Hookipa Biotech, a company pioneering an innovative class of immunotherapies for oncology and infectious diseases, has appointed Dr Jan van de Winkel as Chairman of its Board of Directors.
Dr Jan van de Winkel is currently President and CEO of Genmab. He is widely recognised as one of the most successful biotech entrepreneurs in the world, with a blend of outstanding scientific and managerial expertise. He has built Genmab from ’bench to bedside’ with commercial stage immunotherapy products.
“We are proud to have attracted Jan to join our board of directors as Chairman,” said Jörn Aldag, CEO at Hookipa.
“As Hookipa grows and progresses to become an integrated biotech company with multiple clinical programmes in infectious diseases and immune-oncology, Jan´s experience of building companies and his scientific insight will prove invaluable.”
As co-founder of Genmab Dr van de Winkel served as President, Research & Development and Chief Scientific Officer of the company until his appointment as President and CEO in 2010.
He has more than 25 years of experience in the therapeutic antibody field and served as VP and Scientific Director of Medarex Europe prior to co-founding Genmab.
He is the author of more than 300 scientific publications and has been responsible for more than 70 patents and pending patent applications. Dr van de Winkel holds a professorship of immunotherapy at Utrecht University and received a master’s and PhD degree from the University of Nijmegen in the Netherlands.
Dr van de Winkel said: “I am honoured to take on the role of Chairman at this exciting time in the life of this very promising company. The powerful stimulation of the natural immune mechanisms in patients is one of the most promising approaches being taken in infectious diseases and cancer — both prophylactically and therapeutically.
“I believe that Hookipa’s Vaxwave and TheraT technologies are among the best in the field and I am looking forward to building the company together with its management team and other board members who have done this very successfully before.”
Hookipa is anticipating the delivery of two major milestones in the next two years.
Following the successful completion of a Phase 1 trial for a vaccine against cytomegalovirus (CMV) based on Hookipa's proprietary Vaxwave platform, a phase 2 proof-of-concept study will be initiated in solid organ transplant recipients.
In addition, based on unprecedented levels of specific T cells generated in in-vivo studies, the company will conduct a phase 1 safety and efficacy trial for a TheraT immunotherapy in Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)-related head and neck cancers with the goal of establishing safety and early efficacy signals.