Board of Directors

Luca Santarelli, MD

Dr. Santarelli has more than 20 years of experience in academic and pharmaceutical R&D, spanning the value chain from discovery research to commercialization.

He was recently the founder and CEO of VectivBio AG (Nasdaq: VECT), a clinical-stage biotechnology company acquired by Ironwood Pharmaceuticals. Previously, he served as CEO and co-founder of Therachon AG that was acquired by Pfizer in 2019. Prior to Therachon, he spent 11 years at Roche as the Head of Neuroscience, Rare Diseases, Ophthalmology and Small Molecules Research where he advanced over 20 NMEs to the clinic and various NMEs to registration studies. Previously, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Columbia University and a co-founder of BrainCells Inc., a company focused on the discovery of novel antidepressants. Dr. Santarelli completed his MD and Psychiatry Residency at the University of Turin.

Rafaèle Tordjman, MD, PhD

Physician and researcher in haemato-oncology, Rafaèle, has been an investor in life sciences since 2001. In 2018, she created Jeito Capital, an independent investment company dedicated to the development of biopharma/biotech, for which she announced the closing of JEITO I at €200M with renowned institutional investors.

Previously, Rafaèle worked at venture capital firm Sofinnova Partners for 16 years. She started as an analyst in 2001 and became Managing Partner and co-leader until 2017. With €1.5 billion assets under management, Rafaèle invested and sat on the Board of DBV Technologies [DBV], Ascendis [ASND], Lysogene [LYS], MedDay, Enyo Pharma, Flexion Therapeutics [FLXN], Preglem, before the company was sold to Gedeon Richter, Corevalve before it was sold to Medtronic, and Endoart, before it was sold to Allergan. She invested and is still at the board of Nucana Biomed [NCNA].

Driven by the idea of promoting women’s entrepreneurship in healthcare, Rafaèle founded the association W.I.T.H (Women Innovating Together in Healthcare) in 2010, and brings together more than 500 talented women from around the world who arose from medical innovation throughout the whole value chain.

She was awarded Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur in September 2020.

Jason R Dinges, PhD

Dr. Dinges has been a member of the Morningside investment team since 2011. 

He has extensive experience facilitating financings and providing operational and management oversight to early-stage biotechnology companies. 

Dr. Dinges is a director of several biopharmaceutical or biotechnology companies across a broad spectrum of therapeutic areas including: Adiso Therapeutics, Alentis Therapeutics, Allysta Pharmaceuticals, CellCentric, Geneoscopy, Inotrem, Prilenia Therapeutics, and ZielBio. From 2006 to 2011, Dr. Dinges was an associate attorney at Foley & Lardner LLP, practicing intellectual property law. 

Dr. Dinges received his Ph.D. in genetics from Iowa State University and a J.D., with highest distinction, from the University of Iowa College of Law.

Naveed Siddiqi, MD

Naveed joined Novo Holdings A/S in 2019 and works from London and Copenhagen as a Senior Partner in Venture Investments.

He brings more than 25 years of experience in life science venture investments and investment banking.  Between 2013 and 2018, he was Partner at Andera Partners, a Paris based venture capital and growth equity firm with over 2 billion euros under management, focusing on life science investing.  He has also worked for Nomura Phase4 Ventures, Nomura International, EFG Corporate Finance, KPMG and as a medical doctor in the UK’s National Health Service.  During his career he has served on multiple European and US boards including at Novo Holdings with the Boards of Reviral (acquired by Pfizer), Vectivbio (IPO on NASDAQ), F2G Ltd, Amolyt SAS and Alentis Therapeutics. He is a Board Observer on the board of Numab AG.

Naveed obtained his medical degree from Guy’s and St Thomas’s Hospital Medical School (now King’s College London). Later, he also qualified as a chartered accountant from the Institute of Chartered Accountants England & Wales.

Martin Münchbach, PhD

Dr. Münchbach is a founding partner of Pureos and has been a venture capital investor since 1999, investing in life science companies across all stages and types. Prior to Pureos, he was senior investment advisor private equity at Bellevue Asset Management. 

Martin’s most successful investments and board assignments include Radius Health, Molecular Partners, Optimer, Axovan and Glycart. Martin is currently a BoD member at Ypsomed Holding, Alentis Therapeutics, River Renal and Ariceum Therapeutics. Martin obtained his PhD in protein chemistry from the ETH Zurich and his MAS in Management, Technology, and Economics from ETH Zurich

William Pao, MD, PhD Independent member

Dr. William Pao is recognized for his ground-breaking work in translational medicine, mechanistic and clinical studies of targeted cancer therapeutics, cancer genomics and personalized medicine. As Chief Development Officer and Executive Vice President for Pfizer, he was a member of the Executive Leadership Team and led the Global Product Development organization, as well as regulatory affairs. As Head of the Roche Pharma Research & Early Development (pRED) unit, he was a member of the Enlarged Corporate Executive Committee and oversaw the discovery and early development of new molecular entities across multiple therapeutic areas. At pRED, he also served as the Global Head of the Oncology Discovery and Translational Area.

Prior to joining industry, he was a practicing oncologist, lab researcher and clinical investigator at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and then Vanderbilt University, where he also served as the Division Chief of Hematology/Oncology. He’s currently an Adjunct Professor of Medicine at Vanderbilt. William received his undergraduate degree from Harvard and his MD and PhD degrees from Yale University.

Roberto Iacone, MD, PhD
Member, CEO

Roberto joined Alentis as CEO in 2020, bringing over 15+ years of life science industry experience.
Roberto is a physician-scientist and a serial entrepreneur. He most recently served as Entrepreneur-in-residence for the Versant Ventures group where he co-founded Bright Peak Therapeutics and the Ridgeline Therapeutics, Versant’s Basel-based Discovery Engine. In this role he was responsible for sourcing and evaluating academic opportunities from European institutes, and for leading biology and translational activities for Ridgeline New Cos. He was part of the leadership team which built the precision oncology medicine company, Black Diamond Therapeutics from inception through multiple financing rounds and a NASDAQ IPO in early 2020.

Previously, Roberto was at Roche for over 10 years, most latterly he was Global Head of Rare Diseases Research where he established numerous external collaborations with academic and biotech partners, which included large molecule, small molecule and gene therapy programs. During his time at Roche he also gained considerable experience in preclinical research and early development, managing discovery programs across a range of therapeutic areas including Neuroscience, Ophthalmology and Rare Diseases.

Roberto holds an M.D. from the University of Napoli, and a Ph.D. from the Max Planck Research School for Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics.