ZeCardio Therapeutics (ZeCardioTx) is a pharma company that will change the way we discover cardiovascular drugs. To do so, ZeCardioTx profits from using the zebrafish model and an innovative, proprietary screening and analysis platform, ZeCardio®, which allows effective, cost-efficient and rapid discovery of therapeutic molecules.
At its core, ZeCardioTx’s team aims at impacting the lives of patients suffering from antitumoral cardiotoxic side-effects; from genetic heart diseases; and from cardiac degeneration after acute cardiac damage. Those are the main avenues for ZeCardioTx to leverage deep scientific expertise into a lasting impact on society.
ZeCardioTx founding team is comprised of bioentrepreneurs with PhDs in Biomedicine. They have a vast experience in the pharma industry as founders and former managers of ZeClinics, a successful Contract Research Organization (CRO) that provides research services using zebrafish on toxicity/efficacy drug discovery and target discovery for a wide array of therapeutic areas. The managing experience acquired in their former position, the strong interaction with industry players and the deep knowledge of the industry needs, makes them ideal for leading ZeCardioTx, a new drug discovery company spun out from ZeClinics.
As such, the core management team is composed by Dr. Davide D’Amico and Dr. Javier Terriente, original co-founders and CEO and CSO at ZeClinics. They will make their transition to equivalent positions at the new drug discovery company ZeCardioTx. The Board of Advisors will be completed with additional Zeclinics’ co-founders, Dr. Simone Calzolari and Dr. Ignasi Sahún, with the external support of the main investor at ZeClinics, Dr. Miguel Ezcurra.
Dr. Davide D’Amico is an experienced medical biotechnologist and business executive in life science. He started his research activity 12 years ago, as a pre-doctoral researcher at the University of Florida (USA) and followed as a Ph.D. student in the field of neuroscience at the Center for Genomic Regulation (Barcelona, Spain). Since 2013 Davide is Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer at ZeClinics, where he is responsible for guiding the company’s vision, strategy, and execution.
Davide has experience in business management and startup growth and coordinates ZeClinics’ assets of 25 employees. Under his leadership, ZeClinics has collected private and public fundraising of more than 5€M, undertaken 25 R&D projects and, continuously expanded commercial activity with global clients in pharma and academia. He has presented his works in more than 20 international and national congresses and during his career and he has been awarded several prizes and fellowships.
Dr. Javier Terriente obtained his Bachelor's degree in Biochemistry from the University of Granada (Spain) in 2001. In 2006, he completed his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology at the Centro de Biología Molecular Severo Ochoa (Madrid, Spain). After a 4-year postdoctoral stay as a Marie Curie fellow at NIMR (London, UK), in 2011 he continued his studies on cell signaling during brain development in zebrafish as an assistant professor and postdoctoral fellow at DECXS-UPF (Barcelona, Spain).
Javier is an international expert in the development of zebrafish and in the exploitation of this animal model in preclinical trials. He has published multiple articles on these topics. He was the Chief Scientific Officer at ZeClinics since its foundation, where he oversees all the scientific research activities of the company.
Dr. Sylvia Dyballa studied biochemistry in the University of Tübingen before she came to Barcelona to pursue a Ph.D. in Developmental Biology at UPF. She joined ZeClinics in 2016, where she has played a key role in rendering the zebrafish larvae useful in high-throughput applications. In particular, her input was vital in the implementation and development of the ZeCardio screening platform and image analysis software, ZeClinics flagship for assessing cardiovascular function in zebrafish larvae.
Dr. Carole Jung is an experienced Ph.D. researcher with more than 15 years working in the field of Cardiovascular Physiology. She has strong experience in cardiac electrophysiology and athophysiology, transgenic animal models, primary cell culture and “omics” analysis. During her career, she has focused on understanding the role of ion channels and calcium homeostasis in the heart and vascular system.
Dr. Vincenzo Di Donato is an experienced researcher in Molecular Biology and Genetics. During his Ph.D. at Curie Institute, he pioneered on the establishment of innovative genome engineering techniques based on the CRISPR/Cas9 system in zebrafish. He is an expert in zebrafish genetic manipulation and phenotyping. In 2019, he has been awarded a Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship to develop a high-throughput preclinical platform for discovering novel treatments to promote human heart regeneration after ischemia.
Since 20 years in pharmaceutical R&D. Inventor of anti-emetic medicine Netupitant, FDA approved as Akynzeo in 2014, and since 2015 recommended by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network for preferred use.
At Roche, created new R&D department and delivered later 52 new lead series into lead optimization, 32 small molecules into regulatory Tox studies, and more than 20 NCEs into clinical studies over 8 years. Over past 6 years in leading roles in the European biotechnology industry, successfully prioritized and advanced strong R&D portfolios, and implemented novel approach to encourage and enable innovation. Currently SVP Drug Discovery at Taros in Germany.
Nadia Mercader was awarded her Ph.D. in Molecular Biology by the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain, in 2003. During her postdoc with Carl Neumann at the EMBL (Heidelberg, Germany), she studied early events in limb induction using zebrafish as a model organism. Next, she joined the Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares CNIC (Madrid, Spain) in 2007 as a Junior group leader. During that time, her group investigated the mechanisms of cardiac regeneration and the development of the epicardial layer using the zebrafish as an animal model. In 2014 she was promoted to Assistant Professor. Since August 2015, Nadia Mercader holds a professorship at the Institute of Anatomy and is visiting professor at the Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares CNIC.