Team

Thierry Laugel

Managing Partner
Thierry co-founded Kurma Partners in 2009 after leaving AGF Private Equity. He has 25 years of experience in Life Sciences, both in Venture and in Industry, and is a Pharmacist + PhD and MBA. Thierry started his career in 1992 as R&D Project Manager for Laboratoires Fournier in Japan. After his graduation at INSEAD in 1996, he joined Flamel Technologies, just after its successful listing on Nasdaq, and managed the development-stage portfolio of the company. In 1998, he moved to investments, first at Caisse des Dépots (CDC), then at AGF Private Equity (Allianz Group), where he supervised the healthcare investment team. Thierry has led investments in more than 25 companies like Actelion, Arpida, Targacept, Adocia, Auris or Erytech. He is currently a Board Member of Meiogenix (France), Pathoquest (France), Blink Biomedical (France), Asarina Pharma (Denmark), Minoryx (Spain) and Horama (France).

Rémi Droller

Managing Partner
Master in Molecular Biology (Paris VI) and Master in Finance and Innovation Management (Masternova - AgroPariTech). Started at CDC Innovation from 2000 to 2003, later joining AGF Private Equity (now Idinvest Partners) where he developed the investment activity in the life sciences and made investments such as Novagali Pharma (listed on Euronext and acquired by Santen) Prosensa Therapeutics (listed on Nasdaq and acquired by Biomarin) Vivacta (acquired by Novartis), IntegraGen (listed on Alternext) Onxeo (listed on Euronext). Rémi joined Kurma Partners in 2010 and is in charge of investments in AM Pharma (The Netherlands), Orphazyme (Denmark), Oxthera (Sweden), Stat Diagnostica (Spain), Zealand Pharma (Denmark) and Dynacure (France).

Vanessa Malier

Managing Partner
Scientist by training, Vanessa started joined the Paris based VC fund CDC-Innovation in 1998 as an analyst, prior to joining a California based start up to be in charge of the business development activities. Vanessa then joined Ipsen in 2003, as Strategic Advisor to the CEO and headed the portfolio management team for the gastro-enterology product range (totaling more than 130M€). Vanessa was appointed in 2005 as Product Manager and Team Leader for febuxostat (Adenuric), which received EMA approval in 2008. Vanessa was then successively appointed as Senior Director, Business Development Oncology in 2009 and VP, R&D Strategic Planning in 2011. Vanessa graduated in Biology at Ecole Normale Superieure, Cachan and in Immunology at Pasteur Institute. Vanessa joined Kurma in September 2013 and is responsible for the investment in Xeltis (Switzerland), Asceneuron (Switzerland), Step Pharma (France) and Vivet (France).

Philippe Peltier

Partner
MS in molecular biology (Paris 7 University) and MS in Finance (ESSEC). He was previously a Partner with Auriga Partners from 1999 and 2015 and conducted several investments in Life Sciences. Philippe served on the board of several portfolio companies including Genocea Biosciences (listed on Nasdaq), Implanet (listed on Euronext), Novagali Pharma (listed on Euronext and acquired by Santen), Innate Pharma (listed on Euronext), Tigenix (listed on Euronext), Spine Next (acquired by Abbott Spine), Alantos (acquired by Amgen). Philippe joined Kurma in July 2015. He is also a board member of DNA script (France), APD (France), Damae (France) and Sensome (France).

Alain Horvais

Partner
PhD in Molecular Biology from the University of Angers and an MS in Finance and Innovation management from Masternova – AgroPariTech. After his PhD, Alain started his own company, D-Genos in 1995, dedicated to the development of molecular (PCR based) assays for food and vegetable applications. He joined Bio-Rad France in 2001, as R&D Manager for the development of a range of IVD PCR assays. After the launch of the first products in 2011, he joined Astra Zeneca UK, as Diagnostic Team Director. Alain joined Kurma Partners in January 2015 as Partner for the Kurma Diagnostics fund. He is also a board member of APD (France) and Feetme (France).

Hadrien Bouchez

Associate
Pharmacist by training, Hadrien graduated Centrale - ESSEC with a Masters in Entrepreneurship. He undertook an internship at Servier Laboratories, joining Kurma Partners in October 2014. Hadrien is interested in entrepreneurship for a long time and has already founded in 2011 a journal for young entrepreneurs.

Amine Marouf

Associate
MSc in genetics (Paris 7 university), and MS from ESSEC Business School. Amine previously worked in the project and portfolio management team at Roche Pharma. He then worked for 5 years as a strategy consultant for innovative companies in the Life Science market. He joined Kurma as an associate in June 2017

Sylvain Cascarino

CFO
More than 15 years of experience in Finance & Administration. Previously entrepreneur and CFO for Nekazen/Le MAG VoD. Fund controller & Internal Auditor for Jones Lang LaSalle. Tax Advisor with Arthur Andersen. Sylvain joined Kurma in January 2013.

Shera Salhi

Back office Manager
Graduated in business law, Shera is responsible for administrative operations and provide assistance in legal operations. She received legal and administrative experience in an NGO, a law firm and the anti terrorism Court in Paris. Shera joined the team in July 2015.

Muriel Domine

Office Manager
Graduated with a Master of business law as well as a Diploma in Legal Advice for Businesses. Muriel previously worked in a French insurance company as legal advisor. At Kurma Partners, she is in charge of service providers and logistics. Muriel also assists the company in legal operations and human ressources. She joined the team in January 2017.

Advisors & Consultants

Alain Munoz

Alain has over 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry at the top executive level. From training in cardiology and anesthesia, he started his career in the industry in 1980 with the Sanofi Group as Vice President Research & Development. In 1990, he joined the private French pharmaceutical company Fournier, as VP of R&D and Business Development, eventually becoming senior vice president of the Pharmaceutical Division. Alain currently acts as an entrepreneur, developing his own projects and board member of several biotechnology companies.

Louis Nisbet

Former partner of the private equity fund Sitka Partners, co-led for 9 years, Louis has previously directed several English startups such as Xenova plc, Brax and InTouchWithHealth. He spent the first 13 years of his career in the pharmaceutical industry at Roche and GSK. He joined Kurma Partners as Venture partner based in Britain. He is certified "FSA Approved Person status for fund management" of the UK Financial Services Authority.

Dr Khalid Islam

He has worked for over 22 years in the pharmaceutical industry including at MTOM and HMR. He is currently Chairman and CEO of Gentium SpA (a company listed on NASDAQ) and previously Chairman of Arpida AG (a company listed on the SWX). He founded or co-founded several companies. He is a member of the "International Scientific Board of the Network of Excellence in Pathogenomics" and member of the editorial committee of "Current Drug Discovery Technologies." He obtained his PhD at Imperial College (London, UK), has published over 80 scientific articles and is the author of numerous patents. Trained in sciences, Giacomo is specialized in the design of molecules and bioinformatics. His dual competence in science and business has allowed him to co-found and run several businesses.

Heiner Dreismann

Dr. Dreismann is an acknowledged leader with over 30 years’ experience in the health industry. He spent most of his career at Roche Group from 1985 to 2006, holding various positions in senior management, including: President and CEO, Roche Molecular Systems, Head Global Business Development, Roche Diagnostics and Member of Executive Committee Roche Diagnostics Global. Dr. Dreismann today serves on boards of directors of several health sector companies.

Jochen Knolle

Jochen’s experience spans 30 years in the pharmaceutical industry, and encompasses every aspect of drug discovery, development and registration. Jochen was named as inventor on more than 100 patents and author of more than 60 publications. He was named as inventor of Quinapril and Firazyr. Jochen is an advisor in Kurma Partners since x August 2017.