Our History

Orphazyme was founded in Denmark in 2009 based on a scientific discovery about the role of heat shock proteins (HSPs), which was described in a well-cited article published in the journal Nature. One of the lead authors of that paper, Thomas Kirkegaard Jensen, is a founder of our company and our Chief Scientific Officer.

Today, we have translated that scientific discovery into a late-stage clinical development program. We are working to obtain regulatory approvals that will allow us to bring a novel treatment to patients, applying our knowledge of heat shock proteins (HSPs) for the benefit of people living with rare neurodegenerative diseases.

Our Core Values





We believe that we are stronger together and we leverage this strength every day to translate our passion and dedication into action. To do this, we must show up for each other and for the patients and communities we serve. We launched a hashtag that we feel reflects the culture and drive of all Orphazyme employees:


We’re all part of this team because of a shared energy and a shared vision. We’re on the verge of making a real difference for people living with rare neurodegenerative diseases. These are people who have been waiting far too long for treatment innovation. We have the chance to change that by supporting these patients, deepening our connection to them and making sure they don’t face their journey alone. This is #WhyWeShowUp. Even if we each show up for slightly different reasons, the important thing is that we do.
Global Leadership Team
Christophe Bourdon, MBA

Christophe Bourdon, MBA

Chief Executive Officer

  • MBA from IMD Lausanne, BA from Institut Superieur de Gestion
  • Joined in 2021
  • 25 years’ experience from the biotech and pharmaceutical industry, strong launch and commercial track record in rare and non-rare disease field
  • Previously at Amgen and Alexion
Anders Vadsholt, MBA

Anders Vadsholt, MBA

Chief Financial Officer

  • MBA in Finance, Melbourne University
  • Joined in 2016
  • 18+ years' biotech and corporate finance experience
  • Previously at Topotarget, Bankinvest Biomedical Venture, 7TM Pharma and Carnegie
Thomas Kirkegaard Jensen, PhD

Thomas Kirkegaard Jensen, PhD

Chief Scientific Officer

  • PhD, in Medicine, University of Copenhagen
  • Co-founder
  • Orphazyme's scientific rationale published in Nature and ScienceTM with +200 references
  • Inventor of +60 patents in heat shock response therapy
Thomas Blaettler, MD

Thomas Blaettler, MD

Chief Medical Officer

  • MD, University of Zürich
  • Board certified neurologist
  • Joined in 2016
  • 12+ years' experience in neuroscience development
  • Previously at Roche, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Novartis
Global Board of Directors
Georges Gemayel

Georges Gemayel

Chairman of the board

  • Member since 2012
  • Chairman of nomination committee
  • Born 1960, American nationality
  • Georges Gemayel holds a Master's degree and a PhD degree in Pharmacology from Paris-Sud University and a Docteur d´Exercice en Pharmacie from the St. Joseph University
Bo Jesper Hansen

Bo Jesper Hansen

Deputy Chairman of the board

  • Member since 2010
  • Chairman of the remuneration committee
  • Born 1958, Danish nationality
  • Bo Jesper Hansen holds a MD and PhD degree in Medicine from the University of Copenhagen.
Catherine Moukheibir

Catherine Moukheibir

  • Member since 2017
  • Chairman of the audit committee
  • Born 1959, American, Lebanese and British nationality
  • Catherine Moukheibir holds a Master in Economics and an MBA degree, both from Yale University.
Stephanie Okey

Stephanie Okey

  • Member since 2021
  • Member of the audit committee
  • Member of the remuneration committee
  • Born 1959, American nationality
  • Stephanie Okey holds a Bachelor of Science in Zoology from The Ohio State University and an M.S. in Immunology and Medical Microbiology from Wright State University.
Carrolee Barlow

Carrolee Barlow

  • Member since 2020
  • Born 1963, American nationality
  • Chairwoman of the science committee
  • Member of the nomination committee
  • Carrolee holds a PhD in Molecular and Development Biology from the Karolinska Medical Nobel Institution, an MD from the University of Utah School of Medicine and a BA in English from the University of Utah
Martin Bonde

Martin Bonde

  • Member since 2010
  • Member of audit committee
  • Member of nomination committee
  • Member of science committee
  • Born 1963, Danish nationality
  • Martin Bonde holds a Graduate Diploma in Business Administration (HD i Udenrigshandel) from Copenhagen Business School, a Master of Science and a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the Technical University of Denmark