About Us

At Hoba Therapeutics we are a dedicated team with world-class expertise in pain and the development of biopharmaceuticals.

Our goal is to develop novel biopharmaceuticals for the relief, prevention, and treatment of Chronic Pain and Hearing Loss


Torsten M. Madsen, MD, PhD


Torsten earned his MD and PhD from Copenhagen University. After a postdoctoral fellowship at the Molecular Psychiatry Lab at Yale Medical School and clinical training in psychiatry, he continued his career in clinical drug development. He has been responsible for development programs in multiple indications, spanning all phases of drug development. He has international leadership experience in biotech and the pharmaceutical industry, both from public and privately held companies, most recently from Syndesi Therapeutics, acquired by Abbvie in 2022.

Kenneth A Petersen, MD, PhD

CDO and Founder

After earning his MD at Copenhagen University, following a completed internship, Kenneth worked as a clinician in paediatrics and Neurology.
He holds a Ph.D. in neuroscience from Copenhagen University. He brings 20 years of experience in preclinical and clinical drug development as well as business development. He has previously held positions at NatImmune, Novo Nordisk, and Lundbeck.

He founded Hoba Therapeutics in 2017 with seed investment from Novo Holdings and Borean Innovation

John Kemp, PhD


John was most recently CSO at Syndesi Therapeutics, which was acquired by Abbvie in March 2022 in a USD 1 B deal. He brings 30 years of experience in CNS drug discovery and development He previously held positions as Chief R&D Officer at Evotec, head of CNS research at Roche, and Senior Director, Neuroscience Discovery at Janssen. John has published over 140 peer-reviewed articles.

Mikkel Dybkjaer, MSc Econ


Mikkel has an MSc in Economics from Copenhagen University. 

He has over 20 years of extensive experience in corporate finance, corporate strategy, and business development from positions at IO Biotech, H. Lundbeck, and Genmab.

He participated in several large licensing deals, company acquisitions, and funding rounds (total EUR +250 M).

He participated in the IPO of IO Biotech at Nasdaq Global Markets in November 2021.

E-mail: md@hobatherapeutics.com

Board of Directors

Jean Combalbert, PharmD, PhD

Exc. Chairperson

Jean Combalbert is PharmD and PhD receive from University of Pharmacy, Marseille France. Jean has an impressive track record with over 25 years’ experience building research and development-stage biotech companies and achieving high-value exits.
Jean is founder and non-executive director at Epics Therapeutics SA, having previously served as its founding CEO from 2017. He is also currently non-executive Chairman of Kynos Therapeutics Ltd, Scotland and Dendrogenix SA, Belgium. Jean was Chairman of the Board at Syndesi Therapeutics SA, Belgium from 2018 until its sale (1B$) to AbbVie in 2022. Previously, he was CEO of Ogeda SA from 2006 until its sale (800M€) to Astellas Pharma Inc. in 2017.  Earlier in his career, Dr Combalbert held senior positions with SANOFI Research and Galderma in France and the United States.

Camilla Petrycer Hansen, PhD

Novo Holdings

Board member

Camilla joined the board of Hoba Therapeutics in 2021. She brings more than a decade of international business development experience from early academic start-up to industry. Camilla is currently a principal at Novo Holdings, where she is responsible for company creation and early investments, in addition to investments through the REPAIR Impact fund. Camilla also serves as a director on the Board of Directors of Limmatech and Centauri Therapeutics, and as an observer on the Boards of Directors for Muna and Hemab. Camilla has a PhD in Medicinal Chemistry and a Master of Pharmacy degree from Copenhagen University.

Lene Gerlach, PhD

Eir Ventures

Board member

Lene is a partner at EIR Ventures. Lene has a PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Copenhagen. She has more than 25 years experience within the life science industry as a research scientist, patent attorney, business developer, and consultant on university spin-out corporations and has held management positions in several biotech companies. Lene has been Vice President in Action Pharma (sold to Abbott in 2012) and Visiopharm, a global AI Healthcare company. Since 2014, Lene has worked as a venture capitalist having financed more than 35 companies. She comes with extensive board experience having headed 18 companies as Chairman. Lene is the founder and Chair of the non-profit network organisation Women in Life Science Denmark, WiLD counting >200 executive female leaders and scientists in the industry.

Goncalo Rebelo de Andrade, PhD MBA

Indaco Venture Partners

Board member

Goncalo is a partner at Indaco Bio Fund. Goncalo has a PhD in Biochemistry from the Ludwig-Maximillian’s University in Munich, Germany and a MBA from MIT/Catholic University of Lisbon. He has more than 20 years experience within the life science industry as a research scientist (10+ years), IP consultant (5+ years), business developer for contract research and contract manufacturing organizations (10+ years). In 2015, Goncalo started Hovione Capital, an evergreen fund focusing on early stage medtech and medical device opportunities across Europe and has held 10+ board roles. Prior to Indaco, Goncalo led the operational growth of Nanoform, from 20 to 146 people and was part of the management team that took the company public on the Nasdaq First North in 2020.

Marie Allen Schroeder, DPhil

Novo Holdings

Board member

Marie joined the board of Hoba Therapeutics in 2023. She brings more than a decade of scientific experience, in both the pharmaceutical industry and academia. Marie is currently a senior associate at Novo Holdings, where she is responsible for company creation and early investments, particularly in the cardiometabolic disease space. She also serves as an observer on the Board of Directors of Acesion Pharma. Marie has a DPhil in Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics from the University of Oxford (Lincoln College), and a bachelor’s degree in biomedical and electrical engineering from Duke University.

Investor Representatives

Caludia Maria Colciago, MSc

The Export and Investment Fund of Denmark

Dr. Claudia Maria Colciago is a Senior Investment Manager in Denmarks Export in Denmark’s Export and Investment Fund and member of several boards. She previously held positions such as Associate Director at Takeda Digital Ventures. Prior to that, at MTIP she led a $20m+ financing round in Oviva and partook in the first and following investment in other portfolio companies such as Coramaze, Blueprint Genetics, Tyto Care, Lumeon, and Cynerio. She has a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from the École Polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), and a post-doc, where she led a proof-of-concept project of a digital health start-up.

Kenji Harada, PhD

Medical Incubator Japan

Kenji has dedicated approximately 20 years to investing in the biotech sectors of Japan, the US, and the EU. His roles have included directorships in various US and Japanese companies. Leveraging his position on the board, he shares his expertise with investees and cultivates relationships with Japanese pharmaceutical firms. He serves as an investment officer at Medical Incubator Japan, overseeing investments spanning the EU and Japan. Actively engaged in multiple Japanese governmental programs supporting startups and research initiatives, Kenji also provides mentorship to academic researchers in Japan, guiding them through establishing their businesses. He holds a doctorate in pharmacology from the University of Tokyo and specializes in immunology.


Novo Holdings

Novo Holdings is a holding and investment company that is responsible for managing the assets and the wealth of the Novo Nordisk Foundation. The purpose of Novo Holdings is to improve people’s health and the sustainability of society and the planet by generating attractive long-term returns on the assets of the Novo Nordisk Foundation. Wholly owned by the Novo Nordisk Foundation, Novo Holdings is the controlling shareholder of Novo Nordisk A/S and Novozymes A/S and manages an investment portfolio with a long-term return perspective. In addition to managing a broad portfolio of equities, bonds, real estate, infrastructure, and private equity assets, Novo Holdings is a world-leading life sciences investor. Through its Seeds, Venture, Growth, and Principal Investments teams, Novo Holdings invests in life science companies at all stages of development.

As of November 2023, Novo Holdings had total assets of EUR 150 billion.

Eir Ventures

Eir Ventures I AB is a Nordic life science venture capital fund that invests in private companies with outstanding entrepreneurs developing transformative therapeutic approaches. The fund commenced its investment activities in 2020 and invests in opportunities addressing significant unmet medical needs for new therapies, medical technology, and digital health. Eir Ventures AB is led by a team of experienced life science investors and is supported by a strong investor syndicate consisting of leading local and international institutional investors and, uniquely, leading Nordic universities.

The Export and Investment Fund of Denmark (EIFO)

The Export and Investment Fund of Denmark (EIFO) is the national promotional bank and export credit agency of Denmark combined in one financial institution. EIFO provides a single point of access for Danish companies as well as for their foreign and domestic business partners who need risk-tolerant government capital. EIFO wants to support the successful businesses which can grow the Danish economy and green the globe. We make the world Denmark’s business.

Indaco Venture Partners

Indaco Venture Partners SGR is one of the largest independent Italian venture capital asset management companies, with over EUR 350 M in assets under management, focused on companies that innovate in electronics, robotics, new materials, medtech, biotech – pharma and digital. Indaco Bio Fund (around EUR 100 M) is exclusively dedicated to investing in the development of innovative pharmacological therapies, across all therapeutic indications but with particular attention to Oncology, CNS, Ophthalmology, Metabolic diseases, Virology, and Infectious diseases. Indaco is focused on the Italian Biotech sector with select investments in other European countries, USA, Canada, or Israel.

Medical Incubator Japan

Medical Incubator Japan is a venture capital firm based in Japan specialising in investments within the biotech sector across the EU, Japan, and the US. Their investment portfolio encompasses pharmaceuticals, medical devices, diagnostics, and cutting-edge life science technologies driven by AI. Although their history is relatively concise, they currently manage approximately USD 50 M in assets. Medical Incubator Japan is on the brink of commencing investments from their newly established fund shortly.

The European Innovation Council Fund

The European Innovation Council Fund from the European Commission is an agnostic Fund: it invests across all technologies and verticals, and all EU countries and countries associated to Horizon Europe. It provides the investment component of the EIC Accelerator blended finance. The European Investment Bank acts as investment adviser to the EIC Fund.

The EIC Fund aims to fill a critical financing gap and its main purpose is to support companies in the development and commercialisation of disruptive technologies, bridging with and crowding in market players, and further sharing risk by building a large network of capital providers and strategic partners suitable for co-investments and follow-on funding.

The Fund pays particular attention to the empowerment and support of female founders as well as the ambition to reduce the innovation divide among EU countries.