Board of Directors
Luca Benatti / Chief Executive Officer
Dr Luca Benatti is the Chief Executive Officer since June 2012. He has over 25 year experience in Pharma and Biotech. He was Co-founder and CEO of Newron Pharmaceuticals (NWRN, Swiss Stock Exchange). Under his guidance, Newron developed a pipeline of innovative therapies including Xadago, approved wordwide for the treatment of Parkinson's disease. Luca graduated and performed his post-doctoral training at Milano Genetics Institute. He is an independent Board member at Intercept Pharmaceuticals (ICPT, Nasdaq), Newron Pharmaceuticals, Chairman of the Italian Angels for Biotech, Member of the Strategic Advisory Board of Zambon, Member of the Board of Assobiotec, Member of the Jury of the European Biotechnica Award and of the Open Accelerator Award. He has authored several scientific publications and holds numerous patents.
Mauro Magnani / Chief Scientific Officer / Co-Founder
Prof. Mauro Magnani is the Company co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer and Director since 2007. He is Professor of Biochemistry and Director of the Centre of Biotechnology at the University of Urbino, Italy.
Prof. Magnani is an international leader in the development of drug delivery technologies using red blood cells. During his academic career he has been: Visiting Researcher, Dept. Biochemistry, Univ. Birmingham, 1980; Visiting Prof. Dept. Biology, Haifa, Israel. Since 1986 he is Full Professor of Biochemistry ; Dean, Faculty of Sciences University of Urbino 1995-2001; Director Interuniversity Consortium for Biotechnology (CIB) 1998-2004; Vice Rector of the University of Urbino 2001-2009. He is also a "Technical Director" nominated by the "Agenzia Italiana del Farmaco, AIFA" with n. AIDT-19/2005. Co-founder of various start-up companies, and author of more than 400 papers published in international refereed scientific journals and inventor of numerous patents; Co-editor of three books and reviewer for over 30 international Journals.
Graziano Seghezzi / Director
Graziano Seghezzi is Managing Partner at Sofinnova Partners which he joined in 2006. He seed funded and was on the Board of GlycoVaxyn which was sold to GlaxoSmithKline in 2015 and Omthera Pharmaceuticals which went public on Nasdaq in 2013, then was sold to AstraZeneca later that year. Graziano also seed funded and is on the Board of Mission Therapeutics (United Kingdom), Crescendo Biologics (United Kingdom) and Hookipa Biotech (Austria). He promoted and is on the Board of BiovelocITA, Italy’s first biotech accelerator. Graziano started his career in venture capital in 2001 at Sofinnova Partners and then joined Index Venture in 2003. Prior to that, Graziano spent five years working in academic research at New York University’s School of Medicine, studying oncology and cardiovascular diseases. Graziano holds a degree in genetics and microbiology from the University of Pavia (Italy) and an MBA from RSM-Erasmus University (Netherlands).
Paolo Fundarò / Director
Paolo Fundaro’, Director since 2013. He has been Genextra’s Chief Financial Officer since its inception in 2004, Member of the Board of Intercept Pharmaceuticals, Inc. since 2006 and Managing Director of the other Genextra’s portfolio companies. Before joining Genextra, Paolo was director of finance and strategic planning for the Fastweb Group from 2000 to 2004. Previously, he worked for investment banks in London, including Salomon Smith Barney (now Citigroup) and Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette (now Credit Suisse). He has a degree in Business Management from the Bocconi University in Milan.
Francesca Pasinelli/ Director
Francesca Pasinelli is General Manager of Fondazione Telethon, a major Italian biomedical charity in the field of rare genetic diseases; she was appointed in 2009. After earning a University degree in Pharmacology in 1986, she moved first into clinical research and subsequently held various managerial positions at multinational pharmaceutical companies (SmithKline Beecham S.p.A.; Schering Plough S.p.A). In 1997 she moved to the non-profit sector with the appointment of Chief Scientific Officer at Fondazione Telethon. In this capacity she set up a process to guide funding decisions and advance the research pipeline towards the achievement of viable solutions for the patients’ community. In 2007 Francesca Pasinelli was awarded with the title of “Commendatore al Merito della Repubblica Italiana”, a major honour for professional achievements towards the public interest, bestowed by the President of the Italian Republic Giorgio Napolitano.
Claudio Rumazza/ Director
Claudio Rumazza, Director since 2013. Claudio is a Partner at Innogest, the leading Italian Venture Capital firm. Before joining Innogest, Claudio held several roles at Prima Industrie SpA where most recently he was CFO of Finn-Power Group and previously head of financial planning and business development for Prima Group. Previously he worked for Deloitte Financial Advisory Services SpA where he advised primary private equity funds and strategic buyers on numerous M&A transactions. Claudio received a Master’s Degree in Economics from the University of Turin.