Team



Dr. Laura Soucek

laura-soucek

Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Peptomyc S.L.
Principal Investigator of the Mouse Models of Cancer Therapies Group at the Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO), Associate Professor at Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona (UAB) and ICREA Research Professor.

Dr. Soucek is a leading figure in the Myc field and has pioneered studies on MYC inhibition since designing Omomyc when she was still an undergraduate student. Dr. Laura Soucek has published in top scientific journals including Nature, Nature Medicine, Genes & Development, and Nature Communications as First and Senior author. Since early 2011, she heads the Mouse Models of Cancer Therapies Group at the Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO), Barcelona, Spain. Her research at VHIO has already been recognized through several national research awards and grants (FERO fellowship, grants from the Miguel Servet Program, FIS and AGAUR), and prestigious international grants such as an ERC Consolidator grant, two ERC Proof of Concept grants and an AICR (now Worldwide Cancer Research) grant. Laura is also co-inventor of five patent applications including the ones at the basis of this project. In December 2014, she co-founded Peptomyc S.L. As CEO of the company, she is directing the scientific and strategic aspects of the project, overseeing its overall implementation, progress, and success.

Relevant publications:

  1. Beaulieu ME, Castillo F, Soucek L. Cells. 2020 Apr 22;9(4). pii: E1038. doi: 10.3390/cells9041038.
  2. Massó-Vallés D. and Soucek L. Cells. 2020, 9, 883; doi:10.3390/cells9040883.
  3. Daniel Massó-Vallés, Marie-Eve Beaulieu and Laura Soucek. Expert Opin Ther Targets. 2020 Jan 31. doi: 10.1080/14728222.2020.1723548.
  4. Mireia Pesarrodona, Toni Jauset, Zamira V. Díaz-Riascos, Alejandro Sánchez-Chardi, Marie-Eve Beaulieu, Joaquin Seras-Franzoso, Laura Sánchez-García, Ricardo Baltà-Foix, Sandra Mancilla, Yolanda Fernández, Ursula Rinas, Simó Schwartz Jr, Laura Soucek, Antonio Villaverde, Ibane Abasolo, and Esther Vázquez. Advanced Sciences. Adv Sci (Weinh). 2019 Jul 24;6(18):1900849. doi: 10.1002/advs.201900849.
  5. Jonathan R. Whitfield and Laura Soucek. Current Opinion in Pharmacology. 2019 Jun 27. pii: S1471-4892(19)30045-1. Doi: 10.1016/j.coph.2019.06.001.
  6. Marie-Eve Beaulieu and Laura Soucek. Mol Cell Oncology. 2019. Doi: 10.1080/23723556.2019.1618178.
  7. Marie-Eve Beaulieu, Toni Jauset, Daniel Massó-Vallés, Sandra Martínez-Martín, Peter Rahl, Loïka Maltais, Mariano F. Zacarias-Fluck, Sílvia Casacuberta-Serra, Erika Serrano del Pozo, Christopher Fiore, Laia Foradada, Virginia Castillo Cano, Matthew Guenther, Eduardo Romero Sanz, Marta Oteo, Cynthia Tremblay, Génesis Martín, Danny Letourneau, Martin Montagne, Miguel Ángel Morcillo Alonso, Jonathan R. Whitfield, Pierre Lavigne and Laura Soucek. Sci Trans Med. 2019 Mar 20;11(484). Doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aar5012.
  8. Dang CV, Reddy EP, Shokat KM, Soucek L. Nat Rev Cancer. 2017 Aug;17(8):502-508
  9. Whitfield JR, Beaulieu ME and Soucek L (2017) Front. Cell Dev. Biol. 5:10
  10. Beaulieu ME, Jauset T, Massó-Vallés DM, Soucek L, and Whitfield JR (2017) Cancer Genetics and Genomics for Personalized Medicine. Edited by Il-Jin Kim
  11. Annibali, D., Whitfield, J.R., Favuzzi, E., Jauset, T., Serrano, E., Cuartas, I., Redondo-Campos, S., Folch, G., Gonzalez-Junca, A., Sodir, N.M., et al. (2014). Nature Communications 5, 4632.
  12. Soucek, L., Whitfield, J.R., Sodir, N.M., Masso-Valles, D., Serrano, E., Karnezis, A.N., Swigart, L.B., and Evan, G.I. (2013). Genes & Development 27, 504-513.
  13. Sodir, N.M., Swigart, L.B., Karnezis, A.N., Hanahan, D., Evan, G.I., and Soucek, L. (2011). Genes & Development 25, 907-916.
  14. Savino, M., Annibali, D., Carucci, N., Favuzzi, E., Cole, M.D., Evan, G.I., Soucek, L., and Nasi, S. (2011). PloS One 6, e22284.
  15. Soucek, L., Whitfield, J., Martins, C.P., Finch, A.J., Murphy, D.J., Sodir, N.M., Karnezis, A.N., Swigart, L.B., Nasi, S., and Evan, G.I. (2008). Nature 455, 679-683.
  16. Soucek, L., Nasi, S., and Evan, G.I. (2004). Cell Death and Differentiation 11, 1038-1045.
  17. Soucek, L., Jucker, R., Panacchia, L., Ricordy, R., Tato, F., and Nasi, S. (2002). Cancer Research 62, 3507-3510.
  18. Soucek, L., Helmer-Citterich, M., Sacco, A., Jucker, R., Cesareni, G., and Nasi, S. (1998). Oncogene 17, 2463-2472.

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Dr. Marie-Eve Beaulieu

marie-eve-beaulieu

Co-Founder & Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) of Peptomyc S.L.
PhD in Pharmacology with extensive experience in biochemistry and structural biology of transcription factors

Dr. Beaulieu initially joined Dr. Soucek’s academic Mouse Models of Cancer therapies research group at VHIO in 2013 after having worked with the pharmaceutical industry to study therapeutic peptide formulations using biophysical methods. At VHIO, Marie-Eve established the Protein Purification Platform and demonstrated for the first time the cell penetrating potential of Omomyc, which rapidly led to a first patent application, and to the creation of Peptomyc one year later. 

Marie-Eve already co-authored 21 peer-reviewed publications and 4 book chapters. During her academic track, she awarded several competitive fellowships (CREFSIP scholarship, MITACS Accelerated postdoctoral fellowship (postdoc project at Theratechnologies Inc., Montreal, Canada) and a FRSQ postdoctoral award from the Quebec government (postdoc project at VHIO). 

She is co-inventor of 4 patent applications protecting the use of Omomyc in medicine and composition of matter variants. As co-founder of Peptomyc S.L., Marie-Eve has actively contributed to establish the business project of the company and to raise 5.2M Euros in private equity and 4.7M Euros in public funding grants. As CSO of Peptomyc, she coordinates the various scientific activities related to the Omomyc peptide development (CMC, assays development, preclinical validation in vitro and in vivo, and pipeline expansion) performed in-house and outsourced to CROs.

Relevant publications:

  1. Massó-Vallés D, Beaulieu ME, Soucek L. MYC, MYCL, and MYCN as therapeutic targets in lung cancer. Expert Opin Ther Targets. 2020 Feb;24(2):101-114. 
  2. Beaulieu ME, Soucek L. Finding MYCure. Mol Cell Oncol. 2019 Jun 20;6(5):e1618178.
  3. Jauset T., Beaulieu M.E. Bioactive cell penetrating peptides and proteins in cancer: a bright future ahead. Curr Opin Pharmacol (2019) 47:133-140. 
  4. Beaulieu M.E., Jauset T., Massó-Vallés D., Martinez-Martin S., Rahl P., Maltais L., Zacarias-Fluck M., Casacuberta-Serra S., Serrano del Pozo E., Fiore C., Foradada L., Castillo Cano V., Sanchez-Hervas M., Guenther M., Romero Sanz E., Oteo M., Tremblay C., Martin G., Letourneau D., Montagne M., Morcillo M.A., Whitfield J., Lavigne P. and Soucek L. Intrinsic cell-penetrating activity propels Omomyc from proof of concept to viable anti-MYC therapy. Sci Transl Med (2019) 11(484). 

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Dr. Manuela Niewel, M.D.

Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of Peptomyc S.L. 

Dr Niewel is an MD educated oncologist, who has focused nearly her entire career within the Oncology space, from first in men through registration of oncology drugs. She started as a resident within Oncology hospitals in Germany, being responsible for the treatment of cancer patients. She then moved into the industry to focus her work within the Clinical Development setting. She joins Peptomyc from Rigontec, a start-up biotech acquired by Merck Sharp & Dohme, where she served as Senior Vice President for Clinical Development since 2015, bringing their compound very quickly and successfully into the clinic. Dr. Niewel also acted as a clinical development consultant for several biotech companies and held Senior Medical Director positions at Chiltern International and Pharmanet, and led Clinical Research groups at PFK Oncology Services, Nycomed and Synthelabo Research. She obtained her M.D. diploma and doctoral degree at the University Munich and her Diploma in Pharmaceutical Medicine at DGPharMed Munich, Germany.

 

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Jörg Klumbis

Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Peptomyc S.L.

Jörg Klumbis is a strategic and operational manager & entrepreneur with more than 25 years expertise in the Pharmaceutical Industry. After a first commercial project management experience in an engineering services provider, he joined MERCK’s KGaA German headquarters as a controller. He then occupied the position of Head of Controlling in MERCK Farma and Química, Spain, to later join LETI Pharma Group as Chief Financial Officer. At LETI he contributed closely to the development of a recombinant biotechnological vaccine. Some years ago, he co-founded AIO Health Pro, an omnichannel sales & marketing services company providing solutions to the health sector.

His studies include an Industrial Engineer Degree from the Technical University in Darmstadt, Germany, and a PDD of IESE Business School in Barcelona.

 

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Núria Gumà Torres

Núria Gumà Torres

Executive Assistant of Peptomyc S.L. 

Núria has more than 8 years’ experience as Assistant and 4 of them in the biotech and pharma sector. She joined Peptomyc’s team in June 2020, bringing her expertise in managing office operations and administration duties, to support the CEO, the management team and Investors.

After a first experience in Gold Buyers Int., she worked for AIN Business Center, as office manager and assistant. Later in 2015 she joined Sanifit Therapeutics as Executive Assistant reporting to the CEO. She was responsible for supporting a team of 15 people, including 4 executives with busy agendas and travel schedules. She contributed closely to the development and growth of the company, assisting with daily operations and logistics.

Núria holds a bachelor’s degree in tourism and hotel Management from Esade Sant Ignasi University and a master’s degree in hospitality management from Maastricht Hogeschool Zuyd University.

 

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Genesis Biomed

GENESIS Biomed is a start-up formed by entrepreneurs and with vocation of service to entrepreneurs and research centers.They have been involved as strategic consultants since the very beginning, helping the company in strategy, business development, regulatory affairs and fundraising.

 

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Vantum

vantum

F&A support services.

 

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Peptomyc Research Team

 

Dr. Laia Foradada – Veterinary (DVM)

Dr. Foradada joined Peptomyc in 2016 as an expert in in vivostudies and pathology. She graduated in Veterinary Medicine (UAB; 2006) and then moved to the Histology and Pathology Department where she obtained a PhD in Animal Medicine and Health (CBATEG, UAB; 2013) and extensive knowledge in anatomy, pathology and animal surgery. Afterwards she worked in the Functional Validation and Preclinical Research group (CIBBIM-Nanomedicine, VHIR) where she developed her expertise in mouse models, functional and preclinical validation of new compounds and skills in molecular imaging techniques. Laia is co-author of 9 peer-reviewed publications.

 

Dr. Silvia Casacuberta – Immuno-Oncology Project Manager

Dr. Casacuberta is an expert immuno-oncology scientist who joined Peptomyc in 2016 as a postdoctoral researcher. She graduated in Biotechnology (UVic; 2010) and then obtained a Master in Biomedicine (Universitat de Barcelona; 2011). She has a PhD in Immunology (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona; 2016) and a post-graduate course in Project Management (La Salle; 2020). During her PhD she designed a method to induce immune tolerance in a model of multiple sclerosis and has already co-authored 8 peer-reviewed publications, 3 of which as a first author. She is co-inventor of one of the patent applications that protect the use of Omomyc in cancer. As the Immuno-Oncology Project Manager of Peptomyc, Sílvia is applying her extensive knowledge of the immune system to coordinate and perform the activities to elucidate how Omomyc-based Myc inhibition modulates the anti-tumor immune response in different cancer models.

 

Dr. Daniel Massó-Vallés – Postdoctoral Researcher and Project Manager

Dr. Massó-Vallés graduated in Biology at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (2009), and obtained a Master degree in Advanced Genetics from the same university (2010). He then received a PhD in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biomedicine in Dr. Laura Soucek’s laboratory (2017), where he studied the role of Myc in metastatic breast cancer and the repurposing of ibrutinib for the treatment of pancreatic cancer. He recently joined Peptomyc after being awarded a ‘Torres Quevedo’ fellowship to validate a new generation of cell penetrating peptides targeting Myc for breast cancer treatment. Daniel is co-author of 8 peer-reviewed publications (3 as first author) and a book chapter as co-first author.

 

Sergio López – Animal and Lab Technician

Sergio López is the newest member of Peptomyc’s research team and brings a wealth of in vivo animal model experience. He graduated in Biotechnology from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB, 2009) and started his professional career in the Gene and Cell Therapy group (VHIR). Later, he obtained a Master in Pharmacology (UAB, 2016). Sergio has more than 10 years of experience working in basic biomedical research and is co-author of 3 peer-reviewed publications, 1 of which as first author. Now he is finishing his doctoral thesis in the Neurosciences program. The research carried out for his PhD focused on the characterization of neuroimmune responses and visceral hypersensitivity development associated with inflammation, using different animal models. This work combined classic physiological and pharmacological studies in vivo with molecular biology approaches.

 

Dr. Virginia Castillo – Senior Technician

Dr. Castillo has more than 10 years experience in protein structural biology and protein biophysics. She obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, where she also pursued a PhD in protein folding, stability and aggregation, and how toxic aggregates underlie a wide range of neurodegenerative disorders. As a postdoctoral fellow at the Katholieke Universiteit of Leuven (Belgium), she studied the contribution of protein aggregation – as a gain-of-function component – to cell proliferation and immortalization. She has co-authored 12 peer-reviewed publications (6 as a first author) and 2 book chapters (one as a first author).Virginia recently joined Peptomyc to help develop the Chemistry, Manufacturing and Control (CMC) of the pharmaceutical product, in particular the biologic specific manufacturing process, as well as product stability and solubility.

 

Hugo Thabussot – Technician and Ph.D. Student

Hugo Thabussot graduated in Biochemistry from the university of Bourgogne (France) after previously completing a year as an Erasmus student at the Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences. He then obtained a Master in Functional and Structural Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University Claude Bernard in Lyon. Hugo gained significant further laboratory experience in peptide chemistry, biophysical assays and chromatography techniques as a trainee in the laboratory of Pr. Ernest Giralt at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB) in Barcelona.

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