Brussels (Belgium), 12 May 2016 — eTheRNA immunotherapies, the VUB spin-off that recently secured a EUR 24 million investment to continue the development of mRNA-based immunotherapies, has strengthened its management team with the appointment of Dr. Karl-Josef “Kajo” Kallen (photo) as Chief Medical Officer, effective May 1 2016.
Dr. Kallen had several positions related to the development of immunology related therapies in academia and industry. He served as Chief Medical Officer (CMO) and Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) at CureVac, a German biopharmaceutical company that focusses on the development of mRNA-based medicines, with investigative products for the treatment of prostate cancer that are currently in phase II-studies and several other compounds in earlier development stages. Dr. Kallen was instrumental in establishing key corporate agreements, e.g. the research agreement with Sanofi and DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), the deal with Boehringer Ingelheim, and he also contributed to the instigation for the agreement with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundations for the development of therapies against infectious diseases.
Prior to joining CureVac in 2009, Dr. Kallen was Head of Global Cancer immunotherapies at Merck KG/Merck Serono. His professional career started with several university research assignments both in Germany and the UK. Dr. Kallen completed his internal medicine rotation at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (Germany), holds a MD from the RWTH Aachen (Germany), a PhD from University College London, UK, and an 'habilitation' in biochemisty from the Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel (Germany).
Dirk Reyn, CEO eTheRNA: "We warmly welcome Kajo to our team. His expertise in mRNA and his professional track record are valuable assets for eTheRNA in the further development of our TriMix technology."
Prof. Kris Thielemans, CSO eTheRNA: "Kajo has built a strong reputation in the international community of immunotherapy experts. I am looking forward to work together and join forces to bring our TriMix technology to patients."
Dr. Karl-Josef Kallen, CMO eTheRNA: "Using mRNA to help the fight against cancer and other diseases is my passion and I am convinced that TriMix will become a significant additional option for patients in several areas. The enthusiasm of the eTheRNA team, along with the company’s approach in targeting the fundamental role of dendritic cells in the immune system for developing immunotherapies have convinced me to join eTheRNA and contribute to its future successes."
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