At A-Mansia, we’re a multidisciplinary team united by our desire to accelerate health innovation.
Board of Directors
Cees de Jong
Chairman of the Board – The Netherlands
After obtaining a medical degree, Cees de Jong studied Business Administration at the Erasmus University Rotterdam School of Management. In 1989 Cees de Jong started his career at Gist-Brocades a then AEX listed company in the Netherlands, where in 1996 he assumed responsability for one of its divisions and became member of the Executive Comittee. Since then he has worked in leadership positions in several multinational and stock-listed companies in the food, pharma and biotech sectors, including Chr.Hansen (DK), Crucell, Campina and DSM (all NL).
He is a recognized strategist with over 30 years of experience in industry both as CEO and executive board member. In addition, Cees has had 20 years’ experience as supervisor board member and chairman and is currently the chairman of the board of A-Mansia.
Eric de La Fortelle, PhD, MBA
Venture Partner, Seventure Partners – France
Eric is a Venture Partner with Seventure Partners, and sits on the Board of Directors of several biotechnology companies as a representative for Seventure, and of Sensorion SA as an independent director. He is a scientist by training, with contributions in the field of protein structure determination by X-ray crystallography, with a Ph.D. in Biophysics from Paris XI University, a post-graduate diploma in biomedicine from IFSBM (Institut Gustave-Roussy), and an MBA (honors) from INSEAD.
Prior to joining Seventure in 2014, Eric was the CEO of Delenex Therapeutics, a Zurich-based biotechnology company working in the discovery and development of antibodies for topical application to the skin, after leading Roche’s global function of External Research and Technologies.
General Partner, Innovation Industries – The Netherlands
After obtaining a degree in Pharmacy from the Utrecht University, Tom joined Interpharm, a national pharmaceutical wholesale company, as a pharmacist and marketing manager.
He co-founded U-Gene Research, a clinical contract research organization located on-site at the Utrecht University Medical School (NL). Tom successfully sold the company in 1997 to Kendle (US). After his departure, Tom co-founded Life Sciences Partners (LSP) in 1998, a life sciences venture capital fund with offices in Amsterdam, Munich and Boston. As one of the general partners of LSP, Tom sourced, financed and exited many life sciences companies in Europe, Israel and the US.
As of 2006, Tom has concentrated on financing and setting up early-stage venture capital funds in The Netherlands. For this purpose, he co-founded the Erasmus MC Biomedical Fund in 2007, the Life Sciences Fund Amsterdam in 2009 and the Twente Technology Fund in 2010. In 2017, Tom co-founded Innovation Industries.
CEO Sopartec – Belgium
Philippe joined Sopartec/VIVES in 2006. He has more than 15 years of experience in venture capital and in the technology of transfer activities. He has been the CEO of Sopartec since 2006, the technology transfer and investment company of UCLouvain. In 2011, he contributed to the launch of the largest university seed university fund in Europe (€43M). In 2020, the VIVES Inter-University fund was closed for the first time at €32M. He brings expertise in the inception of science-based start-ups, shows innate acumen in the hiring of CxO/Directors to create the best teams and has a proven track record in trade sales/MBO/turnaround. ITeos Therapeutics’s recent NASDAQ IPO illustrates the skill of creating “unicorns” from academic research. Philippe is a Non-Executive Director in various portfolio companies. He chairs on some Boards and Audit/Remco committees. Before joining Sopartec, Philippe was the Senior Investment Manager at Dexia Ventures and a Credit Analyst at WestLB. Philippe holds a master degree in Economics from UCLouvain and a post-graduate diploma in Financial Management from the Facultés St Louis.
Investment Manager, SRIW – Belgium
Christina Franssen joined the Board of A-Mansia in 2019. She is an Investment Manager in Life Sciences Innovation at (Société Régionale d’Investissement de Wallonie). Christina has over 15 years of experience in innovation and research. Prior to joining S.R.I.W., she was the Business Development Manager and then the Director of state-of-the-art technology platforms at GIGA (University of Liège). Christina began her career as a research scientist at the University of Liège. There, she experienced a full cycle of entrepreneurship from the founding of a spin-off company to its exit. Christina holds a Master degree in Biology and a Ph.D. in Microbiology & Genetics from the University of Liège.
Patrice D. Cani
Scientific Founder, Prof. UCLouvain – Belgium
Patrice D. Cani is the professor of Molecular Metabolism and Nutrition at the University of Louvain (UCLouvain), Louvain Drug Research Institute (LDRI), Brussels, Belgium. He is a researcher from the Belgian Fund for Scientific Research (FRS-FNRS). He has expertise in preclinical and clinical research in the field of cardiometabolic disorders. After a B.Sc. degree in dietetics, he joined the Faculty of Medicine of UCLouvain where he received a M.Sc. in Human Nutrition, a M.Sc. in Health Sciences, and a PhD in Biomedical Sciences (physiology, metabolism and nutrition). He is a member of the “Royal Academy of Medicine of Belgium” and has received numerous prestigious grants and scientific prizes.
With more than 290 scientific research publications, reviews and book chapters and >10 patents, he has been selected in the top 1% world-class researchers for his exceptional research performance and citations in the world since 2016. His h-index is of >100 and he is cited more than 50 000 times (Google Scholar).
Twitter:@MicrObesity and his motto is: “In Gut We Trust”.
Willem M. de Vos
Scientific Founder Prof. Wageningen University – The Netherlands
Willem M. de Vos is a Distinguished Professor at the Wageningen University, Netherlands, and a Professor of Human Microbiomics at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Helsinki, Finland. He discovered Akkermansia muciniphila and is an expert in its biology and production, the fundamental basis of A-Mansia’s prospective health supplement products. He is the leader of planning at A-Mansia, i.e., the growth and manufacturing strategy of the microbe. He is a recognized Key Opinion Leader (KOL) in the microbiome area, with >30 years of experience in academia as a professor and >25 years in industry as a consultant, scientific advisor and supervisory board member. He is also a decade-long ISI Highly Cited Scientists and has a Google Scholar h-index (academic publishing and reputational impact score) of >170, with >125,000 citations.
A-Mansia General Manager
Michael has 30 years experience from senior roles in Life Science and FMCG, including more than 20 years as CEO in listed and private companies. During that period, he has also served as chairman and held board positions in a number of life science companies.
Before joining A-Mansia, Michael held notable positions as CEO of probiotics company Probi and biotech company BioInvent, both listed on Nasdaq Stockholm. He is a native of Sweden but has worked internationally throughout his career, including ten years in Australia.
Scientific Advisory Board:
Prof. Michel P. Hermans
Prof Michel P. Hermans obtained his medical degree in 1984 (Louvain University Medical School in Brussels). Early research devoted to beta-cell biophysics and stimulus-secretion coupling. Specialist in Internal Medicine (1992), Endocrinology and Diabetes (1997). “Suzanne et Jean Pirard Prize” from the Association Belge du Diabète. Visiting Fellow at the Diabetes Research Laboratories, Oxford University (1994). Senior Consultant, St-Luc Academic Hospital (Brussels). Prof Hermans was awarded the following diplomas from the Open University in Milton Keynes (UK): Natural Sciences (2000); Earth Sciences (2003); Human Geography & Environment (2003), and a Postgraduate Certificate in Social Sciences (2004). Current research areas: T2DM, metabolic syndrome, cardiometabolic risk, atherogenic dyslipidemia, ethno-geographical determinants of insulin resistance and beta-cell dysfunction.
Dr. André Marette, PhD
Dr. André Marette is a Professor of Medicine at the Laval University, Québec, Canada. He is an international renowned expert on the pathogenesis of insulin resistance and cardiometabolic diseases. His research has advanced the understanding of the physiological and molecular mechanisms by which gut microbiota modulate obesity-linked intestinal inflammation, fatty liver disease and type 2 diabetes. He has published over 260 papers, reviews, books and book chapters and has been invited to give more than a hundred lectures at various national & international conferences in the past 10 years. He currently serves as Editor-in-Chief for the American Journal of Physiology: Endo & Metab section. Dr. Marette has received several awards for his work, including the prestigious Charles Best Award for his overall contribution to the research on diabetes.
Dr. Jacques Mizrahi
Dr Jacques Mizrahi, studied in both France and Canada (University of Sciences/Medical School, Sherbrooke-Canada). After his PhD, he completed his education through postdoctoral studies at the Inserm U36/Hospital Broussais (Paris-France).
He has spent over 25 years working in large pharmaceutical companies, GSK (France), E.Lilly (USA) and Roche (Switzerland), dedicated to research and development in cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. At Roche, he directed the research on metabolic and vascular diseases and as the head at Global Therapy Area, he directed the R&D branch in metabolic and cardiovascular diseases. He led the Clinical Research and Exploratory Medicine department which implements translational medicine and serves as a bridge between bench and proof of concept in man.
As from 2014, Jacques has contributed to a number of Venture Capital organizations and the creation of biotech companies. He is currently a Venture partner at Bioqube Ventures, a member of the board of directors and SAB of several biotech companies in France and Europe, and a member of the Inserm Transfer portfolio committee.
Prof. Dr. Wim H.M. Saris
Wim H.M. Saris (1949), MD, PhD, is an Emeritus Professor of Human Nutrition at the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Science of the Maastricht University, The Netherlands. In 1992, he initiated the Nutrition and Toxicology Research Institute NUTRIM at the University and was the scientific director until 2005. From 2005 to 2014, he was a part-time Corporate Scientist in Human Nutrition at the DSM, Food Specialties division in Delft. From 2009 to 2016 he was the scientific director of the Nutrition and Health program at the Top Institute Food and Nutrition (TIFN) Wageningen.
He is the author or co-author of 7 books and over 500 scientifically refereed articles dealing with topics like nutrition, energy metabolism, exercise physiology, cancer cachexia, functional foods and nutrigenomics. He has served on many national and international committees, such as the Dutch Health and Nutrition Council, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the European Technology Platform (ETP) initiative “Food for Life”. He was also the chairman of the EU Joint Programming Initiative (JPI) “Healthy diet for a healthy life”. He recently stepped down as the president of ILSI Europe in Brussels.