Sandip Kapadia, MBA, CPA, has served as member of our board of directors since October 2020. Mr. Kapadia brings nearly 25 years of life science industry experience and is currently the Chief Financial Officer for Harmony Biosciences. Previously, Mr. Kapadia was CFO of Intercept Pharmaceuticals from 2016-2021 and held numerous finance leadership positions over 19 years at Novartis and Novartis affiliates in the United States, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom, including CFO of North America at Novartis’s generic division, Sandoz. Mr Kapadia is currently also a director of Passage Bio and Molecular Partners AG, and previously of Therachon AG. Mr. Kapadia received a B.S. in Accounting from Montclair State University and an M.B.A. from Rutgers University, and is also a U.S. Certified Public Accountant.
Board of Directors
Dr. Luca Santarelli is the founder, Chief Executive Officer, and board member of VectivBio. Dr. Santarelli has more than 20 years of experience in academic and industrial R&D, having led drug programs in the areas of neuroscience, rare diseases, ophthalmology, metabolic and G.I., spanning the value chain from discovery research to commercialization. Most recently, Dr. Santarelli served as Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Therachon AG. Therachon was focused on the discovery and development of therapeutics for rare pediatric conditions, and was acquired by Pfizer, Inc., in 2019 for $810 million.
Prior to Therachon, he spent 12 years at Roche, most recently serving as the Senior Vice President and Head of Neuroscience, Ophthalmology and Rare Diseases, as well as Small Molecule Research at Roche in Switzerland. In this capacity, he advanced over 20 NMEs to the clinic and various NMEs to registration studies including ocrelizumab in Multiple Sclerosis, gantenerumab in Alzheimer’s disease, balovaptan in Autism, risdiplam in Spinal Muscular Atrophy and faricimab in Diabetic Macular Edema and Age-related Macular Degeneration. During this period, he also catalyzed the creation of Synosia and Clementia, two companies built from Roche’s asset spin-offs, and led the company to multiple in-licensing deals.
Previously, he was a faculty at Columbia University and a co-founder of BrainCells Inc., a company focused on the discovery of novel antidepressants that are able to stimulate the growth of new neurons, with Nobel laureate Eric Kandel, Rene Hen and Fred Gage.
Dr. Santarelli completed his M.D. and Psychiatry Residency at the University of Turin, Italy, and a postdoctoral fellowship at Columbia University, focusing on the molecular mechanisms of psychiatric disorders and adult brain stem cells. His work has been published in high impact journals including Nature, Science, Nature Neuroscience, Archives of Neurology and JAMA Psychiatry.
Chahra Louafi is Senior Investment Director at Bpifrance.
Prior to its acquisition by Bpifrance in 2013, she spent 12 years at CDC Entreprises leading its investments in biotherapies and rare disease funds. Before joining CDC Entreprises, she led project development and entrepreneurship in a private incubator specializing in biotechnology.
She is Chairman of Inserm Transfert Initiative and currently serves on the Boards of numerous biopharmaceutical companies including Eyevensys S.A.S., Sensorion SA, Pixium Vision SA, Gecko Biomedical SAS and ENYO Pharma SAS.
Ms. Louafi earned an M.A. in Technology and Innovation Management from Paris Dauphine University, M.A. in Corporate Finance from Paris Nanterre University and M.Sc. in Microbiology and Enzymatic Engineering from the Institut National Agronomique de Paris – Grignon.
Hans Schikan currently serves as Chair of the Board of Directors for InteRNA (Netherlands) and Complix (Belgium), in addition to serving on the boards of Dutch Pharvaris and Swedish Vicore Pharma. Furthermore, he is a member of the Top Team of the Dutch Top Sector Life Sciences & Health (Netherlands).
Previously, Hans Schikan was the CEO of Prosensa, which used RNA modulating treatments to treat rare diseases such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy. During his time at Prosensa, he oversaw the listing of the company on Nasdaq and the conclusion of an M&A deal with BioMarin for up to $840 million. Prior to that, Hans Schikan held senior positions in Global Marketing and Strategic Development at Genzyme and leadership roles at Organon. Hans Schikan received his Pharm.D. from the University of Utrecht (Netherlands). He previously served on the boards of Wilson Therapeutics (acquired by Alexion), Therachon (acquired by Pfizer), Sobi, Asceneuron and Hansa Biopharma.
Stephen Squinto, Ph.D., is a Venture Partner with OrbiMed who brings over 25 years of biotechnology industry experience.
Dr. Squinto was a co-founder of Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and recently served as its Executive Vice President and Chief Global Operations Officer. Prior to 2013, he was Alexion’s Global Head of Research and Development. From 1988 to 1992, Dr. Squinto held various positions at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Prior to Regeneron, he held a joint academic position at both the Tulane University and LSU Medical Schools. He is a recipient of numerous honors and awards from academic and professional organizations for his scientific work. Dr. Squinto received his B.A. in Chemistry and Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Biophysics from Loyola University of Chicago.
Tom Woiwode, Ph.D. has been with Versant Ventures since 2002, serving as a Venture Partner since 2008 and a Managing Director since 2014.
Dr. Woiwode has served in a number of operating roles over this time, most recently as the Chief Operating Officer of Okairos, a biopharmaceutical company developing genetic vaccines for major infectious diseases. He led the process that culminated in the sale of Okairos to GlaxoSmithKline for $325M. Prior to his role with Okairos, Dr. Woiwode co-founded EuroVentures, a wholly owned biotech incubator within Versant Ventures, and in this role, served as the founding Chief Business Officer for three biotech companies created within Versant: Flexion (public), Synosia (public, merged with BioTie), and Amira (acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb for up to $475M). Prior to his role as a Venture Partner, Tom was a Principal at Versant Ventures and served on the boards of Antipodean, Metabolex and Saegis. Tom was a research scientist at XenoPort before joining Versant. Tom earned his PhD in Organic Chemistry as an NSF Fellow at Stanford University and graduated summa cum laude with a BA in English and received the Departmental Citation for his B.S. in Chemistry from UC Berkeley. Tom currently serves on the boards of Annapurna, Anokion, Audentes, CRISPR, Gritstone and VectivBio.