About Elthera

Elthera AG is a Swiss biopharmaceutical company founded in 2016 by experienced Pharma and Biotech executives with the goal of developing proprietary, first-in-class oncology drugs using a personalized health care approach.

Elthera AG is developing antibodies against the novel target L1CAM, an adhesion molecule whose expression is strongly correlated with an aggressive tumor phenotype and poor prognosis in various types of cancer.

By combining targeted anti-L1CAM therapy with companion diagnostics, Elthera AG is developing new personalized treatments to improve survival for patients with the most aggressive malignancies.

Management Team

The Elthera management team has a combined experience of more than 50 years and a proven track record in developing biological compounds from discovery to clinical proof-of-concept and beyond. The team has complementary skill sets and an in-depth knowledge in all areas of biologics development.

The team members have already successfully worked together at ESBATech, where they had prominent roles in the development of Brolucizumab, an anti-VEGF antibody fragment for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration. Brolucizumab was recently successfully tested in clinical Phase 3 studies and has been filed for marketing authorization in February 2019.

Anne SchmidtCEO
Anne Schmidt has co-founded Elthera AG and is CEO and member of the Board of Directors. She is a seasoned executive with 20 years of experience in different management positions in Biotech and pharma companies, most recently at ESBATech / Novartis. Anne has extensive experience in the development of diagnostics and vaccines and a track record of successfully leading antibody development projects from the research stage to the clinical proof of concept. Four of her projects have resulted in a positive proof of concept in clinical phase 2 studies. She holds a PhD in Immunology from the University of Stuttgart.
Jacques GaudreaultCOO
Jacques has co-founded Elthera AG and is COO and member of the Board of Directors. He has more than 23 years of experience from different senior leadership positions in the pharmaceutical industry and has worked as a preclinical and clinical pharmacologist, Project Leader, and Discovery Unit Head. During his employment at Genentech, Jacques has been involved in the development and approval of several biologics, including the blockbusters Avastin (an anti-VEGF antibody for treatment of several tumor types), and Lucentis (an antibody for the treatment of Age-Related Macular Degeneration). He holds a PhD in Pharmaceutics from the University of Montreal and a BSC in Pharmacy.
Jacques GaudreaultCOO
Jacques has co-founded Elthera AG and is COO and member of the Board of Directors. He has more than 23 years of experience from different senior leadership positions in the pharmaceutical industry and has worked as a preclinical and clinical pharmacologist, Project Leader, and Discovery Unit Head. During his employment at Genentech, Jacques has been involved in the development and approval of several biologics, including the blockbusters Avastin (an anti-VEGF antibody for treatment of several tumor types), and Lucentis (an antibody for the treatment of Age-Related Macular Degeneration). He holds a PhD in Pharmaceutics from the University of Montreal and a BSC in Pharmacy.
Gunther SpohnCSO
Gunther Spohn has co-founded Elthera AG and is CSO and member of the Board of Directors. Gunther is a senior drug development professional with more than 18 years of experience in the Biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry. He served in different management positions in preclinical drug development, most recently at ESBATech/Novartis, and has a track record as a leader of early drug development projects in the field of therapeutic antibodies and vaccines. He has expert knowledge in the pharmacological characterization of antibodies and the development of bioanalytical methods for preclinical and clinical studies as well as extensive expertise in diverse aspects of drug development such as preclinical efficacy and safety testing, process development, patenting, regulatory filings.

Board of Directors

Anne Schmidt

Jacques Gaudreault

Gunther Spohn

Dominik Escher is a biotechnology entrepreneur. He was a founder of ESBATech and was leading the company as CEO since its inception in 1998 until 2016. He raised more than USD 90 million venture capital for ESBATech AG. In 2009, ESBATech AG
was acquired for USD 589 million by Alcon.
At the same time as ESBATech AG was sold to Alcon, Dominik co-founded Delenex Therapeutics. He served as a board member until the trade sale
of the company to Cell Medica in 2016.
In 2017 he co-founded and is the Executive Chairman of CDR-Life, a biotech company specialized in therapeutic antibody fragments. He also co-founded and is a Partner of Pureos Bioventures, a new venture capital fund investing into private biotechnology companies developing next generation biopharmaceuticals.
Since 2002 he is a Board Member of the Swiss Biotech Association, the biotech industry organization of Switzerland, which he leads as President since 2013.

Dr. Bettina Ernst is a biotech entrepreneur and investor. She has expert knowledge in immunology acquired in different academic positions in Europe and the U.S. and has since worked in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. Bettina currently serves as the CEO of Preclin Biosystems AG, and she serves on the Board of Directors of several biotech companies. She is vice president of the board of the Swiss Biotech Association, a member of the Innovation Council of Innosuisse and a member of the advisory board of the Swiss Entrepreneurs Foundation. She is member of GoBeyond Investing.