An Educational Course on Translating Research into Drugs
Presented by the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation
15-17 May 2016 • Budapest, Hungary

2016 Speakers

Howard Fillit, MD

Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation

Howard Fillit, MD, a geriatrician, neuroscientist and a leading expert in Alzheimer’s disease, is the founding Executive Director of the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF). The ADDF’s mission is to accelerate the discovery and development of drugs to prevent, treat and cure Alzheimer’s disease, related dementias and cognitive aging.

Dr. Fillit has had a distinguished academic medicine career at The Rockefeller University and The Mount Sinai School of Medicine where he is a clinical professor of geriatrics and medicine and professor of neurobiology. He is a co-author of more than 300 scientific and clinical publications, and is the senior editor of the leading international Textbook of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology.

Previously, Dr. Fillit was the Corporate Medical Director for Medicare at New York Life, responsible for over 125,000 Medicare managed care members in five regional markets. Dr. Fillit has received several awards and honors including the Rita Hayworth Award for Lifetime Achievement. He also serves as a consultant to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, health care organizations and philanthropies.  Throughout his career, he has maintained a limited private practice in consultative geriatric medicine with a focus on Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

Dirk Beher, PhD

Asceneuron S.A.

Beher (Website)Dr. Dirk Beher is the Chief Executive Officer, a Founder and member of the Board of Directors of Asceneuron SA. Under his leadership Asceneuron has raised CHF 36 million from leading venture capital firms besides from securing alternative funding. Since its inception he has strategically positioned the company as an emerging leader in the field of orally bioavailable drugs for treating orphan tauopathies and Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

He brings more than 23 years of experience in the field of AD / neurodegeneration and spent over 17 years in pharmaceutical drug discovery. Prior to Asceneuron he has held various positions with increasing responsibilities at major pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical companies such as Merck Sharp & Dohme (Merck & Co.), Amgen and Merck KGaA in locations around the globe. Dirk holds a PhD and a Diploma (MS) in Biology from the Ruprecht-Karls University Heidelberg, Germany. He is an inventor of seven patents and currently authors 49 peer-reviewed publications and reviews.

Luc Buée, PhD

University of Lille

Dr. Luc Buée is a French scientist (CNRS Research Professor). Head of the Inserm laboratory « Alzheimer & Tauopathies » and Director of the Jean-Pierre Aubert Research Centre, University of Lille, France. His group is also part of the laboratory of Excellence (LabEx) DISTALZ.

He has worked on Alzheimer disease and related disorders for twenty five years. He started his work on the role of proteoglycans in Alzheimer disease with a PhD training at Mount Sinai Medical Center, NYC. Later he was involved in the initial characterization of tau aggregates among neurodegenerative disorders.

He also developed experimental models to better understand the role of post-translational modifications in tau aggregation. His group is currently working on the pathophysiological consequences of neurofibrillary degeneration and their links to the amyloid pathology in Alzheimer disease. His group was/is also involved in different international consortia.

Luc Buée is also involved in different scientific advisory boards and operating committees in the field of AD. He has been nominated delegate at the Inserm Board for scientific evaluations in Neurosciences (CSS 6).


Olivier Corminboeuf, PhD

Actelion Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

CorminboeufDr. Olivier Corminboeuf majored in Chemistry at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland and performed his PhD thesis in organic chemistry in the group of Prof. Philippe Renaud, developing new concepts for enantioselective transformation. He held a postdoctoral position in the group of Prof. Larry Overman at UC Irvine, working on a unified strategy for the enantioselective total synthesis of diterpene-based marine products. Dr. Corminboeuf is now a Director in Drug Discovery Chemistry at Actelion Pharmaceuticals Ltd. near Basel, Switzerland.

Emanuela Del Vesco


Dr. Emanuela Del Vesco earned a degree in Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Technology at the University of Padua (Italy) in 2000. She has more than 15 years of experience in pharmaceutical development, dealing with new chemical entities from candidate selection throughout all clinical phases.

She joined GSK R&D site Centre of excellence for SNC drugs in 2001 as Scientist dealing with developability assessment of drug candidate. She acquired experience in analytical science supporting the projects from pre-formulation to formulation development. She focused on Biopharmaceutical aspects assessment of oral dosage form starting from in vitro tool to predict the in vivo performance.

In 2010 she joined Aptuit Verona as Technical Leader for integrated CMC projects. She is now responsible of a group working on pre-formulation aspects and analytical support for formulation development and supervises technical coordination of the development projects within Pharmaceutical Science as project Scientific Leader.

Hans-Ulrich Demuth, PhD

Fraunhofer IZI-MWT

Dr. Hans-Ulrich Demuth, PhD has more than 35 years academic and industrial experience in target validation and drug discovery. His research focuses on bioorganic mechanisms, enzyme-inhibition and protein-ligand interactions. His work on proline-specific peptidases led to pioneering a drug discovery program in 1993 for the development of anti-diabetic drugs (from 1997 on is the DP4-inhibitor class on the market to treat type 2 diabetes.

Since 1992 Dr. Demuth has focused on proteins relevant in CNS disorders. His results were published in roughly 200 posters, more than 300 peer reviewed papers, and some 120 issued patents. About 40 Bachelor, Master and Diploma theses and more than 30 PhD theses were also prepared under his supervision.

Currently he is heading the Department of Drug Design and Target Validation, Biocenter, Halle (Saale), and the branch of Bioanalytics and Bioprocesses in Potsdam/Golm, both subsidiaries of the Leipzig-based Institute of Cell Therapy and Immunology (IZI) of the German Fraunhofer Society. These institutions consist of three research divisions focusing on biochemical and pharmacological target validation, molecular and cell biotechnology, drug design and bioanalytics. Dr. Demuth’s main focus now is target validation and drug discovery in the fields of neurodegeneration, inflammation and cancer.


Benoit Déprez, PhD


DeprezDr. Benoit Déprez is a pharmacist and chemist by training. He did his PhD work under the supervision of Pr. André Tartar at the Institut Pasteur de Lille. After his PhD, he has managed parallel synthesis at Cerep (acquired by Eurofins) and later drug discovery operations at Devgen.

Dr. Déprez is co-founder of Apteeus and consultant for Investments Funds and biotech companies. He is currently the founder and director of the Drug Discovery Lab at Inserm and Institut Pasteur de Lille (U76 U1177, “Drugs & Molecules for Living Systems”). He is author of more than 90 publications in peer-reviewed international journals and 19 patents. He has a H-factor of 27 (i10 = 52, i50 = 12).

As a faculty member, he teaches the classes of Industrial Phamacy (management of pharma R&D, scientific bases of marketing and pharmaceutical affairs) and he is a corresponding member of the Academie Nationale de Pharmacie.


Alexander Dömling, PhD

University of Groningen

Dr. Alexander Dömling studied chemistry & biology at the Technical University Munich. After performing his PhD under the supervision of Ivar Ugi he spent his postdoctoral year at the Scripps Research Institute in the group of Barry Sharpless.

He is founder of several biotech companies, including Morphochem and R&D Biopharmaceuticals. In 2004 we performed his habilitation in chemistry at the Technical University of Munich. Since 2006 he is professor at the University of Pittsburgh in the Department of Pharmacy and Chemistry and most recently Chair of Drug Design at the University of Groningen. He is author of more than 100 papers, reviews and book contributions.


Allan Green, MD, PhD, JD

Boston College School of Law

Dr. Allan Green is a physician, lawyer and research scientist with experience as an operating officer in the pharmaceutical industry. His legal practice focuses on the needs of FDA regulated industry. Dr. Green has successfully represented many American and Foreign clients in their relationships with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). He serves as external counsel to a number of nonprofit foundations and hospitals involved in medical research. He is Adjunct Professor of Law and teaches Food and Drug Law at Boston College Law School. He was formerly Instructor at Harvard School of Medicine and on the medical staffs of the Massachusetts General Hospital and Boston Medical Center. Dr. Green has been a practicing physician and is Board certified in internal medicine and nuclear medicine. He was Chief of Nuclear Medicine and MRI at University Hospital (now Boston Medical Center). He is a former Medical Director of New England Nuclear/DuPont Medical Products and currently acts as CEO of Ground Fluor Pharmaceuticals, Inc. He has been actively involved in several start-up ventures in the pharmaceutical industry. He was a founder of Neurochem, Inc., Theseus Imaging, Inc. (sold to North American Scientific) and of Atreus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (sold to Advanced Accelerator Applications). He served as President of the Biotechnology Data Group in Cambridge, Massachusetts and as a consultant to many pharmaceutical companies and investors in the industry. Dr. Green serves on the Board of Overseers of the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation and is Co-Managing Partner of SDG, LLC, a consulting organization in Cambridge, MA. supporting FDA-regulated industry (www.sdgltd.com).


Jan Grimm, PhD


GrimmDr. Jan Grimm is a neuroscientist with 15 years of experience in drug discovery and development in US and European biotech.

Dr. Grimm co-founded Neurimmune in 2006 and served as the company’s founding CEO. Before joining Neurimmune he led the Alzheimer’s disease research efforts at Rinat Neuroscience Corp. in San Francisco that was acquired by Pfizer in 2006. He received his PhD from Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine and Humboldt University Berlin.


Marie-Louise Jung, PhD

Prestwick Chemical

Dr. Marie-Louise Jung is currently Vice-President Sales & Business Development of Prestwick Chemical in Strasbourg. She started the company in 1999 with Prof. Camille Wermuth and put in place the fundamentals of the company first as general manager.

Prior to joining Prestwick, she was a sales manager at a biotechnology company headquartered in the U.S. Formerly she worked for >10 years for a Swiss pharma company focused on phytochemicals, and earlier in various research laboratories at the Strasbourg University, mostly in anti-cancer drug discovery. Marie-Louise is a graduate of the Faculty of Pharmacy of the Strasbourg University, and her PhD is in Biochemistry.

Mati Karelson, PhD

University of Tartu

KarelsonDr. Mati Karelson, PhD, is Professor and Head of Molecular Engineering at the University of Tartu, Estonia. His basic research has dealt with the theory of solvent effects, the foundations of QSAR/QSPR, and the development of the corresponding computer software. He has pioneered the extension of the quantum chemical methods to condensed systems such as liquids, solutions and polymers and introduced a large class of quantum-chemical molecular descriptors into quantitative structure-activity relationship studies. He has widened the applicability of machine learning methods in the drug design and developed large QSAR libraries for the prediction of pharmacological activity, ADME/Tox, and PK/PD properties of compounds. He has been particularly interested in the development of novel drug platforms for neurodegenerative and viral diseases.

Professor Mati Karelson has been also actively engaged in teaching, industrial consulting, and scientific management.


Emer Leahy, PhD


Dr. Emer Leahy received her PhD in Neuropharmacology from University College Dublin, Ireland, and her MBA from Columbia University.

She has more than 25 years of experience in drug discovery and business development for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, including extensive knowledge of technology assessment, licensing, mergers and acquisitions, and strategic planning.

Prior to her appointment as CEO, she was PsychoGenics’ Vice President of Business Development. In addition to the aforementioned, Dr. Leahy has served as Senior Vice President of Business Development at American Biogenetic Sciences, where she spearheaded contract negotiations and licensing agreements focusing on Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy and other neurodegenerative disorders, and Vice President of Business Development, at AMBI Inc.

Dr. Leahy served on the Emerging Companies Section Governing Board for the Board of Directors of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), and currently serves on several advisory boards.


Tamara Maes, PhD

Oryzon Genomics S.A.


Dr. Tamara Maes received her PhD in Biotechnology from the University of Ghent, Belgium. As part of the Flemish Institute of Biotechnology (VIB), her work focused on the genetic control of development. She has produced over twenty scientific papers and patents internationally and has developed innovative HTS methods for functional genomics.

She joined the Department of Molecular Genetics at the CID/CSIC in Barcelona as part of an EU-funded project, subsequently an EMBO post-doctoral fellowship, in order to study gene transcription control mechanisms. In 2000, she founded Oryzon and became its Chief Scientific Officer and a member of its Board of Directors.

Hermann Mucke, PhD

H. M. Pharma Consultancy

MuckeDr. Mucke is the owner and executive of H.M. Pharma Consultancy, a globally acting provider of consulting services to the life science sector with headquarters in Vienna (Austria).

Prior to establishing his company in 2000, he spent five years in academia and 14 years as an R&D director in the pharmaceutical industry.

With H.M. Pharma Consultancy he advocates, designs, and oversees comprehensive development strategies for new chemical entities and repurposed compounds from discovery to the early clinical stages. A special emphasis is placed on early integration of intellectual property and regulatory issues in the context of the dynamics of medical need and competing products.


Paolo Pevarello, PhD

Axxam SpA

Dr. Paolo Pevarello is a medicinal chemist with more than 30-years of experience pharmaceutical industry and in public research. He has worked in many different roles with large and small pharmaceutical companies. He and his teams have been instrumental in the discovery of several clinical-stage compounds in the CNS and Oncology therapeutic areas. He is an author of over 100 peer-reviewed publications and patents.

Carol Routledge, PhD

SV Life Sciences


Dr. Carol Routledge joined SV as a Venture partner, focused on the DDF, in 2015.

Prior to this, Dr. Routledge was Head of Translational Medicine in Biopharm Discovery, Biopharm R&D. She has over 25 years’ experience in preclinical and clinical research and development for both NCEs and biologics. She holds a degree from Nottingham University and a PhD in neuropharmacology. Carol’s career has spanned various positions in major pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies both in the UK and in the US including ICI, Syntex, Wyeth, SmithKline Beecham, BTG and GSK.

Her focus has been on drug discovery and development across a number of different therapeutic areas particularly in the areas of neuroscience and immuno-inflammatory diseases with an emphasis on translational medicine.


Georg C. Terstappen, PhD


Dr. Georg C. Terstappen is the Director of Discovery Biology in Neuroscience Discovery at AbbVie in Ludwigshafen, Germany. He is also Vice-Chair of EFPIA’s InnoMedS group, Co-Chair of the Strategic Governing Group Neurodegeneration of the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) and PI in several IMI projects in the context of brain delivery of macromolecules (COMPACT) and human induced pluripotent stem cells (StemBANCC). In addition, he is also an adjunct Professor of Biotechnology at the University of Applied Sciences in Mannheim (Germany).

Prior to joining AbbVie in January 2011, he was the Chief Scientific Officer of Siena Biotech, a drug discovery company he co-initiated in 2002. From 2005 – 2010 he was also the coordinator of ADIT, a European-wide collaborative research project in target and lead discovery for Alzheimer’s disease funded by the EC’s FP6. In this period he was also co-proponent and PI of two Marie Curie academic-industrial networks in the context of polyglutamine diseases including Huntington’s and Parkinson’s disease (NEUROMODEL and TreatPolyQ) funded by the EC’s FP7.

Georg has more than 20 years of experience in CNS drug discovery, is an inventor/co-inventor of 14 patents and an author of more than 70 scientific publications. He previously worked at Bayer AG, GlaxoWellcome and GlaxoSmithKline where his last position was Director of Systems Research.

Prior to joining the pharmaceutical industry in 1992, he conducted research at the Max-Planck-Institute in Cologne and the Federal Research Centre Juelich (Germany) for which he received his PhD in natural sciences.


Neus Virgili, B.Sc

Oryzon Genomics S.A.

Neus Virgili is a qualified European Patent Attorney, with 20 years experience as corporate patent attorney in the pharmaceutical sector. BSc in Organic Chemistry from the University of Barcelona, Spain.

She started her career in 1991 in J. Uriach y Compañía (Grupo Uriach), where she set up the Patent Department and had full responsibility for all patent-related work of the company. In 2006 she joined Palau Pharma, SA as Head of the Patent Department. Since 2009 she was also responsible for coordinating all legal matters of the company, being appointed Chief Patent Officer & Legal Affairs.

In September 2011, she joined Oryzon as Chief Intellectual Property Officer (CIPO).


Erich Wanker, PhD

The Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine

Dr. Erich Wanker is Principal Investigator at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine Berlin-Buch and Chair of Molecular Medicine at Charité University Medicine Berlin. He graduated in Chemical Engineering and Biochemistry from the University of Technology Graz, Austria, where he also completed his PhD in 1992. After a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, Los Angeles he became a group leader at the Max-Planck-Institute for Molecular Genetics Berlin and was appointed to his present positions in 2001. His research interests are in protein misfolding and neurodegeneration, molecular mechanisms of protein-protein and protein-drug interactions and in high-throughput network biology.

Manfred Windisch, PhD

NeuroScios GMBH

WindischAfter graduation from the University of Graz in 1985 Dr. Manfred Windisch spent several years heading a neurobiology group there doing research on brain metabolism and animal model development. Thereafter he was involved for many years in University and industrial research programs in Europe, North America and Asia in the field of neurodegenerative disorders.

He established a global network of research collaborations and stimulated intensive scientific information exchange. 1999 he founded the CRO JSW-Lifesciences focusing on the role of alpha and beta-synuclein in pathogenesis of PD and AD. He created and standardized improved transgenic rodent models of neurodegenerative diseases, performing about 60-80 pharmacological studies per year. In parallel he was involved in clinical research in AD, MCI, PD and ALS organizing and conducting so far about 25 international trials from phase 1 to phase 3. The clinical trial experience includes also complex study designs using state of the art imaging techniques and CSF biomarkers.

In 2013 he founded “NeuroScios – Neuroscience Optimized Solutions” based on his 30 years of experience. The Company is specialized in consulting for drug development programs in neurological indications and provides premier research services for clinical trials in for CNS disorders (AD, PD, ALS).