Board of Directors
Ari-Pekka Laitsaari, BBA, MBA (Heidelberg)
Mr. Laitsaari is an independent advisor to several growth-stage companies in Europe with core competence in building the path to market and commercialisation of innovations and science. While educated in Heidelberg, Germany, his professional expertise spans over 20 years covering investment and corporate banking as well as venture capital throughout Europe. Mr. Laitsaari is an astute advocate of hands-on management believing in strong management teams creating growth stage success stories. In his capacity in various boards as a shareholder, chairman and executive board member, he focuses on growth strategies, deal structuring and execution, guiding each of the companies he is involved with to get to market successfully. Mr. Laitsaari is a regular speaker and panellist in European venture and private equity events and sits in the boards of six life sciences companies - five Finnish and one Swiss - focusing on therapeutic areas from Parkinson’s disease to cancer.
Jonathan Knowles, Ph.D., Professor
Jonathan Knowles has been an invited Board member since February 2010. Professor Knowles holds a Ph.D. degree in Molecular Genetics from the University of East Anglia, England. He currently serves as a Professor at the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM). Since 1997 Professor Knowles has held several high-profile positions at F. Hoffmann-La Roche. As a President of Group Research and a member of the Roche Executive Committee, he made a major contribution to the company in focusing Roche on key disease biology areas of high medical need and in driving for an in-depth understanding of molecular pathology of disease. Among his many positions of trust, Professor Knowles has been at the boards of Genentech and Chugai Pharmaceuticals and served as a scientific advisory board member at Labsystems. He has also held numerous academic Review or Management Board positions.
Jyrki Mattila, M.D., Ph.D., MBA
Jyrki Mattila has been a member of the Board since May 2012. Dr. Mattila is currently President and CEO of LZ Therapeutics Inc., a privately held therapeutics company focused on neurological disorders and based in Philadelphia, USA. He has over 25 years of experience in pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries in Europe and the US. Dr. Mattila has held senior management positions in R&D, business development and general management at Orion Corporation, Espoo Finland (1986 – 2003) and Auxilium Pharmaceutials in Philadelphia, USA (2003-2010) and has held Board positions in privately held and public life science entities. Dr. Mattila has M.D. and Ph.D. (pharmacology) degrees from the University of Helsinki and MBA from Helsinki School of Economics and Business Administration.
Timo Veromaa, M.D., Ph.D.
Timo Veromaa was invited to the Board in May 2012. Dr. Veromaa has been the Chief Executive Officer and President of Biotie Therapies Corp. since 2005. From 1998 to 2005, he served as Vice President of Research and Development at BioTie Therapies Corp. He served as Medical Director of Schering Oy from 1996 to 1998, and as Senior Scientist and Project Director of Collagen Corporation (California, USA) from 1994 to 1996. Dr. Veromaa was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University (California, USA) in 1990-1993 and Researcher at the University of Turku in 1985-1990. Dr. Veromaa has M.D. and Ph.D. (immunology) degrees from the University of Turku and a Special Competence in Pharmaceutical Medicine.
Pekka Mattila, M.Sc. (tech)
Pekka Mattila is the founder and long-term CEO of Finnzymes, a pioneering Finnish company in developing and selling molecular biology tools, from enzymes to reagent kits and instruments. Finnzymes was acquired by Thermo Fisher Inc. in 2010. Currently, Pekka Mattila serves as the CEO of Desentum Ltd.
Henri J. Huttunen, Ph.D., Docent
Henri Huttunen co-founded Hermo Pharma Ltd. in 2008 and served as the company’s Chief Executive Officer until February 2010. Currently, Dr. Huttunen serves as the Chief Scientific Officer and a member of the Board of Directors at Hermo Pharma. Dr. Huttunen has a Ph.D. degree in biochemistry from the University of Helsinki. He has more than 15 years of experience in neuroscience research. Dr. Huttunen has previously held research positions at the University of Helsinki, Orion Pharma, Inc. and Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School (USA). Currently, Dr. Huttunen leads a research group focusing in molecular mechanisms of Alzheimer’s disease at the Neuroscience Center, University of Helsinki. Dr. Huttunen has published numerous articles in scientific journals such as Neuron.