Agomab- A growth factor biology drug development leader
Agomab is translating a deep expertise in growth factor biology to pioneer and develop novel treatments that aim to resolve fibrosis, repair tissue structure and restore organ function. Combining new scientific insights with robust drug development and a long-term corporate vision, we are building a broad clinical pipeline of differentiated programs with disease modifying potential in organ failure and fibrotic diseases.
“We are determined to improve the lives of patients through innovation. With a broad European footprint, we have built a leading company that combines transformative science with the commitment and passion of our experienced team, partners, and investors.”
Tim Knotnerus, Chief Executive Officer
A unified team of experienced leaders providing the basis for
scientific, clinical, and corporate success
Tim KnotnerusChief Executive Officer
Tim is CEO and member of the Board of Directors of Agomab, a Belgian biotech company focusing on growth factor biology and developing therapeutics for fibrotic indications. Together with the team, he has raised around $140M from top US and EU investors since joining Agomab in 2019. Prior to Agomab, Tim held the position of VP Corporate Development at AM-Pharma where he and the team executed a Phase IIb trial in patients with acute kidney injury, secured an option-to-buy deal with Pfizer and raised significant private financing rounds. Prior to that, Tim was a Senior Associate at Aescap Venture, a VC fund investing in European medical companies. Tim is a Henri Termeer Fellow and was selected as an Endpoints 20 under 40 and In Vivo rising leader. He holds an executive MBA from IMD, where he was named Valedictorian, and earned two Master degree programs from Utrecht University.
Philippe WieselChief Medical Officer
Philippe joined Agomab as CMO in 2021. He was previously the CMO at Genkyotex where he led the company’s clinical development activities for the treatment of several fibrotic disorders in the liver, lung, and kidney. Prior to this role, Philippe co-founded Genexion, which was focused on developing early-stage clinical assets in partnership with emerging biotech companies. Before this, Philippe was Medical Director at EMD Serono’s Swiss and US offices, where he was involved with the global development of several biologics. In particular, he led the late-stage clinical development of Raptiva, achieving the first marketing authorization in Europe for a biological therapy targeting psoriasis. Philippe received an MD in Medicine from Lausanne University Medical School and was a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard University Medical School and the Division of Hypertension at Lausanne University.
Torsten DreierChief Development Officer
Torsten is the CDO at Agomab and brings an extensive expertise in developing antibodies and antibody-based drugs with more than 20 years in the pharmaceutical industry. He has a successful track record of progressing 10 antibody products from preclinical research to clinical development, including two (Blincyto and Cablivi) that obtained marketing authorization. Prior to joining Agomab, Torsten was the Co-Founder and Chief Development Officer at argenx, overseeing various aspects of drug development. Between 2003 and 2008, he was at Ablynx, where he was responsible for pharmacology, toxicology, bioanalytics and CMC as well as early clinical development. Torsten holds a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Tübingen, Germany.
Paolo MichieliChief Scientific Officer
Paolo is a growth factor expert and the CSO of Agomab. He spent several years conducting research at the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, in the laboratory that discovered that MET is the HGF receptor in the early 1990s. Since he returned to Italy, he has been directing a translational medicine lab at the University of Torino Medical School, exploring new therapeutic strategies in both oncology and regenerative medicine. In collaboration with argenx, Paolo’s team generated a set of MET-agonistic, HGF-mimetic antibodies with powerful anti-fibrotic and pro-regenerative potential. This discovery led to the foundation of Agomab. Paolo holds a MSc in Biology from the University of Milano, a PhD in Cell Sciences and Technologies from the University of Torino and a Clinical Pathology Specialty Diploma from the University of Torino.
Tolga HassanChief Financial Officer
Tolga joined Agomab as CFO in 2021 and brings over 25 years of strategic financial management and corporate structuring experience. He previously held board level roles as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer at F-star Therapeutics where he was directly involved in a number of licensing and option-to-buy transactions with companies such as Merck, AbbVie and Denali Therapeutics, as well as preparing the business to become a clinical-stage, NASDAQ-listed biotech company. Prior to this, he was the Director of Corporate Development at FTSE-100 specialty chemicals and API company Johnson Matthey, and previously worked in various valuation and transaction advisory roles at Andersen. Tolga holds an MA in Economics from the University of Cambridge and is a qualified Chartered Accountant.
Ellen LefeverGeneral Counsel
Ellen joined Agomab as General Counsel in 2021. She previously served as Deputy General Counsel at Galapagos. In this role, she led the corporate law department and advised on all corporate development activities, including the company’s Nasdaq IPO and secondary offerings. Prior to this, she worked at corporate law firms Linklaters, Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett and Eubelius where she focused on M&A and capital markets transactions. Ellen holds an LL.M. in Corporate Governance & Practice from Stanford Law School and a master’s degree in law from the University of Leuven. She is qualified to practice in Belgium and New York.
Paul van der HorstChief Business Officer
Paul joined Agomab in 2021 as Chief Business Officer. Prior to Agomab, he was Head of Corporate Development at Galapagos from 2016-2021. In this role, he led all major transactions, investments, licensing and M&A activities for the company. Most notably, he was a key negotiator for Galapagos’ transformative $5bn strategic collaboration with Gilead Sciences. From 2013-2016, he worked at boutique investment bank Kempen & Co in Amsterdam, where he was responsible for broking and dealing of European pharma & biotech stocks to institutional investors in Europe and the US. In addition, Paul is a member of the Board of Directors at ImmuneTune (Leiden, The Netherlands). Paul studied medicine and holds a PhD in Gynaecological Oncology from the Erasmus University Medical Centre in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Andrea SáezHead of Portfolio Management
Andrea Sáez provides a strong scientific background complemented by broad experience in regulatory, biotech and venture capital roles. Previous to joining Agomab she was COO/CSO at Origo Biopharma. She initiated her academic career with a PhD in Immunology at the Pompeu Fabra University followed by a postdoctoral stay at Vall d’Hebron Hospital where she studied and published on the therapeutic benefit of TGF-ß inhibitors in preclinical cancer models. She gained deep understanding of regulatory affairs and drug development in her role as Scientific and Regulatory Affairs Manager at Asphalion, a leading consultancy, after which she became Director of R&D at Pangaea Oncology managing drug discovery projects in alliance with external institutions such as Cancer Research Technologies (UK). Prior to joining Origo Biopharma, Andrea was a Senior Associate at Asabys Partners, supporting a number of biotech investments including the investment in Origo.
Ramon BosserHead of R&D Operations
Ramon Bosser possesses more than 25 years’ experience in the pharma and biotech industry, where he has gained extensive R&D, managerial and entrepreneurial skills. Previous to Agomab he was CEO of Origo Biopharma, and had been co-founder and COO at Spherium, a biotech company bringing projects from academia to clinical development in gastrointestinal, dermatology, pain, and nephrology indications. Prior to that he was Director of Program Management at Almirall for more than 10 years, where he headed more than 10 novel drug development projects in respiratory, gastrointestinal, rheumatology, erectile dysfunction and dermatology indications.
Reginald BrysHead of Research
Reginald joined Agomab as head of research in February 2022. Prior to this role, Reginald was VP of drug discovery at Galapagos where he oversaw the company’s discovery portfolio, therapeutic area strategy in research and its translational research activities related to early development projects. Under his leadership, the company developed deep portfolios focused on immune-inflammatory, fibrotic and renal diseases. With his team, he particularly supported the research and translational activities around Filgotinib and Ziritaxestat. Before this, as an early joiner, Reginald contributed to building Galapagos’ drug discovery engine heading several departments across the 3 discovery sites and as member of steering committees overviewing strategic Alliances with, e.g. GSK, Janssen, Servier and Morphosys. Prior to this, Reginald was a post-doctoral researcher at the Janssen Research Foundation focusing on the pharmacology of GPCRs. He received a Master in Applied Biological Sciences from the Katholieke University of Leuven and his PhD research at the University Hospital in Leuven was dedicated to studying the regulation of inflammatory responses.
The resources and guidance supporting our progress
John HaurumChairman of the Board
John is a non-executive Director in several European biotech companies, including AgomAb, Synklino, Synact, Storm and Neophore. Prior, he was the CEO of F-star in Cambridge, UK (2012-2018), where he built a successful biotech company that initiated two clinical trials in oncology and generated more than €200M in non-dilutive revenue. From 2010 to 2012, he held the position of VP Research at ImClone Systems, New York, and from 2000 to 2009 he was the Chief Scientific Officer and Co-Founder of Symphogen, Denmark. After graduating with a degree in Medicine in Aarhus, Denmark in 1992, John received a DPhil in Immunology from the Institute of Molecular Medicine, John Radcliffe Hospital, University of Oxford, England.
Mike is a founding partner of Redmile Group, LLC. Prior to Redmile, Mike was a Vice President and research analyst at Steeple Capital (September 2005 through March 2007), where he covered the biotechnology, biopharmaceuticals, research tools and diagnostics industries. Prior to Steeple, he was the medical devices analyst at Welch Capital Partners and an associate on the medical devices research team at Prudential Equity Group. Mike graduated cum laude from the University of Arizona (BS, Molecular & Cellular Biology), where he studied as a Flinn Scholar. His research focus was on the role of growth factor signaling in neurology. He is on the board of Gilda’s Club New York City.
Ohad is a Partner at Pontifax, where he is focused on scouting and project evaluation. He also serves on the board of several of Pontifax’s portfolio companies including AgomAb, Precirix, Step Pharma, Pi Therapeutics and Kamari Pharma. Ohad obtained his MSc in Biology from Tel-Aviv University.
Tim KnotnerusChief Executive Officer
Tim is CEO and member of the Board of Directors of Agomab, a Belgian biotech company focusing on growth factor biology and developing therapeutics for fibrotic indications. Together with the team, he has raised around $100M from top US and EU investors since joining Agomab in 2019. Prior to Agomab, Tim held the position of VP Corporate Development at AM-Pharma where he and the team executed a Phase IIb trial in patients with acute kidney injury, secured an option-to-buy deal with Pfizer and raised significant private financing rounds. Prior to that, Tim was a Senior Associate at Aescap Venture, a VC fund investing in European medical companies. Tim is a Henri Termeer Fellow and was selected as an Endpoints 20 under 40 and In Vivo rising leader. He holds an executive MBA from IMD, where he was named Valedictorian, and earned two Master degree programs from Utrecht University.
The Agomab team has built a strong scientific foundation in targeting growth factors and modulating related molecular pathways through novel monoclonal antibodies and small molecule compounds to resolve fibrosis, regenerate tissue and restore organ functionality. We are working with leading academic institutions and industrial partners to develop treatment options for patients.
**The Secretary of State for Research, Development and Innovation and the Presidency of the State Research Agency has funded in the form of a loan the Project Origo GI “Discovery and development of new Immuno-Oncological and anti-fibrotic treatments with local effect – File: RTC2019-007449-1” in the 2019 call for R&D Projects « Challenges -Collaboration» of the State Program for Research, Development and Innovation Oriented to the Challenges of Society, within the framework of the State Research Plan Scientific and Technical and Innovation 2017-2020.