Stromal Therapeutics AG is a Swiss biotech company focused on developing new generation immunotherapies against tissue cytokines and their inhibitors, produced by stromal cells. Tissue cytokines are regulated at sites of inflammation, identifying this family of molecules as locally acting, drugable targets in chronic diseases. Stromal Therapeutics’ lead compound demonstrates efficacy in preclinical models of inflammatory heart disease, an indication that has no specific therapy in patients. Stromal Therapeutics’ founders have extensive experience in cardiac inflammation and tissue cytokines. The founders bridge their academic research with the clinics through their work at the Medical Research Center at the Cantonal Hospital St. Gallen and the Translational Cardiology Unit at the University Hospital in Zurich. The company has received bridge funding from BaseLaunch and USZ Innovation to advance development of the lead compound for the clinical setting.
Founders and Management
Prof. Burkhard Ludewig (founder, president of the board), Head of the Medical Research Center, Kantonsspital St.Gallen, and Head of Translational Cardiology at the University Heart Center, University Hospital Zurich. Prof. Ludewig is recipient of an ERC Advanced Grant (2020) for the study of cardiac stromal cells.
Dr. Lucas Onder (founder, vice president of the board), Senior Staff Scientist at the Institute of Immunobiology, Kantonsspital St.Gallen. Dr. Onder is an expert in developmental immunology and oncoimmunology.
Prof. Leslie Cooper (member of the board) is Chair, Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Mayo Clinic; Elizabeth C. Lane, Ph.D., and M. Nadine Zimmerman, Ph.D., Professor of Internal Medicine; Chair, Myocarditis and Pericarditis work group, Global Burden of Disease project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Co-founder, Myocarditis Foundation. Prof. Cooper will oversee the clinical development projects for Stromal Therapeutics.
Dr. Natalia Pikor (founder), Group Leader in Neuroimmunology at the Medical Research Center at the Kantonsspital St.Gallen; recipient of Swiss National Science Foundation Ambizione career grant and the Peter Hans Hofschneider Professorship from the Stiftung Experimentelle Biomedizin, Zurich. Dr. Pikor’s research covers neuroimmunology and stromal cell immunobiology.
Dr. Hung-Wei Cheng (founder), Senior Staff Scientist at the Institute of Immunobiology, Kantonsspital St.Gallen. Dr. Cheng is an expert in molecular biology and has generated mouse models for proof-of-concept studies in stromal cell biology.
Dr. Cristina Gil-Cruz (founder), Senior Staff Scientist at the Institute of Immunobiology, Kantonsspital St.Gallen. Dr. Gil-Cruz is an expert in cardioimmunology and authored seminal studies in this field, eg., Science 2019. Dr. Gil-Cruz’ research has been awarded with the Pfizer Research Prize in 2018 and 2021.
Dr. Christian Perez-Shibayama (founder) Senior Staff Scientist at the Institute of Immunobiology, Kantonsspital St.Gallen. Dr. Perez-Shibayama is an expert in cardioimmunology and antibody biology. His work on stromal cells and cardioimmunology has been awarded with the Pfizer Research Prize in 2018 and 2021, respectively.
Msc. Céline Engetschwiler has studied Biology at the ETH Zurich and has joined Stromal Therapeutics in 2021 as Chief Operating Officer.