About us

Our company

Convert Pharmaceuticals is a preclinical stage drug development company that is building a proprietary drug pipeline exploiting tumor microenvironment specific factors for therapeutic benefit.

Convert’s lead product is a hypoxia activated prodrug (HAP). Hypoxia constitutes a therapeutic obstacle as it promotes the development of resistance to conventional anti-cancer treatments. Convert Pharmaceuticals combines proprietary insights in the tumor microenvironment with expertise in drug and biomarker development to develop effective and well-tolerated HAPs. Advanced biomarker research allows detailed stratification to treat well-defined patient populations.

Convert builds on the expertise in tumor hypoxia and cancer treatment of Dr. Prof. Philippe Lambin, together with that of the pioneering scientists, Assoc. Prof. Adam Patterson and Dr. Jeff Smaill of the Auckland Cancer Society Research Centre, at the University of Auckland, New Zealand.

Management Team

Dr. Mariola Söhngen, Ph.D.

CEO
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Mariola joined Convert as CEO in November 2018. Prior to this she has served as CEO of Mologen AG, a German listed Biopharmaceutical Company from 2015 to 2018. She co-founded PAION AG (German Biopharmaceutical Company, listed in Frankfurt) in 2000 and held the position of Managing Director and CMO until 2015. Mariola has acquired a wealth of experience in the biotechnological and pharmaceutical industry by working for globally operating companies Ferrer Internacional S.A. and Gruenenthal and by founding her own company, Bootcamp (a virtual pharma company/training center), which prepared entrants in the job market for professions in the healthcare industry. Following her medical degree in 1987, she obtained both a PhD in Medicine (1988), a Diploma in Pharmaceutical Medicine (DGPharMed, 1996) and Master of Business Communication (1999).

Arne Heyerick, Ph.D.

Vice President, Non-Clinical Development
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Arne has been involved in Convert Pharmaceuticals since its incorporation and heads the non-clinical development including CMC, PK/PD, toxicology and the biomarker program. Previously, as an R&D Director, Arne managed the drug development programs of several oncology-focused companies, including pre-clinical stage companies PX Biosolutions (cancer vaccines) and Metaptys (cancer metabolism), and clinical-stage companies such as Normoxys (tumor hypoxia reversal). Arne is author of more than 60 publications in international scientific peer-reviewed journals and inventor of 3 patents. He holds a MSc and PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Ghent (Belgium) where he worked as a post-doctoral researcher on various aspects of preclinical and clinical development with a focus on natural products.

Dominique Tersago, M.D.

Vice President, Clinical Development & Regulatory
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Dominique joined Convert Pharmaceuticals in April 2017, and brings more than 20 years of global clinical development and regulatory affairs experience with both small molecules and biologicals. Her previous role was Chief Medical Officer with Ablynx, where she was responsible for clinical development and regulatory affairs of clinical programs in hematology, immunology and virology. Prior to this, she was Director Regulatory Sciences-Europe for oncology and virology products with Bristol-Myers Squibb. Dominique started her career with Janssen Research Foundation (J&J) in oncology clinical development. She obtained her Medical degree from the University of Antwerp (Belgium).

Scientific Advisers

Philippe Lambin, M.D., Ph.D.

Chief Scientific Adviser, Co-founder
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Prof. Philippe Lambin is a clinician, radiation oncologist and pioneer in translational research with a focus on tumor hypoxia and decision support systems, including hypoxia imaging and Radiomics, a concept he co-invented. Philippe is Professor at the University of Maastricht, co-author of more than 402 peer-reviewed scientific papers, and co-inventor of more than 18 patents.  Moreover, Philippe has extensive experience with clinical trials. He has received an ERC advanced grant laureate in 2016 and is currently involved in several successful European grants including the Marie Curie Training network PREDICT, of which he is the initiator, and two NIH grants from the US. Philippe obtained his MD from UCL (Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium) and Ph.D. in Radiation Biology from the Université Paris-Sud (France).

Investors

Convert Pharmaceutical is privately held and backed by venture capital firms, DROIA Oncology Ventures, MeusInvest and Spinventure.

Droia Oncology Ventures
MeusInvest
SpinVenture