Dr. Luca Santarelli

EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Class of 2024, Switzerland
Founder and CEO of VectivBio AG

Share the joy of Dr. Luca Santarelli’s winning moment at Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Switzerland.

Dr. Luca Santarelli is pioneering treatments for rare gastrointestinal conditions.

Dr. Luca Santarelli has left an indelible mark on the pharmaceutical landscape, steering the development of transformative medicines over the past two decades. He founded VectivBio to revolutionize treatments for severe and rare conditions, including a type of short bowel syndrome that leaves the body unable to properly absorb nutrients. Luca is leveraging his extensive medical research experience to significantly improve the lives of these patients. 

Over the years, Luca has led drug development programs from research to commercialization in neuroscience, rare diseases, ophthalmology and metabolic and gastrointestinal conditions. Most recently, he served as co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Therachon AG, which was focused on the discovery and development of therapeutics for rare pediatric conditions and was acquired by Pfizer in 2019 for US$810m. 

Prior to Therachon, Luca advanced new therapies to clinical trial and distribution while at biotech company Roche, including treatments for multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, autism, spinal muscular atrophy, diabetic macular edema and age-related macular degeneration. He also catalyzed the creation of Synosia and Clementia, two companies built from Roche’s asset spin-offs, and led the company to multiple in-licensing deals. 

In addition, Luca was a faculty member at Columbia University and a co-founder of BrainCells Inc., a company focused on the discovery of novel antidepressants that stimulate the growth of new neurons. 

Building a talented and committed team is the most valuable asset to your venture.