Co-founder, CEO and Scientific Director
Dr. Ameri has spearheaded the research development, financing, commercialization aspects of the project since 2014 and serves as co-founder, CEO and Scientific Director. As co-inventor of the company’s technology she has dedicated the last decade of her career to develop strategies for differentiating human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) towards endoderm and pancreatic cell lineages. In parallel, Dr. Ameri works as Assistant Professor and Project Manager for the Diabetes Cell Therapy program in the Section for Strategic Translational Stem Cell Research and Therapy (TransStem) at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Stem Cell Biology (DanStem) at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen.
In 2015, Dr. Ameri was awarded a pre-seed grant (~2.5M DKK) from Novo Seeds (Novo Nordisk Foundation) and in 2016 she received a proof of concept grant (0.5M DKK) from the University of Copenhagen for her project “Developing methods for expandable production of hPSC-derived insulin-producing beta cells for cell therapy in diabetes” and to support the establishment of Pancryos. In October 2017, a second tranche of 1M DKK was awarded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation through Novo Seeds to support the continuation of the pre-seed project Pancryos and importantly to complete initial in vivo proof of concepts studies with implanted hES-derived β-cells generated through the optimised Pancryos differentiation protocol. Dr. Ameri’s recent advances in establishing a streamlined strategy, for generation of mature insulin producing cells together with the identification of novel cell surface markers for isolation of beta cell progenitors, put her in reach of achieving the long-sought goal of her career; offering stem cell therapy to diabetes patients.
Professor Semb is a renowned professor of Stem Cell Biology and Developmental Biology of the Pancreas. His research has during the past 15+ years focused on elucidating basic mechanism in morphogenesis and cell differentiation during organogenesis using a combination of in vivo and in vitro genetic and cell biological experimental tools. In parallel, Professor Semb is the Executive Director of the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center For Stem Cell Biology. Danstem is funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation for a 10-year period. Professor Semb’s scientific achievements in the field of pancreas development and beta cell biology have been recognized by many international and national grant-awarding bodies throughout his research career, including; the EU, EMBO, Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research, the Swedish Government, the US National Institute of Health (NIH) and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
Professor Semb holds several patents and has previously acted as a co-founder and scientific advisor for the Gothenburg based company Cellartis AB that commercialized various human ES cell applications. Cellartis was purchased by Cellectis in 2011, and subsequently bought by Takara bio inc. in 2014.
Director of Business Development
Dr. Heitner has been working as a business consultant since 2016, heading the business development, market research and fund-raising activities of PANCRYOS. Dr. Heitner’s experience ranges from biotech startups to global pharmaceutical companies and she has thorough her consultation firm “Heitner Biopharm Consultation”, founded in 2014, worked with bio-pharmaceutical companies across the globe in the areas of strategic business development and international scouting and evaluation. She has previously served as Director of Business Development for the French antibody discovery company HiFiBio and as Associate Director of Business Development for the Danish biotech company Vipergen. Dr. Heitner holds a PhD in Chemistry from McGill University (Montreal, Canada) and an executive MBA from Danish Technical University.
Research Director at INSERM Cochin Institute in Paris, France
Dr. Scharfmann’ research group focus on understanding pancreatic endocrine cell development and particularly the insulin-producing beta cells. The major objective of his research for the past 15 years has been to elucidate the intercellular signals regulating beta cell development and his lab has developed in vitro bioassays using rodent fetal pancreas to screen for signals that regulate pancreatic progenitor cell proliferation and differentiation into beta cells. In parallel, they are developing innovative assays to transfer data generated in rodent models to human. Dr Sharfmann has received several awards for his exceptional work in the field of Diabetes research in Europe including the prestigious Minkowski Award 1999, the European Society for Clinical Investigation award in 2003, the French National Academy of Medicine award in 2010, and the Bettencourt Award in 2012.
Professor in Medical Cell Biology at Uppsala University, Sweden.
In addition to his professorship at Uppsala University, professor Carlsson serves as senior endocrinologist at the Division for Diabetology and Endocrinology at Uppsala University Hospital, and is a member of the board of the Nordic Network for Clinical Islet Transplantation. Professor Carlsson has received several awards for his exceptional work in T1D research, including the Rising Star Award by the European Association for the Study of Diabetes in 2005, the Fernstrom Award in 2010, and the Swedish Juvenile Diabetes Foundation Prize in 2012. Professor Carlsson’s research focus has been on islet vascular biology, islet oxygenation, and engraftment of transplanted pancreatic islets, on intervention studies to prevent development of overt T1D in newly diagnosed T1D patients, non-invasive imaging of human islet mass, as well as on clinical islet transplantation studies. Currently, Professor Carlsson serves as the principal investigator in phase I and IIa clinical trials conducted by the device company Beta-O2 Technologies, Ltd.
Hans T. Schambye
Co-founder and CEO at Galecto Biotech
Dr. Schambye is a serial entrepreneur who has co-founded several biotech companies and have extensive background in corporate strategy, financing and management, drug discovery and development and is currently serving as CEO at Galecto Biotech. Dr. Schambye holds an MD from Odense University and a PhD in Molecular Pharmacology from Copenhagen University. In his previous positions, Dr. Schambye served as the CEO of ReceptIcon from 2006 to 2009, as the CEO of Gastrotech Pharma A/S from 2004 to 2006 and as Director of Biology and Pharmacology and Head of Portfolio Management at the US based biotech company Maxygen from 1999-2003.
Partner at Novo Seeds
Dr. Christgau joined Novo A/S in September 2007 as Investment Director of Novo Seeds. He serves on the Board of Directors of Acesion Pharma, Dermtreat ApS, Forendo Pharma OY, Galecto Biotech AB, Heparegenix GmbH, IO Biotech and Lysogene SA. He also serves as chairman for VentureCup, a non-profit entrepreneurship organization. In his previous position as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Osteologix, Stephan played an instrumental role in the development of the company, taking the lead candidate drug through all stages from lead identification to Phase II testing for osteoporosis treatment. Dr. Christgau is the author of more than 60 scientific publications and inventor on more than 30 patent families.