About us


About HS LifeSciences

HS LifeSciences was established in 2008 by seasoned biotech entrepreneurs with many years of experience in managing biotech companies. The lessons learned over the years have been distilled into a new business model centered on the foundation and growth of new life sciences companies without the need for conventional multiple rounds of equity-based financing.

HS LifeSciences supports new life sciences companies during their foundation and early growth phases by complementing the scientific founders’ R&D vision with management, financial and commercial experience.

Patient benefit remains the utmost priority for our portfolio companies and our overriding goal is to bring novel therapies to the market in the fastest possible manner. Our business model enables our portfolio companies to pursue their role as innovation powerhouses bringing together their medical innovation with the biopharmaceutical industry in structures that are tailored to the needs of both the biopharmaceutical partner and our portfolio companies.

Our Team

The team at HS LifeSciences brings together a wide range of skills that provide the foundation for successful partnerships in the life sciences industry. Our team includes biotech entrepreneurs and scientific experts from academia.  


Dr. Karsten Henco, Managing Partner

Karsten started his industrial career in the 1980s when he was involved in the establishment of the molecular biology and recombinant DNA technology facilities of BASF AG in Ludwigshafen, Germany. He is co-founder or co-founding investor of fourteen biotech companies in Germany, USA, Canada and Austria, such as Qiagen NV, Evotec AG, NewLab AG, Coley Pharmaceuticals Inc, U3 Pharma AG, Neurimmune Therapeutics AG, HS LifeSciences and QureInvest. He acted as CEO, Chairman or Board member in several of these companies and others, too. Karsten Henco serves as an advisor for HighTech Gründerfonds of the German government. He studied biochemistry in the University of Hannover and at the University of Darmstadt where he was awarded his PhD. Karsten completed his post-doctoral training at Prof. Charles Weissmann’s lab in the University of Zürich, Switzerland.

Dr. Edward Stuart, Managing Partner

Dr Edward Stuart is a co-founder of HS LifeSciences AG. He started his industrial career as COO of DeveloGen AG before co-founding and becoming the Managing Director and CBO of U3 Pharma AG. Subsequently, Dr. Stuart became the founding CEO of Neurimmune Therapeutics AG. He also acted as the founding CEO of CT Atlantic AG (Zurich, Switzerland), an oncology-focused spin-off from the University of Zurich and the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and the first portfolio company of HS LifeSciences.

He studied pharmacology in University College Dublin, Ireland, where he was awarded his PhD and was a post-doctoral scientist at the Max Planck Institute in Gottingen followed by his appointment as a Lecturer in Medical Genetics in Imperial College London, UK. Dr. Stuart also holds an MBA from The Business School of Imperial College London, UK.


Mr. Justin Duckworth, Managing Partner

Justin Duckworth is a member of the Board of HS LifeSciences AG. Mr Duckworth has spent the last 10 years working for venture capital funds within life sciences, most recently as a Partner at Nomura Phase4 Ventures. During this period Mr. Duckworth invested as a Lead or Co-Lead investor in 7 new company financings in addition to numerous follow-on financings. Prior to Nomura, Mr Duckworth worked as an Investment Advisor at HBM Partners in Zurich and a Vice President in the Private Equity group of Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein in London.

Prior to 2000, Mr Duckworth worked in a number of roles within Arthur Andersen in London and gained his ACA qualifications. He is a member of the ICAEW and has an MA (Oxon) in Biochemistry from the University of Oxford.


Maximiliane Köster, Controller

Maximiliane Köster is a controller at HS LifeSciences GmbH and joined the team in 2011. Prior to joining HS Life Sciences GmbH Ms Köster has spent nearly 3 years working for the auditing company Deloitte & Touche GmbH.

After completing a banking apprenticeship in Düsseldorf, Ms Köster studied Business Administration in Freiberg and Düsseldorf. She holds a MBA from the Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Germany.


Scientific Advisors


Dr. Adrian Hayday

Adrian Hayday is Kay Glendinning Professor of Immunobiology at King’s college London; co-lead of the Clinical Academic Grouping in Genetics Rheumatology, Immunology, Infection, and Dermatology at King’s affiliated hospitals; and a SeniorGroup Leader at the London Research Institute, Cancer Research UK. He graduated in Biochemistry from Cambridge; earned a PhD in virology from London University; and undertook post-doctoral training at M.I.T., before his appointment (at age 28) to the Yale University faculty, where he rose to Full-Professor and was awarded the DeVane Medal, Yale’s highest honor for scholarship and teaching. He returned to restructure immunology at King’s in 1998. He co-discovered the unanticipated “gamma-delta” T cell antigen receptor, provoking widespread interest in immune cell function within tissues, and tumor immunosurveillance. His active research team has published almost 200 papers, within 33 published on cross-disciplinary journals, Nature, Science, Cell, or Proceedings of the National Academy. He won the King’s College Award for Business in 2009; he served on numerous scientific advisory and investor advisory boards, and has chaired funding panels for the Wellcome Trust and the American cancer Society.


Dr. Mike Owen

Mike Owen had had a varied career in biotech, the pharmaceutical industry and academia. He serves as a director of Zealand Pharma, Ossianix Inc and BlinK Biomedical SAS, sits on the Scientific Advisory Boards of Kymab Ltd and the CRT Pioneer Fund LP, and is a member of the Sanofi Aventis Oncology Board. Dr Owen was formally Senior Vice President for Biopharmaceuticals Research at GlaxoSmithKline where he was responsible for the discovery and development of antibody drugs through to successful clinical proof of concept. He was also a Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Kymab Ltd, an antibody based biotech company, and for many years held a research position at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund. He was elected a Fellow of the UK Academy of Medical Sciences and a member of the European Molecular Biology Organisation. 

Prof. Dr. Alexander Knuth

Alexander Knuth is the Medical Director of NCCCR (National Center for Cancer Care and Research) at Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar since September 2013. Since August 2013 he is professor emeritus of the University of Zurich where he held the Chair of Internal Medicine/ Oncology since 2003. From 1991 until his appointment in Zurich he established and chaired the Department of Oncology/ Hematology at Krankenhaus Nordwest, an Academic Teaching Hospital of the Johann-Wolfgang-Goethe-University in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. His medical training he received at academic institutions in Berlin, Zurich and Mainz, including a clinical and research fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) in New York, (USA) and at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC) in Seattle, (USA). His clinical research focus is on “Cancer Immunology and Cancer Immunotherapy”.