About PIQUR Therapeutics

Founded in 2011 as a spin-off of the University of Basel, Switzerland, PIQUR Therapeutics AG develops breakthrough targeted oncology and dermatology medicines for the treatment of cancers and genetic diseases. PIQUR’s lead compound bimiralisib focuses on the dual inhibition of the PI3K/mTOR pathway. Both PI3K and mTOR are clinically validated drug targets in oncology and dermato-oncology.

Leadership Team


Dr Melanie Rolli – CEO

Melanie Rolli brings to PIQUR more than a decade of industry experience and senior responsibilities in global development, medical affairs and patient safety. Melanie joined PIQUR from Novartis Pharma, where she held various positions with increasing responsibilities over the last 14 years, most recently as Global Head Medical Safety. Prior to joining Novartis, she worked as a medical doctor at the University Hospital in Mannheim and as a basic researcher in academic settings in Germany and at the Scripps Research Institute, USA.

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Peter Oprandi – CFO

Peter Oprandi has more than 20 years of experience in global finance, operations and supply chain within the life science industry most recently as Senior Director/Global CFO Finance Biologics Supply and Operations at AstraZeneca located in Gaithersburg MD USA. Prior to AstraZeneca, he spent 17 years at Lonza, where he held positions of increasing responsibility in Auditing, Supply Chain and Finance finally as Senior Vice President/Divisional CFO Lonza Pharma/Biotech. Peter graduated with a degree in Business Administration and Finance at the Hochschule Lucerne and is currently continuing his EMBA education at IMD in Lausanne.

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Dr Henk Streefkerk – CMO

Henk Streefkerk received his MD and PhD in neurosurgery at the University of Utrecht, in the Netherlands. Henk has been working in clinical development for more than 15 years. He joined PIQUR from Novartis, first as an expert in early clinical development (Translational Medicine, NIBR, Basel), and later in full development (Global Patient Safety, GDD, Basel). Proven experience with designing, executing, and reporting clinical trials, especially first-in-human and proof-of-concept studies. His expertise in data-driven benefit-risk evaluations in late-phase clinical development supported bringing key projects to marketing approval globally; e.g. Rasitrio ®, Entresto ®, and Kisqali ®. Prior to joining Novartis, Henk worked as a clinical pharmacologist at Actelion and Organon (now Merck), and as a medical doctor at the University Medical Center in Nijmegen, the Netherlands.

PIQUR TEAM 500 x 500 Debora Schmitz

Debora Schmitz – Head Translational Science and Clinical Program Leader

Debora Schmitz joined PIQUR in 2014 and has worked in several functions including translational science, clinical science, clinical pharmacology and operations. In her current roles as Head Translational Science and Clinical Program Leader at PIQUR, she integrates her broad scientific expertise with extensive hands-on experience in global clinical program management and leadership to translate science into patient benefit. Debora completed her PhD and postdoc training at the Friedrich Miescher Institute (affiliated with the Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research) in Basel. She holds a diploma of advanced studies in “Pharmaceutical Medicine and Drug Development” from the University of Basel (ECPM) and a Master’s degree / DEA in Biotechnology from the Ecole Supérieure de Biotechnologie de Strasbourg (ESBS) in France.

PIQUR TEAM 500 x 500 Christine Wurz

Christine Wurz – Head Quality Assurance & CMC

Christine Wurz has more than 40 years of experience in Quality Control, Quality Assurance, Quality Management, and computerized systems validation (CSV) at F. Hoffmann-La Roche Basel and several big-, mid-size and small pharmaceutical companies over the globe. At Actelion/Idorsia she established a global IT Quality Management achieving all applicable GxP regulations. And since she joined PIQUR end of 2017 she succeeded in bringing the company to the level of quality and compliance requested by national/international regulations and health authorities to get market approval.

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Stephanie Fernando – Head Corporate Affairs & HR

Stephanie Fernando (-Krähenmann) is a Swiss Basel national, with more than 15 years of international experience in different management positions. She has expertise in the areas of investment advisory, corporate development and communications, sales and marketing and entrepreneurship. Stephanie graduated with a degree in hospitality management and holds an MBA from the IE Business School in Madrid.

Board of Directors

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Mr Richard Laube
– Chairman of the Board
Richard is Chairman or Board Director in several life-science firms. He was previously CEO of Nestle Nutrition and Roche Consumer Health.

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Mr Christian Salz
– Vice-Chairman of the Board
Christian is an entrepreneur with long and extensive memberships of various company Boards in Switzerland.

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Dr Guido Magni
– Partner Versant Ventures and Board Member
Prior to Guido’s extensive experience at Versant Ventures, Guido was Global Head of Medical Science and Drug Development at Roche Pharmaceuticals.

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Ms Dorothée Deuring
– Board Member
Dorothee is a life-science and corporate finance specialist with a strong background in corporate banking advisory, M & A and as Group Finance Head at Roche following her time as a consultant at McKinsey.

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Dr Philippe Andres
– Board Member
Philippe is a dermatologist with extensive experience from Nestle Skin Health (Galderma) in pre-clinical and clinical development of compounds in dermatology.

Advisory Boards

Professor Richard Herrmann
M.D., Professor of Oncology, former Head of Oncology and the Department of Clinical Research at the University Hospital Basel and Professor of Medicine at the University of Basel, Switzerland.

Professor Maarten H Vermeer
Head of Dermatology at Leiden University Medical Center. Leads translational research of the EORTC Cutaneous Lymphoma Working Group and the Cutaneous Lymphoma International Consortium.

Dr Philippe Andres
Dermatologist with 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry (Galderma) in early development, full development, and medical affairs.

Dr Faye M Johnson
Associate Professor, Department of Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology, Division of Cancer Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX.