VectorY Appoints Sander van Deventer as CEO and Makes Key Appointments to Its Leadership Team
Sander van Deventer is co-founder and former Chief Technology Officer of the Company
Elena Ritsou assumes role of Chief Corporate Officer
Barbara Sanders is promoted to Chief Technology Officer
Industry veteran Frank Walsh joins as an Independent Board Member
AMSTERDAM–(BUSINESS WIRE)–VectorY Therapeutics, a biotech company developing innovative vectorized antibody approaches for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, today announces the appointment of Sander van Deventer, co-founder and formerly Chief Technology Officer, as Chief Executive Officer. The Company has also made key appointments to its leadership team.
Sander van Deventer has 25 years of experience in drug development and a longstanding track record in antibody and gene therapy development. He succeeds Alexander Vos, who led the Company during the start-up phase.
“I’m delighted to welcome Sander as our new CEO,” said Carlo Incerti, MD, Chair of the Supervisory Board at VectorY. “We are confident that with his impressive industry track record and scientific knowledge, Sander will lead VectorY forward at this exciting time as we work towards our first IND. I would also like to thank Alexander for his commitment and contribution to VectorY and wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”
“In the two years since VectorY’s inception, we have made significant progress in validating our technology and are now advancing towards development,” said Sander van Deventer, Chief Executive Officer of VectorY. “We have a promising technology of vectorized antibodies which has the potential to transform the therapeutic landscape in neurodegenerative diseases, such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Huntington’s and ultimately dementias. I am looking forward to working with the team to progress our innovative pipeline towards our first IND.”
Other VectorY appointments
Elena Ritsou joins as Chief Corporate Officer (CCO), a newly created role in which she will lead Business Development and Strategy, Intellectual Property, Legal, Human Resources and Communications.
Barbara Sanders is promoted to the position of Chief Technology Officer (CTO), having served as Vice President Vector Development since the Company’s inception.
Frank Walsh joins as an Independent Board Member. He brings two decades of experience as a senior executive in pharma and biotech companies as well as invaluable research experience in ALS, where his current work concentrates on the role of the neurotrophin receptor TrkB on motor neuron survival.
Sander van Deventer concluded: “We welcome Elena Ritsou as Chief Corporate Officer and Frank Wash as an independent board member and congratulate Barbara Sanders on her new role as Chief Technology Officer. With these valuable additions to the leadership team, VectorY will be in an even stronger position to progress its pioneering work of vectorized antibodies to tackle devastating diseases such as ALS and Huntington’s disease.”
Notes to Editors
Sander van Deventer, MD, PhD – Chief Executive Officer
Sander is a co-founder of VectorY and has 25 years of experience in drug development. He had a critical role in the development of the first commercial monoclonal antibody (Remicade) and the first gene therapy to be granted market authorization in the Western world (Glybera). Sander is also co-founder of Forbion, a leading life science venture capital firm where he is currently an Operating Partner. In 1998 he co-founded Amsterdam Molecular Therapeutics (AMT N.V.), currently uniQure N.V. (NASDAQ: QURE), an AAV-based gene therapy company, acting subsequently as CSO, CMO and CEO. He also served as CEO of Dezima. In 2017, he re-joined uniQure as its part-time CSO where he brought the hemophilia B and Huntington’s disease programs to clinical development. Sander is a former professor of Experimental Medicine and Gastroenterology at the Amsterdam Academic Medical Center and of Translational Gastroenterology at the University of Leiden. He authored over 80 book chapters, 600 peer-reviewed papers, organized international scientific conferences, and supervised more than 40 PhD students. He served on the boards of Hookipa, Engene, Borean, Dezima, Argos, and the scientific advisory boards of Hookipa, Argos, Engene and Staten.
Elena Ritsou, PhD – Chief Corporate Officer
Elena joins VectorY as the Chief Corporate Officer as well as BioGeneration Ventures as a Venture Partner. She brings 20 years of experience in Corporate and Business Development in pharmaceutical and biotech companies, most recently as the Chief Business Officer of Gamma Delta Therapeutics leading its acquisition by Takeda in Q2 2022. Prior to Gamma Delta Elena was Global Head Oncology Business Development at Ipsen Pharma where she was instrumental on late and early-stage transactions and acquisitions. Earlier in her career she held Business Development roles of increasing responsibility at Sanofi and Genzyme. Elena holds a BSc in Immunology from the University of Edinburgh, UK, a PhD in Tumor Immunology from the German Cancer Research Centre, Heidelberg, Germany and a MSc in Finance from HEC Business School, Paris, France.
Barbara Sanders, PhD – Chief Technology Officer
Barbara is a co-founder of VectorY and has served as Vice President Vector Development since the Company’s inception in 2020. She has over 10 years of experience in viral vector development within large pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies where she led multiple discovery and CMC teams of ~25 FTEs. Thanks to her contribution several viral vectored vaccines were successfully designed and developed, including a commercialized Ebola vaccine (Zabdeno) and others which are currently in clinical development for polio, zika, HIV and RSV. Barbara completed a PhD in molecular virology at the University of Amsterdam and is an inventor of eight patents.
Frank S Walsh, PhD – Independent Board Member
Frank is an accomplished pharmaceutical and biotechnology senior executive with over 20 years of experience. He currently serves as the founding CEO of Ossianix. Frank has had a long-term research interest in ALS, where his work initially focused on developing human neuronal cell culture models and on the role of autoimmunity. His current work is determining the role of the neurotrophin receptor TrkB on motor neuron survival. As head of Discovery Research worldwide at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals in Collegeville, PA he studied myostatin and neutralizing antibodies in the SOD-1 ALS mouse model. Prior to joining Wyeth, he was SVP at GlaxoSmithKline UK and Head of the Neurology CEDD and VP of Neuroscience Research at Smith Kline Beecham UK. Before joining the pharmaceutical industry, Frank had a distinguished academic career in Neuroscience as the Sir William Dunn Professor of Experimental Pathology at London’s UMDS, Guy’s Hospital. Frank has served on the research committee of the Motor Neuron Disease Association in the UK and was Chairman of the ALSA Ice Bucket Challenge drug discovery initiative. Currently, he is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board at Target ALS, New York and the Packard Center, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore. He received his PhD from University College London and has authored over 200 scientific publications. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the UK Academy of Medical Sciences and has honorary degrees from the University of Perugia and Bologna, Italy and Dundee and Strathclyde, UK.
VectorY combines the therapeutic potential of antibodies and gene therapy to develop long-lasting therapeutic solutions for neurodegenerative diseases with high unmet medical need such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and Huntington’s disease.
VectorY is a fully integrated gene therapy company focused on the development of innovative therapeutics based on a novel AAV gene therapy platform, antibody-based targeted protein degradation technologies and proprietary manufacturing technology. While focusing initially on neurodegenerative diseases, VectorY’s synergistic technologies may be applied across a wide range of indications.
VectorY was founded in October 2020 and is based on the Amsterdam Science Park.
For more information, see www.vectorytx.com.
VectorY Therapeutics B.V.
Sariette Witte, Head of Communications
Tel: +31 681 174 072
Instinctif Partners (media enquiries)
Melanie Toyne-Sewell / Giulia Lasagni / Manisha Kuttetira
Tel: +44 20 7457 2020
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