MANAGEMENT TEAM

Octarine is privileged to present the most competent management team.

All internationally renowned capacities. 

NETHAJI GALLAGE

CEO & CO-FOUNDER

Nethaji is a world-renowned plant biochemist and synthetic biologist passionate about developing nature-inspired and sustainable solutions for various industries such as pharmaceuticals, consumer goods, bulk manufacturing and energy.

She has worked with world-leading synthetic biology companies and has a track record of high impact publications and patents. She was previously a research group leader at the Center for Synthetic Biology at the University of Copenhagen where she developed biosynthetic production platforms for natural and novel cannabinoids, and previously led multidisciplinary research project on biosynthetic vanillin production from the lab to commercialization

Nethaji also gained significant business experience through her role in business development at River Stone Biotech, a synthetic biology company she was involved in starting. She was awarded University of Copenhagen, PhD-Brain prize in 2011 and University of Copenhagen, Business Prize award in 2018 that recognizes exceptional achievements in research commercialization through spinouts, industry collaborations and partnerships.

Nethaji’s strong track record and wide international network have helped in attracting both overseas investors and highly-experienced management and board members to Octarine

NICK MILNE

CSO & CO-FOUNDER

Nick is a highly experienced metabolic engineer and fermentation scientist with a successful track record developing innovative bio-based manufacturing methods to replace unsustainable synthetic chemical processes with numerous high-impact scientific publications and patents.

Since receiving a PhD from the Technical University of Delft in The Netherlands Nick has spent his career in both academia (The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability) and industry (Evolva) engineering micro-organisms to efficiently and sustainably produce valuable products ranging from bio-fuels to bio-plastics, flavour ingredients, nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals. With a broad knowledge of synthetic biology techniques, and a specialization in fermentation development, Nick has successfully taken projects all the way from initial proof-of-concept to commercial scale production.

During his time as an academic researcher Nick investigated the biosynthesis of psychedelic molecules including psilocybin, demonstrating efficient production in large-scale fermentation as well as the first demonstration of the use of biosynthesis to produce novel psychedelic derivatives. This research was subsequently spun-out into Octarine and forms the basis of our psychedelic drug development programs.

JAN K. VILLADSEN

CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER

Jan has been an executive finance professional for many years both as CFO in biotech companies – Gubra ApS. (privately held), NatImmune (Novo as controlling shareholder) and Neurokey (Novo as controlling shareholder) – and as Treasurer in a global company (Group 4 Falck A/S). In addition, he has held several senior positions in the financial sector primarily in investment banking and capital markets operations. He has two Graduate Diplomas in Business Administration from CBS. One in International Business and one in Organisation and Management.​

KRISTIAN HANSEN, PhD

Chief Drug Development Officer

A seasoned pharma professional with extensive experience in pharmaceutical R&D, project management, innovation out-reach, academic-industrial partnerships and pharma-biotech collaborations. Kristian has more than 30 years of pharma industry R&D experience, with focus on developing various drug formats such as small molecules, peptides, recombinant proteins and antibodies. Kristian served in different senior positions at Novo Nordisk including more than 10 years as Project Vice President where he successfully took more several projects from early discovery to mid-stage clinical development.

EMMANUEL PETIOT

Chief Business Officer

A recognized biotech executive with more than 20 years of management level industry experience. Throughout his career Emmanuel has worked in all areas of business development including sales, marketing, and general management successfully driving multiple revenue generation projects. Emmanuel spent 9 years with Danish biotech Novozymes in multiple executive management positions including Global head of business development. He also served as the CEO of publicly listed French biotech Deinove for 7 years.

MORTEN BIRKLAND

VP IP

A high performing European Patent Attorney, IP/legal management practitioner and IP/legal leader with a unique combination of technology, IP/Legal and business skills and a solid track record from major industry corporations, tech driven SME’s, EC backed consortiums and IP/legal business consulting. Throughout his more than 25-year career Morten has held several management level positions including Head of IP at Novozymes, Patent director at DuPont, and most recently Global head of IP at Evolva. Morten has extensive experience filing and prosecuting patents within the synthetic biology industry and possesses a unique inside knowledge on how to implement strong IP strategies within the industry.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Octarine is privileged to present our Board of Directors.

All internationally renowned capacities from Denmark. 

STEPHAN CHRISTGAU, PhD

Chairman of the board, 
Independent board member 

A founding partner of the Nordic Life Science Venture fund, Eir Ventures. Prior to launching Eir Ventures, Stephan was part of setting up Novo Seeds, the early stage company creation and investment arm of Novo Holdings. During his 12 years at Novo Seeds, he led creation and funding of more than 25 companies in Europe, with a particular focus on Scandinavia. Stephan has extensive operational experience from management and research scientist roles in European and US Biotech and holds a PhD in Protein Chemistry and immunology from UCSF.

CLAUDIA BLOMGREN-HANSEN

Independent board member

Claudia has an international legal background and 20 years’ experience from the Life Science industry, both as external and in-house legal counsel. She is specialized in R&D and business development related legal matters covering all types of commercial and R&D specific agreements, outsourcing and compliance aspects as well as complex research collaboration, partnerships and strategic licensing transactions with biotech, pharma companies and academia. Claudia spent more than 10 years in the Danish pharmaceutical company LEO Pharma and served as Director of R&D Legal Affairs and Alliance Management. In 2017 she established LIFE SCIENCE PLUS Advokater to provide specialised legal consultancy to biotech, pharma and medtech companies. At the same time she serves as member of the expert jury for the European Innovation Council’s Accelerator Program and also for the 2021 EU Prize for Woman Innovators. 

ALEXANDRE OUIMET-STORRS

Representing the investors

Alex is a multicultural (Canada/France) engineer and experienced Venture Capitalist (traditional and corporate venture) with a demonstrated history of working in Cleantech (during the tough years from 2011-2016) and Deeptech with over 45 transactions under his belt. Skilled in Venture Capital, deal-making, developing early staged businesses into successful companies as well as performing exits and creating value for shareholders. Alex is the Co-founder and Managing partner of Oskare Capital, a European focused VC investing in early-stage companies within the medicinal cannabis industry.

LENE GERLACH, PHD

Representing Vækstfonden

Lene is a VC specialized in Life Science investments with more than 25 years’ experience within the life science industry as a research scientist (with a PhD in Neuroscience), patent attorney, business developer, consultant on university spin-outs, Vice President in two biotech companies and 7 years as a venture capitalist having financed more than 35 companies, prepared follow-up capital rounds and executed company exits. Lene has extensive board experience having headed 18 companies as Chairman and 17 as board member or observer. Lene is an investment manager at Vækstfonden, the Sovereign Wealth Fund of the Danish state.

CHRISTIAN TILLEGREEN

Representing the Founders 

Christian is a highly-experienced innovator and business creator with a demonstrated history of working in the biotechnology industry. Highly skilled in and proven in startup scouting, biotech venture creation, seed investments and corporate innovation. Christian is currently a Senior Business development Officer at the newly established life-science incubator, the BioInnovation institute, and previously spent more than 7 years in the multi-national biotech Novozymes working to develop crowdsourcing, ideation and front-end innovation strategies, as well as leading the scouting efforts looking for external startups and new technologies.

SCIENTIFIC ADVISORY BOARD

Octarine is privileged to present our Scientific advisory board.

PROF. JOANNA NEILL

Professor of Psychopharmacology, Manchester University

CLAIRE FOLDI, PhD 

Research fellow, Monash University

PROF. BIRGER LINDBERG MØLLER

Professor of Plant Biochemistry, Copenhagen University

HENRIK KLITGAARD, PhD

CEO, Klitgaard Epilepsy Consulting