Catherine holds a PhD in Medicinal Chemistry from The Institute of Cancer Research, London and an MBA from Henley Management College, UK. She is an experienced deal maker with broad transaction experience including licensing (in- and out licensing, option deals, and strategic collaborations) and M&A. During her time at Merck where she lead the global oncology and immuno-oncology licensing and business development she was also part of the oncology franchise leadership team, a small cross functional team responsible for creating the strategy for the oncology business. Her longstanding experience in the healthcare industry gives her a wide network across research institutions and with c-levels in biotech and pharma.
Hakan Goker (Ph.D.) is a senior investment director at Merck Ventures, corporate venture arm of the biopharmaceutical division of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. Hakan joined Merck Ventures in 2013 and previously was investing as a partner at Aescap Venture and prior to that at Atlas Venture. Since 2006, Hakan was instrumental in the creation, financing, and strategy of multiple biotechnology companies globally including Asceneuron (CH), Orphazyme (DK), Nimbus Discovery (US), F Star (NL), Bicycle Therapeutics (UK) and Nitec now Horizon Pharma (CH/US). Hakan received his PhD in cancer biology from the Institute of Cancer Research/ University of London and continued his scientific career with post-doctoral work at the Breakthrough Breast Cancer Centre/Royal Marsden Hospital. He gained his BSc Honours, from University College London. Hakan is a board member of Asceneuron, Forendo Pharma, Raze Therapeutics, Tocopherx, Synaffix, and Storm Therapeutics.
Peter is leading the Translational Innovation Platform Immuno-Oncology function in Merck Biopharma. Most recently, he was Head of the President’s Office and of Strategy and Business operations in Merck Healthcare. Prior to this, he was responsible for the program leaders of the oncology portfolio, part of the cross-functional oncology leadership team, and Head of Early Stage Licensing of Merck Serono. He started his carrier in Merck 10 years ago as a member of the corporate development team and was member of the Serono acquisition and integration team. Prior to joining Merck, he co-founded a biotech company focusing on R&D in dermatology where he served as a Chief Business Officer. Peter holds a PhD in molecular biology from the University of Konstanz and began his carrier as a postdoc in biochemistry at the Gene Center Munich.
Laurent is Owner and President of iQone Healthcare Group, a company specialized in building and managing dedicated pharmaceutical sales operations in Europe and selected emerging markets. Laurent was formerly Head of licensing oncology global business development with Merck Serono SA in Geneva, from 2009 until 2011, when he left Merck Serono to run his own company late 2011. Prior to this, he held several general management and corporate positions in the pharmaceutical industry. Laurent spent several years with Eli Lilly, where he held cross-functional responsibilities at local level in sales and marketing (Zyprexa, Regional Marketing Manager Europe, Middle East, Africa, Sales Manager in the US, Business Unit Director (France) and at a corporate level (Corporate Strategy Manager). Following this, he became Executive Director European Commercial Operations for Idenix (a US biotech company owned by Novartis) and subsequently, Head of Specialty Franchises for Novartis France (transplantation, ophthalmology, neurosciences, infectious diseases, mature products). Education : Doctorate in veterinary medicine and an MBA from INSEAD.
Keno Gutierrez, PhD, MBA, joined the Healthcare team of Merck Ventures as an Investment Director in 2017. Previously, he worked at Omega Funds, where he invested in public and private healthcare companies, participating in direct investments and secondaries. Before joining Omega in 2014, Keno was an associate at Piper Jaffray’s Healthcare Investment Banking group, advising biopharma and medtech companies on corporate finance, cross-border M&A and licensing. Prior to joining Piper Jaffray in 2010, he spent four years as a consultant at IMS Health, advising pharma clients on portfolio strategy and commercial operations. Keno is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine, holds a PhD in Genetics from University College in London and an MBA from INSEAD. His research in lipid metabolism has been published in the top scientific journal Nature. Keno is based in Amsterdam.