ETheRNA immunotherapies is fortunate to have attracted the attention of a very strong and international investment consortium, including LSP Life Sciences Partners (Netherlands), Omega Funds (US), PMV-Participatie Maatschappij Vlaanderen (Belgium), Fund+ (Belgium) and Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund (Germany).
The board consists of:
Chairman of the board: Dr. Russell G. Greig
Russell Greig has more than 35 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical industry, with knowledge and expertise in research and development, business development and commercial operations. He spent the majority of his career at GlaxoSmithKline, where he held a number of positions including President of GSK Pharmaceuticals International from 2003 to 2008 and Senior Vice President Worldwide Business Development.
Most recently, from 2008 to 2010, Russell Greig was also President of SR One, GSK’s Corporate Venture Group. He is currently Chairman of AM Pharma (The Netherlands), Mint Solutions (The Netherlands), and Sanifit (Spain), a Board Member of Ablynx (Belgium), Onxeo (France) and Tigenix (Belgium). He also serves as a venture partner at Kurma Life Sciences (Paris, France). Russell Greig used to be Chairman of Isconova AB in Sweden (acquired by Novavax, USA), Novagali in France (acquired by Santen, Japan), and Syntaxin in the UK (acquired by Ipsen, France).
CEO of the company: Dirk Reyn
Dirk Reyn is a pharmacist with an MBA whose impressive career includes international marketing, sales and business development functions at Eli Lilly (Prozac) and Janssen Pharmaceutica/J&J (Prepulsid, Pariet,…), preceding his entrepreneurial venture of spinning-out a number of new chemical entities from the J&J research portfolio.
He subsequently founded an autonomous company, Movetis, that further developed prucalopride, the key compound. In 2009, Movetis obtained EU market approval for prucalopride and raised EUR 97 million in the company’s IPO, valuing the company at EUR 250 million. Amidst rolling out prucalopride on the European markets under the brand name Resolor, Movetis received a binding offer from Shire, that acquired the company for USD 524 million.
Later, Dirk formed a team and created Progress Pharma, the life science business development company that became shareholder of eTheRNA mid-2015.
CSO of the company: Kris Thielemans
Prof. Kris Thielemans, MD, PhD, started his research career in the laboratory of Dr. R. Levy at department of oncology of the Stanford University Medical School (Ca, USA), and returned to his alma mater in Brussels (VUB), in the Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Therapy (LMCT). In his academic research career, Kris Thielemans focused on immunotherapeutic translational research, including clinical studies for the treatment of cancer and HIV. With this team, the developed the mRNA-based TriMix technology and initiated a number of phase I and II clinical trials in this field.
In 2013, Kris Thielemans agreed with the VUB to spin out, the corresponding operations and IP rights into a newly founded company: eTheRNA. Under his stewardship, the academic research organization was transformed into a biotechnology company by bringing different team members on board.
Representing LSP: John de Koning
John de Koning, PhD, joined the Board in March 2016. John is a partner at Life Sciences Partners (LSP). John was Managing Director of Semaia Pharmaceuticals, which was acquired in 2003 by Hybrigenics. In addition, he was a member of the management team of the Cancer Genomics Center, a center of excellence of the Netherlands Genomics Initiative. John has a Masters degree in molecular biology from the University of Utrecht and a PhD in oncology from the Erasmus University of Rotterdam. After obtaining his PhD, John received a prestigious fellowship from the Dutch Cancer Society to work at the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center in San Francisco.
Representing PMV: Alexandra Tolia
Alexandra Tolia is Senior Investment Manager at PMV, where she directs investments in innovative Life Sciences ventures. Since 2011 she has served as board member in several biotech companies, including Multiplicom, FEops, iTeos Therapeutics, Apitope, and the Capricorn Health-Tech Fund. Prior to PMV she led the investment strategy at Hunza Ventures, where she was instrumental in establishing the fund’s biotech portfolio in Europe and the US. For over a decade before joining the investment industry, Alexandra built an international scientific career, pioneering drug development initiatives in neurodegeneration and cardiovascular diseases, and managing key alliances between academia and the pharmaceutical industry. Alexandra holds a PhD in Medical Sciences from the University of Leuven, a degree in Management from the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management and is the author of several high-impact scientific publications.
Representing Omega Funds: Vincent Ossipow
Vincent joined Omega Funds in 2014. Previously, Vincent worked with Sectoral Asset Management, a healthcare institutional investor, as a Partner for private investments. From 2000 to 2006 he was a research fellow at the University of Geneva (working on the molecular basis of brain function), and also acted as Sectoral Asset Management's Chief Scientific Officer during the period. Previously, he worked at Pictet Bank as a research analyst for biotechnology equities and as a co-manager of the Pictet Biotech Fund, a $2bn listed investment vehicle. Vincent trained as a postdoctoral fellow (Hoffman-La-Roche and Human Frontier Science Program fellow) in Geneva and at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland. He completed a Certificate in International Finance and Global Markets at the Georgetown University School of Business in Washington, D.C. and holds a Master's Degree in Computational Sciences, a Master's Degree in Molecular Biology, and a PhD in Molecular Biology, all from the University of Geneva.
Representing Fund+: Philippe Monteyne
Philippe Monteyne holds an M.D. degree (1989) and PhD in Viral Immunology (1995), both at the UCL (Univ. Cathol. de Louvain), followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at Pasteur Institute, Paris. During the last 20 years, Philippe held senior positions in top pharma companies such as SmithKline Beecham, GSK Biologicals (as Head of Global Vaccine Development) and GSK Rare Diseases (Head of Development and Chief Medical Officer) and SANOFI (Vice President R&D France). He is currently member of different Strategic Advisory Committees in Belgian and foreign companies. Philippe is also visiting Professor of Neurology at the UCL. In 2015, he joined the recently created Fund+, an open-ended fund for long term equity investment in innovative Life Sciences companies with a focus on Belgium.
Representing Boehringer Investment Fund: Marcus Kostka
Marcus studied Biology with focus on Genetics and Biochemistry in Münster and Mainz. He joined Boehringer Ingelheim in 1996 as PhD student in the area of Alzheimer´s disease research. After a post doc period Marcus moved to Boehringer Ingelheim in Biberach to join the Parkinson disease research group as molecular biology lab head. In 2006 Marcus joined the department R&D projectmanagement where he was responsible for leading project teams from preclinical development until clinical phase II studies in the area of oncology, urology, metabolism and CNS diseases.
During a three years period he brought several projects from a preclinical development state until end of clinical phase I. From 2009 to 2011 he moved back to Ingelheim and joined the newly founded collaborative research department where he was responsible for international research collaborations of Boehringer Ingelheim with external partners. In 2011 he moved again back to Biberach in the department of Research Networking where he was responsible for external resourcing and external innovation in the area of cardiometabolic, CNS and respiratory research for Research Germany. For more than two years he is a member of the Boehringer Ingelheim corporate Venture Fund in Ingelheim.
Vincent Brichard is a physician by training, specialized in oncology, and holds a PhD in tumor immunology. He started his academic career at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Brussels Branch, followed by positions at the Institut Curie Cancer Center, Paris, and at the University of Louvain, Brussels. In 2002, he joined GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals, where he led the Cancer Vaccines Business Unit. Until recently, Vincent was the Senior Vice President of the Immunotherapeutics Business Unit, and member of the Vaccines Executive team at GSK Biologicals. Vincent Brichard will share his experience as an external industry expert to further build the company and assist the company at strategic junctions along its path to success.