Executive Board

Prof. Dr. Dolores J. Schendel

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chief Scientific Officer (CSO)

Prof Dr Dolores Schendel joined Medigene as Chief Scientific Officer in 2014 with the acquisition of Trianta Immunotherapies (now Medigene Immunotherapies) where she was a majority founding member and has been Managing Director since 2013. At Medigene she was significantly involved in two successful capital increases and was also appointed as Chief Executive Officer with effect from April 2016. From 1998 - 2013, Prof Schendel was Director of the Institute of Molecular Immunology of the German Research Center for Environmental Health at the Helmholtz Center in Munich. Previous to this Prof Schendel served as a University Professor for Immunology at the Ludwig-Maximilian-University, focusing on human cellular immunology and T-cell responses within the field of oncology. Prof Schendel is the author of more than 200 scientific publications, has spent several decades as a scientific review board member in various research organizations such as the German Research Foundation, German Cancer Aid and the European Research Council among others. She is a recipient of the German Federal Order of Merit. Prof Schendel completed her PhD in Genetics at the University of Wisconsin, USA, followed by post-doctoral training in immunology at University College London, UK. She developed her interest in tumor immunology while working at the Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research in New York.

Dave Lemus

Chief Operating Officer (COO)

Dave Lemus has been Vice Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Medigene AG from 2013 until end 2015 when he joined Medigene’s Management Board in January 2016 as Chief Operating Officer (COO).  Prior to this, he served as the Chief Executive Officer of Sigma Tau Pharmaceuticals Inc., where he played a pivotal role in the turnaround of the company’s operations.  During his time as CEO at Sigma Tau, Mr. Lemus presided over the FDA approval and subsequent successful commercial product launch of a rare disease therapeutic, in addition to the commercial revival of the company’s lead oncology product which resulted in its successful sale for USD 900m to Baxalta (Shire) in July 2015. From 1998 to 2011, Mr Lemus was the Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of MorphoSys AG, where he launched Germany’s first biotech IPO in 1999, and over the next 13 years helped grow the company through multiple public financings and company acquisitions.  Preceding this, Mr. Lemus was the Operational Manager/Controller of Hoffman La Roche’s International Division, and as well, Group Treasurer of the Lindt & Spruengli chocolate company.

Essential positions:

  • Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Proteros BioStructures GmbH, Planegg/Martinsried, Germany
  • Member of the Board of Directors of BioHealth Innovation, Inc., Rockeville, Maryland, USA

Dr. Thomas Taapken

Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

Dr. Taapken spent more than five years at Epigenomics AG, initially as CFO and subsequently, from October 2012, as its CEO/CFO. He led the company’s efforts in gaining regulatory approval for the first blood-based molecular diagnostic cancer screening test by the FDA and oversaw its subsequent introduction into the US market. Before his time at Epigenomics, Dr. Taapken served as CFO at Biotie Therapies Corp. (now Acorda Therapeutics) and its predecessor companies for six years. His extensive international experience in the life sciences industry also includes over seven years as a venture capital investor at DVC Deutsche Venture Capital and San Francisco-based US venture capital firm Burrill & Company. Prior to that, he worked several years at Sanofi (originally Hoechst AG) in the United States and Germany, managing corporate venture capital activities, as well as in the areas of corporate & business development and research. Throughout his career, Dr. Taapken has been involved in numerous transactions spanning acquisitions, mergers and divestitures and helped to raise over EUR 100m through private and public offerings for those companies where he served in executive positions.

Essential positions:

  • Member of the Board of Immunic AG, Planegg/Martinsried, Germany

Senior Vice Presidents

Dr. Markus Dangl

Senior Vice President Research & Pre-Clinical Development

Dr. Markus Dangl has held the position as Senior Vice President Research & Pre-Clinical Development at Medigene AG since March 2016. He brings deep knowledge in successfully leading multidisciplinary oncology research and translational medicine teams as well as managing external collaborations. Dr. Dangl held leading positions at Roche in the past 14 years, including the establishment of the Roche Translational Medicine Hub in Singapore where he was responsible for all research and translational medicine activities. Most recently he worked as Department Head DTA Oncology and Preclinical Science Leader MDM2 Franchise, Pharma Research and Early Development, Roche Diagnostics GmbH. He studied biochemistry and received a PhD in biochemistry from the Leopold-Franzens University of Innsbruck, Austria.

Dr. Kai Pinkernell

Senior Vice President/Chief Medical Officer (CMO)

Dr. Kai Pinkernell is responsible for the clinical advancement of Medigene's immunotherapy platforms since February 2016. He has acquired long-term expertise in worldwide clinical development, clinical marketing and clinical sales as well as automation and GMP production of cellular therapies. Prior to joining Medigene, he held leading positions at Miltenyi Biotech GmbH, Bergisch Gladbach, Germany, most recently as Global Head of Clinical Business and Head of Clinical Development. Previously, Dr. Pinkernell was with Cytori Therapeutics Inc., San Diego, USA, as Senior Director of Regenerative Cell Technology. He studied medicine and received his MD from the Westfaelische-Wilhems University in Muenster, Germany. Furthermore, Dr. Pinkernell holds a Master of Business Administration from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA.

Dr. Dr. Olav Zilian

Senior Vice President Corporate Development

Dr. Olav Zilian joined Medigene in January 2016 to drive corporate development of the company. Dr. Zilian can look back on extensive experience in brokerage service, investment banking and consultancy from his past eleven years at the Swiss based Baader Bank subsidiary Helvea SA where he focused as Senior Analyst on sell-side research for European healthcare companies. Prior, he worked as Research Assistant Professor at the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (ISREC) where he headed and integrated a team of 12 collaborators at the interface of fundamental and applied research. Previously, he was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Molecular Oncology at Genentech Inc. in San Francisco, USA. Dr. Zilian studied medicine and holds a MD from the University of Basel, Switzerland and a PhD in molecular biology from the University of Zurich, Switzerland. He has received several awards for his analyst work, e.g. as "Europe No. 1 Stock Picker in Biotechnology" in 2014, and recently received an Executive Master of Business Administration from the International Institute for Management Development (IMD), Lausanne, Switzerland.