ExeVir Bio Appoints Michel Kazatchkine and Stef Heylen to the Board of Directors
Development of New Treatment Conferring Broad Protection Against Coronaviruses on Track
GHENT, Belgium, Nov. 3, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- ExeVir, which is developing nanobody therapies providing broad protection against viral infections, including a lead candidate for coronaviruses, today announced that Michel Kazatchkine and Stef Heylen have been appointed to the Board. Both strengthen ExeVir's Board by adding pertinent R&D, in depth infectious disease and significant global health experience as ExeVir moves from preclinical to clinical with its lead candidate XVR011.
Professor Michel Kazatchkine, joining as an independent director, brings over 35 years of experience in global health and has played key roles in various organizations, serving as Director of the National Agency for Research on AIDS in France, Chair of the WHOs Strategic and Technical Committee on HIV/AIDS, the French Ambassador on HIV/AIDS and communicable diseases and Executive Director of The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria from 2007 to 2012. He then served as the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy on HIV/AIDS in Eastern Europe and Central Asia and Special Advisor to the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS. Michel Kazatchkine is Emeritus Professor of Immunology at René Descartes University in Paris. He is a Senior Fellow with the Global Health Centre of the Graduate Institute for International and Development Studies in Geneva. He attended medical school at Necker-Enfants-Malades in Paris, studied immunology at the Pasteur Institute in Paris and completed postdoctoral fellowships at St. Mary's hospital in London and Harvard Medical School.
Stef Heylen representing SFPI-FPIM on the board, brings over 30 years of pharmaceutical drug development and executive management experience over a wide range of therapeutic and functional areas. He has previously held senior positions as Managing Director of Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, Belgium, and Chief Operating Officer, Development, Janssen R&D globally. Stef was a member of the Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceuticals Group Operating Committee. Stef obtained his M.D. at the University of Leuven, Belgium, and the Prince Leopold Institute for Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, Belgium.
Torsten Mummenbrauer, CEO of ExeVir, said: "We are extremely pleased to welcome Michel and Stef to the Board. Stef has an impressive track record in leadership, driving innovation and R&D. Michel has spent the last 30 years fighting emerging diseases and enabling global access of vaccines and therapeutics as a leading physician, researcher, administrator, advocate, policymaker, and diplomat. We welcome their experience and expertise at such a pivotal time for the company as we continue to work on developing novel treatments with broad protection against coronaviruses."
Michel Kazatchkine, commented: "I am delighted to join ExeVir and support the team of top scientists and entrepreneurs working on research to develop novel treatments with broad protection against coronaviruses. As genetic pressure increases leading to potential mutant escape, ExeVir's XVR011 is in a good position for the long term. I look forward to adding my global health experience to support their mission in the international effort against Covid-19 and other coronaviruses."
Stef Heylen, said: "ExeVir Bio is founded on world class science and an excellent management team. I am pleased to join at such an exciting time for the company and look forward to bringing business and market access experience to help deliver on the research and development plans. ExeVir's rapid and meticulous progress to date is impressive with limited resources."
ExeVir is developing an antiviral response discovery platform with highly innovative and clinically validated nanobody technology. Its lead candidate, XVR011 anti-SARS-COV-1/2 nanobody has best in class potential targeting a unique epitope and broad coverage which significantly reduces its risk of viral escape. Its pipeline within and beyond SARS-COV-1/2 from hospitalised to recently diagnosed patients to prophylaxis could support the ringfencing of an outbreak, protect healthcare workers, and support those at increased risk of severe illness from Covid-19.
About ExeVir Bio
ExeVir Bio is harnessing its VHH technology platform to generate robust antiviral therapies providing broad protection against viral infections, including coronaviruses. It is a spin out from VIB, the world class Belgium-based life sciences research institute, based on the work of Professor Drs Xavier Saelens and Nico Callewaert from VIB in collaboration with: Laboratory of Jason McLellan – University of Texas at Austin; Laboratory of Barney Graham – NIAID (Vaccine Research Center); Laboratory of Johan Neyts – KU Leuven (Rega Institute). ExeVir Bio is led by a team of experts that combines international biotech and pharma experience with a successful track record of developing and bringing products to market. It is backed by blue chip investors led by Fund+, VIB, UCB Ventures, SFPI-FPIM, V-Bio and several Belgian Family Offices.