Management

Pedro de Noronha Pissarra, Ph.D.

Chief Executive Office

Pedro has over 20 years of experience in the Biotechnology Industry and his entrepreneurial activities are internationally acknowledged. Pedro has built over the years an extensive track-record in growing early stage projects in healthcare.

Pedro holds a B.Sc. and a Ph.D. in Biotechnology from Kings College London (University of London). He carried out research at several institutions, including the Chemical Engineering Department of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.), Cambridge, USA and at the Centre for Process Biotechnology (CPB) of the Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby, Denmark. Following his Doctoral degree he specialized in medical sciences and oncology. After his Postdoctoral training he undertook a 12 month Masters Programme in Management at the IC2 Institute of the University of Texas, Austin, USA.

 He was a visiting professor at the Catholic University of Porto during 2000-2007 where he delivered lectures in biopharmaceutical sciences. He was the Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Biotecnol SA, in Lisbon Portugal, up to March 2012. He currently holds the position of Executive Chairman and is an integral part of its Board of Directors. Prior to his current position he was a Board Member of Vida Rhein Corporation SA – a German-Portuguese joint venture, part of the Rhein Biotech NV group, dedicated to the development of Hepatitis B vaccines and other biosimilar products.

Pedro was the founder of the Portuguese Bio-industries Association (APBio) and later had it incorporated into EuropaBio (the European Bioindustries Association). Between 1998 and 2005 he was the Chairman of APBio, and has been widely recognized as one of the key individuals in establishing and promoting the biotechnology industry in Portugal. Between 1997 and 2000 he was a member of the Advisory Group of the Biotechnology & Finance Forum, organized by the European Association of Security Dealers and Automated Quotations (EASDAQ), and the European Commission’s DG Research. He was a member of the National Council of the National Entrepreneurs Association (ANJE). Pedro was extensively involved in several EuropaBio initiatives and task forces. For several years he was a member of the Policy & Operations Council and Coordination Council, the Emerging Enterprises Sub-Board and the Biosimilar Products Task-Force.

He has been involved since 1997 in several expert panels advising the European Commission in its biotechnology policies. He has also been involved in several Advisory Committees for the Portuguese Government. Pedro was a member of the Superior Counsel for Science, Technology and Innovation for the Portuguese Government, where he advised the Minister of Science and Technology in the implementation of the National Innovation Plan during the mandate of Dr. José Manuel Durão Barroso as Prime Minister of Portugal. Other recognitions included his participation in the Honour Committee of the President of the Republic of Portugal, Prof. Aníbal Cavaco Silva in 2006.

Pedro has been awarded the Medal of Merit by the Oeiras Council in Portugal in recognition for his role in promoting entrepreneurship and for services provided to the council of Oeiras (Portugal), where Biotecnol SA, the biotechnology pioneer company in Portugal started its operations and is present since 1996.

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Neill Moray Mackenzie, Ph.D.

Chief Business Officer

Neill is an internationally networked pharmaceutical executive with an extensive operational, business, commercial, licensing and R&D background in a range of therapeutic areas. He holds a PhD in immunology and post-doctoral work at the National Institute for Medical Research with the MRC. He joined Wellcome plc as Head of the Immunology Department continuing with Mallinckrodt Inc.

Over the last eighteen years, he has served on the Boards of listed (both the full London Stock Exchange (LSE) and the Alternative Investment Market (AIM)) and private companies in the UK and Germany as an Executive Director with P&L responsibilities, and has raised over $150 million equity capital from private and public funds.

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Nico Mertens, Ph.D., MBA

VP, Head of Antibody Research

Nico is a widely known key opinion leader in the field of antibody engineering.  Nico obtained his B.Sc. at Antwerp University and his Masters in Biotechnology at Ghent University. He obtained his Ph.D. in Biotechnology with Dr. Walter Fiers (UGent, Belgium) in protein expression technology.

After his postdoctoral training, Dr. Mertens headed the Molecular Immuno-Biotechnology Unit at the Flanders Institute of Biotechnology (VIB), where he conceived and developed the Tribody antibody-fragment design and evaluated it in oncology models. Nico obtained his MBA from EHSAL Management School (Brussels) in 2002 and then continued forming and heading VIB’s Protein Service Facility, which delivered services in protein engineering, expression, purification and characterization for internal and external clients. Dr. Mertens was an active member of several university and professional committees and responsible for teaching courses and training students in Molecular Biotechnology at Ghent University. Nico is the author of 25 international peer reviewed articles and 4 patent applications on technologies applied in protein production and antibody engineering.

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Emil Pot, LL.B; European Patent Attorney

Head of Legal and Intellectual Property

Emil was co-founder and general counsel of ActoGeniX NV, until the company was successfully sold to Intrexon Corporation early 2015. Within ActoGeniX he was responsible for all legal and intellectual property matters, notably concluding a number of corporate deals and building a dominant IP port folio of more than 150 granted patents. Emil is a registered European Patent Attorney. He graduated from the University of Groningen with a Master of Laws degree and studied life sciences at the VIB.