Chief Executive Officer
A leader in innate immunity in the immuno-oncology field, Dr. Hoess has built his more than 25-year biotech career from an extensive background in general management, business development, product commercialization, fundraising, M&A and drug discovery. He joined Affimed in October 2010 as Chief Commercial Officer, and since September 2011, has led the company as Chief Executive Officer, advancing the company’s commitment to improving the lives of people with hematologic and solid tumor cancers.
At Affimed, Dr. Hoess has integrated his scientific expertise and experience driving R&D toward drug discovery and clinical trials to cultivate a productive organizational culture and lead its high-performing team. He has transformed and elevated the business, taking it from an early-stage, preclinical engineering company of 20 employees to a mid-stage, clinical development pioneer of innate immune activation for cancer treatment with over 125 of the industry’s most talented scientists, entrepreneurs and seasoned leaders. Dr. Hoess successfully drove the decision to take the company public on the Nasdaq in September 2014. He has since led the company to the largest signed collaboration in biotech with Roche Genentech, as well as secured collaborations with Johnson & Johnson, Merck and Roivant Sciences, among others.
Prior to joining Affimed, Dr. Hoess was the Chief Commercial Officer at Jerini AG, where he led the development and launch of the novel orphan drug Firazyr® for people living with hereditary angioedema. His leadership influenced Jerini AG’s eventual sale to Shire. Before joining Jerini, he was General Manager and Vice President of the Molecular Medicine Division at Carl Zeiss in Jena, Germany.
Dr. Hoess began his professional career in 1993 as a scientist at MorphoSys AG. There, he partnered with the company’s founder in translating intellectual property he had developed at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard Medical School. Within six years, he was promoted to Vice President of Licensing and Business Development, where he played an instrumental role in the company’s successful German IPO.
Dr. Hoess completed post-doctoral research at Harvard Medical School’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and holds a Doctorate of Medicine from the Technical University of Munich as well as a Ph.D. in chemistry and biochemistry from the University of Munich.
Chief Operating Officer
Dr. Wolfgang Fischer joined the company in 2017 from Sandoz Biopharmaceuticals (Novartis Group). He has 20 years of experience in research and drug development with a focus on oncology, immunology, and pharmacology.
At Sandoz he managed the development and registration of Sandoz’s biosimilar pipeline assets since 2012 and served as Global Head of Program and Project Management since 2014. Prior to joining Sandoz, he held various positions of increasing responsibility within the Novartis Group since 2003, including Medical Director Oncology for Novartis Pharma Switzerland AG as well as Regional Medical Director Hematology (Emerging Growth Markets), where he was responsible for the Hematology Medical Affairs program and supported the launch of several products in various countries.
Wolfgang Fischer holds a Ph.D. in Cancer Research from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich, Switzerland. Thereafter, he completed postdoctoral fellowships at the Swiss Institute of Experimental Cancer Research, Lausanne, Switzerland, and at the Scripps Research Institute, Department of Immunology, La Jolla, CA, USA, followed by a state doctorate (Habilitation) in Pharmacology and Toxicology at the Medical School of the University of Würzburg in Germany in 2003.
Chief Business Officer
Ms. Mueller is an accomplished executive who joined Affimed in 2016 as Chief Business Officer. She brings to the company over 20 years of commercial, brand and marketing expertise, having supported the domestic and global launch of new products and line extensions.
Before joining Affimed, Ms. Mueller held various leadership roles in the U.S. and globally during her 17-year tenure at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals and, subsequently, Pfizer, following the organizations’ merger. Among other Pfizer roles, she served as Disease Area Lead for multiple therapeutic areas, and was responsible for developing disease area and indication strategy, commercial development and market shaping.
In addition to her broad and extensive commercial experience, Ms. Mueller led and managed two of Pfizer’s largest alliances and was the business development lead for Pfizer’s rare disease business unit.
During her career with Pfizer, she gained broad and deep commercial expertise through her roles as the Director of Strategy, Director of External Opportunities, and Director/Worldwide Commercial Lead of multiple in-line and pipeline assets. She enabled the PFE Specialty Care business to expand into the gene therapy business and new gastrointestinal therapeutic areas.
As the Director and Global Business Manager, Ms. Mueller had in-line responsibility for a product that delivered 850 million dollar in revenue through a strategic partnership with Medtronic.
Ms. Mueller began her health care career in hospital management, where she ran emergency medicine, critical care, in-house pediatrics and hospitalist programs. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
Chief Medical Officer
A seasoned oncologist, Dr. Harstrick joined Affimed as Chief Medical Officer in March 2020, bringing with him more than 30 years of experience and expertise in cancer drug development, clinical trial research and regulatory approvals. In his role as Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Harstrick oversees Affimed’s first-in-class ICE® (innate cell engager) molecule clinical programs and strategies to advance clinical-stage assets toward regulatory approvals.
Before joining Affimed, Dr. Harstrick was the Chief Medical Officer and member of the management board at Molecular Partners in Schlieren, Switzerland, where he oversaw clinical activities, including the expansion of the clinical team. There, he also successfully transitioned several preclinical programs to first-in-human studies.
Prior to Molecular Partners, Dr. Harstrick held several senior executive roles, including Senior Vice President of Medical Sciences at ImClone Systems, Inc., which was acquired by Eli Lilly and Company. Following the acquisition, Dr. Harstrick served as a member of the Lilly Oncology Program Review Board and Lilly Oncology Business Unit Development Committee, where he led the design of several clinical programs, which subsequently resulted in global approval of two oncological antibodies, Portrazza™ (necitumumab) and Cyramza® (ramucirumab). Before joining ImClone, Dr. Harstrick was the Senior Vice President of the Global Clinical Development Unit, Oncology, at Merck Serono. In this function he was responsible for all development and medical affairs studies in oncology and oversaw the design and execution of the global development programs that led to the approval of Erbitux in multiple indications.
Dr. Harstrick received his M.D. at the Hannover Medical School, Germany. He spent his career as a practicing oncologist at the University Hospital and Cancer Center in Hannover; the Roswell Park Center Institute in Buffalo, New York; and the West German Cancer Center in Essen, Germany. Additionally, he was an Associate Professor for Internal Medicine at the University of Essen, Germany.
Chief Scientific Officer
Dr. Schottelius has built his more than 25-year career in academia and biopharma on a proven reputation as a dedicated physician-scientist and immunologist. He joined Affimed in April 2020, bringing with him decades of experience in research and clinical development, industry collaborations and organizational leadership from a number of esteemed biopharmaceutical companies. In his current role as Chief Scientific Officer, he drives the company’s scientific strategy, enabling its cutting-edge innate immunity position among key stakeholders. Additionally, he has built and led teams across five departments to advance Affimed’s translational science into meaningful and vital clinical programs.
Before joining Affimed, Dr. Schottelius was the Executive Vice President and Head of Research Development at Kymab, where he partnered with the board to develop and execute on the company’s strategic commitments. While at Kymab, Dr. Schottelius was responsible for expanding the therapeutic antibody portfolio and with his team advanced two programs into clinical development and proof-of-concept studies.
Prior to his time at Kymab, Dr. Schottelius served as the Chief Development Officer at MorphoSys AG. There, he transformed the business from a 350 million dollar technology provider to a leading commercial player and 2 billion dollar clinical development company with a valuable portfolio of proprietary therapeutic antibody programs in cancer and immunology, five of which Dr. Schottelius brought into clinical development and to proof-of-concept.
Early in his career, Dr. Schottelius served as the Director of Immunology Tissue Growth & Repair Early Development at Genentech, where he was responsible for overseeing and IND-filing of all Immunology pre-clinical development programs. At Genentech he also served as Medical Director of Immunology Development, where he was responsible for conducting late-stage clinical studies with rituximab and ocrelizumab.
Dr. Schottelius began his career as a resident physician in gastroenterology at the Charité University Hospital in Berlin. He holds a Ph.D. and M.D. from Albert Ludwigs University in Freiburg, Germany, and Eberhard Karls University in Tubingen, Germany. He completed his postdoctoral fellowship at the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in North Carolina, and a habilitation in experimental internal medicine at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich.
Chief Financial Officer
Mr. Smith joined Affimed in July 2020 as Chief Financial Officer. He brings to Affimed more than 15 years of experience in finance and investment banking within the life sciences and health care industries. His expertise lies in financial strategy, U.S. capital markets, business development and operations.
Before joining Affimed, Mr. Smith was the Chief Financial Officer at Rockwell Medical, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company specializing in the development and commercialization of anemia therapies. At Rockwell, Mr. Smith elevated his proven track record of financial execution, overseeing the financing of Rockwell’s flagship commercial drug launch and a revamp of the company’s internal controls.
Previously, Mr. Smith held several leadership positions at Pernix Therapeutics, including Senior Vice President, Chief Business Officer and Principal Financial Officer, overseeing Pernix’s financial, M&A and business development strategy. During his tenure at Pernix, Mr. Smith led the execution of several financing transactions and the acquisition of two commercial prescription drugs, aggregating over 500 million dollar in total value.
Mr. Smith began his career in health care investment banking, serving as a Director in the Healthcare Investment Banking Group at Cantor Fitzgerald in New York. During his nearly decade-long tenure, Mr. Smith specialized in spearheading growth strategies for life sciences and health care companies, resulting in an aggregate transaction value of more than 15 billion dollar. Mr. Smith received a Bachelor of Arts in mathematical economics from Colgate University in Hamilton, New York.