The AgomAb team has selected the most promising lead antibodies and continues to generate preclinical data that support the use of these antibodies in fibrotic, inflammatory, autoimmune and degenerative diseases. We are committed to advancing these molecules into clinical development in order to improve the lives of patients with debilitating conditions.

 
 
 

Management Team

 
Tim Knotnerus.jpg

Tim Knotnerus
Chief Executive Officer

Tim has 10 years of progressively responsible experience in the biotech and venture capital industries. Prior to AgomAb Therapeutics, Tim was VP Corporate Development at AM-Pharma where he and the team amongst others signed a $600M option-to-acquisition deal with Pfizer and raised a $133M private financing round. Prior to that, Tim was a senior associate at Aescap Venture, a venture capital fund investing in European medical companies, where he was instrumental in the financing and support of various portfolio companies. Tim holds an executive MBA from IMD (Switzerland), where he was named Valedictorian, and gained a Science and Innovation Masters and a Drug Innovation Masters, both with honors from Utrecht University (NL).

Tim Knotnerus
Chief Executive Officer
Paolo Michieli.jpg

Paolo Michieli
Chief Scientific Officer

Paolo Michieli is a molecular biologist and a growth factor expert. He received his first training in molecular biology at the Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacology and the Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, both in Milano, Italy. He spent several years conducting research at the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, in the laboratory that discovered that MET is the HGF receptor in the early 90’s. Since he returned to Italy he has been leading a Translational Medicine group at the University of Torino Medical School, exploring new therapeutic strategies in both oncology and regenerative medicine. In collaboration with argenx, Paolo’s team generated a set of HGF-mimetic antibodies that display powerful anti-fibrotic and pro-regenerative potential. This discovery led to the foundation of AgomAb Therapeutics.

Paolo is CSO and Board Director of AgomAb but maintains his Translational Medicine group at the University of Torino, with which AgomAb actively collaborates. He is author of 40 scientific publications that have been cited more than 4,000 times. He holds a MSc in Biology from the University of Milano, a PhD in Cell Sciences and Technologies from the University of Torino and a Clinical Pathology Specialty Diploma from the University of Torino.

Paolo Michieli
Chief Scientific Officer
Torsten Dreier.jpg

Torsten Dreier
Chief Development Officer

Torsten Dreier has been developing antibodies and antibody-based drugs for more than 20 years and progressed 10 antibody products form preclinical research to clinical development, 2 of which (Blincyto and Cablivi) having obtained marketing authorization.

Prior to joining AgomAb, Dr. Dreier has been co-founder and Chief Development Officer of argenx overlooking various aspects of drug development from preclinical research to clinical development. Between 2003 and 2008 he was Director of Therapeutic Drug Development and Senior Director Preclinical Development at Ablynx NV, with overall responsibility for pharmacology, toxicology , bioanalytics and CMC as well as early clinical development. Between 1997 – 2003 Dr. Dreier worked as Director Preclinical Development at Micromet AG in Munich, Germany on the preclinical characterization ot recombinant antibodies and BiTEs (bispecific Tcell engagers).

Dr. Dreier holds a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Tübingen, Germany. In 1995 he joined the group of Prof. Ralph A. Reisfeld at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, CA as a postdoctoral researcher and extended his know-how in immunology with work on immunocytokines (recombinant antibody cytokine fusion proteins) and cytokines.

Torsten Dreier
Chief Development Officer
 
 
 

board of Directors

 

John Haurum
Chairman of the Board

John Haurum is a non-executive Director in European biotech companies AgomAb Therapeutics, Synklino Aps, Synact and Neophore. Previously, he was the CEO of F-star in Cambridge, UK (2012-2018), where he built a successful biotech company that initiated two clinical trials in oncology and generated more than €200M in non-dilutive revenue. Previously he was VP Research at ImClone Systems, New York (2010-2012) and before then he was the Chief Scientific Officer and cofounder of Symphogen A/S, Denmark (2000-2009).

After graduating in Medicine in Aarhus Denmark 1992, Dr. Haurum received a D.Phil. in Immunology from the Institute of Molecular Medicine, John Radcliffe Hospital, University of Oxford, England. Subsequently, he took up positions as Associate Professor at the Danish Cancer Society and completed his medical training.

Matthieu Coutet
Advent France Biotechnology

Matthieu is Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Advent France Biotechnology. Matthieu brings 12 years of experience in venture capital and operations, having spent a decade in tech transfer as Managing Partner at Inserm Transfert Initiative. He handled investments in 14 seed-stage companies. He also served as VP Operations & Business Development at TherAchon and AAVlife, 2 French biotechnology start-ups, and as a board member of 8 companies (Agomab Therapeutics, Axilum Robotics, BioAxial, Aelis Farma, Enyo Pharma, Hemarina, Sensorion and Eyevensys). Matthieu founded Advent France Biotechnology with Alain Huriez in 2016.

Matthieu not only brings an experience of early stage investor managing financial and operational strategies, but also a strong network of researchers, entrepreneurs and technology transfer officers with whom he has forged significant partnerships. Matthieu holds a Masters in Finance & Management and an MSc from ESIEE (Paris).

Ohad Hammer
Pontifax Venture Capital

Ohad is a Partner at Pontifax, where he is in charge of scouting and project evaluation. In his role at Pontifax, Ohad is also involved in the formation and development strategy of the fund’searly-stage portfolio companies. He serves as a director in AgomAb Therapeutics, Keros Therapeutics, Eyevensys, Camel-IDS, Metabomed and Pi Therapeutics. Ohad obtained his M.S. in Biology from Tel-Aviv University.

Paolo Michieli
Agomab Therapeutics and University of Torino

Paolo Michieli is a molecular biologist and a growth factor expert. He received his first training in molecular biology at the Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacology and the Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, both in Milano, Italy. He spent several years conducting research at the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, in the laboratory that discovered that MET is the HGF receptor in the early 90’s. Since he returned to Italy he has been leading a Translational Medicine group at the University of Torino Medical School, exploring new therapeutic strategies in both oncology and regenerative medicine. In collaboration with argenx, Paolo’s team generated a set of HGF-mimetic antibodies that display powerful anti-fibrotic and pro-regenerative potential. This discovery led to the foundation of AgomAb Therapeutics.

Paolo is CSO and Board Director of AgomAb but maintains his Translational Medicine group at the University of Torino, with which AgomAb actively collaborates. He is author of 40 scientific publications that have been cited more than 4,000 times. He holds a MSc in Biology from the University of Milano, a PhD in Cell Sciences and Technologies from the University of Torino and a Clinical Pathology Specialty Diploma from the University of Torino.

John Haurum
Chairman of the Board

Matthieu Coutet
Advent France Biotechnology

Ohad Hammer
Pontifax Venture Capital

Paolo Michieli
Founder, Agomab Therapeutics

Claire Poulard
Omnes Capital

Claire Poulard joined Omnes Capital’s Venture Capital team specialising in Life Sciences in 2015. She was appointed Associate in April 2018. She began her career in research at the Singapore Institute for Neurotechnology. Claire Poulard holds a Specialised Master’s degree in Pharmaceutical Management and Biotechnology from ESCP and a second-year Master’s in Bioengineering and Neuroscience Innovation from ESPCI (École Supérieure de Physique et Chimie Industrielle), ParisTech & Université Paris Descartes.

Katja Rosenkranz
V-Bio Ventures

Katja Rosenkranz is a Partner at V-Bio Ventures, which she joined in 2016. Before joining V-Bio Ventures, Katja spent more than 12 years in the life science venture business. She worked as an analyst at PolyTechnos Venture-Partners and as CBO/CFO at Hepa Wash. Subsequently, Katja was a senior investment and project manager at Ascenion, where she managed the Spinnovator initiative and progressed early academic inventions to create spin-offs.

Katja holds a PhD and MSc in Biochemistry from Witten/Herdecke University, Germany, and an Executive MBA in Medical Devices and Healthcare Management from the IBST, Tuttlingen, Germany.

Johannes Zanzinger
Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund

Johannes is an Investment Manager at the Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund (BIVF) since May 2019, and serves as a Director at AgomAb Therapeutics, Eyevensys, and Heparegenix. Johannes gained R&D and management experience across multiple disease areas in academia as well as in industry at Pfizer and Boehringer Ingelheim. There, he led Global Business Development and Licensing for Cardiometabolic Diseases from 2007– 2019 resulting in a series of pre-clinical and clinical partnering transactions contributing to BI’s current pipeline and product portfolio. In addition, he acts as an adjunct Professor of Physiology at the University of Ulm, Germany. Johannes was trained in Animal Sciences and Biology at the University of Hohenheim in Germany, and held academic positions at the Medical Faculties of the Universities of Freiburg and Heidelberg until 1998.

Claire Poulard
Omnes Capital

Katja Rosenkranz
V-Bio Ventures

Johannes Zanzinger
Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund

 
 
 

Investors

 
 
 
 
 
 

Founders

 

Manuela Cazzanti
University of Torino

Manuela is a Senior Scientist working in Paolo Michieli’s lab at the University of Torino. She holds a MSc degree in Molecular Biology and a PhD in Human Oncology, both from the University of Turin. Manuela started her career working for Paolo in 2006. As a PhD student, she studied the biological role of HGF/MET signaling in cancer and experimented new strategic strategies to target it. As a post-doc, Manuela started to work on the other intriguing side of HGF/MET signaling, namely regenerative medicine. Since then she is fully dedicated to the development and characterization -both in vitro and in vivo- of agonistic antibodies mimicking growth factors as innovative tools to promote healing and repair of disease-damaged tissues. In 2016 she co-founded EuremAb, a spin-off biotech company of the University of Torino specialized in therapeutic antibodies and in animal models of human diseases. In 2017 she co-founded AgomAb together with team colleagues at the University of Torino and collaborators at argenx.

Virginia Morello
University of Torino

Virginia obtained a MSc degree in Molecular Biotechnology and a PhD in Biomedical Sciences and Human Oncology, both from the University of Torino, Italy. In 2011 she joined the laboratory of Experimental Therapy at the University of Torino, led by Paolo Michieli. Virginia actively collaborated with argenx on the preclinical characterization of ARGX-111, a MET-antagonistic antibody that is now being tested in the clinic. After completing this project, she started working on the physiological role of HGF/MET signaling in tissue regeneration. In particular, she focused her research on the development and characterization of HGF-mimetic antibodies and in their preclinical validation in different mouse models of disease. In 2016 Virginia co-founded EuremAb, a University of Torino spin-off company specialized in therapeutic antibodies and mouse models of disease. In 2017 she co-founded AgomAb together with team colleagues at the University of Torino and long-established collaborators at argenx.

Hans de Haard
argenx

Hans de Haard is a serial pioneer of antibody platforms and has been active in the antibody engineering field since 1989, initially at AKZO Nobel. Subsequently, at the University of Maastricht, he created a large non-immune human Fab library that subsequently became a core asset of Dyax, yielding multiple therapeutic antibodies including ImClone products IMC-A12, IMC-1F8 and the recently approved anti-VEGFR2 antibody ramucirumab (formerly called IMC-1121B). From 1998 to 2002 he was responsible for the discovery of llama VHH-based products at Unilever. From 2002 until he joined argenx, Prof. de Haard worked at Ablynx NV as Director Technology Development, and latterly as Senior Director Discovery Research. He was responsible for setting up the Nanobody® discovery engine and introduced VHH formatting, which turned out to be a major advantage of this platform. He was centrally involved in the development of the Nanoclone® methodology based on B cell selection. During his career, Prof. de Haard has discovered numerous therapeutic antibody leads, seven of which are now progressing in the clinic. He holds a Master of Science in Biochemistry and a PhD in Molecular Immunology from the University of Maastricht. He is a Professor of Immunology at University of Franche Comté (Besançon, France).

Michael Saunders
argenx

Michael Saunders has been discovering novel drugs and selecting therapeutic targets for 25 years, and joined argenx in 2009. At argenx he has been responsible for External Research and the Innovative Access Program, Target Selection, has contributed to the discovery of six antibodies in clinical and preclinical development, and is responsible for academic collaborations and Alliance Management with Pharma partners. He has written and obtained 5 Research Grants (>12M€). Previously, Michael Saunders working for Ablynx NV as an independent senior interim project director leading the successful Nanobody Landgrab program selecting 100 therapeutic targets, and resulting in the identification of Nanobodies of therapeutic relevance against these targets, 20 patent applications, 4 internal drug development programs and 5 scientific publications. Previously he worked at Devgen and GSK. Michael Saunders holds at MA from Cambridge University (UK), a PhD in Biology from the University North Carolina (USA) and an eMBA from ESSEC (France) and Mannheim (Germany) business schools.

Federica C. Linty
University of Torino and argenx

After obtaining her MSc in Medical Biotechnology at the University of Torino, Federica worked in the group led by Paolo Michieli at the Candiolo Cancer Institute where, through a close collaboration with argenx, she generated, screened and characterized the MET-agonistic antibodies that represent the first asset of AgomAb. Expert in the generation of monoclonal antibodies through phage display and single B-cell cloning technologies, Federica joined argenx in 2015 where she has worked as Associate Scientist until the end of 2018. At argenx she has actively contributed to the development of several drug candidates, some of which are now in the clinic.