Lukas Schüpbach to head up Chr. Hansen and Lonza biotherapeutic firm Bacthera

By Will Chu

- Last updated on GMT

Lukas Schüpbach, Bacthera's new CEO. ©Chr. Hansen/Lonza
Lukas Schüpbach, Bacthera's new CEO. ©Chr. Hansen/Lonza

Related tags: Chr hansen, Lonza, Bacthera, Schüpbach

Bacthera, the joint venture between Chr. Hansen and Lonza looking into Live Biotherapeutic Products (LBP), announces Lukas Schüpbach as the company’s new CEO.

The 50-year old, joins Bacthera from Emavant Solutions, a digital health care start-up, in which he was the global head of Strategy and Operations for almost two years.

“Leading Bacthera on the exciting journey that the company has embarked on is a great opportunity,”​ says Schüpbach.

“Bacthera is a pioneer in an emerging industry and I am excited, yet humble, about becoming part of this venture.

“I really look forward to getting to know the business in depth, meeting the dedicated employees and starting to engage with companies innovating in this field.”

Interim CEO

Schüpbach begins his new role on 1 February, 2020 replacing Bacthera’s current interim CEO Christian Bigum, who will continue as acting CEO for this month.

In a statement, Bigum said, “Lukas and I have already planned a solid transition that will ensure full alignment on Bacthera’s strategy and priorities while maintaining the strong business momentum we have right now.

“I am pleased to handover the torch to Lukas – he is not only a strong business builder and charismatic leader, but also sincerely inspired by Bacthera’s purpose of shaping the future of medicine.”

Formed in September 2019, Bacthera enters the new year with €90m worth of financial backing from Chr. Hansen and Lonza over a period of three years.

The venture looks to pioneer manufacturing for the LBP industry and offer services in handling, characterising, formulating, manufacturing and encapsulating strict anaerobe bacteria into a drug.

Bacthera operates from its headquarters in Basel, Switzerland and production facilities in Denmark and Switzerland.

The firm is currently in the midst of upgrading existing facilities in Hørsholm, Denmark and equipping its new facilities in Basel, Switzerland for use in preclinical to Phase II projects.

Further facility upgrades for Phase III and commercial manufacturing are expected as its pipeline develops. 

Full supply chain offerings

Bacthera claims to be the first contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO) to provide a full supply chain that offers manufacturing of drug substance and drug product for biotech and pharma.

“Lukas comes with a proven track record of delivering results and visionary leadership,”​ says CEO of Chr. Hansen and Chairman of the Board at Bacthera, Mauricio Graber.

“Bacthera gets a CEO with a rounded profile, from an entrepreneurial mindset to building and aligning cross functional teams in large organisations.

“I am convinced his pharma experience, and extensive network, will be very valuable for Bacthera’s growth plans and the company’s ambition to be a pioneer in the emerging live-biotherapeutic market.”

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