Most of the more than 7000 rare diseases described thus far are still orphan

Stephane Demotz, PhD
Founder & CEO

Stephane Demotz is the co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Dorphan S.A. He has over twenty years of professional experience gained in academic institutions and the pharmaceutical industry. He has occupied scientist and manager positions in pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies in Switzerland and abroad, where he conducted the preclinical development of numerous compounds in the areas of immunology, inflammation, cancer and rare orphan diseases. He was a co-founder of Edimer Biotech S.A., which developed a drug candidate for the rare and orphan disease X-linked hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia. As a member of the Swiss Sanfilippo Foundation since its inception, he co-founded Dorphan S.A. to develop drug candidates for the treatment of rare orphan lysosomal storage diseases. Dr. Demotz holds a PhD in biochemistry and immunology from the University of Lausanne.


Julie Charollais-Thoenig, PhD
Project Manager

Julie Charollais-Thoenig serves as Project Manager and Business Developer. She defines development plans and runs the outsourced activities of the Lead candidates, evaluates in- and out-licensing opportunities and actively participates to fundraising activities. She has thirteen years of R&D experience and eight years in preclinical and clinical drug development. She was a Clinical Research Assistant at Lausanne University Hospital, and Clinical Project Manager at Covance, Geneva, supervising clinical trials in various therapeutic areas, especially for rare diseases. She previously worked as Scientific Project Manager at the EPFL Phenotyping Unit for the assessment of preclinical studies. She was trained in project management at the University of Bern and obtained the Swissmedic level 1 and 2 modules in clinical trial management. Dr. Charollais-Thoenig obtained her PhD in genetics and molecular biology from the University Paris VI, France.


Sonia Ioannidis, PhD
Drug Development & Partnership Leader

Sonia Ioannidis leads the drug development and partnership activities for new drug candidates in rare orphan diseases. She has over fifteen years experience in drug development and translational research. As Head of Immune-mediated Diseases at Debiopharm International, she was responsible for the identification, evaluation and negotiation of external programs for licensing, acquisition and investment. She established numerous preclinical to Phase III projects for autoimmune, inflammatory, transplantation and cancer indications, elaborating development strategy and providing scientific medical support. She previously worked in academic institutions in the US at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston and in Switzerland at Lausanne University Hospital. Dr. Ioannidis holds a master and a PhD in biochemistry and immunology from the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and the University of Lausanne.