Helmut Kessmann, Ph.D.

Helmut Kessmann, Ph.D., Head Business Development. He has over 15 years experience in Business Development across several therapeutic areas and geographic regions. In 1996, he co-founded Discovery Technologies Ltd in Basel, Switzerland, which was later integrated into US-based Discovery Partners International, followed by a successful IPO in 2000. He then joined Graffinity Pharmaceuticals, Heidelberg, Germany, which in 2004 merged with MyoContract Ltd to form Santhera Pharmaceuticals Ltd, a specialty Pharma company focussing on orphan diseases. Santhera went public in 2006 (SIX: SANN).
During the last 15 years he closed many in- and out-licensing deals for platform technologies and products at all stages in development, led cross-functional M&A teams, and was member of the corporate leadership. Prior to that he held various research management positions at Ciba-Geigy, now Novartis. Dr. Kessmann studied biology, philosophy and business administration and completed his Ph.D. in biochemistry 1988 at the University of Münster, Germany.