Our Team

Global Head of BI Venture Fund

Frank Kalkbrenner

Frank Kalkbrenner

Ingelheim, Germany

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Therapeutics Investment Team

Sebastian Kreuz

Sebastian Kreuz

Ingelheim, Germany

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Philipp Müller

Philipp Müller

Ingelheim, Germany

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Niklas Czeloth

Niklas Czeloth

Ingelheim, Germany

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Johannes Zanzinger

Johannes Zanzinger

Ingelheim, Germany

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Martin Heidecker

Martin Heidecker

Boston, US

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Fei Shen

Fei Shen

Boston, US

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Kanad Das

Kanad Das

San Francisco, US

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Stefan Pflanz

Stefan Pflanz

San Francisco, US

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Weiyi Zhang

Weiyi Zhang

Beijing, China

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Zhaomin Chen

Zhaomin Chen

Beijing, China

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Digital Health Investment Team

Mark Ralph

Mark Ralph

Boston, US

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Debbie Lin

Debbie Lin

Boston, US

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Oliver Reuß

Oliver Reuß

Ingelheim, Germany

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Alexander Ehlgen

Alexander Ehlgen

Ingelheim, Germany

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Back Office

Yvonne Richter

Yvonne Richter

Ingelheim, Germany

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Kathrin Rohschürmann

Kathrin Rohschürmann

Ingelheim, Germany

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Cathy Sylvain

Cathy Sylvain

Boston, US

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Lindsay Wang

Lindsay Wang

Beijing, China

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Enabling Functions in Finance and Legal

Dragan Djuric

Dragan Djuric

Ingelheim, Germany

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Timothy Arnheim

Timothy Arnheim

Ingelheim, Germany

Email contact
Maximilian Stöhr

Maximilian Stöhr

Ingelheim, Germany

Email contact
Frank Kalkbrenner

Frank Kalkbrenner

Current role

Frank is the Global Head of the Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund and has been involved in several investments of the fund. He served as board member of STAT Diagnostica in Barcelona, which was sold to Qiagen in April 2018 and Amal Therapeutics, which was sold to Boehringer Ingelheim in July 2019. Currently, he is on the Boards of Acousia Therapeutics in Tübingen, RinRi Therapeutics in Sheffield, Aelin Therapeutics in Leuven, eTheRNA in Niel, T3 Pharmaceuticals in Basel and Brainomix in Oxford, NBE in Basel, T-knife in Berlin and Cardior Pharmaceuticals in Hannover. In addition, he is member of the Supervisory and the Advisory Board of Inserm Transfer Initiative, a French Seed Investment Fund based in Paris.

Professional Background

Frank studied Medicine, did his PhD in Pharmacology and specialized in Pharmacology and Toxicology. He spent more than 10 years in academic research in the Max-Planck-Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin and in the Institute of Pharmacology of the Freie Universität, Berlin. His academic research focused on gene regulation by transcription factors and signal transduction mediated by ion channels and G proteins.

In 1997, he began his industrial career by joining Schering AG as senior scientist in Experimental Dermatology. In 1999, Frank moved to Boehringer Ingelheim and joined the department of Pulmonary Research. In 2005, he took over the responsibility for the Licensing Department. In this function, he was responsible for the licensing activities of the German Boehringer Ingelheim organization in various indication areas. In addition, he built up the NBE Research unit at the German Research site in Biberach.

In 2010 - shortly after its initiation - Frank joined the Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund.

Sebastian Kreuz

Sebastian Kreuz

Current role

After joining the Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund in June 2019, Sebastian serves as a board member of Rewind Therapeutics in Leuven, Topas in Hamburg, Quantro in Vienna and Abalos Therapeutics in Essen, a recently founded company specialized on virus-based approaches for the treatment of cancer patients. In addition to contributing to the Venture Fund portfolio in the areas of immune oncology and regenerative medicine, Sebastian is focusing on strategic opportunities in the infectious diseases space.

Professional Background

Sebastian studied Technical Biology at the University of Stuttgart and holds a PhD in Molecular Biology and Immunology. In 2004, he started his career in Pharmaceutical Industry as a scientist at Boehringer Ingelheim. Since then, Sebastian held various positions in different functions within the BI research organization covering responsibilities as Laboratory Head and Project Leader ranging from early stage drug concept work to advanced drug discovery projects in various disease areas. From 2015 to 2019, before joining the BI Venture Fund, Sebastian was working in the Research Beyond Borders department to implement an integrated R&D strategy for virus-based Gene Therapy as a novel treatment modalitiy for BI.

Weiyi Zhang

Weiyi Zhang

Current role

Weiyi is currently the Managing Director of Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund China, and the Head of External Innovation Hub China at Boehringer Ingelheim, located in Beijing.

Professional Background

Weiyi gained her bachelor degree in Biology at Xiamen University in 2001. She joined international Max-Planck research school in chemical biology in 2003 and studied function of olfactory G-protein coupled receptor and ligand-gated ion channels in diseases. She obtained her Ph.D in cell biology from Ruhr-University Bochum in 2007. Since 2008, Weiyi started postdoc training in functional study of orphan GPCRs in central neural system at both National Institute of Biological Sciences and the University of Hong Kong.

In 2009, Weiyi started her industrial career by joining Bioduro-PPD in Beijing and led an HTS and assay development group focusing on HTS assays and integrated early drug discovery programs for various pharmaceutical companies. Then she has led the monoclonal antibody research group at Bio-Rad Laboratory in Shanghai from 2012. From 2013 to 2016, Weiyi joined Innovation Center China at Bayer Healthcare with increasing responsibilities and left Bayer as Associate Director of Innovation Partnering. In 2016, Weiyi joined Boehringer Ingelheim and started to build the external innovation function in China from scratch.

In April 2020, Weiyi started to build the Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund team in China.

Zhaomin Chen

Zhaomin Chen

Current role

Zhaomin is an Investment Senior Manager at Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund. She joined Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund in 2020 and is based in Beijing.

Professional Background

Zhaomin studied Chemistry, received a B.Sc from Wuhan University in China and her Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry and Chemometrics from The Ohio State University in the United States. Her academic research focused on in situ tumor detection and visualization with imaging spectroscopy and self-developed machine learning algorithms. She also studied protein structure prediction with spectroscopy and computational methods.

In 2015, she began her industrial career by joining AMRI as senior scientist in Analytical Method Development. In 2018, Zhaomin moved back to China and joined healthcare investment arm in CCB International, leading several investments in therapeutics in and out of Asia.

Johannes Zanzinger

Johannes Zanzinger

Current role

Johannes joined the Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund in 2019 with 20 years of experience in pharmaceutical R&D and Business Development, which he led for Cardiometabolic Diseases at Boehringer Ingelheim over more than ten years. He serves as board member of HepaRegenix in Tübingen, DiogenX in Marseille, Eyevensys in Paris, Metabomed in Tel Aviv and AgoMab in Ghent. In addition, he is member of the Supervisory and the Scientific Advisory Board of Advent France Biotechnology, a French Seed Investment Fund based in Paris as well as a member of the Strategic Committee of Innobio 2, a BPI fund based in Paris.

Professional Background

Johannes studied Animal Sciences and Biology, and earned a PhD in Animal Sciences (Dr. sc.agr.) at the University of Hohenheim in 1992, followed by postdoctoral positions at the Medical Faculties of the Universities of Freiburg and Heidelberg, where he completed a postdoctoral thesis (Habilitation) and was appointed Associate Professor (Privatdozent) for Physiology in 1998. Johannes then started his industrial career in 1999 as a Group Leader for in vivo Pharmacology at Pfizer Global Research & Development (Sandwich, UK). He joined Boehringer Ingelheim in Research Coordination in 2002, and became Global Head of Business Development and Licensing for Cardiometabolic Diseases in 2009. In this function, he identified, championed and negotiated multiple partnerships with pharma, biotech and academia, and served on the Therapeutic Area Leadership Committee for Cardiometabolic Diseases. In addition to his role at Boehringer Ingelheim, Johannes still continues to act as an adjunct (Apl) Professor of Physiology at the University of Ulm.

Martin Heidecker

Martin Heidecker

Current role

Martin joined Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund in 2010 in Germany and moved to Boston, MA in 2013 to open US offices for the fund. He served as board member of ArmaGen Technologies, Inc. and of Tilos Therapeutics, which was acquired by Merck in June 2019. Currently, he serves as board member of Sentien Biotechnologies in Lexington, Abexxa Biologics in Arlington, Libra Therapeutics in San Diego and Rgenta Therapeutics in Cambridge.

Professional Background

Martin started his career as investment professional by joining BayernKapital in 2002 to focus on seed investments in biotechnology companies. He held several Marketing positions at Solvay Pharmaceuticals and Boehringer Ingelheim in CNS and Oncology and was involved in the launch of various drugs in the CNS space. Martin joined Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund in 2010 and established US offices for Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund in 2013 in Cambridge, MA. His focus is on early biotechnology startups in the United States. Martin holds a PhD in Biology from University at Würzburg and an MBA from FernUniversität Hagen.

Kanad Das

Kanad Das

Current role

Kanad joined Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund in 2018 and is located in the San Francisco Bay Area. He serves as Board Member of Oncomyx in Phoenix and Actym Therapeutics in Berkeley.

Professional Background

Kanad joined Boehringer Ingelheim from Merck (MSD) where he was Director, Business Development and Licensing in their West Coast Innovation Hub. He evaluated assets in Immuno-Oncology, Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases and Ophthalmology in the preclinical space up to human proof of concept. Kanad started his career at Genentech as a post-doctoral fellow. He then worked as a medicinal chemist at KAI Pharmaceuticals, where he was an inventor of Parsabiv, approved in 2017 for the treatment of Secondary Hyperparathyroidism. After KAI, Kanad worked at Stanford University’s SPARK program, an academic accelerator designed to take basic science discoveries and bring them to fundable assets. He received his PhD in Chemistry from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a B.Sc. in Chemistry from UC Berkeley.

Fei Shen

Fei Shen

Current role

Fei is an Investment Director in the Boehringer Ingelheim Corporate Venture Fund. She joined the Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund in 2020 and is located in Boston, MA.

Professional Background

Fei received her Ph.D. in Neuropharmacology from Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine and a B.Sc in Biochemistry from East China University Science & Technology. In 2007, she started her industrial career at Theravance Biopharma as an in vivo pharmacologist and led a lab in driving multiple research projects from exploratory, lead optimization to development candidate nomination, including TD-1473 in Ulcerative Colitis, Ampreloxetine in Fibromyalgia, Velusetrag in Gastroparesis, TD-8954 in Post-operative Gastrointestinal Dysfunction. In 2015, she joined Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc. Global Immunology and Respiratory Disease Research in Ridgefield where she started as a Laboratory Head and became the Head of in vivo Pharmacology group in 2016. From 2015 to 2020, before joining the BI Venture Fund, Fei led a group of ~20 in vivo pharmacologists supporting the Immunology and Respiratory Portfolio for small molecule, antisense and antibody projects.

Mark Ralph

Mark Ralph

Current role

Mark Ralph is an Executive Director in the Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund focusing on Digital Health Investments.

Professional Background

Most recently, Mark was Global Head of the Contract Negotiations and Alliance Management (CAM) team, responsible for enabling collaborations with academic partners and platform technology companies. In addition, he was the US Head of Business Development & Licensing and acted as the lead business development professional supporting the Research Beyond Borders (RBB) organization. Mark has over 18 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, with roles spanning small molecule drug discovery research, operations, finance and business development.

Debbie Lin

Debbie Lin

Current role

Debbie joined Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund in 2018 and is based in Boston. She serves on the Board of Wellth, which is based in New York City and Bodyport, in San Francisco.

Professional Background

Debbie is a trained scientist with a PhD in Pharmacogenomics and Bioinformatics from University of California San Francisco. She also has a Masters in Health Policy from UCLA and a Masters in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford University.

In 1999, Debbie began her career as a health policy consultant working to implement US State Medicaid Policy. After her graduate studies, she joined Boehringer Ingelheim in a variety of roles. She worked as field based Medical Affairs with key opinion leaders in Women’s Health. She then joined field based Health Economics and Outcomes Research working with the sales account teams and various payer and provider systems on the West Coast. She ran the US Making More Health program for Boehringer Ingelheim’s initiative with Ashoka, a social entrepreneurship organization. In 2015, she joined Corporate Strategy and Development in Germany where she lead a large stroke rehabilitation clinic development project. In 2018, Debbie joined the Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund, leading the US Digital Healthcare efforts.

Oliver Reuß

Oliver Reuß

Current role

Right after his start in 2018, he has been involved in the first two digital healthcare investments, Brainomix and Wellth. Oliver is responsible for the Digital Healthcare investments in Europe and Israel. He serves as Board Member of Dopavision in Berlin and Perfood in Hamburg.

Professional Background

Oliver is a trained biologist and did his PhD in Molecular Biology with a focus on Infectious Diseases. Oliver spent 5 years in academic research at the Institute for Molecular Infection Biology at the University of Würzburg, where he focused on the characterization of oligopeptide transporters in pathogens.

After some time in business consulting, Oliver joined Boehringer Ingelheim in 2008. After various roles in business analytics, business development, in-licensing and strategy, Oliver built the Business Model and Healthcare Innovation group in 2014. The team was solely dedicated to scout, identify and pilot digital healthcare solutions for Boehringer Ingelheim’s pill business globally. In 2018, Oliver joined the Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund in the newly created Digital Healthcare investment arm.

Alexander Ehlgen

Alexander Ehlgen

Current role

Alexander joined Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund in 2019. He is responsible for Digital Healthcare investments in Europe and Israel. He serves as Board Member of AIgnostics in Berlin and Tacalyx in Hamburg. In addition, he is member of the Investment Committee of the High Tech Gründer Fund (HTGF III), the largest publicly backed Seed Investment Fund in Germany based in Bonn.

Professional Background

Alexander is a physician, who received his medical degree from the University of Bonn, Germany. He also conducted academic research on myocardial perfusion and stress echocardiography at the University of Oxford, UK.

Alexander worked at a biotech start-up and major pharmaceutical companies in a variety of roles in clinical drFreußug development. His focus was on novel imaging tracers and drugs in the cardiovascular and metabolic diseases areas. Alexander joined Boehringer Ingelheim in 2012 in Translational Medicine and in 2014 was appointed global head of the Translational Medicine and Biomarker Experts group responsible for translational medicine and biomarker aspects of novel pharmaceutical compounds at Boehringer Ingelheim. Together with the Boehringer Ingelheim Digital Lab he also developed a novel digital product that enables precision medicine concepts with biomarker data.

Yvonne Richter

Yvonne Richter

Current role

supporting Sebastian Kreuz, Philipp Müller, Johannes Zanzinger, Niklas Czeloth

 

Kathrin Rohschürmann

Kathrin Rohschürmann

Current role

supporting Frank Kalkbrenner, Oliver Reuß, Alexander Ehlgen

 

Cathy Sylvain

Cathy Sylvain

Current role

supporting Kanad Das, Martin Heidecker, Debbie Lin, Stefan Pflanz, Mark Ralph, Fei Shen

 

Lindsay Wang

Lindsay Wang

Current role

Supporting Weiyi Zhang and Zhaomin Chen

 

Dragan Djuric

Dragan Djuric

Current role

As member of the Corporate Finance/M&A department at Boehringer Ingelheim, Dragan is involved in financial due diligence, company valuation, and deal structuring activities of the Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund.

Professional Background

Dragan holds 4 degrees in Management and Strategy (B.Sc., Dipl.-Kfm., PhD, MBA) from universities in Germany and the US.

He previously worked as Inhouse Consultant at Boehringer Ingelheim’s Corporate Division Strategy & Consulting gaining project experience in strategy development, digital healthcare, and organizational restructuring. Dragan joined Boehringer Ingelheim from PwC Strategy Group (Munich office) where he worked on commercial due diligence projects (both buy-side and sell-side) analyzing targets from a wide range of industries (e.g. pharmaceuticals, industrial goods, automotive, professional services) for private equity funds. In his role as Business Development Manager at a leading generics company he worked on pan-European in-licensing projects.

Timothy Arnheim

Timothy Arnheim

Current role

Tim is Legal Counsel of the Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund and covers all legal aspects of the investments of the Venture Fund. Tim joined Corporate Legal Strategy & Governance as Senior Legal Counsel Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund in the group Corporate Legal Governance and M&A in February 2019. Within Corporate Legal Governance and M&A, Tim will be fully dedicated to the Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund.

Professional Background

Tim is a fully qualified English attorney (Solicitor) and obtained his LL.M from University College London. Following his graduation from Cambridge University and the College of Law, London, he joined the international law firm, Allen & Overy, in London and was a partner for 20 years. His experience covers international legal work across a range of sectors and continents, including acting for funds, project/acquisition companies, banks, bond arrangers, development finance institutions and export credit agencies. In addition, Tim worked for Allen & Overy in Germany for seven years and is a fluent German speaker.

Maximilian Stöhr

Maximilian Stöhr

Current role

Max is a legal counsel advising the Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund in all legal aspects of its investments. Max joined Corporate Legal Strategy & Governance as Senior Legal Counsel in the group Corporate Legal Governance and M&A in April 2019. Within Corporate Legal Governance and M&A, Max is fully dedicated to the BI Venture Fund.

Professional Background

Max is a fully qualified German attorney (Rechtsanwalt) who studied law at the Universities of Bayreuth and Bordeaux. Following his graduation in 2012, he joined the international law firm, Hogan Lovells, in Frankfurt. Before working for Boehringer Ingelheim, Max was a legal counsel at Armacell in Luxembourg. His experience covers international legal work with a focus on corporate law, mergers & acquisitions, joint ventures and other cooperations.

Stefan Pflanz

Stefan Pflanz

Current role

Stefan joined the Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund in 2020 and is located in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Professional Background

Stefan accomplished his PhD in 1999 at the University of Aachen, Germany, and then completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship at DNAX Research Institute in Palo Alto, California. He has since headed immunology research labs or groups at Micromet (2003-2006), Schering-Plough Biopharma (2006-2010), Gilead Sciences (2011-2016), and most recently at Boehringer-Ingelheim (2016-2020), across different indication areas including immune-oncology, infectious diseases, inflammatory conditions, and fibrosis.

Niklas Czeloth

Niklas Czeloth

Current role

Niklas joined the Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund in 2020 and will take over responsibilities in scouting and evaluation of new opportunities in the field of pharmaceuticals. He serves as Board Member of Anagenesis in Strasbourg.

Professional Background

Niklas studied Biochemistry at the University of Hannover and specialized in Immunology during his PhD and Post-Doc. In 2008, he started his pharmaceutical career at Biotest in Dreieich and was responsible for preclinical and translational aspects of biotherapeutic projects. Niklas joined BI in 2013 as project manager DMPK in the Biosimilars Business Unit. In 2014, he took over the role as Head of Biosciences Biosimilars and steered the pharmacology, toxicology and DMPK activities for the biosimilar portfolio. The last 2 years Niklas was responsible for leading international development projects in oncology, CNS and retinopathy indications in BI´s IPM department.

Philipp Müller

Philipp Müller

Current role

After joining the Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund in October 2020, Philipp serves as a board member of ImCheck Therapeutics in Marseilles. In addition to contributing to the Venture Fund´s portfolio in the areas of immuno-oncology and immuno-modulation, Philipp engages in identifying cutting edge investment opportunities with groundbreaking therapeutic potential in the file of anti-infectives.

Professional Background

Philipp studied Molecular Biology at the Biozentrum in Basel (Switzerland), holds a PhD in Biochemistry (2009) and has a long track record of working in translational immuno-oncology research, the infectious disease area as well as drug discovery within the pharmaceutical industry.

Philipp spent multiple years of translational immuno-oncology research in an academic environment (studying, amongst others, targeted agents, ADCs, CPIs, cancer vaccines, bispecific T-cell engager, immuno-cytokines, CD40 and CD137 agonists), during which he built and managed an extensive, global collaboration network with academic, biotech and pharma partners as well as published in high ranking scientific journals. He joined Boehringer Ingelheim in 2015 as a research team and project lead within the newly formed department of Cancer Immunology and Immune Modulation in Biberach an der Riss, where he specifically engaged in integration of outside innovation into the BI discovery strategy.

During his time within Boehringer Ingelheim´s R&D Philipp was leading multidisciplinary research teams, successfully moving two cargo armed oncolytic virus-based projects into development. He effectively managed stakeholders including both internal and alliance governance bodies and delivered IO research strategy for innovative novel platforms and new areas of biology. Contributing to Boehringer Ingelheim´s external innovation strategy he further identified, evaluated, initiated and managed alliances with multiple external partners.

In October 2020, he joined the Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund investing in clinical translation of pioneering therapeutic approaches, i.e. in the field of immuno-oncology, immuno-modulation and anti-infectives with a novel mode of action.