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).
Scientific founder: 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.
CEO: Steven Powell
Steven has acquired broad experience in a number of life science sectors in scientific, investment and commercial roles. He started his career with Beecham Pharmaceuticals (now GSK) and subsequently held senior roles with both public and private biotechnology and healthcare companies. He was CEO of London Stock Exchange listed KS Biomedix PLC from 1999 until its acquisition by Xenova in 2003, CEO of AIM (LSE) listed Plethora Solutions PLC until 2011 and subsequently CEO of AIM listed Cambridge Cognition and VC funded Macrophage Pharma Limited – the latter being an immune-oncology therapeutic development company.
Over the last decade, he has specialised in the translation of complex scientific projects from research into commercial environments as an investor and in corporate development and operational management roles. Steven has overseen clinical trials at all stages of development from Phase I to III in oncology, urology, infectious disease and inflammation with two therapeutic programmes resulting in approved drugs.
He was an operational partner and adviser to Gilde Healthcare, a Dutch domiciled venture capital fund, for over 12 years, an adviser to the Cancer Pioneer Fund (associated with Cancer Research UK) and a Trustee and R&D committee member of a UK charity supporting research for the treatment of paediatric and adult brain tumours. Steven was educated in the UK, was awarded a Ph.D from the University of Aberdeen and was a visiting fellow at the University of Manchester.
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: Chris De Jonghe
Chris De Jonghe is member of the Group Management Team of PMV, responsible for the daily management of the organization. She is also head of PMV’s Life Sciences & Care group, with final responsibility for direct equity investments in the life sciences & care sector through different funds managed by PMV.
Chris is member of the board in several life sciences companies in addition to eTheRNA, including: Aelin Therapeutics, reMYND, ViroVet, MyCartis, Confo Therapeutics.
Prior to PMV she was Business Development Manager at the VIB, the Flemish Institute for Biotechnology. She holds a PhD Biochemistry (University of Antwerp & Mayo Clinic Jacksonville US), a master degree in biochemistry and a bachelor degree in law (both: University of Antwerp).
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+: Alexandra Tolia
Alexandra Tolia is Partner at Fund+. Previously, Alexandra led investments in private and public companies at PMV and Hunza Ventures, where she built strong venture capital portfolios in Life Sciences in Europe and the US. She holds a PhD in Medical Sciences from the KU Leuven, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at UCSF, and an executive degree in General Management from the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management. Alexandra is the author of high impact publications in the fields of neurodegeneration and cardiovascular disease and has served as board member in several companies active in biotech, diagnostics and medical technologies.
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.