About us

Our Mission

We exist to develop curative solutions that achieve total and faster healing for non-healing wounds and other complex inflammatory diseases with our four-in-one biologic drug, AUP-16.

Our Vision

Our goal is to create solid Phase 2 clinical efficacy data in diabetic foot ulcers and non-clinical proof-of-concept data in other inflammatory diseases by end of 2022, and to engage with strategic partners to ensure that this game changing technology benefits millions of patients.

Leadership Team

JUHA YRJÄNHEIKKI
CEO
LAURENT DÉCORY
COO
THOMAS WIRTH
CSO
HARITHA SAMARANAYAKE
CMO
MAIJA RUSI
Financial & Administrative Director
IGOR MIERAU
Director of CMC

SCIENTIFIC ADVISORY BOARD

Board of Directors

Serial Entrepreneur,
Board Professional and
Biotech Business Advisor

Biotech Investor, Senior
Executive and Board Professional

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Juha Yrjanheikki
Juha Yrjänheikki
CEO

Juha has MSc. in biotechnology and PhD in neurobiology. He is a serial life-science entrepreneur, seed investor, Board professional and a Professor-of-Practice with extensive experience in growing and facilitating successful exits of biotech start-ups.

 

CEO and co-founder of Aurealis Therapeutics AG. Previously CEO and co-founder of Aurealis Pharma AG 2013-2020. Prior to that CEO of Charles River Discovery Services Finland 2009-2012, CEO and co-founder of Cerebricon Ltd 2001-2009, which was acquired by Charles River Laboratories in 2009. Co-founder and former Chairman of the Board of Nostetta Ltd, a pre-seed and seed stage technology investment company. Juha is a Professor-of-Practice at the Faculty of Health Sciences of University of Eastern Finland. A former Board Director at Pharmatest Ltd and Fennogate Finland Ltd, and current Board Director of KPY Novapolis Ltd.

 

Juha got his MSc. in biotechnology (molecular biology) from University of Kuopio in 1997 and his PhD in neuroinflammation of stroke and ischemia from University of Kuopio in 2000. He was a research scientist at the AIV Institute of University of Kuopio in 1999-2001 and a visiting researcher at Stanford University, School of Medicine, Dept. of Neurosurgery in 1997-1998.

LAURENT DÉCORY
LAURENT DÉCORY
COO

Laurent has a MSc. and PhD in Neurosciences & Pharmacology from University of Bordeaux and holds and MBA from the ESSEC Business School, Paris.

Laurent joined Aurealis Therapeutics as Chief Operating Officer on 1st March 2022 after having been a board member for 2 years. Laurent is in charge of Business Development, Health Economics, Marketing & Communication and Scientific Advisory activities. He brings to the company substantial experience and commercial leadership both in the Advanced Wound Care (AWC, Medtech) and Pharmaceutical industries. Laurent was the founder and Managing Director of the company BlueJet Consulting, and recently served as Head, Global Commercial Excellence of Essity Health and Medical. Prior to that, Laurent was for 5 years Senior Vice-President, Global Commercial Excellence at BSN Medical in Hamburg, driving both business transformation, product launches, and commercial due diligence. Previously, he held a variety of senior management and director roles at Takeda and Nycomed in Zurich, and Sanofi-Aventis and predecessor companies in Paris, in multiple therapy areas such as Diabetes and Oncology.

Thomas Wirth
Thomas Wirth
CSO

Thomas has a PhD in pharmacy. He is specialized in gene medicine based therapies and molecular oncology and has extensive knowledge in tumor biology.

He worked in Lombardi Cancer Centre, Georgetown University for his PhD. After that he worked as a Research Manager at Ark Therapeutics Group PLC leading the Kuopio based R&D department and held a position of an Adjunct Professor at the University of Eastern Finland leading multiple research projects.

Haritha Samaranayake
Haritha Samaranayake
CMO

Haritha is a MD, PhD with wide experience in clinical oncology and biopharmaceutical research and development. He possess MSc in biotechnology from University of Kuopio and a Molecular Medicine doctorate from University of Eastern Finland based on cancer gene therapy.

He has held positions of Senior Scientist and Specialist Researcher at Ark Therapeutics Group PLC.

MAIJA RUSI
Financial and Administrative Director

Maija has a MSc. in Economics and Business Administration from Turku School of Economics. She is specialized in financial accounting and reporting.

Before joining Aurealis she worked as a Finance Manager in the software-as-a-service industry. She also has experience from a Big4 company where she focused on auditing and financial consultancy.

Igor Mierau
Igor Mierau
Director of CMC

Igor has a PhD in molecular genetics. He is specialized in microbiology and genetic engineering of lactic acid bacteria with 30 years of experience.

He has worked as project leader and project manager for a biotechnology centre in Berlin, for a research department in the Netherlands of the Japanese company Snow Brand and for the contract research organization NIZO food research in the Netherlands. Furthermore, Igor has worked as Biological Safety Officer for NIZO food research for 10 years.

ALBERTO PIAGGESI
Scientific Advisory Board

Dr. Piaggesi is a Professor at the Medical School and at the school of specialization in Endocrinology and Metabolism of the University of Pisa. He was the President of the European Wound Management Association (EWMA) and one of the Founders and the Treasurer of the Association of Diabetic Foot Surgeons (ADFS).

He graduated in Medicine and Surgery at the Medical School of the University of Pisa where he then specialized both in Internal Medicine and Endocrinology and Metabolism.

His post-graduate education included stages and masters at the Department of Medicine of the University of Edinburgh, At the Department of Vascular Surgery of the Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital of Boston, and at the Department of Diabetology of the University of Geneva.

Since 1991 he held a post of consultant at the Department of Medicine of the University of Pisa, where he is responsible for the lower limb complications unit and where he set up and manages the diabetic foot clinic which is now the referral center for Tuscany and central Italy.

He has a long-lasting surgical experience on diabetic foot conservative surgery, and he performed more than 5000 interventions in this specialty as first operator. He is the Director of the Diabetic Foot Section of the University Hospital of Pisa, Tuscany. He authored more than 100 papers on diabetic foot on international journals, and he took part in the 2019 revision of the Guidance Document on the Diabetic Foot.

His interests in research are mainly focused on tissue repair physiopathology and strategies for surgical management of diabetic foot.

JAN APELQVIST
Scientific Advisory Board

Dr. Apelqvist is a senior consultant and an associate professor at the department of endocrinology University Hospital of Skåne in Malmö and division for clinical sciences University of Lund coordinating a multidisciplinary foot care center (national center of excellence) for prevention and treatment of the diabetic foot.

He graduated in Medicine at the Medical School of the University of Umeå Sweden and specialized in Internal Medicine at the University of Lund. He completed his PhD at the University of Lund titled “Diabetic Foot Ulcer: the importance of clinical characteristics and prognostic factors for outcome”.

Jan has a vast experience of clinical work, clinical research, leadership, and teaching (senior lecturer) on management and prevention of diabetes related complications of the lower extremity and wound management. Dr. Apelqvist has participated, designed, and coordinated over 50 clinical trials in the field of diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, and wound management since 1983, and is frequently involved in design and evaluation of clinical trials. He is an author of over 200 scientific articles and book chapters in peer reviewed journals and mentor or co-mentor of more than ten PhD thesis.

He is the Past President of EWMA (European Wound Management Association), member of editorial group of IWGDF (International Working Group for the Diabetic Foot) and previous international Board member of AAWC (Association for the Advancement of Wound Care).

He is frequently participating as advisor or expert in working groups and consensus groups on national and international level.

DAVID ARMSTRONG
Scientific Advisory Board

Dr. Armstrong is a Professor of Surgery at the University of Southern California. Dr. Armstrong holds a MSc in Tissue Repair and Wound Healing from the University of Wales College of Medicine and a PhD from the University of Manchester College of Medicine, where he was appointed Visiting Professor of Medicine. He is founder and co-Director of the Southwestern Academic Limb Salvage Alliance (SALSA).

Dr. Armstrong has produced more than 575 peer-reviewed research papers in dozens of scholarly medical journals as well as over 100 books or book chapters. He is co-Editor of the American Diabetes Association’s (ADA) Clinical Care of the Diabetic Foot, now in its third edition.

Dr. Armstrong is Director of USC’s National Science Foundation funded Center to Stream Healthcare in Place (C2SHiP) which places him at the nexus of the merger of consumer electronics, wearables and medical devices.

Dr. Armstrong was selected as one of the first six International Wound Care Ambassadors and is the recipient of numerous awards and degrees by universities and international medical organizations including the inaugural Georgetown Distinguished Award for Diabetic Limb Salvage. In 2008, he was the 25th and youngest ever member elected to the Podiatric Medicine Hall of Fame. He was the first surgeon to be appointed University Distinguished Outreach Professor at the University of Arizona. He was the first podiatric surgeon to become a member of the Society of Vascular Surgery and the first US podiatric surgeon named fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, Glasgow. He is the 2010 and youngest ever recipient of the ADA’s Roger Pecoraro Award, the highest award given in the field.

Dr. Armstrong is a past Chair of Scientific Sessions for the ADA’s Foot Care Council, and a past member of the National Board of Directors of the American Diabetes Association. He sits on the Infectious Disease Society of America’s (IDSA) Diabetic Foot Infection Advisory Committee and is the US appointed delegate to the International Working Group on the Diabetic Foot (IWGDF). Dr. Armstrong is the founder and co-chair of the International Diabetic Foot Conference (DF-Con), the largest annual international symposium on the diabetic foot in the world. He is also the Founding President of the American Limb Preservation Society (ALPS), an interdisciplinary medical and surgical society dedicated to eliminating preventable amputation in the USA and worldwide.

MAGDALENA ANNERSTEN GERSHATER
Scientific Advisory Board

Dr Gershater is a registered nurse holds a position as senior lecturer at Malmö University, Faculty of Health and Society, Department of Care Science. She is Programme Coordinator for Master´s Programme (One-year) Specialist Nurse in Elderly Care and Examiner for courses in Diabetes Nursing. She has clinical experience of the diabetic foot from specialized in-patient wards, ambulatory multidisciplinary foot clinics and home nursing settings and nursing homes, in Sweden and Denmark. She has been teaching Diabetes Nursing at Fatima College, Al Ain/Abu Dhabi during 2014. She is co-supervisor of one PhD-student in nursing and of several Master students in nursing.

Her research has mainly been focused on the diabetic foot: exploring different factors related to outcome, as well as qualitative interview studies, and in a randomized controlled trial exploring the effect of patient education on re-ulceration in the diabetic foot. The present focus in to develop quality of nursing interventions for patients with diabetes and foot ulcers.

Ongoing research projects:

  • Biobarriers- Health, disorders, and healing where she is a Primary investigator of the sub-project Clinical Applications.
  • Cities Changing Diabetes where she has been exploring diabetes prevalence in all age groups in the population of Malmö, and she is also responsible for evaluation of diabetes interventions for patients in home-nursing settings and in nursing homes.
  • Elderly Care Research Group, where she is coordinating studies regarding the process of discharge from hospitals to home for patients with diabetes and a foot ulcer.

She has 22 publications within diabetes nursing, 24 oral presentations and 17 poster presentations. She is an active member of EWMA (European Wound Management Association) Council and FEND (Foundation of European Nurses in Diabetes) and is a co-editor of International Diabetes Nursing.

Roger Meier
Roger Meier
Board of Directors

Roger is a seasoned early stage life sciences board member and assisted numerous start-up and growth companies and projects in their set-up, talent and fund sourcing. He is the founder and owner of Clarena Ltd., a company that serves corporates and executives in the fields of corporate finance, change management, coaching and HR. In his earlier career, he consulted mid to large sized multinational companies at Coopers & Lybrand (later PwC) in the field of financial and risk management. In the 80´s, he helped the US investment bank Salomon Brothers Inc., in the US, UK and Switzerland to establish a Swiss client base with institutional investors.

Before he worked as a trader with a Geneva private bank and in Private Banking at Swiss Bank Corp in Basel. In the past years, Roger has been involved in companies like Piqur Therapeutics, Strekin, Cellestia Biotech and many others as advisor and/or co-founder. He holds a finance degree from the University of Applied Sciences in Basel.

Silvio Inderbitzin
Silvio Inderbitzin
Board of Directors

Silvio has held multiple senior positions in the pharmaceutical industry during the last 20 years. With his origin in pharmaceutical manufacturing, he built a corporate-wide GMP-quality assurance infrastructure as Head of Quality Assurance, and was responsible for product release as a Qualified Person in a medium-sized Swiss pharmaceutical company.

He was later elected to the position of Technical Director and served on the Corporate Management Team, ultimately joining the Board of Directors and becoming co-owner of the privately-held 450 employee company. Prior to the successful sale of the company, he served as a CEO and was responsible for its foreign subsidiaries. He is an active investor, consultant and board member of several life science start-up companies. Dr. Inderbitzin studied Pharmacy at the University of Berne, he holds a PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Zurich/ETH, and obtained an Executive MBA from the University of St. Gallen.

Iain Buchanan
Iain Buchanan
Board of Directors

Iain brings to the company considerable experience in the Pharmaceutical and Biotech industries in both executive and non-executive roles. Most recently he served as CEO of NOXXON Pharma AG in Berlin. Prior to that, Iain was CEO of Novexel SA in Paris from its creation as the anti-infective spin out from Sanofi-Aventis in 2004 until its sale in 2009. Previously, he held a variety of management roles including a senior position with Vertex Pharmaceuticals where he was responsible for business development activities and for creating the European subsidiary. In the past he also worked for both Cilag AG (a division of Johnson and Johnson) and Biogen SA in Switzerland.

Iain holds a Bachelor of Science in Physiology from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, and currently serves as a non-executive director of Synairgen Plc and a member of the advisory board of Allecra Therapeutics.