We’re focused on improving the lives of those with brain disorders globally, through our tireless research and therapeutic development. Glial cells hold the answers to questions that have a tangible impact on the wellbeing and neurological resilience of millions of patients.



Dr. Sylvain
Lengacher, PhD

Operating &

Dr. Sylvain Lengacher is a molecular biologist and has over 20 years of experience in the field of neuroscience research, biotechnology management, and technology transfer. He is co-founder of GliaPharm where he serves as co-Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in charge of operations and Chairman of the Board.

Before acting as GliaPharm’s co-CEO, Dr.Lengacher has been a research director at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL, Switzerland) for over 10 years. He has also been the Knowledge and Technology Transfer (KTT) officer responsible for the processing and management of intellectual property of the National Centres of Competence in Research (NCCR) program Synapsy of the Swiss National Science Foundation for 12 years. Dr. Lengacher holds a PhD in molecular biology and has also graduated from EPFL in the Management of Biotech, Medtech and Pharma Ventures.



Finance & Business

Mr. Ambroise Magistretti is an entrepreneur in the healthcare sector. He is co-founder of GliaPharm where he serves as co-Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in charge of business development and Board Member.

He has founded and managed The Healthcare Biotech Fund, a fund of funds investing in public healthcare companies in the US and Europe, and has experience in asset management and healthcare equity research. Mr. Magistretti also served as treasurer and Board Member to the Swiss NGO International Foundation for Population Development (IFPD).

Mr. Magistretti holds a BSc in Biochemistry with Honours from University College of London (UCL) and an MSc in Genomics and Experimental Biology from the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. Mr. Magistretti also holds a CAIA designation (Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst).

He graduated from Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL, Switzerland) in the Management of Biotech, Medtech and Pharma Ventures.


Dr. Charles
Finsterwald, PhD


Dr. Charles Finsterwald is a neuroscientist with expertise in molecular, cellular and cognitive neuroscience. He is co-founder of GliaPharm where he serves as Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) and Board Member. Before acting as GliaPharm’s CSO, Dr. Finsterwald has been a post-doctoral researcher at New York University (NYU), and then Prof. Magistretti’s laboratory at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL, Switzerland). Dr. Finsterwald holds a BSc in Biology and an MSc in Biomedical Biology and Immunology from the University of Lausanne, and a PhD in neuroscience from the Lemanic Neuroscience Doctoral School, Switzerland. He also graduated in Project Management from NYU and has specialized in the management of start-up and biotechnology ventures at EPFL.


Dr. Francois
Jenck, PhD


François Jenck is a Neuropharmacologist with 
25+y R&D leadership experience in Translational Neuropharmacology at Idorsia (startup), Actelion (biotech), Organon-AKZOnobel (mid pharma) and Roche (big pharma); since 2018 at Axl.neuro as independent R&D advisor for accelerating Neuroscience applications in 2020-Healthcare Biotechs.

His areas of expertise include industrial Neuroscience Research and realistic translation to medical applications in Neurology, Psychiatry and Anesthesiology. He has initiated discovery programs with Medicinal Chemists and Preclinical Development Specialists in multiple areas of Neuroscience. 15+ compounds entered human testing with Clinical Development teams; large phase 3 programs lately started with daridorexant (Idorsia/Actelion, or almorexant with Actelion/GSK) in the orexin field, one of the rare recent innovations in Neuropharmacology. Dr. Jenck was involved in filing multiple international patents and in publishing 120+ research papers with co-authors in diverse peer-reviewed international journals.


Dr. Uwe
Meya, MD


Dr. Uwe Meya is medical doctor with degrees in clinical neurology and psychiatry. Over the last 35 years, he has held positions with increasing responsibility in clinical research CNS positions, including Schering AG (now Bayer), Knoll AG (now AbbVie), Ciba-Geigy (Novartis) and Roche, where he was Head of Research Portfolio Management with responsibility for portfolio assessments and reviews of entire research portfolio spanning all indications.

Over the last 15 years, he has been involved in CNS clinical development positions in multiple biopharma companies: Synosia Therapeutics (became Biotie Therapies through a merger) as VP Clinical Development focusing mainly in neurodegenerative disorders (Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease). From 2016 to 2022 he was Chief Medical Officer of Minoryx Therapeutics focused on orphan neurodegenerative diseases; successfully set up and overseeing pivotal phase II/III study in adrenomyeloneuropathy, conducted in US and Europe. This study resulted in an ongoing marketing authorization application (MAA) by Minoryx at EMA.

Dr. Meya was also responsible for setting up and overseeing a phase II study in Friedreich’s Ataxia, and an additional study in children with adrenoleukodystrophy. He is a member of various cross-industry initiatives (development of common clinical guidelines, data sharing projects, industry/patient/academia advisory council). Founding member of International College of Geriatric Neuropsychopharmacology (ICGP), member of International Society for Movement Disorders and European College of Neuropsychopharmacology.

Scientific Advisory Board


Prof. Pierre

J. Magistretti,


and Scientific

Pierre Magistretti is Professor Emeritus at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in the Brain and Mind Institute (BMI), of which he was director for a decade. He is also the Dean of Biological and Environment Science and Engineering at KAUST. Prof. Magistretti is an internationally-recognized neuroscientist who has made significant contributions in the field of brain metabolism and glial cells biology. He is the author of over 250 publications and recipient of numerous awards. Prof. Magistretti co-founded GliaPharm as a spinoff of three decades of research performed in his laboratory at EPFL with the objectives to clinically apply fundamental discoveries he has pioneered. He serves as GliaPharm’s Scientific Advisor and Board Member.

Prof. Magistretti is past president of the International Brain Research Organization (IBRO). He has also been member of the Swiss National Science Foundation scientific council, President of the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (2002-2004) and elected Professor at the International Chair of the Collège de France (2007-2008).


Dr. David

Lowe, PhD


President NeuroAssets Sàrl and Adjunct Professor Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Dr Lowe has broad experience in CNS drug discovery, translational medicine and product development, generating diverse clinical candidates in psychiatry, neurology and pain that moved into clinical trials and the market. He currently consults with Biotech on strategic, R&D and financing aspects of their projects. David’s experience includes US and Swiss private and public companies, as well as venture capital. Previously he was CSO and EVP PsychoGenics Inc, CSO Memory Pharmaceuticals Inc (acquired by Hoffman-La Roche Inc), EVP, President and CEO EnVivo Pharmaceuticals Inc and Founding CSO of the Fidelity BioSciences Group. Earlier in his career David headed large CNS R&D groups at Sandoz (now Novartis), Bayer and Roche. He is Adjunct Professor of Neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine in New York.


Prof. Cristina
M. Alberini, PhD

Specialist in memory
and cognition

Prof. Cristina M. Alberini, PhD, is an internationally-recognized expert in the fields of learning, memory and their molecular underpinnings.

Prof. Alberini is a Professor of Neural Sciences at University of New York (NYU). Her studies, utilizing invertebrate (Aplysia californica) and mammalian (rat and mouse) systems, have explored the mechanisms of long-term memory formation, stabilization, persistence and strengthening. The identification of the mechanisms underlying the disruption or enhancement of memories is important for understanding memory in physiological conditions but also for characterizing memory disorders. Dr. Alberini has previously held faculty positions at Brown University and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York.


Prof. Yves
Agid, MD, PhD

Clinical Advisor
on Neurodegenerative

Prof. Yves Agid, MD, PhD, is a recognized neurologist and a specialist in neurodegenerative diseases, of which he studied the causes, mechanisms, and clinical implications, while proposing new therapies. After leading the neurology department of the Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital in Paris from 1993 to 2007 and having a career as a researcher at the French Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM), Yves Agid was elected in 2008 as a member of the French Academy of Sciences in the human biology and medical sciences section. Since 2009, he has been a member of the National Ethics Advisory Committee of France. He is also founder and scientific director of the Brain and Spine Institute. With 600+ publications, Prof. Agid is one of the most cited scientists of the past 20 years.


Prof. Andrea
Volterra, PhD

Thought leader
in Glial Biology

Andrea Volterra is Full Professor at the Department of Fundamental Neurosciences, University of Lausanne, Switzerland since 2001, which he directed from 2004 to 2012. He obtained a PhD in Pharmacology from Univ Milan, Italy (1985), joined the labs of Steven Siegelbaum and the Nobel Prize Eric Kandel at Columbia University, New York, as Research Scientist (1986-89) and then started his independent career as Assistant and then Associate Professor at the Dept. Pharmacology, Univ Milan (1990-2000).

He is member of Academia Europea and Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences (SAMS), and of Swiss, European and American Societies of Neuroscience, and won several prices, including the Theodore Ott price 2017 from SAMS. His research field is astrocyte-neuron communication and its contribution to synaptic integration and the pathogenesis of neuropsychiatric disorders, to which he contributed some of the seminal work in the last twenty years. His most recent work, using a multidisciplinary approach and novel imaging technologies, is engaged in decoding the language of astrocytes in cognitive function and dysfunction.

Medicinal Chemistry Advisors


Dr. Tim
Ritchie, PhD

Timothy Ritchie is a computational medicinal chemist with over 30 years experience in the pharmaceutical industry and is an inventor of several clinical drug candidates. After working at Novartis and subsequently GlaxoSmithKline, in recent years he has operated as an independent medicinal and computational chemistry consultant, with clients in the UK and mainland Europe. His expertise includes hit and lead optimisation, ligand- and structure-based computer-aided drug design, cheminformatics, structure-property relationship analysis, compound developability assessment, drug-likeness profiling and matched molecular pair analysis.

Pat N.
Confalone, Ph.D.

Independent Consultant
Confalone Consulting

A graduate of M.I.T., Pat obtained a Ph.D. at Harvard with Nobel laureate Prof. R.B. Woodward. After a post-doctoral stint, also with Prof. R.B. Woodward, directed toward the total synthesis of Vitamin B12, he joined the Chemical Research Department of Roche Pharmaceuticals. Moving to DuPont, his Bioorganic Chemistry group developed the fluorescent dyelabeled
reagents that were used in automated DNA sequencing, eventually employed in the human genome project. With DuPont’s Pharmaceutical Division, his Medicinal Chemistry department discovered Cozaar™, a major anti-hypertensive based on angiotensin II antagonism.

After 22 years in Discovery Research, he moved into pre-clinical development and his Chemical Process R&D organization carried out the chemical development of Cozaar™ and Sustiva™, a highly successful therapeutic used to treat AIDS, currently in over 5 million patients. Together, these life saving medicines generated cumulative sales of over $ 50 billion. As Vice President, Global R&D, DuPont Health, Nutrition, and Crop Protection, he led 300 scientists to build a world class pipeline of novel products, including Rynaxypyr™ and Cyazypyr™ with world-wide sales over a billion dollars a year, and the new mode of action fungicide Zorvec™.

In Animal Health, his team discovered the chewable flea and tick product NexGard™ with 2019 sales of $ 900M. He has presented >110 plenary lectures worldwide, published >140 papers, obtained >50 U.S. Patents, and has been an associate editor of ten peerreviewed scientific journals. He has received numerous honors and awards, including the Harvard Graduate Society Prize, the Alpha Chi Sigma Award, the Robert A. Welch Lectureship, and the Philadelphia Organic Chemistry Award.

He was nominated to the Harvard Society of Fellows, is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, an ACS Fellow, and served as Chairman of the Board of the American Chemical Society. He is the recipient of the 2021 ACS National Award for Leadership in Chemical Research Management and the 2021 Gassman Award for Distinguished Service in Chemistry sponsored by the Organic Division.

Currently, Pat is an independent consultant to the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and agrichemical industries.


GliaPharm was created in 2016 as a company built on three decades of research, performed in the laboratory of Prof. Pierre Magistretti at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland, a leading research laboratory in the fields of brain metabolism and glial cell biology.

2017 saw us establish our laboratory at Campus Biotech in Geneva, Switzerland. Providing the necessary platform to develop clinical applications by targeting glial cells, our laboratory and selected partners are on a mission to improve the lives of patients with challenging brain disorders, so they can live happier, healthier lives.