Board of Directors

Jan de Vries


Dutch National, in La Jolla (CA) USA, has been a board member of Cassiopea since 2015. He is also the Chairman of Artax Inc, Board member and CEO of AIMM Therapeutics BV, Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Anaptys Inc. From 2008 to 2010 he was the head of Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, from 1997 to 2008 he was the Head of Novartis Autoimmunity, Transplantation and Inflammation, from 1989 to 1997 Director of Human Immunology Department at DNAX Research Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology (Schering Plough, now Merck). From 1985 to 1989 he was Co-director of the Schering Plough Laboratory for Immunological Research, from 1978 to 1985 he was Chairman of the Immunology Department at the Netherland Cancer Institute which he joined in 1969. He brought 15 different compounds to clinical trials three of which (Elidel; psoriasis and atopic dermatitis, Gilenyya and Ilaris) are in the market and one for actinic keratosis that was licensed out. Patents were granted for 20 of the products he worked on. He has published more than 220 papers in scientific journals and written 80 book chapters and received numerous awards and honors including the International Bekales Prize for Leukemia Research, the S. Johansson Lecture and Medal, the C. Praussnitz Prize and the Novartis innovation price in 2006. Dr de Vries has a PhD in immunology form the University of Amsterdam and an MSc degree in Biology/Biochemistry from the University of Utrecht.

Diana Harbort

Executive Director – CEO


American, in Scottsdale (AZ) USA, has been a board member of Cassiopea since 2015. From 2013 to 2015 she was an independent consultant. From 2005 to 2012 she was the Head of Corporate Development at Medicis, from 2003 to 2005 Executive Director of Business Development at Medicis, 1998 to 2003 Director Business Development at Medicis, from 1989 to 1998 she had various functions at Abbot Laboratories starting as a production planning specialist, then as a marketing product manager and finally as business development manager in the Chemical and Agricultural Products division. Diana Harbort has an MBA from Kellogg Graduate School of Management and a BBA of the University of Wisconsin.

David Hale


American, in San Diego (CA) USA, has been a board member of Cassiopea since 2015. He is also Chairman and CEO of Hale BioPharma Ventures, Chairman of Biocept Inc (NASDAQ) a cancer diagnostic company and Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc, (NASDAQ) a liver disease company. He was Chairman of Santarus prior to its sale to Salix Pharmaceuticals in 2014, Chairman of SkinMedica prior to its sale to Allergan in 2012, Chairman of Microment prior to its sale to Amgen in 2012, Chairman of Somaxon Pharmaceuticals prior to its sale to Pernisx in 2013 and Crisi Medical Systems prior to its sale to Becton-Dickinson in 2015. He co-founded CancerVax in 2000 and served as its President and CEO until its merger with Micorment in 2006. From 1997 to 2000 he was President and CEO of Women First HealthCare. From 1987 to 1995 he was co-founder and Chairman of Viagene when the company was acquired by Chiron and from 1987 to 1997 he was Chairman, President and CEO of Gensia which merged with Sicor to become Gensia Sicor and then was acquired by Teva Pharmaceuticals. From 1982 to 1987 he was first COO, then President and then CEO of Hybritech when it was acquired by Eli Lilly. From 1980 to 1982 he was VP and General Manager of BBL Microbiology Systems, a division of Becton Dickinson and from 1971 to 1980 he held various marketing and sales management positions with Ortho Pharmaceutical Corporation and J&J Derm, both divisions of Johnson and Johnson.

Øyvind Bjordal


Norwegian, in Zumikon, Switzerland, has been a board member of Cassiopea since 2015. He is also Managing Director and Head of Switzerland of Lincoln International, a corporate finance advisory company. From 1999 to 2014 he was Managing Director of a team of corporate financiers that initially worked at Arthur Anderson, E&Y, Sal Oppenheim and Leonardo &Co. From 1994 to 1999 he was a member of the Corporate Finance team at UBS and worked on transactions throughout Europe, including several privatisation assignments in the telecoms sector.

Pierpaolo Guzzo


Italian (born 1963), in Rome, Italy, has been a board member of Cassiopea since 2015. Since 2008 he is also the founder and CEO of ECValue Partners, a consulting and investing company for SME’s. From 2000 to 2008 he was a Director at PM & Partners SpA a private equity fund focused on Italian companies, from 1998 to 2000 he was an investment manager at ABN AMRO Private Equity, from 1996-1998 he was in the M&A team of SOFIPA, an Italian merchant bank. He began his career in 1993 at Arthur Andersen working in the audit and the business consulting field.

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