Versantis is a Swiss pharmaceutical company, Spin-off of ETH Zurich, developing a new generation of medicines and diagnostics to revolutionize the care of patients with liver disease. Embracing lifesaving and preventive therapies, Versantis aims to answer the unmet medical need of millions of people worldwide.
Its lead candidate, VS-01, is currently at preclinical stage and has the potential to be the first drug for acute liver disease simultaneously supporting multiple failing organs. VS-01 targets 3 rare indications and received an Orphan Drug Designation in ALF. In addition, Versantis’ pipeline promises to improve patients’ outcome in other medical fields; VS-02 and VS-03 are developed for chronic liver diseases and for the treatment of drug intoxications, both representing large market opportunities and significant upsides for Versantis.
Vincent Forster (PhD), CEO
Biomedical engineer by training (EPFL Lausanne and UCSD San Diego), Vincent received his Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences at ETH Zurich, Switzerland.
He has hands-on experience in biomedical and pharmaceutical disciplines essential to the optimization of VS-01. He worked over 7 years validating the initial proof of efficacy and safety and is now leading the team developing the next generation of VS products. For his scientific contribution to VS-01 he was awarded in 2015 with the Phoenix Group Award in the category Pharmaceutical Technology. In 2016 he received the Pfizer Research Award, the most prestigious prize for medical research in Switzerland, awarded to young scientists who have made outstanding and pioneering contributions in basic or clinical research.
Meriam Kabbaj (PhD), COO
Meriam is pharmacist by training (University of Geneva) and received her PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Montreal.
She has hands-on experience in the range of preclinical and clinical drug development, quality assessment and regulatory affairs. She worked 10 years in a leading Contract Research Organization (Celerion, formerly MDS pharma Sciences), specialized in applied translational medicine. She held many key operational and leadership positions. Her role culminated as a Team Leader of Clinical Pharmacology Europe, managing the generation of hundreds of protocols as well as non-clinical and clinical study reports. She contributed to successful submissions for products in several indications including gastrointestinal diseases.
Board of Directors
Peter Nicklin, Chairman
Peter Nicklin is a senior healthcare executive with 25 years operational experience, based on a finance background. He has extensive international experience over many years with a very broad healthcare perspective including pharmaceuticals. His career is highlighted by significant business development leadership and turnaround experience. Until April 2014, he was Corporate Vice President and EMEA President of Baxter International, with responsibility for Baxter’s $4 B business in the region. Baxter is an international leader company in peritoneal dialysis.
Meriam Kabbaj, COO
Vincent Forster, CEO
Prof. Dr. Jean-Christophe Leroux, Member of the Scientific Advisory Board
Prof. Leroux is an internationally recognized authority in pharmaceutical technologies and is currently Chair and Professor at the Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences at ETH Zürich. He has published almost 200 peer-reviewed scientific articles, 13 book chapters and 15 patents/patent applications. He is included in the Thomson Reuter list of the most cited scientists in Pharmacy and Pharmacology. Recently, he has out-licenced 3 of his technologies to pharmaceutical companies, demonstrating his ability in leveraging laboratory research in a translational direction.