Prof. Dr. Hanns-Christian Mahler, Head Drug Product Services
Prof.Dr. Hanns-Christian Mahler     

Hanns-Christian Mahler has extensive experience in drug product development and manufacturing. For more than 15 years, he worked for Merck and Roche in leadership roles, most recently as Head of Pharmaceutical Development & Supplies Biologics EU (Roche). Hanns-Christian participated in several product IND/IMPD submissions and numerous market launches for high profile products. He has broad industry experience in parenteral formulation and process development, line extensions, primary packaging development, device development, drug product clinical and commercial manufacturing and transfers.


Hanns-Christian studied Pharmacy and holds a Ph.D. from the Institute of Pharmacy at the University of Mainz (DE). In addition, he has Specialist Pharmacist degrees in Pharmaceutical Technology and Toxicology & Ecology from the German Pharmacists Chamber (DE). He made his Habilitation in Pharmaceutical Technologies and is extraordinary Professor for Pharmaceutical Technology at the University of Frankfurt (DE) and adjunct faculty member and lecturer at the University of Basel (CH). He also serves as an expert on EDQM (Ph.Eur) committees and other industry consortia. Having published more than 60 scientific manuscripts and submitted more than 20 patent filings, Hanns-Christian was elected an AAPS fellow in recognition of his scientific achievements in 2013. The Parenteral Drug Association (PDA) awarded him the Distinguished Service Appreciation Award in 2018. This award is given in recognition of special acts, contributions or services that have promoted the success and strength of PDA. 




Dr. Susanne Jörg, Head Formulation Development
Dr. Susanne Joerg    

Susanne Jörg's extensive experience in drug product formulation development includes more than 10 years of leadership roles at Novartis Biologics. She worked on drug products from monoclonal antibodies, recombinant proteins, fusion proteins, bioconjugates, antibody fragments, nanobodies, and antibody drug conjugates for parenterals including intravitreal applications. Susanne has broad experience in liquid and lyophilized early- and late phase drug product development. In collaboration with Merck KGaA , Darmstardt (DE), Susanne developed liquid high-concentration monoclonal antibody formulations, implementation of different concentration and analytical techniques such as ELISA, DSC, FTIR, nephelometry and viscometry, and supported regulatory filings.


Susanne studied Pharmacy at the University of Mainz (DE), and holds a Ph.D. from the University of Munich (DE).




Dr. Atanas Koulov, Head Drug Product Analytical Development and Quality Control
Dr. Atanas Koulov    

Atanas Koulov brings eight years of industry experience in drug product analytical development and quality control release and stability testing, as well as characterization, investigations support and specification setting to Lonza. His previous roles include managing Roche’s Particle lab, activities for visible, subvisible and submicron particles, as well as responsibility for various programs in Analytical Development & QC of Drug Products. In addition to his roles at Roche, Atanas also worked as a Lab Head, Analytical Development at Novartis Biologics.


Atanas has published extensively in the field of protein aggregation and particles and is the immediate past chair of the AAPS Protein Aggregation & Biological Consequences Focus Group. He holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Notre Dame, IN (USA), earned his M.Sc. in Molecular Biology and Clinical Chemistry from Sofia University (BG) and worked as Postdoctoral Fellow at the Scripps Research Institute in San Diego, CA (USA).            




  Dr. Franziska Riesen, Head Drug Product Manufacturing

 Franziska Riesen brings to Lonza more than 14 years of experience in sterile and aseptic drug product manufacturing and Quality Assurance. Before her current role at Lonza, Franziska worked at Roche in various functions, with responsibilities that included managing the manufacturing of liquid products in vials and pre-filled syringes, and leading cross-functional contract manufacturing teams.  She also represented the company during inspections and audits, including U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Japan, and Swiss Authorities.

Prior to her experience in manufacturing, she was responsible for Quality Assurance activities for drug product manufacture and Quality Control, including release, stability, transfers, discrepancy management, corrective and preventive actions (CAPA), change control, and complaint management.


   Dr. Dieter Röthlisberger, Head Drug Product Technical Project Leaders

Dieter Röthlisberger has more than 30 years of experience in Pharmaceutical and Analytical R&D. During his career, he has held various positions in formulation research and development, drug product development (sterile and oral liquid and semi-solid dosage forms), GMP manufacturing (biopharmaceuticals and small molecules), as well as outsourcing coordination (parenteral dosage forms). Dieter has also supported absolute bioavailability, mass balance, microdosing, radiolabeled or PET studies. His pharmaceutical experience includes: liquid solutions, lyophilisates, micelles, liposomes, suspensions, emulsions for parenteral administration, syrups, suspensions, eye drops as well as semi-liquid and liquid filled capsules as oral dosage forms.

Dieter holds a Ph.D. in Medicinal Chemistry and graduated in Pharmacy from the University of Lausanne (CH). He is lecturer at the ETH Zurich (Master Degree Pharmaceutical Sciences: Module Drug Product Development and Industrialization).


 Dr. Thomas Haselwander, Head Quality Assurance, Drug Product Services

Thomas Haselwander has more than 15 years of professional experience in Quality Assurance oversight of manufacturing, testing and release of drug products, medical devices, chemical and biological drug substance, cell and gene therapy products, raw materials, consumables and packaging operations.

Prior to joining Lonza, Thomas held positions at F. Hoffman-La Roche (cGMP Compliance Manager), Novartis Pharmaceuticals (Senior QA Manager in Technical R&D and QA Operations Biologics) and Legacy Pharmaceuticals (Director and Head of Quality).   Thomas holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Marburg (Germany) and performed post-doctoral studies at Kyota University (Japan).


Dr. Thomas Schönknecht, Head R&D, Drug Product Services


Thomas Schönknecht, Ph.D. joins Lonza as Head R&D, Drug Product Services. In this role, Thomas will provide ownership for the innovation strategy, overview and tracking for current and future DPS R&D activities, liaise with external collaborations for R&D related to parenteral drug delivery, and support the development of intellectual property and commercialization of DPS-related innovations.


With more than 16 years of senior leadership experience across the pharmaceutical industry, Thomas has worked in both technical and commercial functions with a proven track-record of establishing new profitable business segments. Prior to Lonza, Thomas held positions at SHL Group AB (Sweden), Schott Pharmaceutical Packaging (Mainz, Germany), Amgen Inc (Thousand Oaks, CA USA), Gerresheimer Bünde GmbH (Bünde, Germany) and Evotec Biosystems AG (Hamburg, Germany).  


Thomas studied Chemistry and holds a Diploma and PhD in Biophysical Chemistry from the Max-Planck-Institute (MPI) for Biophysical Chemistry (Göttingen, Germany), performed Post-Doctoral studies at Karolinska Institute (Stockholm, Sweden), Institute for Molecular Biotechnology (Jena, Germany) and the MPI (Göttingen, Germany).


  Dr. Franziska Riesen, Head Drug Product Manufacturing