our team

Gordana Gregurić Čičak, MD Chief Executive Officer

Gordana joined the CRO industry in 1998 in the role of Medical Research Associate and since then has gained almost over 20 years of working experience in the international clinical research arena.

Gordana has excelled in both Clinical Project Management and Senior Management positions within leading Global (Ingenix, i3 research) and Regional/International CRO companies (SAR Monitoring Services, Ergomed), including managing Regional and Country business responsibilities.

She was a Board Member of the Ingenix Pharmaceutical Services (i3 research) in Croatia. In 2006 she became the Co-founder and CEO of OPTIMAPHARM.

Gordana graduated from the Medical School, University of Zagreb in 1995. In 2001, she completed postgraduate studies in Clinical Pharmacology with Toxicology.

Roy Ovel Chief Commercial Officer

Roy is a customer focused, commercially aware entrepreneurial leader with over 35 years’ experience in the CRO industry during which, he has held numerous senior leadership positions at local CROs as well as larger multinational CROs (ICON & Worldwide Clinical Trials). His experience spans preclinical through to late phase research and covers the whole drug development continuum.

Roy has a reputation for managing high performing global business development teams to ensure business growth whilst focussing on the needs of the customer.

Roy has a BSc (Hons) in Life Sciences from Napier University, Edinburgh.

Maxime Stevens Senior Vice President Business Development

Maxime Stevens has an excess of 25 years’ experience in executive leadership and has impacted long-term growth, operational excellence, and the expansion of new geographic and channel opportunities for significant companies in industry. Her extensive international experience has been gained particularly in EMEA, Israel, South Africa, Europe and the US.

Maxime ran Operations Southern Africa for W.H.O (World Health Organisation) for seven years, developing medical programmes, charities and NGO’s across several countries. She then returned to the UK, moving across into clinical research and accelerating from International Head of Business Development through to CEO of a global CRO within five years. In addition to building, restructuring and growing sales and operational teams, she has been instrumental in managing M&A’s, and led the disaster management of a failing global company with 24 offices and 800 staff, which then became SIX listed 18 months later under her management.

Maxime has dual nationality with South Africa and the UK. She received the W.H.O award for Outstanding Contribution to Ethics in Business and Humanity and was an Honoured Member of International WHO’s WHO of Professionals in both 2013 and 2014.

Christophe Lyssens, MSc Vice President Clinical Operations

Christophe holds a Master of Science in Biology from the University of Antwerp (Belgium). After working on University Research projects, Christophe started his career in the pharma industry in 2003.

He worked in different positions of increasing responsibility at a CRO, global Pharma and Biotech company.

Christophe then joined a Global CRO in 2011 as senior Clinical Vendor Manager EMEA and was responsible for the selection, contracting, quality and performance of partner CROs in the EMEA region.

In 2014 he received additional responsibility as the Country Head for Greece.

Christophe joined OPTIMAPHARM in 2015 as Vice President Clinical Operations and Country Manager for Belgium.

Mirna Šenjug, MA in Economics, CFA Chief Financial Officer

Mirna is a finance expert with extensive experience in investment banking, controlling, and finance management. Her career started in the investment banking division of Intesa Sanpaolo PBZ.

Mirna has worked on many industry and company analyses, company valuations, business planning and M&A transactions gaining valuable experience in financial modeling, strategic planning and market research.

Later, she was responsible for setting up the controlling department in a regional commercial bank, working closely with the Management and Supervisory Board on strategic planning, ALM, external audits and investor relations. In 2012 Mirna joined OPTIMAPHARM's team as Chief Financial Officer.

Igor Čičak, MA in Economics President of Supervisory Board

During period 2006-2011, Igor served as CEO of VABA d.d. Bank Varaždin, a commercial regional bank based in Croatia.

From 2005 - 2006, Igor held the position of Vice President and Board Member of Agrokor d.d., a large food and retail company in Croatia. During this time Igor was responsible for corporate finance and international markets.

Prior to that, Igor was the Head of corporate banking division at HVB/Unicredit Group in Croatia.

Igor is founding shareholder of OPTIMAPHARM and serves as President of the Supervisory Board since 2011.

Igor is also Managing Partner and founder of Provectus Capital, a M&A and investment banking firm active in the South Eastern European region.

Education: London Business School - Senior Executive Programme (2014);
General Management Program Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien, Austria (2004);
1990 – 1995: Faculty of Economic Science, University of Zagreb, B. Sci. Economics.


Chris is a seasoned financial professional with over 20 years’ experience in providing structured finance and equity capital to companies in both Western and Central & Eastern Europe.

Since 2005 Chris has been a partner at Mezzanine Management, the first dedicated mezzanine fund manager for Central and Eastern Europe. It manages four funds with total funds raised of over EUR 650 million. The latest fund, AMC Capital Capital IV ScSP was established in mid-2017. The four funds have made 49 investments in 12 countries of the central and eastern European region to date.

Between 2000 and 2005 Chris was head of Acquisition Finance, Central and Eastern Europe at Erste Bank where he was a pioneer in the region’s fledgling acquisition finance market.

Before joining Erste Bank in 1997, he was Investment Manager at HSBC Ventures, a private equity operation focusing on small buy-outs in the UK.

Chris is British and lives in Prague. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Loughborough University and a Diploma in Marketing.