Head of Strategy, Operations and Resources Mobilisation: Karine Belondrade
Karine Belondrade joined the MPP as Head of Strategy, Operations and Resources 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 Prioritization 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.
Yao Cheng is our Scientific Manager. She joined the Medicines Patent Pool in 2014, bringing both a strong academic and professional background in biomedicines and technology transfer to the organisation. Yao works closely with the team to identify and evaluate MPP’s public health priorities, reflecting the latest advancement in clinical research, pipeline intelligence, and global guidelines. Yao analyses scientific evidence and trends, provides technical input in support of negotiations, strategies and the development of adapted and/or optimised formulations, and keeps MPP abreast of advances in the disease fields of interest. Yao also liaises closely with the academic and clinical communities, and supports the works of MPP and collaborators at international forums and scientific meetings. Before joining the MPP, Yao served as Licensing Associate at the Office of Biotechnology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicines in New York City, USA, where she evaluated and marketed Einstein-based biomedical inventions, and also negotiated and managed various types of agreements among Einstein and its industrial and academic collaborators. Yao previously worked as a Client Services Associate at Columbia Technology Ventures where she assisted with the patenting and licensing activities of Columbia University. Yao received her Bachelor of Science (HBSc) degree in molecular biology from the University of Toronto, and her Doctorate (PhD) in pharmacology from Yale University, where she researched the mechanisms of actions of novel compounds against HIV and HCV.
Meghmala Das joined the Medicines Patent Pool as a Business Analyst in October 2017 based in Gurgaon, India. At the MPP, Meghmala is responsible for analysing internal and external data that the foundation generates or obtains to monitor progress of projects and support the 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.
Erika Dueñas has more than 20 years of experience working in the field of access to medicines, innovation and intellectual property. As a career diplomat, she worked many years for the Bolivian government, participating in negotiations related to IP and health at regional (Andean Community) and multilateral level (WTO, WHO, WIPO). After her diplomatic mission at the Embassy in Washington as the Chargée d’Affaires, she was Vice-Minister at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Bolivia. Together with Médecins Sans Frontières and other NGOs, she founded the Platform of IP and Access to Medicines in Bolivia. She holds a Master in International Law and Economics (LLM) from the World Trade Institute / Universities of Bern, Fribourg & Neuchâtel – Bern, Switzerland.
Gauri Gopal is a Business Development Manager at Medicines Patent Pool since June 2017 and is based in the India office. Gauri works with the Business Development Director on projects and initiatives including operational improvement and monitoring. Gauri lived and worked in countries such as Peru, Japan and the United Kingdom during her career as a quantitative analyst at Deutsche Bank. She later combined her passion for development with her background in finance to establish the Skilled Samaritan Foundation (SSF), a not-for-profit organisation in India that provides solar power to villages and schools in Northern India, impacting more than 8500 lives to date. Gauri holds a master’s degree in finance and economics from the University of Warwick in England and a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from St. Xavier’s College in India.
Andrew S. Goldman joined the Medicines Patent Pool in September 2018 as an 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 the 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 was diagnosed with hepatitis C in 1995 and cirrhosis in 1998. In 2000 he set up The Hepatitis C Trust together with 3 friends who also had hepatitis C. In 2002 he did pegylated interferon and ribavirin treatment and successfully eradicated the virus.
He has continued to run the Trust, working extensively with Government Departments and the National Health Service in the UK, championing the patient perspective. He was closely involved in the creation of the European Liver Patients Association and was elected 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 WHO adopted successive viral hepatitis resolutions in 2010, 2014 and 2016, making World Hepatitis Day an official day 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 programs, 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.
Based on his strong relationships with WHO, the pharmaceutical industry, Ministries of Health and the community, as well as his commitment to global public health, Charles was chosen as the new MPP Executive Director.
Aastha Gupta has been a Business Development Manager with the MPP since 2012. She is responsible for market analysis, assisting with negotiation strategies for agreements with patent holders, and the management of MPP’s sublicensing programme. Aastha works with licensees from grant of sublicence and drug development to registration stages, and conducts analytical work to calculate our impact through these licences. Aastha is a key part of our team working with the World Health Organization to develop market forecasts for all HIV, hepatitis C and tuberculosis medicines in low- and middle-income countries. Before joining, Aastha worked in the generics pharmaceutical industry in India and South Africa. She holds a Master in Business Administration from the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade in New Delhi.
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.
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 the 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.
Liudmyla 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. Liudmyla 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. Liudmyla was recognised by the Economist as one of the leading voices for advocacy to increase access to affordable diagnostics and treatment of viral hepatitis. Liudmyla 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.
Hannah Moak joined the Medicines Patent Pool as a 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.
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 the 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 MPP 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.
Chan Park is the MPP's General Counsel. He has been with the 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 the 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.
Asma Rehan joined us in May 2014 as Grants and Operations Manager. A law graduate from the UK, Asma has worked in the development sector both in Pakistan and Geneva. A native of Pakistan, she worked as a researcher for the Society of the Protection for the Rights of Children (SPARC) a local non-governmental organisation (NGO) that focuses on children’s rights, particularly in health and education. Her previous assignments in Geneva have included working on the Pandemic Influenza Preparedness (PIP) Framework at the World Health Organization. She also supported projects pertaining to copyrights and related rights at Knowledge Ecology international (KEI), most notably assisting the team to successfully negotiate the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works to Visually Impaired Persons and Persons with Print Disabilities.
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 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.
Maica Trabanco is our Associate Counsel, and has been with us since 2012. She forms part of our negotiations team, and has drafted many licensing agreements. Maica provides legal support in monitoring compliance of our licensees’ obligations, governance, good practices, implementation of human resources policies, developing consultancy contracts, as well as monitoring and ensuring compliance with Swiss legislation for foundations. Maica has been a member of Madrid’s Bar association since 2001 and has an LLM (Master of Laws) in European Union International Trade Law from the University of Amsterdam. Before joining, Maica worked as Legal Counsel for a pharmaceutical corporation based in Barcelona, and has nine years of experience as a lawyer in international law firms in Madrid and Barcelona.
Jo Waters joined the MPP as Head of Communications in September 2018 with responsibility for developing, implementing and managing the MPP’s communications strategy. Jo has a broad range of communications and media experience. Most recently, she was Head of Media Relations and Social Media Engagement for the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union) in Paris. She has also held high profile positions in her native UK, including as Head of Communications for the BBC’s vast regional news operation in the north of England and as Communications Manager for the British Red Cross. Jo has a Master’s Degree in Art Gallery and Museum Management from the University of Leeds and is an Accredited Practitioner with the Chartered Institute of Public Relations in the UK.