Head of Strategy, Operations and Resource Mobilisation: Karine Belondrade
Karine Belondrade joined the Medicines Patent Pool as Head of Strategy, Operations and Resource Mobilisation in October 2018. She is part of our senior management team and has overall responsibility for overseeing the operationalisation of the organisation’s strategy, its implementation and the mobilisation of the necessary resources. Karine is greatly committed to health equity and has worked in the public health non-profit sector for nearly 10 years in the field of viral hepatitis most recently as Chief Operating Officer / Acting CEO at the World Hepatitis Alliance in London. As such, she has significant leadership and management experience and a great knowledge of the environment in which MPP operates. Karine has a BSc in International Development from Birkbeck, University of London.
Esteban Burrone is our Head of Policy. Esteban has been with us since we were established, in 2010, and oversees our partnerships with a wide range of external organisations. These include governments, intergovernmental organisations, civil society and community-based organisations. He is part of our senior management team and has overall responsibility for our Patents and Licences Database MedsPaL and for the annual Prioritisation report. Esteban has more than 15 years of experience working in the field of innovation, IP rights and access to medicines with a focus on developing countries. Esteban holds a Master of Science in Development Studies from the London School of Economics and a Master in Business Administration from the International University in Geneva.
Vincent Chauvin joined us in September 2016. As CFO & Head of Human Resources, Vincent brings more than 15 years of international experience in finance and human resources management to the organisation. Vincent is the former International Finance & IT Director and Finance Manager for Aide et Action International in Geneva, Switzerland, where he managed finance and administration for its network of regional offices. Before joining Aide et Action, Vincent spent ten years in the private sector working for Sudler & Hennessey, Dexia and Renault, among other companies. Vincent has a business degree from École de Management de Lyon, France.
Priyam joined the Medicines Patent Pool in April 2020 as Communications Manager (maternity cover). She brings to the communications team her experience in public health communications and expertise in scientific research. Priyam is passionate about raising awareness on public health issues and driving behaviour change through effective communication. Prior to joining MPP, Priyam worked as a communications consultant at Unitaid in Geneva; scientific editor at the open access journal Frontiers in Immunology in Lausanne; and editorial intern at the Bulletin of the World Health Organization in Geneva. She holds a Postdoc and PhD in cervical cancer cell biology from University College London and MSc in Biology from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai. She loves to work in multicultural environments and with colleagues from across disciplines.
Meghmala Das joined the Medicines Patent Pool as Business Analyst in October 2017 based in Gurgaon, India. She became Business Development Manager in 2019. At MPP, Meghmala is responsible for analysing internal and external data that the foundation generates or obtains to monitor progress of projects and support MPP and its industry partners’ decision making. Meghmala brings a wealth of experience in data analysis to this role having worked on building cost-effectiveness models at Axtria, a company that specialises in pharmaceutical analytics. Meghmala also worked at the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) in their economic affairs and international division. Meghmala holds a bachelor’s degree in business studies as well as a master’s degree in business economics, both from the University of Delhi.
Lobna Gaayeb joined the Medicines Patent Pool in November 2019 as Long-Acting Technologies Project Manager. She supports the establishment of a long-acting technologies access hub, by bringing in her experience in scientific projects coordination acquired at the Institut Pasteur, where she managed for five years a 22-countries One Health Network of national laboratories, academia and public health institutions. Her previous work includes infectious diseases-related research and capacity building in low- and middle-income countries.
Lobna is Veterinarian by training. She holds a Masters in Biology and a PhD in Clinical Research, Technological Innovation and Public Health. She loves working in multicultural environments. Her native languages are Spanish, Arabic and French, and she speaks fluently English and Italian.
Andrew S. Goldman joined the Medicines Patent Pool in September 2018 as Associate Counsel based in Geneva, Switzerland, where he works with the legal team on negotiations and drafting of licensing agreements, as well as on a variety of matters relating to MPP governance. Prior to joining MPP, Andrew was counsel for policy and legal affairs at Knowledge Ecology International where he worked on access to medicines and closely related international IP, competition law, and trade concerns. Andrew began his legal career working primarily on intellectual property at Astrachan Gunst Thomas, in Baltimore, Maryland (USA), where he was cross-trained in litigation and transactional work. He received a B.A. from Princeton University, a M.A. from Columbia University, and his J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law in 2012.
Charles Gore is the Executive Director of the Medicines Patent Pool. He took up the post in July 2018 following a career in patient representation and public health advocacy.
He was diagnosed with hepatitis C in 1995 and cirrhosis in 1998. In 2000 he set up The Hepatitis C Trust in the UK which he ran for 18 years. In 2002 he was treated and cured of the virus. He helped create the European Liver Patients Association and was its first President in 2004. In 2007 he organised a meeting of hepatitis patient organisations from around the world to agree on co-ordinated global action. From this emerged the decision to hold an annual World Hepatitis Day and to create a new NGO, the World Hepatitis Alliance, of which Charles was the President from 2007 until the end of 2017. As a result of advocacy by the Alliance and its members, the World Health Organization (WHO) adopted successive viral hepatitis resolutions in 2010, 2014 and 2016, making World Hepatitis Day an official day, celebrated on 28 July every year, and endorsing the first Global Health Sector Strategy on viral hepatitis with the goal of eliminating hepatitis B and C by 2030.
In addition to direct advocacy with over 50 Ministries of Health, Charles has led on advising countries on finding sustainable domestic financing for hepatitis programmes, including health system elements such as infection control and blood and injection safety. Charles also sits on a number of national and international advisory bodies, including the WHO Director-General’s Strategic and Technical Advisory Committee for Viral Hepatitis and has been a member of all the WHO guideline development groups on testing and treating viral hepatitis.
Finance and Administration Manager: Muriel Lacombe
Muriel Lacombe joined the Medicines Patent Pool as Finance and Administration Manager in September 2018. Muriel works with the CFO and Head of Human resources, looking after the overall budget of the organisation and ensuring compliance with internal control systems. Muriel brings almost 10 years of experience in accounting, reporting and project management having served as Senior Financial Accountant for the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition and several companies in the private sector, in charge of bookkeeping, audits and reporting. Muriel holds a diploma of business administration from the Business School Nicolas-Bouvier as well as a master’s degree in management and business studies from the University of Geneva.
Nicola Loffredi joined the Medicines Patent Pool a Business Development Manager in September 2019 where he is responsible for the MPP’s pediatric product development portfolio. He has worked and lived in countries such as Italy, Panama, Monte Carlo, the United States and the United Kingdom during his career in the pharmaceutical and contract clinical research industry. Nicola holds a Master’s degree in Biotechnology from Georgetown University in Washington D.C (USA) and a Bachelor of Science in Chemical and Pharmaceutical Science from the University of Brighton in England.
Amina Maillard joined the Medicines Patent Pool in September 2018 as Patent Information Manager. Part of the Policy and Advocacy team, she manages our Patents and Licences Database MedsPaL and performs patent searches and analyses. Amina, a registered Swiss and European Patent Attorney, brings to the organisation her broad experience as a patent specialist in the private sector, particularly in the field of biopharmaceuticals. Her experience extends from prior-art searching, performing patentability studies, patent drafting and prosecution, handling of patent and trademark portfolios to the management of intellectual property databases and systems. Before joining MPP, Amina worked for five years for two small companies active in the field of mechanics (medical devices, optics, security printing) after having worked for 14 years in the Intellectual of Property Department of the pharmaceutical company Merck-Serono S.A, based in Geneva. Amina holds a master’s degree in biology from the University of Geneva.
Mila Maistat joined the Medicines Patent Pool in May 2017 as Policy and Advocacy Manager, bringing more than 15 years of policy and advocacy experience in HIV/AIDS and viral hepatitis to the organisation. She was most recently Senior Program Advisor with the Alliance for Public Health (International HIV/AIDS Alliance) where she led policy and policy activities to support the scale-up of hepatitis C diagnostics and treatment in Ukraine and other countries. Mila is a member of the World Health Organization (WHO) Strategy and Technical Advisory Group on viral hepatitis and the WHO guidelines’ development and peer-review groups as well as a member of the Lancet Commission on Accelerating the Elimination of Viral hepatitis. She also chaired the Hepatitis C Group for Unitaid’s non-governmental organisation (NGO) delegation and continues to serve as a member of the HIV in Europe Steering Committee. Mila was recognised by the Economist as one of the leading voices for advocacy to increase access to affordable diagnostics and treatment of viral hepatitis. Mila holds a master’s degree in English and German from Gogol State University and a master’s degree in Social Sciences and Technologies (Sociology, Public Relations) from the National University of Kyiv Mohyla Academy. She speaks Ukrainian, Russian, English and German.
Gelise McCullough joined the Medicines Patent Pool in January 2020 as Head of Communications. Gelise is a public health professional with 20 years of experience. She has come from Unitaid where she worked for nearly 12 years in programme management and communication on range of innovative grants including intellectual property. She is dedicated to access to treatment and has worked with a wide range of partners, international, government and civil society, to ensure quality, adapted and affordable medicines and diagnostics are made available to those who need it most. She enjoys fostering partnerships and engaging stakeholders towards a common goal. Gelise has worked in communication roles with a number of International Organisations: United Nations Development Program (UNDP), World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF. Gelise holds a Master’s in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, where she specialised in health promotion. Her first degree was in Communications.
Hannah Moak joined the Medicines Patent Pool as Business Development Manager in April 2017 where she is responsible for the MPP’s Hepatitis C product development portfolio. To this role, Hannah brings private sector experience in corporate strategy, project management, marketing, and health education, most recently working at Vanda Pharmaceuticals. She has interned for the World Health Organization, the Atlanta Center for Medical Research and the National Institutes for Health and has co-authored research articles in the Journal of American Association of Animal Laboratory Science. Hannah holds a Masters degree in Public Health from George Washington University, USA, and a Bachelor of Arts from Emory University, USA.
Sébastien Morin joined the Medicines Patent Pool in May 2019 as Policy and Advocacy Manager, bringing more than six years of policy and advocacy experience in HIV and viral hepatitis to the organisation. He was since 2013 a Research Officer in the HIV Programmes and Advocacy Department of the International AIDS Society, where he led the work of the Industry Liaison Forum on paediatric HIV and regulatory affairs, as well as the efforts of the HIV Co-Infections and Co-Morbidities initiative in the areas of viral hepatitis (with a focus on hepatitis C) and tuberculosis.
Sébastien is the author of numerous peer-reviewed articles on paediatric drug formulations, hepatitis C, people who inject drugs, regulatory affairs and treatment access, in addition to the scientific papers originating from his basic research work in the areas of antibiotic resistance and HIV infection.
Sébastien is a member of the International AIDS Society, the European Society for Translational Antiviral Research and the European Association for the Study of the Liver, among others.
Sébastien holds a PhD in Biochemistry from Laval University, Québec (Canada) and completed postdoctoral training at the University of Basel, Basel (Switzerland). He speaks French, English and Spanish.
Business Development Manager & Head of India Operations: Rajesh Murthy
Rajesh Murthy joined the Medicines Patent Pool’s Liaison Office in Gurgaon India as Business Development Manager and Head of Operations in September 2017. Rajesh brings more than 10 years of academic and pharmaceutical industry experience in research & development and project management to the role. At the foundation, Rajesh oversees MPP out-licensing activities and supervises the daily activities of the India office. Prior to joining MPP, Rajesh worked as the head of the research and development division at Perrigo API India, managing a team of 30 members. At Perrigo API India, he was responsible for delivering non-infringing scalable processes for various active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) as well as managing the lifecycle of APIs, from conceptualisation to commercialisation. Rajesh holds a PhD in chemistry from the University of Cincinnati, United States (US), and a post-doctoral fellowship in medicinal chemistry from the South Dakota State University, US, where he synthesised anti-cancer compounds and developed novel drug delivery models. He also established the Core Synthesis Facility at Centre for Protease Research in the US funded by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). Rajesh has published several scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals.
Sophie Naeye joined the Medicines Patent Pool in March 2016 as Office Manager. A former Executive Assistant to the Vice President of Shaza Hotels Corporate Office in Geneva, Switzerland, Sophie is responsible for general administrative tasks, support to the Executive Director and management of travel and accommodation for our staff. She also supports staff in organising events, as well as ensuring the smooth running of the office and the effective implementation of internal policies and procedures. Sophie holds a Master in Business Studies in International Trade from Waterford Institute of Technology, Ireland.
Sandra Nobre joined the Medicines Patent Pool in October 2018 as Head of Business Development. Sandra has had a successful career within the pharmaceutical industry over the past 17 years and in her previous position as the Senior Director of Global Business Development at pharmaceutical company Takeda. Sandra enjoys working internationally and integrates well with multicultural and multinational companies. She also has a deep knowledge of the global health care ecosystem. Sandra earned a Master of Science in Chemistry from Universidade de Coimbra, a Master of Science in Biotechnology from Instituto Superior Técnico (both in Portugal), and an MBA in Entrepreneurship and Business Development from Université de Genève.
Vivian Ntinyari joined the Medicines Patent Pool as Grants and Operations Manager in March 2019, where she supports donor and board engagement, strategy implementation and results reporting. Prior to joining MPP, Vivian spent three years at the International Budget Partnership (IBP) in Kenya as their Project Coordinator and Operations Officer. She brings substantial grants and operations management experience from her role at the IBP where she built in-country operations systems from scratch; co-led programmatic result management; and, supported operational compliance and quality assurance. She attained her Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Nairobi, Kenya in 2015.
Chan Park is the Medicines Patent Pool's General Counsel. He has been with MPP since it was established in 2010, overseeing all legal matters of the organisation. As General Counsel, Chan forms a vital part of our negotiation team, and has successfully negotiated and drafted our licensing agreements. Before joining MPP, Chan was a member of the team at Unitaid that conceptualised and established our organisation. An attorney by training, Chan practised IP law with US firm, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati, and served as Senior Technical and Policy Advisor for the Lawyers Collective HIV/AIDS unit in India. He has consulted for a number of international organisations, including the United Nations Development Programme, the World Health Organization and Unitaid, on a range of issues related to IP and access to medicines. Chan received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pennsylvania, USA and his Juris Doctor from the New York University School of Law, USA.
Manuele Piccolis joined the Medicines Patent Pool as Scientific Manager for Infectious Diseases in March 2020. He holds a PhD in Life Sciences from the University of Geneva and he has an extensive experience in metabolism. Before joining MPP, Manuele worked at the Gladstone Institutes (CA), Harvard HSPH (MA), EPFL (CH). More recently he was responsible for the clinical evaluation of Rapid Diagnostic Test for infectious diseases in LMIC. In MPP, he joined the Business Development team bringing his scientific expertise in the evaluation of treatments that are candidates for in-licensing.
Maneesha Ranaut started working with the Medicines Patent Pool in February 2019 as an Executive Assistant at the Indian Liaison Office under a third-party payroll. She is now a full-time staff member effective January 2020 and is primarily responsible for providing administrative support and smooth running of the Indian Office. Her main duties also include liaising with the Finance department in Geneva to organise, monitor and maintain properly all administrative and financial processes of the Liaison Office; along with coordinating with office vendors to ensure good delivery of services. Prior to MPP, Maneesha was employed with Wilhelm Fricke, a German firm as an Executive Assistant and Logistics Manager. She also has the useful experience of the hospitality sector due to her past employment with Oberoi Hotels and Resorts. Maneesha holds a Bachelor's degree in Science from the University of Himachal Pradesh, India.
Sophie Thievenaz is our Communications Manager since October 2016, managing online communications, visual identity and branding, as well as events and publications. She also works closely with the Head of Communications to implement our communications strategy. Sophie acted as Head of Communications a.i. from June-December 2019. Sophie comes with a wealth of communications and advocacy experience, having served as Communications Officer for the Sanitation and Water for All Global Partnership, hosted by UNICEF in Geneva. Here, Sophie managed the organisation’s web and social media presence, publications and events. She also worked as the Communications and Campaign Coordinator for Yfoundations, a non-profit organisation working to address youth homelessness in Sydney, Australia, and for the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Annecy, France. Sophie has a master’s degree in political science from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques d’Aix-en-Provence and a postgraduate diploma in corporate social responsibility from the London Metropolitan Business School, UK.
Bétina Zago joined the Medicines Patent Pool as Communications Officer in April 2019, where she supports the daily running of the Communications Department in managing online communications, visual identity and branding, as well as events and publications.
She has had previous experiences in digital communications for start-up companies, and most recently worked at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) as Web Publication Assistant.
She holds a master’s degree in Marketing and Digital Communications from Montpellier Business School, France.