Board of Directors
Pekka Mattila was elected as the Chairman of Board of Directors in November 2013. Mr. Mattila was one of the founders of Finnzymes Group and served as its CEO for 25 years until its acquisition by Thermo Fisher Scientific in 2010. Currently, he is the CEO co-founder of a new biopharmaceutical company Desentum Oy aiming at the discovery of new kinds of allergy therapies and drugs. He also serves as a board member in two other biotech companies Fimmic Oy and Medix Biochemica Ab, as well as in the Finnish Institute of Molecular Medicine.
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.
Mart Saarma, Ph.D., Professor
Professor Saarma joined the Board of Directors in November 2013. He is a leading scientist in understanding the biology and therapeutic potential of neurotrophic factors in neurodegenerative diseases. Dr. Saarma received his M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Tartu, Estonia. His work has focused on the in vivo roles, therapeutic effects and receptors of the neurotrophic factors including GDNF and the novel neurotrophic factor CDNF discovered by his research group. Dr. Saarma’s work has been instrumental in understanding the therapeutic potential of these neurotrophic factors for neurodegenerative diseases, particularly Parkinson’s disease. He has published more than 200 scientific articles, many in high-profile journals like Nature, Science and Neuron. He has received numerous awards for his scientific work, including the prestigious Lundbeck Foundation Nordic Research Prize, and is a member of e.g. the ERC Scientific Council, EMBO Council, Estonian Academy of Sciences, and Finnish Academy of Sciences. Professor Saarma is also a co-founder of Hermo Pharma.
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.