Management team

Tim Van Hauwermeiren

MSc, EMBA
Chief Executive Officer

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Tim Van Hauwermeiren

MSc, EMBA, Chief Executive Officer

Tim Van Hauwermeiren is co-founder and CEO of argenx NV. He has more than 20 years of general management and business development experience across the life sciences and fast moving consumer goods sectors.

At argenx NV and Ablynx NV he was involved in raising appr. EUR250 million, including 2 successful Euronext IPO’s, and in the deal making and alliance management with leading pharma companies including P&G Pharma, Novartis, Wyeth, Boehringer Ingelheim, Merck Serono, Eli Lilly, Shire, Bayer and LEO Pharma. Prior to joining the life sciences sector in 2003, he held various management positions with the Procter & Gamble Company in R&D and Business Development, where he conceived and developed several new products. Among those was a PUR® drinking water innovation which won the United Nations ICC World Business Award in 2004.

Tim Van Hauwermeiren holds a Master of Science in Bio-engineering from the University of Gent (Belgium) and received general management training at INSEAD (F) and The Vlerick School of Management (Executive MBA, Belgium). 

Eric Castaldi


Chief Financial Officer

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Eric Castaldi

Chief Financial Officer

Eric Castaldi has 28 years of international financial executive management experience, including 19 years in the bio-pharmaceutical industry. Before joining argenx, he was Chief Financial Officer from 1998 to 2013 at Nicox, a Euronext-listed Biotech company. At Nicox, he was a member of the Executive committee and participated in all the financings of the company since its IPO in November 1999. From 2008 to 2012 he also served as non-executive board member and chairman of the audit committee of Hybrigenics a French biopharmaceutical company specialized in oncology and listed on Euronext.

Prior to this he was Chief Financial Officer and member of the executive committee at Safety Kleen SA, a US-based environmental waste company, where he was responsible for operations in France and Belgium. From 1989 through 1997, he was Chief Financial Officer in charge of French and German operations and member of the executive committee, at My Kinda Town PLC  a European leisure company. During that period, he was involved in the May 1994 flotation of that company on the London Stock Exchange. From 1986 through 1989, he was employed as financial analyst at the Research and Development Centre, located in Sophia Antipolis, of Cordis Corporation, a US-based company specialized in bio-surgical instrumentation.

He graduated in Finance, Accountancy and Administration from the University of Nice in 1986.

Prof. Hans de Haard

PhD
Chief Scientific Officer

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Prof. Hans de Haard

PhD, Chief Scientific Officer

Hans de Haard is a serial pioneer of antibody platforms and has been active in the antibody engineering field since 1989, initially at AKZO Nobel. Subsequently, at the University of Maastricht, he created a large non-immune human Fab library that subsequently became a core asset of Dyax, yielding multiple therapeutic antibodies including ImClone products IMC-A12, IMC-1F8 and the recently approved anti-VEGFR2 antibody ramucirumab (formerly called IMC-1121B). From 1998 to 2002 he was responsible for the discovery of llama VHH-based products at Unilever.

From 2002 until he joined argenx, Prof. de Haard worked at Ablynx NV as Director Technology Development, and latterly as Senior Director Discovery Research. He was responsible for setting up the Nanobody® discovery engine and introduced VHH formatting, which turned out to be a major advantage of this platform. He was centrally involved in the development of the Nanoclone® methodology based on B cell selection.

During his career, Prof. de Haard has discovered numerous therapeutic antibody leads, seven of which are now progressing in the clinic. He holds a Master of Science in Biochemistry and a PhD in Molecular Immunology from the University of Maastricht. He is a Professor of  Immunology at University of Franche Comté  (Besançon, France).

Torsten Dreier

PhD
Chief Development Officer

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Torsten Dreier

PhD, Chief Development Officer

Torsten Dreier has been developing antibodies for more than 20 years and progressed six antibody products from preclinical research into clinical trials. Prior to joining argenx, he was Director of Therapeutic Drug Development and Senior Director Preclinical Development at Ablynx NV, with overall responsibility for pharmacology, toxicology, bioanalytics and CMC as well as early clinical development. Between 1997-2003, Dr. Dreier worked as Director Preclinical Development at Micromet AG in Munich, Germany, on the preclinical characterization of recombinant antibodies and BiTEs® (bispecific T cell engagers).

He holds a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Tübingen, Germany. In 1995, he joined the group of Prof. Ralf A. Reisfeld at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, CA as a postdoctoral researcher and extended his know-how in immunology with his work on immunocytokines (recombinant antibody cytokine fusion proteins), recombinant antibodies and cytokines.

 
Nicolas Leupin

MD, MBA
Chief Medical Officer

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Nicolas Leupin

MD, MBA, Chief Medical Officer

Nicolas Leupin joined argenx as CMO in February 2016. Dr Leupin brings clinical and industry expertise in medical oncology as well as experience in drug development to the Company. In his previous role, Dr Leupin was the clinical lead of several hematology/oncology clinical trials, including both academic cooperative group and industry-sponsored trials, several of them through to registration. Dr Leupin, who is board certified medical oncologist went to medical school in Bern, Switzerland. He first started his career in the department of pathology of the University of Bern where he discovered his passions for tumor biology, research and teaching. He continued with a fellowship in cancer molecular biology. After 2 years at the bench he returned to clinical medicine. He spent several years in academia, at the bedside of patients and specialized in medical oncology with a special interest in hematological oncology. Dr. Leupin became member of the Swiss Cancer Research Group (SAKK) and board member of the lymphoma team. After those years of clinical activity he was offered to join Celgene to help building the clinical development department in Europe. He was assigned to the lymphoma team, some years later to the myeloma team, Celgene’s prime indication, where he was instrumental in leading the European teams and in bridging with the US teams. Nicolas was Global Clinical Lead for several compounds up to phase III, where among other activities he was responsible for the summary of efficacy of registration dossiers that lead to successful European and American registrations. Nicolas Leupin holds an MBA with a focus on negotiation and conflict management, participated in various postgraduate courses, including the IMD in Lausanne. He keeps an academic activity and is still lecturer at the University of Bern.

Debbie Allen

PhD
SVP Business Development

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Debbie Allen

PhD, SVP Business Development

Debbie Allen has been active in the antibody engineering field since the 1980s. She brings to argenx more than 30 years of corporate and business development experience with small and large biotech companies focused on biopharmaceuticals. Dr. Allen is an inventor of HUMIRA® (adalimumab). She established her business development career at Cambridge Antibody Technology (acquired by Astra Zeneca), where she had management responsibility for technology, intellectual property and product out-licensing, corporate equity, co-development and cross-license agreements. She was responsible for the 1999 license agreement with Human Genome Sciences that led to the discovery of the antibody drug BENLYSTA®(belimumab), now approved for the treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus.

Prior to joining argenx, Dr. Allen acted as an independent consultant to around 25 emerging biotech companies, providing strategic management and business development support.

Luc Van Rompaey

PhD
VP Translational Medicine

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Luc Van Rompaey

PhD, VP Translational Medicine

Luc Van Rompaey is a senior R&D professional with over 18 years Life Sciences experience. He currently serves as VP of Translational Medicine at argenx, leading biomarker studies and translational aspects of argenx clinical programs.

Before joining argenx, Luc played a pivotal role in the development of Galapagos NV which he joined soon after its inception. He made important contributions to the successful implementation of the functional genomics platform, discovering novel osteoporosis targets that were outlicensed to Procter&Gamble, Wyeth and Eli Lilly.  He was instrumental in transitioning Galapagos’ operations from target to drug discovery research. He started the JAK inhibitor research program, led the discovery and contributed to the Development of the JAK1 inhibitor GLPG0634, currently undergoing Phase II trials in rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease. He served on alliance management teams for drug discovery collaborations with GSK, Eli Lilly and Servier in the fields of osteoarthritis, immunity & inflammation, osteoporosis and oncology.

Prior to joining Galapagos he performed postdoctoral research in tumor biology in St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (US) and Leuven University (Belgium).

Michael Saunders

PhD, EMBA
VP External Research

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Michael Saunders

PhD, EMBA , VP External Research

Michael Saunders has been discovering novel drugs and selecting therapeutic targets for 25 years. At argenx for more than 6 years, he is currently responsible for External Research and the Innovative Access Program. At argenx, he has contributed to the discovery of four antibodies in clinical and preclinical development, for establishment and maintenance of academic collaborations and Alliance Management with Pharma partners (Shire, Bayer, Eli Lilly) and obtaining 4 Research Grants (>9M€).

Prior to joining argenx, Michael Saunders working for Ablynx NV as an independent senior interim project director leading the successful Nanobody Landgrab program selecting 100 therapeutic targets, and resulting in the identification of Nanobodies of therapeutic relevance against these targets, 20 patent applications, 4 internal drug development programs and 5 scientific publications. Within Ablynx Michael also led an internal drug discovery program and an external program as Alliance Manager with Boehringer Ingelheim. Previously he was Director Pharma Discovery at Devgen and between 1992 and 2001 Senior Scientist and Project Leader at GSK at the French Drug Discovery Unit.

Michael Saunders holds at M.A. from Cambridge University (UK), a PhD in Biology from the University North Carolina (USA) and undertook postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Professor Pierre Chambon in Strasbourg (France).  He also received general management training (EMBA) at ESSEC (France) and Mannheim Business School (Germany).