– SWITZERLAND, Basel – Polyneuron Pharmaceuticals AG, a developer of a new class of biodegradable glycopolymers for the treatment of autoimmune diseases, today announced the appointment of Ben Machielse as Chairman of the Board of Directors.
Mr. Machielse supplements the strength of the Board following the appointments of David Mott of NEA and Graziano Seghezzi of Sofinnova Partners, who joined in March 2019 after the closing of the CHF22.5 million Series A financing.
“I’m excited to welcome Ben to the team. His proven track record in developing a diverse range of therapeutics, including complex drugs for orphan diseases, will prove invaluable as we head towards clinical development of our lead program PN-1007 in anti-MAG neuropathy,” said Ruben Herrendorff, Ph.D., CEO and co-founder of Polyneuron.”
David Mott, a member of the Polyneuron board of directors added: “I have known and worked closely with Ben over the last two decades across three successful companies, and have the highest respect for his strategic and operational management capabilities. His appointment to the Board is reflective of the promise we all see at Polyneuron and the opportunity we have to build Polyneuron into a world-class drug development company. Ruben and his team have already integrated some of Ben’s insights into Polyneuron’s strategy and we are all working together closely to bring promising drugs to patients with rare auto-immune conditions.”
Mr. Machielse has more than 25 years of experience in the biotech industry. He has been involved with the successful development of multiple drugs, including the first H1N1 vaccine available to the public in the United States. Most recently, Mr. Machielse served as Chief Executive Officer of Vtesse, a company developing treatments for Niemann Pick Disease, subsequently acquired by Sucampo Pharmaceuticals. Prior to Vtesse, Mr. Machielse served as Chief Operating Officer of Omthera Pharmaceuticals, where he was responsible for the development and approval of a drug for the treatment of hypertriglyceridemia. He was integral in the IPO and subsequent acquisition of Omthera by AstraZeneca. Mr. Machielse served as Executive Vice President of Operations for MedImmune, where he led the worldwide development and operations of the company’s therapeutic antibodies, small molecules and vaccine products. Previously, Mr. Machielse held executive roles within product development, quality and operations at Xoma Corporation and Centocor BV. He has served on the boards of Xencor, Inc. and Tetragenetics, Inc., and is currently a member of the board of Comet Therapeutics and Complexa Therapeutics.
“Polyneuron’s Antibody-Catch technology is truly unique. Using biodegradable glycopolymers to specifically target and eliminate pathological antibodies that cause autoimmune diseases could be a game-changer to many patients. I’m honored to join the company at this pivotal stage as they advance towards their first human studies,” stated Mr. Machielse.
Mr. Machielse holds a Bachelor of Science in Medical Biology and a Master’s in Biochemistry from the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands.
About Polyneuron Pharmaceuticals
Polyneuron Pharmaceuticals is pioneering a novel therapeutic approach for the effective and safe treatment of antibody-mediated autoimmune diseases of the nervous system where a pathological role of anti-carbohydrate autoantibodies is well established. The company’s Antibody-Catch technology platform enables the chemical design of injectable glycopolymers that are able to selectively eliminate the pathological autoantibodies while leaving the rest of the immune system intact. Polyneuron was founded as a University of Basel, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, spin-off in 2014 by Dr. Ruben Herrendorff, Dr. Pascal Hänggi, Prof. Beat Ernst, an expert in carbohydrate-based drug discovery, and neurologist Prof. Dr. med. Andreas J. Steck, an expert in autoimmune disorders of the nervous system. The company is headquartered at the Stücki Park in Basel, Switzerland.
For more information: https://polyneuron.com
About Sofinnova Partners
Sofinnova Partners is a leading European venture capital firm specialized in Life Sciences. Based in Paris, France, the firm brings together a team of professionals from all over Europe, the US and China. The firm focuses on paradigm shifting technologies alongside visionary entrepreneurs. Sofinnova Partners seeks to invest as a lead or cornerstone investor in seed, start-ups, corporate spin-offs and late-stage companies. It has backed nearly 500 companies over more than 45 years, creating market leaders around the globe. Today, Sofinnova Partners has over €1.9 billion under management.
For more information: https://www.sofinnova.fr
New Enterprise Associates, Inc. is a global venture capital firm focused on helping entrepreneurs build transformational businesses across multiple stages, sectors and geographies. With more than $20 billion in cumulative committed capital since the firm’s first fund closed in 1978, NEA invests in technology and healthcare companies at all stages in a company’s lifecycle, from seed stage through IPO. The firm’s long track record of successful investing includes more than 225 portfolio company IPOs and more than 375 acquisitions.
For more information: https://www.nea.com
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