Alentis Therapeutics Expands Leadership Team with the Appointment of Rizwan Velji as Chief Business Officer

Velji Brings More Than 20 Years of Experience in Biotech Financial Services

Basel, Switzerland – Dec 6, 2023, Alentis Therapeutics (“Alentis”), a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing treatments for Claudin-1 positive (CLDN1+) tumors and organ fibrosis, today announced that Rizwan Velji has been appointed Chief Business Officer (CBO). He will lead corporate strategy, business development, and finance.

Rizwan possesses an incredible depth of experience in corporate and financial strategy for biotech companies,” said Roberto Iacone, Chief Executive Officer of Alentis. “I look forward to our close collaboration and tapping into his expertise to further advance Alentis and maximize the potential of our pipeline.

Rizwan joins Alentis from William Blair, where he most recently served as Managing Director, advising small and mid-cap biopharma companies on raising private and public capital, strategic partnerships, and mergers and acquisitions. Prior to William Blair, he served as Managing Director in Citigroup’s Healthcare Investment Banking division, and at Lazard, focused on strategic and financial advisory to both emerging biotech and large-cap pharma companies. Preceding investment banking, Rizwan spent six years in biotech venture capital in San Francisco and began his career as a bench scientist at Baylor College of Medicine at the Texas Medical Center in Houston. Rizwan holds an M.S. in Biotech and Business from Northwestern University and graduated with a B.S.(Hons) in Human Physiology from McGill University.

Rizwan Velji said, “I am very excited to be joining Alentis at this critical juncture in their life cycle, as they rapidly advance their lead candidates through early clinical development. My goal is to support the growth and evolution of the company further securing Alentis’ leading position in Claudin-1 biology. We must bring much-needed medicines to patients suffering from CLDN1+ tumors and organ fibrosis.

About Alentis Therapeutics
Alentis Therapeutics, the CLDN1 company, is a clinical-stage biotech developing breakthrough treatments for CLDN1+ tumors and organ fibrosis. CLDN1 is a previously unexploited target that plays a key role in the pathology of cancer and fibrotic disease. Alentis is the leading company pioneering anti-CLDN1 antibodies to modify and reverse the course of disease.

Alentis was founded in 2019 based on ground-breaking research in the laboratory of Prof. Thomas Baumert, MD at the University of Strasbourg and the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm). Alentis is headquartered in pharma-biotech hub Basel, Switzerland with an R&D subsidiary in Strasbourg, France and clinical operations in the US. Visit

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Alentis Therapeutics
Sariette Witte
+41 78 245 7310

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O’Patrick Wilson
+41 78 888 4332