DAMIAN is a small team of dedicated scientists and pharma executives with a long history of collaboration. Our unique combination of expertise brings complementary approaches to the complex drug development process. With perseverance and conviction, we endeavor to find therapeutic solutions wherever they exist, for the people who need them. 

That’s why the DAMIAN team is unwavering in its mission to deliver treatment for diseases that have long-been neglected, doing the work to bring solutions we know will succeed. 

Wherever the art of medicine is loved, there is also a love of humanity


Executive Committee

Christoph Schumacher

DAMIAN Founder and Chief Executive Officer

As a former international hurdle racer for Switzerland, Christoph thrives on overcoming obstacles. With more than 20 years in the pharmaceutical business, he has led the development of several late-stage programs in heart failure at Novartis. During his career, he’s held executive positions at both start-up and privately funded biotech companies.  

A scientist at heart, Christoph’s approach to drug development is grounded in the process of discovery. His character is transparent, structured and realistic; DAMIAN was founded on these principles.

Photo: Stefan Kuerzi

Teresa Gerlock

Chief Operating Officer

Success in any endeavor requires dedication, experience and vision. Applying these attributes, Teresa has served in the pharmaceutical industry for more than 25 years across a variety of therapeutic areas in Research, Development, Marketing, and Communications. Prior to joining DAMIAN, Teresa led teams supporting the development and launch of 12 new medicines, including 6 blockbusters. 

Every day, Teresa brings a sharp focus on the mission and the end game.

Photo: Stefan Kuerzi

Ronald E. Steele

DAMIAN Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer

Ron Steele has more than 30 years of experience in Pharmaceutical Research and Management. He was Assistant Professor of Pediatric Endocrinology at Johns Hopkins and then subsequently moved to industry as a Distinguished Research Fellow and Executive Director of Metabolic and Cardiovascular Disease at Novartis. During his accomplished career, he conceptualized a new drug class that significantly changed the outlook for women with hormone-dependent breast cancer.

Ron’s steadfast commitment to data accuracy ensures scientific rigor is brought to every facet of the development process. 

Photo: Jillian Spencer Studios

Urs Schwartz

DAMIAN Co-Founder and General Legal Counsel

Urs Schwartz is a Corporate Attorney and currently General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Victorinox.

Previously, he headed the M&A team at the Zurich Insurance Group, where he was responsible for all the M&A transactions worldwide and major financial transactions at the Swiss and London Stock Exchanges.

Photo: Stefan Kuerzi

Board of Directors

  • Christoph Schumacher


    Biography above.

  • Urs Schwartz

    Vice Chairman

    Biography above.

  • Elmar Schnee

    Board Member  

    Elmar Schnee, a senior pharma executive, currently serves as Chairman and/or Member of the Board of several public and private biotech companies. Previously, he was appointed CEO at Merck Pharma KgaA and held senior management positions at UCB SA and Synthelabo-Sanofi SA.

Code of Conduct

DAMIAN is committed to healthcare and the wellbeing of patients as the highest priority. Our ethical principles are: respect, integrity, honesty.

We pledge to ensure the following ethical behavior in all our business activities:

  • Respect for patients, individuals and society
  • Safeguard data privacy
  • Champion independent decision-making of investigators based on evidence and patient interest
  • Ensure transparency
  • Comply with relevant laws, international codes of the pharmaceutical industry and guidelines from healthcare professional circles


Head of Security

Born at the foot of the Matterhorn, Tacci is a multilingual security expert, with a keen eye and even keener nose. An independent problem solver, this Parson Russell Terrier has her own ideas on how to go about things: digging for clues, chasing information, and hunting for solutions. With Tacci around, no threat goes undetected.