Viralgen Announces Javier Garcia as Board Chairman and Jimmy Vanhove as New Chief Executive Officer
SAN SEBASTIAN, Spain, Dec. 22, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Viralgen Vector Core (Viralgen), an independently operated subsidiary of Asklepios BioPharmaceutical, Inc. (AskBio), and a member of the Bayer worldwide group of companies, today announced that Javier Garcia, its founder and first Chief Executive Officer (CEO), will transition to the position of Chairman of the Board of Viralgen, effective January 1, 2023. With that move, Jimmy Vanhove, Viralgen's former Head of Digital and Operational Readiness, will assume the role of CEO.
Since its establishment in 2017, and under Garcia's leadership, Viralgen has grown to over 400 employees and has increased its physical footprint in San Sebastien, Spain. As a result, the company could soon have over 6000 liters of commercial cGMP manufacturing capacity and is one of the world's leading manufacturers of cGMP-certified AAV. In his new role, Garcia will continue to contribute to Viralgen's growth by providing guidance and support of the company's strategy.
"Javier's leadership has been critical to Viralgen's success. We are pleased that he will continue to support the company as Chairman of the Board," stated AskBio Co-Founder and CEO Sheila Mikhail. "With Jimmy as the new CEO, I am confident that Viralgen will continue to thrive and advance in its mission to develop and manufacture gene therapies of the highest quality for their clients. We are excited about the future and look forward to working with Jimmy in his new role."
"I'm happy to see Jimmy step into the role of Viralgen CEO at this important time for our company," added Garcia, "With his leadership, strategic vision and experience, Viralgen will enter the next phase of growth and advance its leading position in the AAV gene therapy CDMO space."
Vanhove brings a wide range of biotech strategy, operational management and digital transformation experience to his new position. Prior to joining Viralgen in 2021, he served as Chief of Staff at Bayer Global Technical Operations. Vanhove has also held various leadership roles in manufacturing and strategic consulting at multinational companies such as GSK Vaccines and Roland Berger. He holds an MSc in Bioscience Engineering from KU Leuven and an MSc in General Management from Vlerick Business School. Vanhove also holds an executive qualification in Digital Transformation at IMD, Lausanne, and in Executive Management Development at IESE Business School, Barcelona.
"I'm honored and proud to lead Viralgen as it enters its next phase of growth," said Vanhove. "We are inspired by our purpose, which is to provide access to cures for people with genetic disorders, and I'm humbled by the talent and commitment of our team. I couldn't imagine a more exciting time to lead Viralgen."
Viralgen is an independent and fully integrated Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization (CDMO) that produces AAV gene therapy treatments for the pharmaceutical and biotech industry, providing clinical and commercial manufacturing, process development, analytics and fill and finish. If approved by regulatory authorities, the company's new manufacturing facility will expand the company's commercial cGMP production capabilities and capacity, via three independent state-of-the-art commercial production suites with 500-liter and 2,000-liter single-use bioreactors.
Viralgen, an independently operated Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization (CDMO), was founded in 2017 as a joint venture between AskBio and Columbus Venture Partners (a venture capital firm based in Spain). As one of the world's leading manufacturers of cGMP-certified AAV, Viralgen uses the Pro10TM based suspension manufacturing platform, a technology licensed from AskBio and developed by co-founder R. Jude Samulski, PhD, at University of North Carolina. It is believed that Pro10™ increases scalability, performance and precision of AAV therapies. Located in Spain, in the Gipuzkoa Science and Technology Park, Viralgen produces AAV gene therapy treatments for pharmaceutical and biotech companies with the aim of accelerating the delivery of new treatments that can improve patients' lives.
The company's clinical facilities have four cGMP manufacturing suites, with 250-liter and 500-liter bioreactors. In 2020, Viralgen expanded within the Scientific Park by constructing a new building for increased manufacturing capacity. The new space includes three additional cGMP suites with a manufacturing capacity of 2,000 liters each.
For more information, visit viralgenvc.com.
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