• Starting from validated targets, fast forward clinical development of game-changing vaccines.

  • Addressing major challenges in vaccinology by creating vaccines that are thermostable and offer a durable and polyfunctional protection.

  • Build a diverse vaccine pipeline while targeting initial clinical validation of the platform technology.

Our Team

Leadership Team

Hanne Callewaert

Hanne Callewaert has over 15 years of life science industry expertise. Previously, she was Chief Operating Officer at the publicly listed biotech company Oxurion, leading multidisciplinary teams and has gained extensive vaccine development expertise in several roles at GlaxoSmithKline Vaccines. Hanne initiated her career at Gevers Patents as Patent Attorney Trainee. She has obtained a master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences and a master’s degree in intellectual property law and a PhD in Medical Sciences from the University of Leuven.

Hanne Callewaert, PhD

CEO / Co-founder

Wilfried Dalemans

Wilfried Dalemans has 35 years of experience in Biotech. He was CTO of TiGenix where he was responsible for the global technical operations, encompassing product development and life-cycle in R&D, Industrialization, and clinical and commercial manufacturing. His regulatory expertise was key for the approval of ChondroCelect and Alofisel. He held also senior management positions at GSK Biologicals, both in global regulatory affairs and in vaccines R&D. At Transgène he was responsible for the cystic fibrosis research program. Wilfried holds a Masters degree in Zoology from the University of Antwerpen and a PhD in Molecular Biology from the Universities of Hasselt and Leuven.

Wilfried Dalemans, PhD

Chief Technical Officer (ad interim)

Mathieu Peeters

Mathieu Peeters, M.D., has 20+ years of experience in life sciences, including substantial biotech experience and in-depth knowledge of various vaccine types, prophylactic and therapeutic, and their development paths. He has held senior positions at GSK Vaccines, ThromboGenics (now Oxurion) and Biopharma. In previous roles, he was involved in the clinical development of several candidate vaccines for respiratory diseases including RSV, COPD and influenza, among others, and most recently a therapeutic HSV vaccine.

Mathieu Peeters, MD

Chief Development Officer

Barbara Freitag

Barbara Freitag, MBA, is a seasoned finance leader with 15+ years of experience in various financial and strategic roles. She has held senior roles at prominent firms like Deloitte, Ernst & Young, and PricewaterhouseCoopers. She has been working with several start-ups and growth companies as financial leader, including CFO positions in the biotech sector.

Barbara Freitag, MBA

Chief Financial Officer

Greg Fanning

Prior to joining AstriVax, Dr Fanning spent over 20 years working for Janssen Pharmaceuticals in increasing roles of responsibility in the areas of gene therapy and small molecule drug discovery, in Australia, Belgium and Shanghai. In the years since he has served as an advisor for a number of Biotech companies, including SCG Cell Therapy (TCR T platform), CommBio Therapeutics (Live Bacterial Products), RNAssist (formulation) and Exevir (Nanobodies). Dr Fanning earned a DPhil from Oxford University.

Greg Fanning, PhD

Chief Business Officer

Scientific Advisory Board

Emmanuel Hanon

Emmanuel Hanon, PhD, has a background in veterinary medicine and brings over twenty years of experience in vaccine research and development. At GSK, he ran global vaccines R&D for seven years, driving discovery, development, and life-cycle management of one of the largest vaccine portfolios in the industry. He oversaw the discovery and development of vaccines against quadrivalent influenza (Fluarix and Flulaval Quadrivalent), shingles (Shingrix), malaria (Mosquirix), and RSV in older adults. He has been an internal advisor for therapeutic vaccines at AstriVax since the start and will continue to combine his new role as scientific advisory board chair at the company with his role as scientific advisor to CEPI and his CEO role at Vicebio.

Emmanuel Hanon, PhD

Chair of Scientific Advisory Board

Peter Piot

Microbiologist Peter Piot, MD, PhD, is the former Director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. After co-discovering the Ebola virus in 1976, he led pioneering research in HIV, women’s health, and infectious diseases. He was the founding Executive Director of UNAIDS, under the Secretary-General of the UN. Professor Peter Piot has held positions at leading universities around the world. He is Special Advisor on COVID-19 to the President of the European Commission. He serves on numerous committees, funds, and boards dedicated to global health. His long list of accolades includes the Robert Koch Medal, the Gairdner Award in Global Health, the 2014 Time Person of the Year, and the Belgian title of Baron. He has published over 600 scientific articles and 16 books.

Peter Piot, MD, PhD

Scientific Advisory Board member

Patrick Soentjens

Patrick Soentjens, MD, PhD, is an infectious disease specialist with clinical expertise in travel medicine, HIV, sexually transmitted diseases, tropical diseases, and severe multi-resistant infections. He is the Chief Physician at the Polyclinic of the Antwerp Institute of Tropical Medicine (ITM) and chair of the Belgian Study Group of Travel Medicine. He also consults for the National Immunization Technical Advisory Group and serves on several advisory boards. His team’s work on alternative vaccination schedules for rabies led to a revision of existing WHO recommendations. Professor Patrick Soentjens’ current research focuses on improving vaccination regimens for travellers and military staff who need protection against yellow fever, tick-borne encephalitis, rabies, and other travel-related diseases. Under his leadership, the ITM launched a new clinical trial centre for vaccines in 2021.

Patrick Soentjens, MD, PhD

Scientific Advisory Board member

Christian Brander

Christian Brander is a Senior Research Professor at the Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA). He brings ample experience in studying T cell responses to viral infections, including cancer-driving viruses and hepatitis and herpes viruses in the context of HIV co-infection and in transplant recipients. He played a key role in providing some of the largest data sets on T cell activity to HIV and their association with relative HIV control. Dr. Brander has also established several HIV-infected and uninfected cohorts in Peru, the US, and Europe to study potentially protective host immunity. He is a curator of the Los Alamos National Laboratories HIV immunology database and co-founded Aelix Therapeutics, a Barcelona-based biotech company dedicated to developing HIV cure vaccine strategies.

Christian Brander, PhD

Scientific Advisory Board member

Mala Maini

Mala Maini is a Professor of Viral Immunology and Consultant Physician in viral hepatitis, based in the Institute of Immunity and Transplantation, Division of Infection and Immunity at UCL, London. Her lab studies adaptive immunity to hepatitis B, liver cancer and SARS-CoV-2 to inform the development of immunotherapies and vaccines for these major causes of morbidity and mortality. Through access to well-characterised patient cohorts, human tissue samples and a variety of models, their studies provide insights into manipulating beneficial and dysfunctional T and B cell responses for improved immunotherapeutic outcomes. The Maini lab has identified novel roles for T cells in aborting viral infection and their regulation in tissues by cross-talk with neighbouring NK cells and myeloid cells. Mala was awarded Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator Awards in 2013 and 2019 and elected to the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2016; she enjoys supporting her lab members to obtain fellowships and develop their careers. Work in the Maini lab is funded by the Wellcome Trust, Cancer Research UK, ERC Horizon 2020, UKRI/MRC, British Infection Association.

Mala Maini, MD, PhD

Scientific Advisory Board member

Johan Neyts

Johan Neyts is full professor at the KULeuven. His laboratory has a long-standing expertise in the development of antiviral strategies and drugs against emerging and neglected viral infections. The other focus is on the development of novel vaccines for which the yellow fever vaccine virus is used as a vector. Their PLLAV (Plasmid Launched Live Attenuated Virus) technology allows to make these yellow fever vectored vaccines highly thermostable. Johan is past-president of the International Society for Antiviral Research and was co-founder of KU Leuven spin-off Okapi Sciences. Four classes of antivirals discovered in his laboratory have been licensed to major pharmaceutical companies. He published >600 papers, has given ~300 invited lectures and has given a large number of interviews to lay-press.

Johan Neyts, PhD

Co-founder and Scientific Advisory Board member

Kai Dallmeier

Kai Dallmeier is Associate Professor of Virology at the KU Leuven Rega Institute and leading the Molecular Vaccinology & Vaccine Discovery group, pioneering the use of live-attenuated YF17D to develop vaccines against emerging infections (such as Zika, Ebola and COVID-19) and therapeutic vaccines (for instance for chronic hepatitis B). His work laid the conceptional basis for PLLAV. This translational work is complemented by the study of viral pathogenesis in a range of cell culture and animal models. Dr. Dallmeier studied Microbiology, Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of Bremen, Germany and obtained a PhD in Molecular Virology from the University of Freiburg, Germany. He has authored > 70 peer-reviewed scientific articles, resulting in > 2000 citations and a H-index of 24.

Kai Dallmeier, PhD

Co-founder and Scientific Advisory Board member

Board of Directors

Jeanne Bolger

Dr. Bolger has over 35 years of pharmaceutical industry experience in management roles across R&D, Commercial and Business Development (BD) and Venture Investments at Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC and at GlaxoSmithKline. She has been leading investments across Europe in start-up and early stage life science companies and represented JJDC on the Board of Directors of over a dozen companies. She is also a Venture Partner at Seroba Life Sciences Venture Capital and serves on several government taskforces and advisory boards. She is a visiting lecturer on the MSc Pharmaceutical Medicine at Trinity College Dublin. Dr. Bolger received her medical degree from University College Dublin. She is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Medicine of Ireland (RAMI).

Jeanne Bolger, MB BCh BAO

Chairman and Independent Board member

Shelley Margetson

Shelley Margetson has over 20 years’ experience in executive roles in European biotechnology companies. As CFO of Merus (MRUS) she managed the Initial Public Offering on the Nasdaq in May 2016 and as CEO of Gadeta she closed a ‘build to buy’ deal with Kite/Gilead. She has managed funding rounds, business exits and negotiated multiple international business transactions and joined V-Bio Ventures in December 2020 as Managing Partner. Shelley has a finance/business background, holds a BA in business economics and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.

Shelley Margetson

Board member

Caroline Goddeeris

Caroline holds a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from KU Leuven followed by an MBA and an executive master in corporate finance, both from Vlerick Business School. She started her career at UCB taking on various roles over the years ranging from commercial and operational responsibilities to business development, portfolio management, new product planning and  R&D strategy. Before joining Fund+, Caroline was part of the lifesciences team at Gimv, representing the company on the boards of Complix and Multiplicom. She currently is board member at TargED and Confotherapeutics.

Caroline Goddeeris, PhD, MBA

Board member

Bart Geers

Bart Geers obtained a PhD in pharmaceutical sciences from Ghent University in 2013 and began his career in the pharmaceutical industry and afterwards took various roles in research management and spin-out creation at Ghent University. Currently, Bart works as an investment manager for KULeuven Research & Development (LRD) where he coaches start-up projects in health- and biotechnology. Within that role he manages the spin-out; investment process and operational execution of high-tech spin-offs and represents the Gemma Frisius Fund (KU Leuven’s seed fund) as well. Next, he supports business development within KU Leuven R&D, the largest TTO in Europe. Bart holds board positions in various KU Leuven spin-offs.

Bart Geers, PhD

Board member

Evan Castiglia

Evan joined Thuja Capital in 2023 as Partner, following positions as Partner and Head of European Investments at Philips Ventures. He holds an MBA from the University of Oxford and a bachelor’s degree from Gonzaga University.

Evan Castiglia

Board member

Eva Van Overmeire

Eva joined the Life Science team of Korys in 2022. Prior to joining Korys, she was a Director at UCB within the Corporate Development & Finance department. She spent the first 4 years of her career in management consulting at McKinsey and Company, with a focus on Pharma, Medtech and Biotech. Eva holds a Master and PhD in Medical Bioengineering (VUB).

Eva Van Overmeire, PhD

Board member

Bart De Taeye

Bart De Taeye, PharmD, PhD, has more than 20 years of research experience including 15 years with drug discovery, and more than 7 years experience with business development and company creation. Bart graduated from the KU Leuven where he also obtained a Postgraduate degree in Business Economics. After a postdoc and assistant professorship at Vanderbilt University and Northwestern University, Bart joined reMYND in 2011 as a Project Leader Drug Discovery, to build a diabetes drug discovery platform. In 2014, he became a Search and Evaluation Lead at Cistim, to scout for innovative technologies, while also managing contractual relationships. In 2018, Bart joined VIB as Business Development Manager before joining PMV in 2022 as Investment Manager Life Sciences & Care.

Bart De Taeye, PhD

Board member

Jeroen Vangindertael

Jeroen Vangindertael joined Ackermans & van Haaren as an Investment Associate in 2020. He holds both a Master and PhD in Biochemistry & Biotechnology (KU Leuven). Previously he worked at BNP Paribas Fortis Corporate Banking as a Senior Life Science Associate, financing biotech companies indirectly through investments in biotech VC funds or directly through equity investments or through credit.

Jeroen Vangindertael, PhD

Board observer


AstriVax has secured a seed round of € 30 million with a strong and diverse investor syndicate to continue building the vaccine technology platform and bring the first vaccines into clinical development.

Founding Institute

Logo KU Leuven op AstriVax op website