Pietro Puglisi | Managing Partner
Pietro Puglisi is a biomedical engineer by training and holds an MBA from Collège des Ingénieurs. He spent almost a decade in life sciences: he started as a strategy consultant at Life Sciences Consulting, working on more than 15 assignments from top tier pharmaceutical and biotech companies from North America, Europe and Middle East. In 2012 Pietro joined the newly born life sciences practice at Innogest SGR venture capital firm. After leaving Innogest in 2018, Pietro originated and arranged together with Ciro Spedaliere a Series A investment in Kither Biotech.
Ciro Spedaliere | Managing Partner
Ciro has a decade long experience in the venture capital investing across the main innovation sectors throughout his career (Innogest SGR, LVenture Group, Invitalia Ventures SGR, Vertis SGR). In the past Ciro worked as product manager dealing with strategic planning, development of innovative products and services. He has also collaborated with the academic world on issues concerning the venture investing. Ciro holds a degree in Management Engineering from the Polytechnic University of Turin and has earned his specialization at the Venture Capital Executive Program at the Berkeley Haas Business School.
Michael Hodges | Partner
Michael R. Hodges, M.D., BSc.is an infectious disease clinician and RNA medicines drug development executive with more than 30 years of experience within the biopharmaceutical industry. Michael R. Hodges earned his M.D. (MBBS) and BSc. in pharmacology from the University of London. He started his career in pharmaceutical medicines with Pfizer Global Research and Development where he worked on multiple infectious diseases and oncology development programs, that resulted in the successful approval and launch of multiple drugs. In addition, Michael has worked in biotech that successfully raised financing (~$150m), IPO/F-1 submission, reverse merger(s) plus two successful M&As - Santaris Pharma (acq. by Hoffman-La Roche in 2014) and Amplyx Pharmaceuticals (acq. by Pfizer in 2021). London, UK.
Lola Buono | Associate
Lola holds a PhD in Medical Physiopathology obtained from the Molecular Biotechnology Center of Turin and a degree in Medical Biotechnology from the University of Turin. Prior to joining Claris Ventures, Lola has gained deep experience as a biomedical researcher at the Molecular Biotechnology Center of Turin and at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center of New York.
Paolo Vigo | Senior Analyst
Paolo is a mechanical engineer by background (Turin Order of Engineers) and has an MBA from the Collège des Ingénieurs. Prior to joining Claris Ventures, Paolo was a research fellow at the Polytechnic University of Turin in the development of neural network models for data analysis, and he gained expertise in the early stage biotech field working on market intelligence and product positioning at Resalis Therapeutics.
Laura Iris Ferro | Investment Committee
Laura is a manager and entrepreneur in the healthcare sector with strong academic background both in medical science and in business (MBA at Bocconi University, Milan). In 2015 Laura was named among the 10 most innovative women managers in Italy by Wired and in 2006 she has been highlighted among the 10 ‘Women to watch’ by the Wall Street Journal Europe. After a period as psychiatrist in public structures (1978-1990), Laura joined the family pharmaceutical Company Crinos (then Sirton) holding a series of managerial offices. Leveraging on the experience of the family Company, she founded the biotech Gentium which then she listed in the USA at Nasdaq and sold to Jazz Pharmaceuticals (2014). She is from 2016 a member of the Board of Directors of the listed biotech company MolMed Spa. Laura is also Chairman of Bio4Dreams, the first incubator in the field of life sciences in Italy, and Vice-Chairman of IAG, the largest business angels network in the Country. Laura sits on the Board of Directors of start-ups operating in the field of neuromodulation such as Newronika and Wise and has been a Member of the Shareholdership Commission of IIT (Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia). She is a Board Member of Credem Private Equity Sgr. She was President of Pio Albergo Trivulzio (2011-2014), one of the main geriatric care facilities in Italy and Europe. She was also an Independent Director of Sorin Group (2012-2014), a multinational leader in the field of medical devices for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases which then merged with USA Company Cyberonics creating LivaNova.
Roberto De Ponti | Investment Committee
Roberto, a Pharmacist by training and an EU Qualified Person, is Head of Corporate New Ventures and Strategic Investments for Helsinn International Services, the advisor company to the new Helsinn Investment Fund, part of the Helsinn Group. The new Helsinn fund aims to complement and expand the presence of Helsinn in early stage companies, contributing to the progression of new drugs, medical devices and diagnostics mainly in oncology and rare diseases. From 2008 to when he joined the new fund in 2016, Roberto was Head of Corporate Business Development at Helsinn where his responsibilities included identifying external research projects, in-licensing, new investments and setting up strategic collaborations with companies and Universities. Prior joining the Helsinn Group, Roberto held responsibilities for in and out-licensing for Indena, a leading natural derivatives company with pharmaceutical products fighting cancer. Before that he served as Site Lead and Head of Pharmaceutical Sciences in the Oncology Italian site of Pharmacia and Pfizer which was eventually spun-off and where he brought the Pharma Science business unit to breakeven. Roberto has held several patents covering the development and the commercialization of oncology drugs.
Manilo Marocco | Investment Committee
Manilo is an experienced finance professional with a solid 30-year tenure as investment banker and private equity funds manager. Manilo studied Economics in Turin, Italy, then joined Salomon Smith Barney bank in London where quickly grew his responsibility to a Managing Director EU Capital Markets role. Manilo was a founding partner at SpringWater Capital Partners and then a partner at Stirling Square Capital Partners private equity firm (where he was in charge of a Special Opportunities fund), and recently co-founded Social Fare Seed investment fund, focused on seed stage impact investing.
Elisa Torchia | Finance & Admin
Elisa started her career as a financial auditor at KPMG, with focus on tax and financial planning for listed and private international companies. In 2012 she joined Innogest SGR and soon became CFO with responsabilities over accounting, finance and investor relations of the management company and all the funds under management. Elisa holds a BAc in Finance and an MSc in Auditing at University of Turin.
Cristina Tumiatti | Independent Director
Cristina is an entrepreneur and an expert in international business development. She also has been board memeber at Invitalia Ventures SGR for the start up of the venture capital fund of the Italian government. Cristina holds a MSc in Business Administration at Liuc of Castellanza and holds an MBA from SAA of Turin.
Luca Melindo | Advisor
Luca is a financial executive with broad investment and business development experience. Origination, analysis and execution and portfolio management of large and mid-market private equity deals (development capital, buy out, replacement) in all industries - proven track record, more than 10 completed deals, among which the most succesful has been the buy-out of Diasorin from American Standard in 2000 and its listing on the Milan Stock Exchange in 2007.