Raúl Insa, MD, PhD, MBA
Founder, President and CEO
Dr. Insa has worked 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), before establishing SOM Biotech. His experience is in drug development, from drug identification to commercialization, including 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 from 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 at 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.
Núria Reig, PhD
Chief Scientific Officer
Núria 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. Núria 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.
Saurabh Mishra, MBA
Chief Financial Officer
Saurabh is passionate about valuation and corporate finance and his expertise lies in valuing early stage companies and products that has several uncertainties involved in the life cycle. Having worked with several young life sciences companies in the areas of finance, he provides a strong financial perspective to the strategic decisions taken by the Board and intends to position himself as a Value Integrator to the CEO to drive long term growth of the company. Besides, his areas of interest include Real Options and Decision trees framework that captures the management’s flexibility in the times of uncertainty. He is the founder of Farmantra, a life sciences corporate finance advisory firm and an Independent Expert at European Commission. He has worked in the USA and India before embarking on his entrepreneurial venture in Spain. He has an MBA from ESADE Business School and is currently enrolled in the CFA program.
Santiago Esteva, PhD
Operations Manager and Head of Clinical Operations
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 was eventually designated as Operations Manager and Head of Clinical Operations in 2018. Santi used to be a federate swimmer and currently is an open water swimming and triathlon lover.
Oscar Huertas, MSc
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 artificial intelligence drug discovery computational system.
Gal·la Pericot, MSc
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 a Synthetist at the University of Siena, and then joined the research center Siena Biotech as Senior Scientist for 9 years. She 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 also has experience as a 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 in 2015.
Aileen Ferré, MSc
Aileen is a pharmacist by training. She holds a Master in Molecular Biotechnology degree from the University of Barcelona and interned at SOM Biotech giving support to the R&D Unit. Her master project called “Drug Repositioning for Rare Diseases” was based on the definition and execution of new promising internal projects. She finally joined the company as Junior Scientist in 2016 and is now a Project Manager responsible for several early stage programs.
Miel Dayrit, BSc, MBM
Business Development Associate
Miel obtained her bachelor’s degree in Clinical Pharmacy from the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, Philippines. After passing the Pharmacist Licensure Exam in 2012, she worked for 2 years in multiple tertiary hospitals in Manila as a Clinical Research Coordinator for Phase III clinical trials from sponsors Astellas and Novartis. She then joined PPD, a top global CRO, in 2014 working in Data Management and handled clinical studies from Teva, GSK and Pfizer in various therapeutic areas such as endocrinology, oncology, neurology, etc. After a total of 5 years in the Clinical Research industry, she moved to Spain to pursue a Master in Business Management with specialization in Project Management at the University of Barcelona-Biotechnology Business Institute. Miel joined SOM Biotech in November 2017 as Business Development Associate.
Luca Signorile, PhD
Senior Computational Chemist
Luca obtained his bachelor´s degree in Pharmaceutical Biotechnologies from the University of Bari, Italy. He then moved to The Netherlands, where he obtained a master´s degree in Molecular Medicine and a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Rotterdam. During his doctorate he investigated the properties of microtubule-associated proteins through wet-lab and computational approaches. After his PhD, he was a guest researcher at the University of Innsbruck, Austria, where he worked on the identification of environmental endocrine disruptors through pharmacophore modelling, virtual screening and docking studies. Luca joined SOM Biotech as Senior Computational Chemist in May 2018.
Mireia Prat, BA
Mireia obtained her bachelor’s degree in Tourism from the University of ESADE in Barcelona, Spain. She has worked as an administrative assistant for more than 5 years in Nestlé, including 2 years of experience at the headquarters in Switzerland, where she became instrumental in building an international team of more than 50 FTE in a hub located in Barcelona. She is proactive and a strong team player, and she likes challenges and dynamic organizations. Mireia joined SOM Biotech in October 2018 as Office Manager.
Gerard Jorba, BSc, PGDip
Gerard holds a degree in Biochemistry from the University of Barcelona. He made his final degree project in the Molecular Neurobiology group of his faculty where he studied the heteromerization of dopamine and adrenaline receptors in CNS. After graduation, he pursued a Postgraduate degree in Project Management for New Drug Development at the same university. Gerard joined SOM Biotech as Junior Scientist in January 2019, and is currently involved in the research and development of early stage projects.