RAPID VIRAL CONTROL IN A WORLD THAT NEEDS IT

ExeVir develops single-domain antibody-based therapies that help patients ward off viral infections. Our lead drug candidate is in accelerated development as a COVID-19 therapeutic.

TAKING THE LEAD IN THE FIGHT AGAINST COVID-19

COVID-19 is an unprecedented global threat, which requires a rapid response due to its tremendous impact on patients, health care systems, societies and economies. We aim to bring antiviral treatments to help stop the pandemic in its tracks and to protect those most vulnerable.

VHH SARS-COV-2 THERAPY

VHH are single-domain antibody fragments derived from camelids. Our lead compound, an enhanced variant of VHH72-FC, binds to a highly conserved region on the spikes of SARS-CoV-2, which are essential for the virus to enter the cell.

Stopping infection and viral replication supports the patient’s immune response by reducing the viral load and dampening local and systemic inflammation. This is particularly beneficial for those at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19. 

The compound is in accelerated development as a therapeutic and holds potential as a prophylactic to protect healthcare workers, caregivers and people at increased risk of severe illness of COVID-19.

A RAPID RESPONSE PLATFORM FOR ANTIVIRALS

The concept of blocking viral replication using protein therapeutics built from camelid single domain antibody fragments is broadly applicable to a range of pathogens.

This platform technology enables an agile response to new health threats thanks to its short throughput time to generate drug candidates. The resulting protein-based therapeutics are sufficiently stable and easy to produce at a reasonable cost to enable true global access.

ExeVir collaborates closely with the laboratories of Prof. Saelens and Prof. Callewaert (VIB — Ghent University) to further develop new antiviral VHH antibodies.

OUR TEAM

ExeVir can count on an experienced management team able to leverage international expertise to rapidly advance VHH72-Fc through clinical development to reach patients and build the viral control platform.

Torsten is CEO of ExeVir Bio. He brings nearly 25 years of experience in biotech and pharma to the role. In prior roles, Torsten served as CEO of Velvio GmbH, Senior Vice President Business Development of Hookipa Pharma, Senior Director Business Development of Morphosys and Vice President Business Development of GSK, leading the transaction team of GSK vaccines. Torsten is reviewer of the German biotech seed fund program GoBio since almost 10 years and holds a PhD in Tumor Virology and Immunology from the University Hospital Hamburg. Beyond his pharma and biotech engagement Torsten loves biking, skiing and windsurfing.

Dominique is CMO of ExeVir Bio. She brings nearly 25 years of experience in clinical development of biologics and small molecules in various therapeutic areas including virology. Previously she was CMO of Bioncotech Therapeutics in the field of immuno-oncology. She has also served as CMO of Ablynx, responsible for the clinical development of their nanobody platform. Her pharmaceutical industry career included roles of increasing responsibility first in clinical development at Janssen Pharmaceutica and subsequently in regulatory strategy at Bristol-Myers Squibb. She received her medical degree from the University of Antwerp and she also has a MSc in economics from the University of London. ​In her free time Dominique enjoys visiting family, swimming and hiking.

Fiona is COO of ExeVir Bio. She brings nearly 20 years of experience in life sciences to the role. Previously, Fiona was Venture Partner at UCB Ventures. In prior roles, Fiona served as Evenity Commercial Lead and Head of EU, Bone at UCB. Prior to UCB, she led various teams at Eli Lilly, launching products across multiple therapeutics areas, managing business units and implementing changes through patent exclusivities and new models. Previously, Fiona also worked for McKinsey & Company covering healthcare clients in the US and Europe and worked in business development at GSK Biologicals. Fiona has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a MSc in Management from the Solvay Business School (ULB). She is a Fulbright and a Belgian American Education Foundation (BAEF) scholar. Fiona is a governor of the London Business School and a member of their audit and risk committee. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and four children, skiing, hiking and being outdoors.

Professor Xavier Saelens, scientific founder of Exevir is a Group Leader at the VIB-UGent Center for Medical Biotechnology at VIB and a full Professor Molecular Virology at Ghent University. His research is primarily focused on influenza and respiratory syncytial virus. The aim of this research is to develop new vaccines and antibody-based intervention strategies to prevent and treat disease caused by these and other important human respiratory viruses. A second line of research in the Saelens group aims to increase our knowledge on the molecular interactions between influenza and respiratory syncytial virus and their human host.

Professor Nico Callewaert, scientific founder of ExeVir, is Director at the VIB Center for Medical Biotechnology and Professor of Biochemistry and Biotechnology at Ghent University. Based on strengths in glycobiology, microbial biotechnology, biological system’s engineering and bio-analytics, his research group is developing innovative molecular technology to enable novel approaches to the study, diagnosis and treatment of disease. Nico and his team have ample expertise in Protein production in mammalian cells, FEMTO Pulse Automated Pulsed-Field CE instrument, Sugar analysis – glycomics (DSA-FACE), Protein production in yeast, Recombinant DNA techniques for synthetic biology.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Erica Whittaker

VP & Head of UCB Ventures

Board member

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Erica Whittaker

Erica is Vice President & Head of UCB Ventures, a €150 million strategic corporate venture fund which was set up to invest in innovative, longer term and higher risk therapeutic and digital health opportunities beyond UCB’s current focus areas. She is Chair of the Board of Rinri Therapeutics, and on the Board of Directors of two other UCB Ventures’ portfolio companies, StrideBio and Ally Therapeutics.

Prior to joining UCB, Erica spent 10 years as a top-ranked biotechnology equity analyst for Merrill Lynch in London (1999-2009). Erica received BA degrees in Biology and in Comparative Literature from Brown University (Rhode Island USA). She obtained a PhD in Molecular Biology from the University of Edinburgh, and later an MBA from Heriot-Watt University Business School in Edinburgh.

She enjoys running, cycling & family holidays, especially spending time with her two daughters, aged 13 and 16 years.

Jérôme Van Biervliet

Managing Director of VIB

Board member

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Jérôme Van Biervliet

Jérôme Van Biervliet is Managing Director of VIB and head of the VIB Innovation and Business office of VIB. VIB is an excellence-based, life science research institute with a long track-record in entrepreneurial commercialisation of scientific discoveries. VIB has started 24 biotech start-up companies, many developing novel therapeutics. Jérôme serves on the board of Confotherapeutics, Oncurious, Augustine Therapeutics and Vbio Ventures.

Prior to becoming Managing Director at VIB, he was Head of Business Development and Head of VIB Discovery Sciences, VIB’s early drug discovery unit. Jérôme was a consultant at Bain & Company, a strategic business consultancy, and Clinical instructor in veterinary internal medicine at Cornell University. He holds a PhD in Biomedical Sciences from the KU Leuven, a Doctor in Veterinary Medicine degree from Gent University and is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.

In his free time, Jérôme enjoys his family, his animals, outdoor activities and woodworking.

Philippe Monteyne

Partner at Fund+

Board member

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Philippe Monteyne

Dr. Philippe Monteyne MD, PhD is a Partner at the VC Fund+ in Belgium.

Prior to this, he has held senior positions in SmithKline Beecham, GSK, and Sanofi. He served as the Head of Global Vaccine Development at GSK for several years, and then served as Senior VP-Head of Development and CMO at GSK Rare Diseases from 2010 to 2012. More recently, he served as Vice President R&D France at Sanofi until early 2015. During that period, he was also Board Member of SARD (Sanofi Aventis R&D), of the LEEM (Pharmaceutical association in France "Les Entreprises du Médicament"), of the Technological Research Institute (IRT) Bioaster in Lyon, and of the « Fondation Plan Alzheimer France ». He is a Board Director of several Biotech companies in Europe. He holds an M.D. degree and Ph.D. in Viral Immunology, both at the UCL, is a fully trained Neurologist, and has also been trained in Neuro-Immunology at Pasteur Institute in Paris. Philippe was also visiting Professor of Neurology at the UCL (Université Catholique de Louvain), Brussels. 

Michel Kazatchkine

Independent Director

Board member

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Michel Kazatchkine

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

Represents SFPI-FPIM

Board member

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Stef Heylen

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.

Katja Rosenkranz

Partner at V-Bio Ventures

Board observer

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Katja Rosenkranz

Katja is a Partner at V-Bio Ventures,  a pan-European venture fund dedicated to investments into early stage medicines and therapeutic platforms with breakthrough potential. Katja is on the Boards of AgomAb and dualyx. She previously served on the Boards of Omeicos and amcure.

Before joining V-Bio Ventures in 2016, Katja spent more than 12 years in the life science venture business, worked as an analyst at PolyTechnos Venture-Partners and as CBO/CFO at Hepa Wash. Subsequently, Katja was a senior investment and project manager at Ascenion, where she managed the Spinnovator initiative to progress early academic inventions into spin-offs (a.o. Omeicos, Cardior, HepaRegeniX, amcure). Katja holds a PhD and MSc in Biochemistry and an Executive MBA in Medical Devices and Healthcare Management.

In her free time, she enjoys hiking/climbing,  dancing and Ashtanga yoga.

INVESTORS

NEWS

ExeVir Bio Appoints Michel Kazatchkine and Stef Heylen to the Board of Directors (EN/FR/NL)

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.

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ExeVir Bio to Accelerate Development of New Treatment Conferring Broad Protection Against Covid-19 (EN/FR/NL)

ExeVir Bio announces today a first closing of a EUR23 million Series A financing led by Fund+, with the participation of VIB, UCB Ventures, the Belgian Federal Government via SFPI-FPIM, V-Bio Ventures and several Belgian family offices. ExeVir Bio has been established by Belgian partners combining world class science, antibody engineering, manufacturing, blue-chip venture capital investment and Flemish Government financing, which have joined forces in a unique collaboration to boost the development of new therapies to combat Covid-19

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