Dr. Luz is a board-certified anesthesiologist and intensive care physician with close to 3 decades experience in the biopharmaceutical and contract research industry. He graduated from the University of Heidelberg where he also completed his residency before moving into the industry to exclusively focus on global drug development.
During an eight-year tenure at Behringwerke/Hoechst Marion Roussel/Aventis, Dr. Luz led the team that brought Refludan® (lepirudin), the first therapeutic for heparin-induced thrombocytopenia, to market worldwide. In parallel, Dr. Luz successfully completed a Summer Program in Clinical Effectiveness at the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA. During the latter part of his time within the Hoechst empire, he successfully ran the 10,000-patient OASIS-2 study to evaluate the use of lepirudin in acute coronary syndromes in collaboration with McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada.
Following a two-year period with assignments as Global Team Leader at Knoll/Abbott and Head of Clinical Development at Cardion, Dr. Luz joined PRA International, one of the world’s leading clinical contract research organizations. He served as Vice President, Global Product Development Services (GPDS), a dedicated group of senior physician-scientists. Initially leading the cardiovascular unit within this group, Dr. Luz was soon named Head of GPDS.
Under his leadership, GPDS launched into the area of scientific business development and firmly established their internal and external services as an integral element of PRA’s business model.
Reporting to PRA’s Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Erich Mohr, during this 4-year tenure, Dr. Luz followed Dr. Mohr when he founded MedGenesis Therapeutix, a company focused on developing highly innovative treatments for patients with serious neurologic diseases. In his capacity as Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Luz directly oversaw all development activities at MedGenesis for approximately 12 years. The company’s lead program was glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, using a sophisticated local drug delivery technology for direct, intermittent drug administration into the brain.
Throughout his professional career, Dr. Luz’s primary interest has been to advance medical treatment options in indications with high unmet medical need. Open and willing to accept new challenges and break into new territory, he has been keenly involved with developing and implementing new, creative ideas and concepts in various medical, technical and operational areas.