About us

Company Overview

Resalis Therapeutics is a biopharma company focused on the development of oligonucleotide anti-sense therapies to treat metabolic disorders, including MAFLD/NAFLD/NASH, obesity, and cancer. The company leverages on the scientific research of a team of internationally renowned scientists.

Pressured by unmet clinical needs affecting tenths of millions of patients in the world, Resalis Therapeutics is advancing its pipeline of first-in-class anti-miRNA compounds toward clinical validation, supported by robust preclinical evidence generated at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (Harvard Medical School, Boston – US) and Aalborg University (Copenhagen, Denmark).

Our Team

Alessandro Toniolo – CEO and BoD member

Alessandro joined Resalis in October 2022 after 10 years of research in the field of physical chemistry and 20 years in roles with increasing responsibility in the Pharma industry. He is a chemist by training having an M.Sc. in Chemistry from University of Pisa (Italy) and a PHD in Chemistry from the University of Milan (Italy). He spent a few years as post-doc fellow at the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign, IL USA) and at University of Pisa with studies on interaction of photosensitive proteins with light. Then he joined the Pharma industry working in Commercial roles at Italian, European and Global level for multiple Companies including Merck in Oncology, Pfizer in Immunology, Shire in Genetic diseases and Novartis in Respiratory and Immunology. He is also involved in supporting multiple biopharma startup companies in Oncology on behalf of Italian Angels for Growth.

Sakari Kauppinen – Scientific Founder and Scientific Advisor

Sakari Kauppinen serves as Professor at the Department of Clinical Medicine, Aalborg University and Director of the Center for RNA Medicine. Dr. Kauppinen earned his M.Sc. in Genetics from the University of Helsinki and his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of Copenhagen followed by postdoctoral training at the GeneExpress Research Satellite, Novo Nordisk, Denmark. His research focuses on exploring the roles of microRNAs, long noncoding RNAs and circular RNAs in human health and disease and discovering RNA-targeted therapeutics for unmet medical needs. Before joining Aalborg University, Dr. Kauppinen was Senior Director of MicroRNA Research and Drug Discovery at Santaris Pharma, and Head of the microRNA Research Unit at the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of Copenhagen, where he was responsible for multiple microRNA research and drug discovery programs in cancer, cardiometabolic and infectious diseases, including the discovery of the world’s first microRNA‐targeted medicine, miravirsen. He was also a member of the miravirsen clinical development team that has successfully advanced this microRNA drug to clinical phase 2 trials for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus infection with proven efficacy against HCV and a good safety profile.

Riccardo Panella – Scientific Founder and BoD member

Riccardo Panella, PhD is serving as Assistant Professor at the Center for RNA medicine in the Copenhagen campus of Aalborg University in Denmark and he is leading a team that is currently investigating the role of non-coding RNAs in metabolic homeostasis and how it affects human metabolism. He obtained his master’s degree in biotechnology as well as his Ph.D. in Molecular Oncology at the University of Perugia in Italy after which he was awarded a post-doctoral fellowship from the Marie Curie Foundation in 2014. He worked for six years as a post-Doctoral fellow at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Cancer Institute / Harvard Medical School Cancer Center. Dr. Panella has focused his entire career on translational medicine, with the main goal of developing new treatment options and new therapeutic approaches to disease. His expertise lies in the application of non-coding RNA as both a therapeutic target and as a cutting-edge technology for developing new therapeutic paradigms. 

Mike Hodges – BoD member and scientific advisor

Michael is a highly experienced successful pharmaceutical industry veteran with experience in big PHARMA and Biotech. He has experience with eight drug development programs that have led to global regulatory approvals.  He was part of teams that raised $157MM dollars in Series B and C rounds of financing, one F-1 submission for IPO, one reverse merger and two successful M&As.  He has deep disease-specific and RNA therapeutics technical expertise. He is currently supporting a number of Biotechnology companies in the role of drug development consultant, scientific advisor and/or board director. He is a member of the science advisory boards of Arcturus Therapeutics, Exicure Therapeutics and eFFECTOR Therapeutics and a scientific advisor for Adjuvant Capital.  Michael was previously the CMO of Amplyx Pharmaceuticals, developing drug treatments for life-threatening viral and fungal infections in immunocompromised patients. The company was acquired by Pfizer, Inc. Prior to Amplyx he was the CMO for Santaris A/S, developing drug treatments for chronic viral diseases, cancer, metabolic/lipid and eye diseases. The company was acquired by Hoffman-La Roche, AG.  Michael started his career in pharmaceutical medicines with Pfizer Global Research and Development where he worked on multiple infectious diseases and oncology development programs. Under his leadership two antifungal drugs where approved, VFEND® (voriconazole) and ERAXIS™ (anidulafungin).  Michael was a Non-Executive Director of F2G Ltd., an infectious disease biotechnology company from 2010-2014. He earned his M.D. (MBBS) and BSc. in Pharmacology, from the University of London, UK.

Pietro Puglisi – BoD member & chairman

Pietro is a biomedical engineer with over a decade of experience in life sciences investments and innovation. He is a founding partner at Claris Ventures, investment firm based in Turin (Italy), with focus on early-stage biotech ventures. He started his career at LifeSciences Consultants in 2010 and later joined Innogest VC firm’s healthcare practice. Prior to launching Claris Ventures, he was involved in financing rounds of several Italy-based biopharma startup companies, acting as an independent director at Kither Biotech (PI3Kγ-inhibitors for cystic fibrosis treatment) and Restorative Neurotechnologies (digital therapies for neurological rehab). Pietro received an M.Sc. in Biomedical Engineering from Politecnico di Torino (Italy) and an MBA from Collége des Ingenièurs (France/Italy).

Antonio Leone – BoD Member

Electronics engineer with over 40 years of experience in the electromedical equipment industry, Antonio was President and Worldwide CEO of Kontron Instruments Roche group. In 1993 he moved to Olympus group, where he assumed the position of CEO of Olympus Medical System Europe Hamburg, with a turnover of 700 million euros and 2300 employees. Antonio was BELLCO Chairman of the Charme fund managed by Montezemolo & Partners SGR and currently holds, among others, the position of Board Member of Cellply S.r.l. Since 2014 he holds the position of President in IAG – Italian Angels for Growth.