Thank you for joining us in this interactive workshop about “Phage Therapy: What’s New and What’s Next?” to delve into the development of a sustainable phage therapy value chain.
During approx. 7 hours, we will have the opportunity to discuss topics as such Scientific and Clinical Progress and the manufacturing of Phages, best IP Protection practices and the Regulatory challenges in the field. We will also have the possibility to listen to start-up pitches and discuss about the funding landscape.

Get to know our speakers:


Full title: Prof. Dr. Alexander Harms
Position: Professor of Molecular Phage Biology
Organization: ETH Zürich

Alexander Harms has studied antibiotic resilience since his doctoral work at the University of Basel and as a PostDoc at the University of Copenhagen. After his return to Basel as a junior group leader in 2018, he focused his research on bacteriophages and their potential as innovative therapeutics to treat bacterial infections. In 2023 he has been appointed as professor of molecular phage biology at ETH Zürich. His research group is exploring the molecular biology of bacteriophages beyond the comfort zone of classical models and standard laboratory conditions. This work is aiming at enabling a rational, targeted selection and application of bacteriophages in real-life cases of phage therapy.


Full title: Dr. Shawna McCallin
Position: Clinical Coordinator
Organization: Balgrist University Hospital

Dr. Shawna McCallin holds a PhD in Life Sciences from the University of Lausanne. Her research throughout includes various aspects of bacteriophages and phage therapy as an alternative treatment to antibiotics, studying topics from endolysins to metagenomics of phage cocktails sold in Russian and Georgian pharmacies. Several postdoc positions at CHUV, the EPFL, and the HUG in Lausanne and Geneva, as well as involvement with startups, in microbiome and phage therapy have helped shape her research to focus on the development of phage therapy in the clinic. She holds a diploma in Clinical Trial Management from the University of Geneva. Joined the Neuro-Urology Research lab at Balgrist University Hospital in 2020 as part of the FNS-funded Singergia project, CAUTIphage, which in collaboration with the ETHZ, is developing and testing natural and engineered phage for the treatment of catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI). She is part of the executive board of the International Society for Viruses of Microorganisms, serves on the editorial board of the scientific journal, PHAGE, and is an instructor for Phages for Global Health, a non-profit organization that hosts training workshops in LMIC for phage techniques. She is also part of the Lay Communication committee within the Swiss Society of Microbiology.


Full title: Prof. Dr. Christian Willy
Position: Professor of Surgery | General, Trauma and Orthopeadic Surgeon
Organization: Militar Academic Hospital Berlin

Prof. Christian Willy is currently at the helm of the Department of Trauma and Orthopedic & Septic and Reconstructive Surgery at the Military Academic Hospital in Berlin. Prof. Willy completed medical studies at the University of Ulm in 1987. Over the years, he has undertaken various deployment activities, contributing his expertise in surgical care to conflict zones such as Sarajevo, Kabul, and Kunduz. His extensive research spans topics such as wound healing, vacuum-assisted therapy, antiseptic solutions, and the importance of non-linear dynamics in surgical research. He has been deeply involved in the field of phage therapy since 2016, leading the first phage treatment in Germany with GMP-phages and serving as the consortional lead of PhagoFlow since 2018. His commitment to advancing surgical care extends to his role as Co-Chairman of the NATO Research Task Group “Reintroduction of phage therapy in military medical space.”. Prof. Willy has published extensively, authored monographs, and contributed over 192 papers to the scientific literature.


Full title: Dr. Frenk Smrekar
Position: CEO
Organization: JAFRAL

Dr. Frenk Smrekar is the founder and CEO of JAFRAL, world’s leading company in production of bacteriophage-based products. Dr. Smrekar defended his PhD on topic of pDNA and bacteriophage GMP production. Afterward, he pursued his passion in producing various biomolecules, with focus on bacteriophages, pDNA and mRNA.


Full title: Dr. Philipp Marchand
Position: Dipl.-Biochem., Partner at VOSSIUS, German and  European Patent Attorney
Organization: VOSSIUS & PARTNER Patentanwälte Rechtsanwälte mbB

Dr. Philipp Marchand, born in 1986 in Cologne, graduated in biochemistry from TU Darmstadt and University of Frankfurt am Main in the field of membrane biophysics and solid-state NMR in 2008. His doctoral research at Institut de Chimie des Substances Naturelles (ICSN) focused on multi-drug resistance mechanisms and prion protein structural studies. Joining VOSSIUS in Munich in 2012, he later transferred to Basel in 2017. Dr. Marchand specializes in strategic IP portfolio development, advising companies on IP value generation and collaborating with investment firms. He and his team manage global patent filings and prosecutions. Dr. Marchand is exclusive IP partner of BaseLaunch and has further been accredited with the Swiss government as an Innosuisse Special Coach for IP. He is co-author of numerous articles in the field of IP law and regularly speaks at IP conferences about IP strategies, and, in particular, artificial intelligence and its impact on IP.


Full title: Dr. Ulrich Granzer
Position: Independent consultant | Owner and CEO
Organization: Granzer Regulatory Consulting & Services GmbH

Granzer is focusing on global drug development and regulatory affairs with special considerations for orphan drugs. Ulrich Granzer has major experience with biotech products (proteins, cell-based therapies, gene therapies, oligonucleotides, vaccines, phages) and small molecules. A mainstay of his work is dedicated to orphan drugs.  He holds a PhD in pharmaceutical chemistry. Prior to being independent he held senior positions at Glaxo, BASF pharma Knoll, and Bayer.
He has a track record of working on more than 300 new molecular entities (small molecules, proteins incl. antibodies, oligonucleotides, gene therapies, cell therapies). Recently he and his firm supported the first approval of a mRNA vaccine against Covid 19.


Full title: Guillermo Tramontin
Position: Principal Consultant
Organization: Cavenagh Health

Transitioning from academia to industry, Guillermo has dedicated his career to executive search, specializing in building innovative therapeutics organizations in the life sciences sector. With deep networks in this space, Guillermo serves as a bridge between early-stage ventures and the global investment community, aiding in securing capital for promising startups. Focused primarily on Europe and the UK, Guillermo brings a wealth of expertise in bridging the gap between groundbreaking scientific innovation and strategic investment in the biotech industry.
Guillermo holds a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from the Universidad de la República (Uruguay) and completed his master’s degree in cancer immunotherapy at the Laboratory of Tumor Glycobiology at the Institut Pasteur Montevideo (Uruguay). His research primarily centered on the development of vaccines and antibodies for solid tumors, with a particular emphasis on breast and lung cancer models. He specialized in targeting aberrantly expressed glycoantigens in cancer cells.


Full title: Dr. Thomas Häusler
Position: Biochemist | Science Journalist
Organization: WWF Switzerland

Thomas is a trained biochemist with a PhD from the University of Basel. He worked for more than 20 years as a science journalist covering amongst other topics infectious diseases. He has been following the field of phage therapy from the end of the 1990s. He has published two books about the topic („Gesund durch Viren/Viruses vs. Superbugs“ (2003/2006) and „Bakteriophagen“ (2022)) and a variety of articles and audio broadcasts in the media and scientific journals.)

©SRF – Oscar Allesio


Full title: Dr. Martin Heidecker, MBA
Position: Chief Investment Officer
Organization: AMR Action Fund

Martin Heidecker, PhD, MBA, joined the AMR Action Fund in August 2021, bringing with him extensive international experience in venture capital, drug development, and pharmaceutical marketing. Most recently, he was Managing Director USA of Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund in Boston, where he built a portfolio spanning multiple therapeutic areas, including oncology, central nervous system disorders, and anti-infectives, and led numerous companies to successful exits through M&As, IPOs, and product launches. Martin’s investing career began in Germany with Bayern Kapital, where he focused on seed investments in German biotechnology companies.
Over the years, he has served on the board of directors at numerous biotech companies, including Tilos Therapeutics Inc. (acquired by Merck) and Armagen Technologies (acquired by JCR Pharmaceuticals). His deep understanding of the global biopharmaceutical industry is informed by his work at Solvay Pharmaceuticals and Boehringer Ingelheim, where he held a position in business development and marketing and helped launch several successful CNS drugs. He holds a PhD in biology from University of Würzburg and an MBA from FernUniversität Hagen.


Full title: Mark Bamforth
Position: Member of the General Partners
Organization: Kineticos AMR Accelerator (KAMRA) Fund I

Mark Bamforth spent 22 years in manufacturing operations at Genzyme followed by 12 year in which he founded 3 CDMOs, and is now focused on supporting early stage AMR pioneers by investing and mentoring.


Full title: Dr. Neill Gingles
Position: Lead Scientist | External Drug Discovery Programmes
Organization: Medicines Discovery Catapult

Neill has spent over 25 years within academia, the pharmaceutical industry and biotech SMEs. He is experienced working across various therapy areas such as infectious disease, cardiovascular disease and oncology from preclinical early development through to late stage and marketed products. Currently he is a Lead Scientist with External Drug Discovery Programmes within Medicines Discovery Catapult. His role involves working in two UK national programmes (Pathways to antimicrobial Clinical Efficacy [PACE] and Cystic Fibrosis Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Syndicate) addressing the challenge of antimicrobial resistance. This involves supporting current funding calls and managing collaborative R&D portfolios.



Full title: Dr. Mercedes González Moreno
Position: Active Scouting | Management Team
Organization: INCATE

Dr. Mercedes González Moreno – Leibniz-HKI – holds a biotechnology degree from the Technical University of Valencia (Spain) and completed her Masters thesis in biochemical engineering at the Technical University of Berlin (Germany). She gained experience in the industrial biotechnology sector at biotechrabbit GmbH (Germany) before obtaining her Ph.D. at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin (Germany) where she also worked as a postdoctoral fellow. Her research focused on improving treatment outcomes for implant-associated infections and developing targeted bacteriophage therapy for drug-resistant bacterial infections.

Dr. González Moreno has published numerous original articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals, presented at international conferences, and spoken at workshops organized by the PRO-IMPLANT Foundation in Berlin. She is currently affiliated with the Leibniz-HKI, a leading research institute in microbial natural product research and infection biology aiming to develop new anti-infectives. There she is aiming to contribute her expertise in countering antibiotic resistance and supporting new therapies.


Showcase Start-ups:


Rime Bioinformatics develops services to accelerate medical, agronomic and veterinary research to develop alternatives to antibiotics.



Invitris universal platform technology enables generating synthetic proteins at the highest yields and purity. This platform allows creating novel biological drugs with entire novel mechanisms of action and manufacture them at scale.



OSPT is pioneering a unique antibacterial biomaterial technology combining silk and bacteriophages, offering solutions for the growing problem of surgical implant/wound infections, in the largest medical unmet needs.