Management Team

iOnctura has an experienced executive management team with solid track records in drug development and commercialisation.

Catherine Pickering, CEO

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 function she was also part of the oncology franchise leadership team, a small cross functional team responsible for creating the strategy for the oncology business.

She has also held business development and alliance management positions in small biotech and started her career in technology transfer at The Institute of Cancer Research. Her longstanding experience in the healthcare industry gives her a wide network across research institutions and with c-levels in biotech and pharma.

Lars van der Veen, COO

Lars holds a PhD in homogeneous catalysis (cum laude) from the University of Amsterdam. He is an experienced project and alliance manager with demonstrated leadership in pre-clinical and clinical development.

He has managed >25 alliances for in-licensed and out-licensed products of both biologics and small molecules, driving governance, delivery of results and issue resolution.

As a medicinal chemist and team leader he delivered clinical candidates and lead compounds for different therapeutic areas including oncology. He brings a wide network in academia and c-levels in biotech. Lars has previously worked at Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Organon, Boehringer-Ingelheim and Merck.

Michael Lahn, Chief Medical Officer

Michael holds a PhD in Medical Microbiology from the University of Mainz. He has over 20 years’ experience in oncology clinical development in the pharmaceutical industry, where he was responsible for the development of multiple molecules through early and late clinical development.

He joins iOnctura from Incyte Corporation (NASDAQ: INCY) where he was Head of Clinical Development for Europe, and began his career at Eli Lilly and Company, where he first worked in the early phase drug development for anti-inflammatory drugs, including the first-generation antisense oligonucleotide (ASO) aprinocarsen, as well as the development of several novel oncology drugs, including the second generation ASO LY2181308 and the TGF-beta small molecule inhibitor galunisertib (LY2157299). During his time at AstraZeneca’s he was part of the Phase 3 development team for registration of osimertinib in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Zoë Johnson, CSO

Zoë holds a PhD in Pharmacology from King’s College London, UK. Zoë has more than 15 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry in the UK and Europe where she has worked across a range of therapy areas including oncology, autoimmune & inflammatory diseases and allergy.

Her main area of expertise is in building preclinical pharmacology packages to support IND filings, as well as providing bioanalytical support to late stage clinical development programs.

Zoë is an experienced project leader and has successfully led both small and large molecule projects through late stage preclinical development. Zoë has previously worked at UCB, Merck and Novimmune and is based in Geneva, Switzerland.

Francisco Orellana,
VP of Finance and Business Development

Francisco Orellana holds a Master’s degree in Accounting and Finance from the University of Lancaster (UK) and an EMBA from IE Business school (Spain). He is an experienced finance professional with more than 20 years of international exposure (US, Canada, Mexico and Switzerland). Prior to joining iOnctura, Francisco worked as a Controller in a biotech investment fund and as Finance Director for PregLem SA where he contributed to the trade sale of the company to Gedeon Richter PLC. Francisco has previously worked at Unilabs, Emerson Electric, Jabil and E&Y.

Rebeca Zorrilla, Clinical Program Lead

Rebeca Zorrilla joined iOnctura in April 2018 as Clinical Program Leader. She holds a MSc in Chemistry from the University of Vigo (Spain) and a Master in Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Management from GEM, Grenoble Ecole de Management (France).

Rebeca has over 8 years of experience in biopharmaceutical research and development. Prior to joining iOnctura, Rebeca worked as Project Manager at Novimmune. She has broad experience in leading programs from preclinical research to early phase clinical trials across therapeutic areas including oncology and autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.

Prior to joining the biopharmaceutical industry, Rebeca worked as study director in GLP studies at ESG, an UKAS accredited contract research organisation.

By building on complementary mechanisms between cancer and fibrosis iOnctura further aims to address high unmet need in fibrotic disease.