Dr. Johannes Müller – Founder, Chairman and President
Dr. Johannes Müller is an accomplished physician, researcher, innovator and entrepreneur with over 20 years of clinical and executive leadership experience in biotechnology and medical device companies.
He pioneered the development of immunoadsorption, a process for purifying the blood of autoantibodies implicated in heart failure, and led the first clinical trial to evaluate the effectiveness of immunoadsorption as a heart failure treatment.
Today at Berlin Cures, Dr. Müller leads the development of BC007, a DNA aptamer compound designed to more efficiently achieve the same results as immunoadsorption by binding to autoantibodies and removing them to improve heart function and to reduce the need for heart transplantation.
Dr. Müller made the world’s first implantable pediatric cardiac support system marketable, and in 1997, he founded Berlin Heart GmbH, which produced and markets the system, known as EXCOR®. Today, EXCOR® is still the only FDA- approved cardiac support system for newborns, young children and adolescents. Dr. Müller previously served as Berlin Heart’s CTO, CSO and CEO.
Dr. Müller also is the founder and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Berlin Heals GmbH, which is developing an electroceutical device to treat heart failure by readjusting the disturbed myocardial electrical gradient.
Dr. Müller was affiliated for nearly 20 years with the German Heart Institute in Berlin, where he served as a researcher and as a senior physician.
He has published numerous scientific papers and is the recipient of national and international awards, including the City of Berlin Research Award and the European Society of Artificial Organs Award. He earned an M.D. degree and a Master of Science degree in electrical and electronics engineering from the Technical University of Berlin.
Marko Bagaric – CEO
As early as age 22, Mr. Bagaric decided to become a self-employed entrepreneur, founding his own business and beginning to gather insights into the financial sector over time. He founded Minerva Partners AG in 2011 to provide financing, business development and managerial services to innovators and entrepreneurs, particularly in the health care sector. He has since helped launch several companies.
Mr. Bagaric also is the Chief Executive Officer of Berlin Heals Holding AG, which is developing an electroceutical device to treat heart failure by readjusting the disturbed myocardial electrical gradient.
Dr. Peter Göttel – Chief Operating Officer
He previously served as the European Medical Director for Sunshine Heart, Inc., and as the Director of Global Sales and Clinical Affairs at Berlin Heart GmbH, where he developed, clinically tested and marketed the world’s first magnetically-levitated rotary blood pump for long-term, wear-free use in heart failure treatment. Dr. Göttel also oversaw the introduction of Berlin Heart’s EXCOR® implantable pediatric cardiac support system in the United States.
Dr. Göttel is a past winner of the Berlin-Brandenburg Business Plan Competition. Today, he also serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Berlin Heals GmbH.
Dr. Göttel earned an M.D. degree from the Free University of Berlin and a Master’s degree in medical computer sciences from the University of Applied Sciences in Berlin. He was trained in heart surgery at the Charité Medical Center and at the German Heart Institute in Berlin.
Dr. Gerd Wallukat
Dr. Wallukat led the research team that discovered the role of autoantibodies in dilated cardiomyopathy. He has been instrumental in investigating the role and function of autoantibodies in heart disease and other conditions at the Max-Delbrück-Center of Molecular Medicine in Berlin.
Dr. Wallukat also co-founded Affina Immuntechnik GmbH to to develop an adsorber for the new therapeutic option of immunoadsorption.
He is currently researching new ways to neutralize pathogenic autoantibodies without immunoadsorption.
Dr. Wallukat studied biology in Berlin and Leipzig and began his scientific work at the Institute of Cardiovascular Research of the Academy of Sciences with Prof. A. Wollenberger. After the unification of Germany he worked as head of a working group at the Max Delbrück Center of Molecular Medicine examining the immunology of cardiovascular diseases.
Prof. Dr. Ingolf Schimke
Dr. Schimke is an expert in pathobiochemistry and clinical chemistry of the heart and circulatory system, including the pathogenic impact of ischemia, oxidative stress, inflammation, and autoimmunity on myocardial infarcts and cardiomyopathies. He investigates the action of autoantibodies against G-protein coupled receptors in patients suffering from dilated cardiomyopathy and Chagas’ cardiomyopathy and the use of aptamers to treat autoantibody-associated diseases.
Prof. Dr. Schimke earned a Ph.D. at the Academy of Sciences of the German Democratic Republic in Berlin, with a specialization in allantoin synthesis.
He is certified as a Clinical Chemist and a European Clinical Chemist. He also served as a Professor of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine at the Charité-Universitätsmedizin in Berlin.
Dr. Annekathrin Haberland – Director of Regulatory Affairs
Dr. Haberland joined Berlin Cures in March 2015, is its director of Regulatory Affairs and has also been responsible for managing innovation and technology. Dr. Haberland introduced aptamer technology to autoantibodies after working for an extended period of time in the laboratory of Professor Dr. Michael Böttger of the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in Berlin-Buch, where she developed non-viral DNA-vectors and studied protein-DNA-interaction.
Dr. Haberland studied pharmacy at the Humboldt University of Berlin and received her PhD in pathomechanisms of the heart and circulatory system, with a focus on oxidative stress. She subsequently held several postdoctoral and research scientist positions.