Dr. Marín-Müller is co-inventor of Speratum’s core technology, which he developed during doctoral and post-doctoral studies at BCM. He is an expert in the area of molecular oncology, with a focus on RNA interference and the molecular mechanisms that give rise to pancreatic cancer pathogenesis. Christian has an entrepreneurial spirit, and has co-founded and supported startups in the biotechnology space.
Christian Marin-Müller, PhD.
Founder and CEO of Speratum.
PhD. in Molecular Virology and Microbiology
and MS in Biotechnology-focused Entrepreneurship
Allan is Founder and Managing Director at Carao Ventures, the leading venture capital firm in Central America. He has more than 12 years of experience managing private equity investments and has worked and invested in startups in Latin America and the US for the last 7 years. Before founding Carao Ventures, Allan worked for 5+ years at Mesoamerica Investments, a management consulting, M&A advisory, and private equity firm in Latin America. Allan also worked as an analyst at UBS Wealth Management US, managing investments for high net-worth individuals. Currently, Allan serves on the Board of Directors of several of Carao Ventures’ portfolio companies, as well as at Banco BCT, and the Investment Committee of CRUSA Foundation. At Speratum, Allan serves as director but also as active business adviser to the founder, providing guidance and support in strategic, financial and administrative areas. Allan has a BS degree in Business Management with concentration in Finance and Entrepreneurship from Babson College.
Peter Heeckt, MD, PhD
Dr. Heeckt is an accomplished physician with extensive clinical, teaching and research background in gastrointestinal surgery and oncology as well as orthopaedics, transplant and plastic surgery. He also has over 20 years of diverse industry leadership experience in major medical device and biotechnology companies. His previous positions include Chief Medical Officer for global medical device company Smith & Nephew, Chief Medical Officer for orthobiologics device company Bioventus and Medical Director for one of the subsidiaries of global health care group Fresenius. Dr. Heeckt is the founder and owner of Life Sciences Consulting Services LLC and currently Senior Medical Advisor for Bioventus. He holds an appointment as adjunct professor of surgery at the University of Ulm, Germany. After receiving his M.D. from the University of Munich Medical School he completed a surgical residency at the University of Ulm Medical Center. In addition, he conducted a research fellowship in the department of surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and completed a clinical fellowship in the department of plastic surgery at Klinikum Bogenhausen in Munich, Germany.
Changyi Chen, MD, PhD.
Director and Vice Chair for Research of the Molecular Surgeon Research Center, and Professor of the Departments of Surgery and Molecular and Cellular Biology at Baylor College of Medicine. He is one of the co-inventors of the molecule that Speratum is licensing as well as a nanoparticle technology that Speratum is considering as delivery system for the potential microRNA therapy for pancreatic cancer. Dr. Chen’s laboratory is actively conducting several basic science and translation research projects, which are highly relevant to clinical cardiovascular disease and pancreatic cancer. Dr. Chen’s laboratory has a long-term interest in vascular lesion formation, tissue engineering of vascular grafts and molecular mechanisms of vascular healing and stem cell differentiation. Furthermore, Dr. Chen’s group is heavily involved in the new program of personalized genomic medicine and surgery on vascular disease and pancreatic cancer. These studies include tissue banking, genomic profiling, preclinical testing, and clinical trials. Dr. Chen holds several patents from the USPTO and has over 200 published articles in peer-reviewed journals.
Qizhi Yao, MD, PhD.
Professor in the departments of Surgery and Molecular Virology and Microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine. She is a co-inventor of the microRNA molecule that Speratum is licensing as well as a nanoparticle technology that Speratum is considering as delivery system for the potential microRNA therapy for pancreatic cancer. The Yao lab currently focuses on the study of key molecules in pancreatic cancer, including Mesothelin and Trop2 and their mechanisms of regulation. The laboratory is also interested in the involvement of microRNAs in pancreatic cancer, and how their dysregulation leads to its pathogenesis. Among other research fronts, Dr. Yao’s team is currently exploring tumor-associated molecule targeted therapy and RNA interference in vivo, and is interested in developing non-infectious HIV virus-like particles (VLPs) as candidate HIV mucosal vaccines for both preventive and therapeutic purposes. Dr. Yao has over 150 peer-reviewed publications covering these various fields.
Ronald Van der Geest
Ronald is co-founder of 3D-PharmXchange. He is an advisor for various regional and strategic development programs in the life sciences and is involved in the establishment of a number of early start-up companies. He recently led the development of GlyberaTM for uniQure, the 1st approved gene-therapy product in the western world and holds strategic knowledge in the areas of translational development, orphan drugs, individualized medicines and biomarker-based development. Prior to co-founding 3D-PharmXchange Ronald was COO and CDO at Kinesis Pharma, responsible for business development and multidisciplinary drug development, leading the team project leaders. During this time, he held advisory board positions and interim management positions for clients, supporting them in fund raising, drug development, and corporate strategy. Prior to that, he worked for various companies, including Tibotec where he was, amongst others, Compound Development Leader for Prezista®. He is a PhD-level clinical pharmacologist and drug delivery expert by training (Leiden University and UC San Francisco) and started his career in this area at Johnson & Johnson, Belgium.
Thilo Bayrhoffer, MD, MBA
Founder and President of Effimed, a global consulting & advisory boutique serving clients in the pharma, biotech, medtech and diagnostic industries. With offices in San Francisco, Cologne, and Bangalore they are able to marry cost-effective execution with deep market understanding. He is a physician, strategy consultant, and business development executive with global experience in the pharmaceutical and medical device fields. Focused on marketing analytics, forecasting, valuation, and portfolio strategy development. Truly global exposure with tenure in positions in Europe, US, Latin America, Asia. Thilo has accumulated particular expertise in the following sectors: Pharma marketing analytics offshoring, Clinical development offshoring, New product/opportunity valuation, forecasting, transaction support and mergers and acquisitions. He has a medical degree from the Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz and an MBA from the University of Rochester – William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration.
Djo Hasan, PhD.
Dr. Hasan is medical consultant with a specialty in immunotherapy for advanced cancers. He is also a researcher and lecturer with a focus on ventilation-induced lung injury and miR-198 pancreatic cancer therapy. He has also been involved in biotech research, particularly in the development of miR-198 with Speratum since 2015. Prior, he was an intensivist and researcher at Erasmus University in Rotterdam. He was also a member of various committees and groups overlooking and performing medical research in the Netherlands, including neurology and neurosurgery. He presented his dissertation on a treatment of hydrocephalus and cerebral ischemia after subarachnoid hemorrhage at Erasmus University and has published five books, dozens of scientific articles and abstracts, and is regularly summoned to different seminars and lectures as an invited speaker.
Wei Sen Wong, PhD.
Dr. Wong is the founder and CEO of HMJ Associates, a boutique firm renowned for their capabilities to obtain a detailed characterization of the composition, structure, size, and molecular weight of polymers and macromolecules. Dr. Wong has been building expertise in advanced polymer characterization for the past 40 years, specializing in two techniques: Gel Permeation Chromatography (GPC) and Dilute Solution Viscometry (DSV), and has become a reference partner for Malvern/Viscotek, the leaders in the chromatography analysis field.
Awards and recognitions
- 2020’s Promises in Business, Forbes, 2020
- Finalist, Pitch@Palace, St. James’ Palace, London 2018
- 1st Place, Gifted Citizen Competition, Mexico, 2018
- 1st Place, Innovators of America, Science and Technology, New York, 2018
- 1st place, Axon Innovation in Health Award, Netherlands 2018
- Nanoparticle Research and Development Grant Fellow, Costa Rica, 2018
- 1st place, Get in the Ring Heavyweight Winner 2017
- Aspen Global Leadership Network Fellow 2017
- Central American Leadership Initiative Fellow 2017
- 1st place, South Summit Most Innovative Company in Costa Rica 2017
- 1st place, National Innovation Prize for Most Innovative Company, Costa Rica, 2016
1st place, Dan Duncan Cancer Center Best Basic Research Poster 2010, Presentation 2014
Project of National and Public Interest, Government of Costa Rica, 2014
Technology Transfer Development Fellowship, Baylor College of Medicine 2012
Fellowship recipient, Cancer Research Prevention Institute of Texas, 2011
1st place, Johnson & Johnson Technology Competition, Poster 2011
1st place, California Society of Toxicology, Poster 2011
1st place, Dept. of Surgery, Baylor College of Medicine Presentation 2008, 2009, & 2010
1st place, Molecular Surgeon, Young Investigator Award, Texas Med Center 2008, 2009, & 2010