharma, and Bioncotech Therapeutics. He is also a board member for the National Alliance for Hispanic Health and the Healthy Americas Foundation both NFP organizations in Washington DC.

Mr. Garcia received a Bachelor in Mathematics (Statistics and Operations Research) from Universidad Complutense of Madrid and a MBA from ICADE (Spain).


Idinvest Partners is a leading European mid-market private equity firm. With close to €8bn under management, the firm has developed several areas of expertise including innovative startup venture capital transactions; mid-market corporate debt, i.e. single-tranche, senior and subordinated debt; primary and secondary investment and private equity advisory services. Founded in 1997 Idinvest Partners used to be an Allianz subsidiary until 2010, when it branched out as an independent firm. In January 2018, Idinvest Partners joined forces with Eurazeo to create a private equity leader in Europe and North America with €15bn under management.