Ghent, Belgium, 1 September 2023: ExeVir Bio, a biotech company developing robust single-domain antibody therapies for broad protection against infectious diseases, today announced Dr. Viki Bockstal as its Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) and Caroline Sagaert as its Head of Operations. Jean-Philippe Bultot will become the Company’s Head of Finance and lead ExeVir’s finance and accounting. Fiona du Monceau will step down as the current COO & CFO and joins the Company’s Board of Directors as an observer.
New CSO Dr. Viki Bockstal, previously ExeVir’s Head of Preclinical Development, commented “I am looking forward to leading the development of the company’s innovative platform. ExeVir’s small-chain llama-derived antibody (VHH) technology is unique in its potential to overcome the current challenges of preventing and treating major infectious diseases such as COVID-19 in immunocompromised patients. Additionally, I will oversee ExeVir’s expansion into new disease areas, such as Dengue.”
Caroline Sagaert, Head of Operations, previously ExeVir’s Head of Global Value Strategy, commented “I am excited to take on the role of Head of Operations as ExeVir enters a new phase of growth. My goal is to implement our corporate objectives, which include creating advanced treatments to combat the increasing threat of infectious diseases, helping vulnerable members of our society, and addressing the rise of infections related to travel and climate change. Working alongside our CEO, I am developing a strategy that will fuel our expansion into new therapeutic areas.”
ExeVir’s departing COO & CFO, Fiona du Monceau, said “I have thoroughly enjoyed my role in creating the company and leading it through the last 3 years. I have built a very talented team. And they are now ready to take over. As a Board observer, I look forward to continuing to provide strategic input into the company’s progress in developing innovative solutions to treat infectious diseases and support pandemic preparedness.”
Dr. Torsten Mummenbrauer, CEO of ExeVir, said “We are delighted to announce that Viki and Caroline have taken on new roles within our company at this exciting time. I am confident that both of our new appointees will play significant roles in helping our company excel in the years to come. I thank Fiona for her dedication and excellent support over the last three years in driving our corporate objectives forward as COO. We have come so far since 2020, including securing $20M in major grants, closing a $50m Series A, raising a $27.5M venture debt with the EIB and completing a Phase 1a and 1b clinical study. I am delighted that Fiona will continue contributing to our work as a Board observer.”
Dr. Viki Bockstal brings extensive expertise in infectious diseases, immunology, and viral vaccine technology, including with filovirus vaccines, from her previous R&D work at Janssen Infectious Diseases & Vaccines. Caroline Sagaert brings a strong background in transforming innovation into patient access, having previously held leadership roles at GSK, Innogenetics, and UCB. Jean-Philippe Bultot has been ExeVir’s Controller & Financial Operations lead since October 2021, and was previously a senior finance manager at Bone Therapeutics S. A., and a Senior Auditor at Deloitte Belgium.
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About ExeVir Bio
ExeVir Bio is a clinical stage biotechnology company developing single-domain antibody based therapeutics focusing on infectious diseases. The company is harnessing its llama-derived antibody (VHH) technology platform to generate multi-specific antibodies for prophylaxis and treatment of infectious diseases. ExeVir’s initial focus is on prevention of COVID-19 for the immunocompromised patient population, including active chemotherapy, immunosuppressive drugs, solid organ transplantation, hematological malignancies, and AIDS patients, where there remains a high unmet need due to the limitations of current vaccines and therapeutic approaches.
ExeVir’s COVID-19 pipeline includes XVR012, a combination product of XVR013 and XVR014, a bi-specific single-domain-based antibody construct which targets two conserved epitopes in the S1 subunit. Together they target several S1 and S2 epitopes in one product. XVR021 is targeting dengue and XVR031 is for pandemic preparedness.
ExeVir has demonstrated it can progress its candidates from research to the clinic in under one year, execute on Phase 1a and Phase 1b studies, and conduct scale-up manufacturing. Leveraging this extensive experience, its XVR012 asset is being developed to start First in Human clinical trial in 2024.
VHHs are smaller in size than whole antibodies, giving them access to hidden epitopes that traditional monoclonal antibodies are unable to reach with potential for deeper tissue penetration and simpler, more cost-effective manufacturing. VHHs can be linked together like building blocks into a single molecule to tackle different epitopes or act through different mechanisms of actions at once, to address the “arms race” in more complex and co-evolving infectious diseases.
ExeVir is a spin out of VIB, the leading Belgium-based life sciences research institute. It is backed by strong investors including Fund+, which led the series A of EUR 42 million, together with an international consortium including UCB Ventures, SFPIM, V-Bio Ventures, VIB, Wallonie Entreprendre, Noshaq, Vives IUF and SambrInvest. ExeVir has received support from VLAIO, the SPW-Recherche and the European Union, leading to a total of EUR 18 million in non-dilutive funding. In 2023, ExeVir secured an option for EUR 25 million venture debt financing from the European Investment Bank.