Dr. Luis Ruiz Ávila (Senior Executive Director) has a PhD in molecular biology from the University of Barcelona (1987). After 10 years of academic research in Spain and the USA he moved to the pharmaceutical industry in 1997 to play various managerial roles in project management and business development at Almirall, one of the the leading pharmaceutical companies in Spain. In 2001, Luis left Almirall to help build the first spin-off biotech company from the University of Barcelona, Advancell, and became its first CEO, obtaining approx €20M in private capital and public aid. In 2006, Advancell signed itsfirst licensing agreement for a clinical stage product discovered at the Spanish university (Acadra), an agreement with Protherics (later BTG) whose total value exceeded €60M. In December 2008, Luis left Advancell to create Janus Developments (now Spherium Biomed), a company which develops biomedical projects.
At Spherium Luis took 5 preclinical projects beyond phase II, mobilizing approx €8M. In May 2019 he sold his stake in Spherium to Ferrer, the company’s majority partner. Luis has also served as interim CEO at ERABiotech (where he was founder and president after his executive role), EraBiotech ended up being part of the BioNaturis group as Zip Solutions), TCD-Pharma and then Archivel Farma. In these companies he mobilized €8M of public and private capital, enabling clinical entry of the TCD-Pharma product and the completion of phase IIa of the Ruti vaccine in latent tuberculosis. Luis is also one of the founders of the Catalan Association of Biotechnology Companies (CataloniaBio). He also remains the executive president of the veterinary company Aquilón Cyl SL, a spin-off of the University of León which develops alternatives to antibiotics to improve the productivity of livestock animals. Aquilón was recognized with the “Cinco Días” award for the best innovative project linked to a university in Spain in 2014. Aquilón obtained in May 2019 a phase II SME instrument support of €1.5M, and has received private capital worth €4M. After more than 10 years as an external advisor to trifermed, Luis joined the team as Senior Executive Director to help in developing project-centric strategic planning for clinical stage projects.
“A vision without execution is an hallucination”
“If life gives you lemons, make lemonade”
“The harder I practice, the luckier I get”