Dr Donald Nicholson
Don is a medical scientist and entrepreneur with deep experience in biotech and large pharma.
He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Kymera (KYMR) and Generation Bio (GBIO), and is Chair of the Board of Directors of Disc Medicine, Jnana and NodThera.
Prior to these roles, Don was CEO of Nimbus Therapeutics, and spent 25 years at Merck in various roles including as VP & Head of Worldwide Discovery for multiple therapeutic areas (immunology, respiratory, endocrine, bone, muscle, urology & anemia).
Morten Graugaard Døssing
Morten joined Novo Holdings in 2016 and serves as Partner at Novo Seeds where he leads new company formation.
In addition to Muna Therapeutics, Morten has been instrumental in the creation of Hoba Therapeutics, HyperBio and Syndesi Therapeutics and also serves on the Board of Acesion Pharma, Avilex Pharma, NMD Pharma, Precirix, and STipe Therapeutics.
Prior to joining Novo, Morten was Director of Corporate Development at H. Lundbeck A/S where he was involved in M&A, corporate strategy, BD&L, portfolio management and equity investments including the acquisition of orphan neurology company Chelsea Therapeutics for 658M USD and a 1.8Bn USD alliance with Otsuka Pharmaceuticals.
Morten holds an MSc in Human Biology from the University of Copenhagen.
Henrijette Richter is Managing Partner at Sofinnova Partners. She joined the firm in 2014.
Prior to joining Sofinnova Partners, Henrijette was part of the team that established Novo Seeds in 2007. As an Investment Director, she was instrumental in the creation, financing and building of companies such as Avilex Pharma, EpiTherapeutics (sold to Gilead), and Orphazyme (ORPHA.CO; ORPH).
Henrijette holds a combined PhD and Industrial Scientist degree in Molecular Biology from the University of Copenhagen, and completed postdoctoral training at the MIT Center for Cancer Research. Her investments and board involvements include Asceneuron, Delinia (sold to Celgene) where she was a founding Chairwoman, iOmx Therapeutics, Nodthera, Nitrome Biosciences and Twentyeight-Seven Therapeutics.
Cillian King is an Investment Manager at LSP, one of Europe’s leading Life Sciences investors, and is fully dedicated to the LSP Dementia Fund.
Prior to joining LSP, Cillian was an Investment Manager at Swanbridge Capital, a venture fund focused on early-stage life sciences companies. At Swanbridge, Cillian led seed investments into biotech companies and served on the Boards of Allero Therapeutics and Pan Cancer T. Cillian is a molecular biologist by training and holds a PhD in Molecular Neurosciences.
Luc Dochez is managing partner of the Droia Genetic Disease Fund, a recently closed 220M€ fund focused on innovative therapeutic solutions for genetic diseases.
Prior to teaming up with Droia, Luc was the CEO of Tusk Therapeutics from 2015 until it was sold to Roche in 2018. After the sale of Tusk, he joined Droia initially as Venture Partner and then as Partner in the Oncology II Fund. Luc is co-founder of two genetic disease companies, Pharvaris and Vico. He is also a co-founder of a new big data company active in the healthcare field: Cascador Health. Luc currently serves as executive chairman of Montis and Vico, and as director of Volastra, Alesta, Erytech and QurAlis.
Before Tusk, Luc was Chief Business Officer of Prosensa, until its acquisition by BioMarin Pharmaceutical. Earlier in his career, he served as Vice President of Business Development at TiGenix, Director Business Development at Methexis Genomics, and as a consultant at Arthur D. Little.
Luc holds a PharmD degree and a postgraduate degree in business economics from the University of Leuven (Belgium) and an MBA from Vlerick Management School (Belgium).
Isaac Ciechanover joined Polaris as a partner in 2020 and is based in the San Francisco office. He focuses on biotech investments, healthcare technology companies and company creation.
Isaac currently represents Polaris on the board of Auron Therapeutics and eGenesis. Before joining Polaris, he was president and CEO of Atara Biotherapeutics (NASDAQ: ATRA), an off-the-shelf, allogeneic T-cell immunotherapy company. Isaac founded Atara in 2012 while a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and in honor of his mother Atara who had recently passed away from cancer. Isaac led the company through an IPO to a valuation beyond $1 billion.
Earlier in his career, Isaac held business development roles at Celgene and Amylin Pharmaceuticals. He took his first role in venture capital at Pequot Ventures in New York, after receiving his M.B.A. from Harvard University. Isaac worked on projects with Polaris while at HBS and he has served on the board of SQZ Biotech, a Polaris portfolio company, since May 2019.
Isaac earned a BA in Psychology from Stanford University, an MPhil in Epidemiology from Cambridge University, and an MD from Weill Medical College of Cornell University.
Laia joined Sanofi Ventures in 2018 with a background in biotech investing primarily in Europe.
Prior to Sanofi, Laia served as Investment Director for Ysios Capital where she led investments and served on the Boards of OxThera, Minoryx Therapeutics and Inbiomotion, and as an observer with AM-Pharma.
Earlier in her career, Laia was part of the European New Business Development team of Janssen-Cilag, a pharmaceutical company of the Johnson & Johnson group, where she assessed commercial and scientific licensing-in opportunities. Previously she worked as a researcher in the UK in companies such as Spirogen (now AstraZeneca), Medivir and UCB-Celltech.
Laia currently serves on the Board of Directors for Muna Therapeutics and is a board observer for Nodthera. Previous investments and board roles include Lava Therapeutics (LVTX).
Laia graduated in Chemistry from the University of Barcelona, where she also completed a MSc and a PhD with honors. Laia holds an MBA from Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge.
Chief Executive Officer
Rita brings 30 years of experience in neuroscience research, drug discovery and development from senior leadership roles in biopharma and a distinguished academic research career.
Prior to joining Muna, she led small molecule, biologics and gene therapy programs in neurologic, neurodegenerative and rare genetic diseases at Sanofi, and psychiatry and pain programs at Pfizer.