Our team

Management Team

Carles Domènech, PhD

Chief Executive Officer and co-Founder

Carles obtained a BSs/MSc degree in biology (first class honors) from the Autonomous University of Barcelona and also a PhD degree in cellular biology from the same University, working at the Council of Science Research (CSIC). He has additional business training at ESADE business school and other business programs.

After his career in CSIC in Barcelona (1985-89) and at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York (1990-1992), he held senior positions at  Almirall, SA (1992-2003) as Manager and Head of Business Development and Licensing and Lacer, SA (2005-2007) as Director, Business Development and Licensing.
 

Carles has also 4 years experience in biotech venture capital and business angels associations and has also been collaborating with government innovation agencies. Between 2004 and 2005 he was Director, Biotech Investments at the seed venture capital firm Barcelona Emprèn, SCRSA. During 2008-2009 he collaborated with agencies of the Government of Catalonia as Director, Technology Transfer and Valorization and as Managing Director, Investment and Enterprise Growth. He had under his responsibility the seed venture capital company Invertec, SA and the entrepreneurship finance programs Genesis Capital and Concept Capital. Since July 2009 he also advises Keiretsu Forum Barcelona in biotech investments.
 

In 2009 Carles cofounded Ability Pharmaceuticals, SL to become its Chief Executive Officer in September 2009

José Alfón, PhD

VP, Research & Development

José obtained a BSc degree in pharmacy and a MSc degree in pharmaceutical sciences from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His MSc thesis was done under the supervision of Dr. Hoffman, a well recognized expert on pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics. He obtained his PhD degree in pharmacology at the University of Barcelona, working in the CSIC under the supervision of Dr. Lina Badimon who is worldwide recognized expert on thrombosis and atherosclerosis.

José worked for 12 years at the Barcelona pharmaceutical company J. Uriach y Cia, SA (and later at its spin-off Palau Pharma, SA). There, he led for eight years (1999-2007) a group of scientists in the Discovery Department that was involved in the optimization and candidate selection of drugs working on different targets. For an additional period of four years (2007-2010) he led a Drug Development program, all the way from preclinical to Phase II Clinical Trials with a drug with a novel mechanism of action, with other Big Pharma in the playground, which became a first-in-class drug.
 

José has been Associate Professor of Pharmacology at the Autonomous University of Barcelona and currently collaborates in the Master Degree of Pharmacology. He has published 15 articles in peer-reviewed journals and of 40 abstracts in scientific meetings.
 

In 2010 José joined Ability Pharmaceuticals, SL as Vice-President, Research and Development.

Gemma Fierro

VP, Clinical & Regulatory Affairs

Gemma obtained a BSc degree in Pharmacy from the University of Barcelona and a Master degree in European Regulatory Affairs from the Autonomous University of Barcelona.

Gemma has a broad experience in the regulatory area acquired in several pharmaceutical companies. She started  at Lacer, S.A., from 1990 to 1993, as Regulatory Affairs manager. From 1993 to 1997, she worked at Merck Farma y Química as Senior Regulatory Affais manager. From 1998 to 2004, she was Head of Regulatory Affairs at Laboratorios Vita, S.A.

Then, with the acquisition of Grupo Vita by Procter & Gamble in 2004, she became Regulatory Affairs Director for Spain and Portugal,  assuming additional responsibilities in pharmacovigilance until 2009. After the acquisition from Warner Chilcott, Gemma assumed the regulatory responsibilities for all European countries from 2009 to 2012. After that, Gemma was appointed as Head of Regulatory Affairs in Bayer Hispania, SL, from 2012 to 2014, assuming responsibilities in clinical trials submissions as well.

Gemma joined Ability Pharma in 2015 as Clinical & Regulatory Affairs VP.

Vanessa Ruz

VP, Finance and Administration

Vanessa obtained a degree in economics (BEc/MEc) at the Pompeu Fabra University of Barcelona. She specialized in business administration.
 

Vanessa collaborates with Ability Pharmaceuticals since 2010. Prior to joining the company, for 2 years she was the Chief Financial Officer of Sevibe Cells, a health services company specializing in the preservation of stem cells derived from umbilical cords.

Marc Cortal, MD

Director, Clinical Research

Marc obtained his degree in Medicine and Surgery at the University of Barcelona in 1993. He started his medical activities as a volunteer at the refugee’s camps of the former Yugoslavia. In 1994 he moved to London (UK) where he participated in different clinical practices at the Vascular Surgery Department of Saint Mary’s Hospital and at the Accident and Emergency Department of the Middlesex Hospital. In 1995 became a consultant at the Accident and Emergency Department of Hillingdon Hospital. In 1996 moved to Switzerland entering in the International Committee of the Red Cross where learnt about laws of war and international conflicts and was finally sent to the civil conflict in Peru as a medical delegate to organize medical services.

In 1998 moved back to Barcelona to perform different jobs as a medical doctor at the Public and Private Health Services, on the Emergency, Orthopedics and work medicine, starting also medical management at hospitals and insurance companies, as well as organizing clinical trials to develop new therapeutic molecules in oncology as a clinical investigator.

In 1994 Marc had an International Law of War training in Geneva, Switzerland. After that, he obtained a Master’s degree in Tropical Medicine at the University of Barcelona (1998), a Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health in Les Heures University, Barcelona (2003) and a Master in Innovation by the School of Industrial Organization of Madrid, Madrid (2013); Lastly, he pursued an ICSR (Individual Case Safety Reports) Course, management and processing of communications to the European Medicines Agency, London (2014).

Marc joined Ability Pharmaceuticals SL as a Director of Clinical Research in 2012. 
 

Maria Jesús Guerrero

Director, Project Management

Mª Jesús obtained a degree in Business Studies from the University of Barcelona in 1987 and studied Information Systems at IBM and related to the company, organization, project management and leadership.
 
Mª Jesús has extensive experience in multinational company as a director in the area of ​​Information Systems, acquired in several companies in the food sector.
 
She began her professional activity in La Piara in 1985 and in 1991 he joined Nabisco as Project Manager. In 1997 she was appointed Director of Systems for Iberia. She led the implementation of SAP in Iberia, as a template for later rollout in other units of Nabisco International, looking for a multifunctional and multinational team of more than one hundred people. In 2001 United Biscuits acquired the Nabisco business in Iberia and, after several highly complex projects and successfully implemented successfully, joined the Steering Committee and IS Exec of United Biscuits as IS Southern Europe Director. In 2006 Kraft acquired the business of Iberia and Mª Jesus directed the integration of Systems.

In 2009 she decided to start her own company, first as a franchise of Mail Boxes and in 2013 as a company of local courier services.
 
Mª Jesus joined Ability Pharmaceuticals in 2016 as Project Manager.

Héctor Pérez-Montoyo, PhD

Director, Biological Research

Héctor obtained his BSc degree in Biology in 2005 and his Ph.D. in Biology in 2010 at University of Alicante. In 2006 he moved to University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas (EEUU), to start his career developing novel therapeutic antibodies in murine models of human autoimmune diseases and under the supervision of Dr. Sally E. Ward, a worldwide outstanding investigator in the field of autoimmune diseases and cancer.

After obtaining his Ph.D., he combined two postdoctoral grants in Barcelona (Metastasis and Transformation group in Bellvitge Biomedical Research Center - IDIBELL) and in Valencia (Autoimmune Pathology Lab in Principe Felipe Research Center). In between, he worked as a coordinator of an animal experimentation laboratory from a private company, developing novel therapeutic agents for autoimmune diseases and cancer.

During the 10 years of experience accumulated, animal research has characterized most of his work, accumulating large experience working with a large panel of murine models of different autoimmune diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis or Rheumatoid Arthritis, and in cancer, including the “Patient Derived OrthoXenograft” technique. His work always focused in understanding the molecular pathophysiological mechanisms leading to autoimmunity and cancer development, investigating mechanism of action of newly developed molecules to treat such diseases. He has collaborated in the publication of several articles in peer reviewed journals, abstracts in scientific meetings and patents.

In 2015 Héctor joined Ability Pharmaceuticals SL as a Director of Biological Research.

Marc Yeste, PhD

Director, Translational Research

Marc obtained a BSc degree, a MSc degree in experimental biochemistry and a PhD degree in molecular biology from the University of Barcelona. During his PhD degree he investigated the apoptotic pathways involved in neuronal apoptosis using neurodegeneration models. 

Afterwards he moved to London to work as a postdoctoral research associate at Barts Cancer Institute (Queen Mary University of London), where he started his career in cancer research. He studied the molecular mechanisms involved in the development of prostate and testicular cancers and also investigated the potential use of an antibody-drug conjugate to treat testicular cancers in collaboration with Takeda Oncology.

Then he moved to industry to work as a principal scientist at Vasgen Ltd., where he developed monoclonal antibodies to be used as inhibitors of metalloproteinases activity and investigated its potential therapeutic use to treat cancer and neovascular ocular diseases.

Marc has published 20 papers in peer-reviewed journals and presented his work in international scientific meetings.

In 2016 he joined Ability Pharmaceuticals, SL as translational research director.  

Albert Marofà

Business Development and Licensing Manager

Albert holds a bachelor degree in pharmacy from the University of Barcelona (2007 - 2012), and a master’s degree in Bioentrepreneurship at the Karolinska Institutet (Stockholm, Sweden). Before joining Ability Pharmaceuticals, he worked at Thomson Reuters, as a Market Analyst in the Portfolio and Licencing Department, where he managed projects including commercial assessments, asset identification and evaluation, portfolio management, and competitive landscape reports.

LATEST NEWS

07.03.2017

News

Ability Pharma sponsors the 37th National Meeting of the Spanish Society of Pharmacology + info
20.02.2017

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Ability Pharmaceuticals launches a new updated website with a fresh design + info
15.12.2016

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Ability Pharmaceuticals Announces FDA-Orphan Drug Designation for ABTL0812 in Pancreatic Cancer + info
22.11.2016

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Ability Pharmaceuticals Initiates Phase 2 Combination Trial with ABTL0812 as First Line Therapy in Patients with Endometrial or Squamous Lung Cancer Patients + info
11.05.2016

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Ability Pharmaceuticals Enters into a Licensing Agreement with SciClone Pharmaceuticals for the Novel Anticancer Agent ABTL0812 for the China Market. + info
07.04.2015

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Ability Pharmaceuticals Receives Positive Opinion from EMA for Orphan Drug Status of ABTL0812 in Pediatric Cancer Neuroblastoma. + info
14.02.2014

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Ability Pharmaceuticals to Present at the 7th Annual European Life Sciences CEO Forum in Zurich, March 4-5, 2014. + info
05.02.2014

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ABILITY PHARMACEUTICALS Initiates Clinical Trial with its Dual mTORC1/C2 Inhibitor ABTL0812 in Patients with Lung and Pancreatic Cancer + info
19.02.2013

News

Ability Pharmaceuticals to Present at the 6th Annual European Life Sciences CEO Forum in Zurich, March 5-6, 2013. + info
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