What is my expertise?  

Vice President at Merck Biopharma and Head of Department Innovation and Entrepreneurship Incubator. I hold a diploma in biochemistry and physiologic chemistry from the University of Tübingen and a Ph.D. in Genetics from the University of Cologne. I am author of more than 70 publications and patents (incl. papers in Cell, Nature Biotechnology and Nature Medicine). I am married and have three children.

Key Business Accomplishments


Initiator and manager of innovation incubator that led to the discovery of TGF-ß-Trap (M7824)

Manager of the year
Innovator of the year
2 Stevie Gold Awards 2018
International Business Awards

Initiator and manager Curious2018-Future InSight Conference (http://curious2018.com)

Initiator and manager of Future Insight Prize

Initiator and manager of Darmstadt Science Declaration (http://darmstadt-science-declaration.com)

Prevymis (Letermovir), the anti-HCMV drug I am co-inventor of has received U.S. FDA approval in 2018 and was awarded the Deutscher Zukunftspreis 2018

Pritelivir, the anti-HSV drug I am co-inventor of has successfully passed Phase 2 clinical trials in 2017.

R&D Manager of the year 2017
Gold Stevie Award Winner Germany

Edison Award 2017

Letermovir, the anti-HCMV drug I am co-inventor of has successfully passed Phase 3 clinical trials in 2016.

German Industry Innovation Award 2015 for innovative HR concepts

Appointed reviewer for the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

Established "Innovation Boost" as new corporate online ideation module using modern social media

Publication in Nature Biotechnology (2015)

German Idea Award 2014 - best international idea

Designed new Outcubator Concept and realized it with BioMed X in Heidelberg (2013)

Publication in Cell (2012)

Knowledge Management Bio IT World Best Practice Award 2012

Top 1% most viewed linked-in profiles in 2012

Enabled dozens of innovation projects for new products with business potential of several hundred million euros in an innovation incubator, first product launch 2012 CellVento, second product wins CPhI Best Innovation Award 2012 - product launch 2013 Parteck SLC, third product launch 2014 MyMeds

Invented and rolled-out the Merck Serono Innovation Cup bringing young talent and experienced retirees together to generate breakthrough innovation in diverse teams

Designed and rolled-out company wide new innovation initiative innospire for global idea sourcing and enablement in an entrepreneurial setting, with direct sponsorship from the Merck board and CEO

Design and management of cross-divisional innovation seed fund to support cross-divisional collaboration between Merck Serono and Merck Millipore after acquisition of Millipore by Merck

Built-up the Center of Innovation at Merck Serono, appointed as Director and Head of Department

Built-up the Strategic Innovation & Research Portfolio Management Department at Merck Serono, appointed as Director and Head of Department

Post merger integration after acquisition of Serono by Merck, design of the new drug discovery process and governance structure

Contributed to innovation integration subcommittee during acquisition of Millipore by Merck

Defined the preclinical R&D Asia strategy and execution via a number of key business deals

Key contributions to change management in Pharma Research at Bayer during a process of intense global restructuring

Publication in Nature Medicine (2002)

Initiated, established and chaired the Pharma Research Europe Award at Bayer

Essential contribution to identification of compound class that led to HCMV inhibitor Letermovir, which in the meantime has successfully passed phase III clinical trials.

Essential contribution to identification of HSV inhibitor Pritelivir currently in phase II clinical trials.

Publication in Cell (1999)

Dr. rer. nat. ("mit Auszeichnung")

Generated and characterized a conditional gp130 knock-out mouse line and a cre-transgenic mouse line

Dipl. Biochem. ("sehr gut")

Identified and characterized the MHC Class I of the Coelacanth living fossil Latimeria Chalumnae

I was awarded a scholarship of the German National Academic Foundation,
“Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes”

Abitur "1.1"



Dr. rer. nat. Ulrich A.K. Betz

Accomplished R&D manager with 20 years experience in the Pharmaceutical Industry, including positions in the President's Office Merck Serono and positions reporting directly to the Heads of Research and Development at Bayer AG and Merck KGaA. Experienced in leading a global department of up to 14 Ph.D.s/M.D.s/MBAs with multiple nationalities. Strong expertise in innovation management, portfolio management, business development and alliance management with academic and corporate partners, R&D management, co-ordination of management teams, post merger integration, change management and global communication. Convincing track record in drug discovery and development in several therapeutic areas in global organizations. Results driven, visionary and creative, strong leadership skills, high integrity, strong analytical skills, strategic thinking and a proactive mindset.




e-mail: ulibetz@googlemail.com






. boston

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Copyright 2014, Dr. Ulrich Betz. All rights reserved.