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FundaMental Pharma GmbH. (4/11/24). "Press Release: FundaMental Pharma Appoints Dr. Dirk Beher as Chief Executive Officer". Heidelberg.

Organisations Organisation FundaMental Pharma GmbH (FMP)
  Organisation 2 Novartis Venture Fund (NVF)
  Group Novartis (Group)
Products Product CNS drug (neurological drug)
  Product 2 venture capital
Index term Index term FundaMental Pharma–Novartis: investment, 202404 investment €2.7m??? by new investor NVF brings total seed financing to €12.7m
Persons Person Beher, Dirk (FundaMental Pharma 202404– CEO before Asceneuron + MSD UK + Amgen + Merck Serono)
  Person 2 Schulze, Thomas (FundaMental Pharma 202404– Board Director before CEO before Avontec + november AG + Bayer AG)

> Highly experienced biotech executive, with over a quarter of a century of CNS drug discovery experience

> Dr. Beher takes over the role of Chief Executive Officer from co-founder Dr. Thomas Schulze

> FundaMental Pharma recently raised additional seed funding from new investor, the Novartis Venture Fund, bringing its total seed financing to €12.7 million

FundaMental Pharma GmbH (‘FundaMental’ or ‘The Company’), a neuroscience company developing first-in-class small molecule inhibitors for the treatment of a range of neurodegenerative diseases, is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Dirk Beher as Chief Executive Officer and Executive Board member. Dr. Beher assumes this role from Dr. Thomas Schulze, who co-founded FundaMental and has been at the helm since its inception. Dr. Schulze will transition to the Board of Directors as part of a carefully planned succession strategy.

Dr. Beher brings a wealth of experience to FundaMental, having served as a successful founder, drug developer, and long-time Chief Executive Officer in the European biotech sector. Previously, he led Asceneuron, a CNS-focused biotech company he co-founded, for over a decade. Under his leadership, Asceneuron secured significant funding and advanced two programs from early discovery into clinical trials. Before his tenure in biotech leadership, Dr. Beher spent 14 years in pharmaceutical drug discovery, leading R&D teams at global organizations such as Merck Sharp & Dohme (UK), Amgen (USA), and Merck Serono (CH). Dirk was educated at the Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg, Germany and holds a Diploma (M.S.) and a Ph.D. in Biology. He is an inventor and holds numerous patents and is an author of over 50 peer-reviewed publications and reviews in the field of neurodegeneration.

“It has been a pleasure to work with Thomas over the last few years and I look forward to his continued participation at Board meetings. He leaves a strong foundation and legacy, in particular, setting up the business, establishing biological and chemical resources for the company and bringing the first molecules into lead optimization. I also look forward to working with Dirk as we prepare for the next stage of FundaMental’s growth,” commented Dr. Keno Gutierrez, Chairman of FundaMental’s Board of Directors.

“FundaMental is working on a novel mechanism of action that blocks glutamate neurotoxicity without the undesired effects on the function of synaptic glutamate receptors which positions the company as a distinct player in field of neurodegeneration,” said Dr. Dirk Beher, new Chief Executive Officer of FundaMental. “I am excited to join FundaMental to build on the excellent foundations Thomas and his team have laid while further scaling of the Company into a fully-fledged biotech to bring much needed medicines to patients“.

“Leading FundaMental Pharma since its inception has been a highlight of my professional career”, added Dr Thomas Schulze, former Chief Executive Officer, and Non-Executive Director. “On the basis of world-class research and backed by seasoned investors who joined at an early stage, we have built a company and laid the foundation for the development of new medicines based on a completely new pharmacological principle with ground-breaking potential for the treatment of neurodegeneration. I look forward to working closely with Dirk, Keno, the Board of Directors and the Management team as we continue to realize FundaMental's success story."

Alongside the new CEO appointment, FundaMental welcomes the Novartis Venture Fund to its existing group of seed investors, increasing the seed financing to €12.7 million. As a result, Dr. Mathias Frederiksen from the Novartis Venture Fund will join the FundaMental Board of Directors as a Non-Executive Director.

For more information please contact:

FundaMental Pharma GmbH
Dr. Dirk Beher, CEO

ICR Consilium (Media)
Ashley Tapp, Jack Bissett
Tel: +44 (0) 20 3709 5700

About FundaMental Pharma GmbH

FundaMental Pharma (“FundaMental”) is a neuroscience company, spun out of Heidelberg University, developing first-in-class small molecule inhibitors for treatment of a range of neurodegenerative diseases. FundaMental scientists are developing an entirely new class of drugs that safely counteract glutamate neurotoxicity, a common cause of neurodegeneration. While FundaMental’s current focus is on Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and Huntington’s disease, the applicability of these molecules extends to a range of neurogenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s dementia and aging-related memory loss. For more information, please visit:

About Novartis Venture Fund

Novartis Venture Fund is a financially driven corporate life science venture fund whose purpose is to foster innovation, drive significant patient benefit and generate superior returns by creating and investing in innovative life science companies at various stages of their development. For more information, go to:

Record changed: 2024-05-08


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