Our Team

Raúl Insa, MD, PhD, MBA

Founder, President and CEO

Dr. Insa has been working for more than 20 years in multinational pharmaceutical companies, such as Parke-Davis (now Pfizer), UCB Pharma, Uriach Group (now Palau Pharma) and ISDIN (from Esteve Group). His experience is related to drug development from drug identification to commercialization, including mainly clinical research and licensing. He was involved in the development of products like Quinapril, Tacrine, Cetirizin, Levetiracetam, Rupatadin, Dersalazine, Cimicoxib, Albaconazole, Gemfibrozil, Gabapentin, Piracetam, Levocetirizine, Nanocapsuled Cyclosporin, Disitertide, and others. He received his Medical training and his PhD in Clinical Neurology at the University of Alicante, Spain; an MBA from ESADE Business School in Barcelona and an Executive Education Program from IESE, Barcelona. He has also attended a couple of biotech leadership programs from Harvard Business School, Boston. His background includes more than 45 publications and papers, 7 chapters in books, 87 congress communications and 9 pharmaceutical patents.

Raj Airey, BSc, BA

Chief Strategy Officer

Raj is a venture developer, advisor and investor in early stage biotech and medical device businesses with extensive experience in the health sector and senior leadership roles with blue chip firms like Pfizer and Baxter. Raj brings 28 years of operating experience in the healthcare industry in various parts of the world, including the UK, Belgium, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Spain and India/South East Asia. Raj is also an entrepreneur, having founded several companies and exited two in the healthcare space. He has also been involved in many fund raising and licensing deals across the globe. He founded Wizzcare Home Health Solutions, a pioneer in home care and tele-health Company in India, which was sold to Indian’s leading E-health business. He is also a co-founder of Health Start, India’s first Healthcare accelerator. The accelerator has invested extensively in portfolio health companies, and Raj is an active board member and mentor to some of them. Raj is a post graduate from the London University and executive programs from Harvard Business School and INSEAD, as well as an Accredited Executive Coach of the International Coaching Federation.

Michael Greenberg, BA, MBA

Chief Business Development

Michael Greenberg comes to SOM after spending twenty years specializing in international alliance negotiation, and cross-national alliance management. From 2000-2103, Michael was based at MPM Capital in Boston, San Francisco, and Tokyo working as Vice President, Business Development and other long term and interim positions for more than one dozen portfolio companies including Cerimon, Kourion, Radius Health, Sai Advantium, and Dragonfly Sciences.  From 2013-2014, Michael negotiated the two founding alliances for Trianni, a SF Bay area based transgenic mice company.  Michael has been employed on the Senior Management teams of companies in the US, UK, Spain, Germany, Israel, Taiwan, Japan, India, and China.  Michael holds a BA from Tufts University and an MBA from Columbia University.

Núria Reig, PhD

Chief Scientific Officer

Núria Reig is a Biochemist with a solid research experience both in the academic and the industrial settings.  After a PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Barcelona, she moved to Switzerland for postdoc studies in the field of host-pathogen interactions and immunology at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Switzerland), with a long-standing collaboration with Yale University (CT, USA).  She then joined Xigen SA, a Swiss biotechnology company specialized in inflammation, as Senior Scientist in Discovery Research.  She contributed to the development of XG104 and brimapitide, currently in Phase 2 and Phase 3 development for ocular indications, respectively. Ms Reig joined SOM Biotech in 2010 initially as project manager and later as R&D Manager.  Among the different projects she has been involved in at SOM Biotech, she has been responsible for the development of SOM0226, a repositioned compound for the treatment of Transthyretin Amyloidosis that was successfully licensed after a Phase 2 proof of concept study. She has managed the company IP portfolio and contributed to 5 patents, 12 research and review articles and 11 presentations in international meetings.

Elena Diez, PhD

Chief Project Officer

Life Science Innovation Specialist with over 8 years of experience in the USA, Canada and Europe Life Science markets. Elena has held project management roles in a VC and several innovation organizations across North America, including co-organizing a life science accelerator program for Canadian companies in Silicon Valley. She has worked in business development and consulted for tier-1 pharmaceutical companies such as BMS, Regeneron and Sanofi. She holds a Ph.D from Trinity College Dublin in Medicinal Chemistry.

Oscar Huertas, BSc

Drug Discovery Manager

Oscar holds a degree in Chemistry from the University of Barcelona and a degree in Biochemistry from the University Autonoma de Barcelona, and a Master degree in Computational Chemistry. His research was focused in computer aided drug design in Alzheimer and in Phosphodiesterase inhibitors. He has more than 7 years of experience in virtual drug design by using different computational tools in the drug discovery process as well as working in in silico platforms and as R&D Manager. He has also attended Courses in Regulatory Affairs and Patents. Oscar joined SOM in 2012 and he is responsible for the company drug discovery computerized system.

Santiago Esteva, PhD

Clinical and Operations Manager

Santi holds a PhD cum laude in Biological Sciences from the University of Barcelona. His research was focused on physiological states under hypoxic conditions in rats. After finishing the academic period, he joined the Clinical Research sector and carried out different project and management tasks at Pivotal SL for 6 years. In order to expand his knowledge in drug development, he also attended several Masters Courses in Pharmaceutical Marketing, Business Development and Patents which complemented his clinical background. Santi joined SOM Biotech as Business Development Manager in 2013 and has been recently designated as Clinical and Operations Manager (2017). Santi used to be a federate swimmer and currently is an open water swimming and triathlon lover.

Gal·la Pericot, BSc

R&D Manager

Gal·la obtained her degree in Chemistry from the University of Barcelona, Spain and a Master Degree in Organic Chemistry from the University of Bologna, Italy. She worked 3 years as synthetist at the University of Siena, and then joined the research center Siena Biotech as Senior Scientist, for 9 years. Is a Medicinal Chemist with broad practical laboratory skills in classic organic synthesis and experienced in various stages of the small molecule drug discovery process. She has also experience as Project Leader of a program focused on development of potential new drug molecules for CNS disorders, coordination of multidisciplinary teams, definition and implementation of project strategy and plans, reporting to the strategy and portfolio committees. Always eager to learn more about pharmaceutical topics, she worked for 2 years at the Hospital of Siena, coordinating research programs and projects within the rheumatology department. Gal·la joined SOM Biotech as R&D Manager at the end of 2015.

Ferruccio Palazzesi, PhD

Senior Computational Chemist

Ferruccio started his studies at the University of Siena in 2005, doing a B.Sc. in Chemistry and Materials Technology. In 2009 he moved at the University of Bologna, where he obtained a M.Sc. in Photochemistry and Molecular Material. There he had the chance to work in Prof. F. Zerbetto’s group on the computational analysis of micelles and systems mimic magneto-tactic bacteria. In 2011 he joined the Prof. M. Parrinello’s group (Swiss Federal Institute of Zurich), getting his Ph.D. in 2015, with a thesis on the application of new algorithms for enhancing the capabilities of computer simulation techniques to study thermodynamics and kinetics of interesting bio-molecular systems. The results of his research have been published in international peer-review scientific journals such as Proceedings of the National Academy of Science U.S.A., Scientific Reports and many others. Ferruccio joined SOM Biotech as Senior Computational Chemist at the begging of 2017.

Aileen Ferré, BSc

Junior Scientist

Aileen is a Pharmacist by training and holds a Master in Molecular Biotechnology from the University of Barcelona. She performed her Master Internship at SOM Biotech giving support to the R&D Unit. She finally joined the company as Junior Scientist in September 2016. Her Master Project called “Drug Repositioning for Rare Diseases” was based on the definition and execution of new promising internal projects. She is now Project Manager and responsible of several early stage programs.