Mission

  • 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

Emmanuel Hanon

Emmanuel Hanon has more than 20 years experience in vaccine research & development. He ran global vaccines R&D at GSK for 7 years driving discovery, development, and life-cycle management of one of the largest vaccine portfolio in the industry. Emmanuel has broad functional knowledge including preclinical, clinical, medical, regulatory, technical CMC, manufacturing and quality operations. At GSK, he oversaw the discovery and development of four major vaccines : quadrivalent influenza (Fluarix and Flulaval Quadrivalent), shingles (Shingrix), malaria (Mosquirix), and RSV older adult vaccines. Emmanuel received his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine and completed his PhD in Veterinary Sciences at the University of Liège, Belgium. Additionally,  he spent 2 years at Imperial College (St Mary’s), London UK, as a post-doctoral researcher.

Emmanuel Hanon, PhD

Therapeutic vaccine lead

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

Head development (ad interim)

Scientific Founders

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

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

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

Harrold Van Barlingen, PhD

Harrold, managing partner of Thuja Capital Management. Ahead of founding Thuja Capital he headed the life sciences effort of AlpInvest Partners managing a portfolio of over 30 companies. Harrold joined AlpInvest Partners in 2001, from the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), where he worked as a consultant in management and strategy. Before BCG, he was acting head of the continental activities of the Lewin Group (a Quintiles subsidiary). Harrold has been an early investor and long term board member of large number of companies, among others ArgenX and Galapagos. Harrold holds an MSc degree in Medical Biology and a PhD in Medicine, both from Utrecht University.

Harrold Van Barlingen, PhD

Board member

David Devigne

David has been active in the VC and biotech space for more than 15 years and currently heads the Korys life sciences investment franchise. He started his career at PMV in the fund of fund business unit before joining the life sciences direct investments unit. At UCB he was the Head of the Immunology R&D Insights to Impact team and acted as an independent scientific, strategic, and financial sparring partner providing insights and transversal resource reallocation challenge. David holds a Master in Pharmaceutical Sciences, a Master in Economics and Business Administration (Ghent University) as well as a Ph.D. in Entrepreneurial Finance (Vlerick Business School).

David Devigne, PhD, MBA

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

Tobias Wilms

Tobias is an investment associate at BNP Paribas Fortis Private Equity. He obtained a PhD in Biochemistry and Biotechnology and a postgraduate in Innovation & Entrepreneurship, both at the University of Leuven. Prior to his current role, Tobias worked as a post-doc at the UCLouvain where he was leading a spin-off project supported by a First spin-off grant from the Walloon Region.

Tobias Wilms, PhD

Board observer

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

Investors

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

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