header-2Pluriomics Stem Cell technology

People

Pluriomics is founded, managed and operated by a team of industry veterans and entrepreneurial scientists. Together we strive to accelerate the implementation of stem cell technology in drug discovery and development.

Stefan Braam, PhD

Chief Scientific Officer

Stefan is the co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Pluriomics.

He was trained as a stem cell biologist in laboratories in The Netherlands (Prof. C.L. Mummery, Utrecht/Leiden), UK (Dr. C. Denning, Nottingham) and Australia (Profs. A. Elefanty and E. Stanley, Monash, Melbourne). Stefan received his MSc from Utrecht University (cum laude) and his PhD from Leiden University (cum laude).

As part of the management team he is actively involved in company’s strategy and business development and is responsible for technology development, IP, Operations of Services, and coordinating the various external research & development projects that Pluriomics is involved in.

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Marijn Vlaming, PhD

Scientific Lead Application Development

Marijn was trained as a biomedical engineer at the University of Technology in Eindhoven, The Netherlands, and obtained her PhD at the Netherlands Cancer Institute (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) with research focused on drug transporters and pharmacokinetics (Dr. A.H. Schinkel, Prof. Dr. P. Borst). Since 2009, Marijn has focused on translation of scientific knowledge into pharmaceutical and medical applications. As such, she worked at TNO (Zeist, The Netherlands) as scientist/project leader on various preclinical and clinical studies in collaboration with pharmaceutical companies, technology providers and academia. In 2014 she was part of the team winning the ICA Young Professional of the Year award.

As part of the Pluriomics team, Marijn currently leads their application development activities, employing Pluricyte® cardiomyocytes for applications in pharmaceutical research.

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Fleur Stevenhagen

Research Technician

Fleur obtained her Master’s degree at VU University in Amsterdam specializing in Immunology, Infectious diseases and physiology. During her Master’s degree she gained experience in vaccine development in a pre-clinical setting at Crucell.

Fleur started at Pluriomics as a Research Technician in 2013, where she has been responsible for the optimization of media formulations and the development of cell-based cardiotoxicity assays.

She is a member of the Application Development team specializing in the development of pro-arrhythmic assays with a specific focus on cardiac field potential, cellular impedance and ion channel flux.

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Catarina Grandela, PhD

Scientific Lead Cell Development

Catarina Grandela has a PhD in Molecular Biology and has been working with stem cells for more than 10 years. She has held positions in Portugal, Australia and the Netherlands and has published in several peer-reviewed journals.

She joined Pluriomics in 2011 and has played a major role in developing the company’s first cardiomyocyte products.

Catarina is currently involved in projects to develop different functional cell types and differentiation media, aiming ultimately to provide both industry and academy with better in vitro models and platforms for target drug discovery, safety assays and disease modeling.

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Karin Langenberg

Research Technician

Karin has a Bachelor in Biotechnology from the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. Subsequently she has gained a broad experience in lab work and laboratory management, having worked more than 10 years in Fundamental Biology and Cancer Research at the University Hospitals of Leiden and Rotterdam.

In 2011 she joined Pluriomics to extend her experience to Biotech and to enjoy the dynamics of a start-up company from the beginning. Karin’s current focus is on new cell development.

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Arie Reijerkerk, PhD

Scientific Lead Cardiovascular System

Arie has a strong track record in cardiovascular biology related to angiogenesis, inflammation, cancer, and brain and eye diseases. He holds a PhD in Internal Medicine and devoted more than 10 years of his career to basic and applied cardiovascular research in academia. Before joining Pluriomics in 2015, he worked for 2 years as a senior scientist at the biotech company to-BBB technologies BV. Here, he was responsible for the early pre-clinical development of drugs passing the eye vascular barrier for systemic treatment of eye-diseases.

Being a passionate pioneer, at Pluriomics Arie is leading the cardiovascular program and responsible for the development of cardiovascular-based cells and applications to facilitate pharmaceutical drug discovery. When Arie is not at work, he is preparing his kids for independency.

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Tessa de Korte

Technician Application Development

Tessa has completed her masters in Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences at Leiden University with expertise in biochemistry, immunology and pharmacology. She completed two intern-ships in both pre-clinical and clinical research centres and finished her graduation program at Pluriomics.

Tessa has since joined Pluriomics where she is involved in Application Development. Her main tasks include the development of relevant cell-based assays for cardiotoxicity screenings at an early stage in drug development.

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Rolf Denissen

Operations Manager

Rolf has an extensive background in sourcing for the pharmaceutical and life-science industry, both on a management and executive level. Rolf is also a certified supply chain professional.

With over 15 years of experience in sourcing medical and diagnostic devices, services and logistics, Rolf has joined the Pluriomics team to help the company reach its future goals.  Rolf’s sourcing and commercial skill set, experience and network complement Pluriomics’ demands as a growing ambitious organisation.

Rolf’s contribution consists of shaping and executing procurement processes and he is responsible for several financial, logistical and technical activities.

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Ruth Heemskerk

Project Manager / Quality Manager

Ruth’s experience within the field of biopharmaceutical sciences spans over 14 years. She has extensive knowledge of biopharmaceutical production processes for various biopharmaceuticals including vaccines, therapeutic proteins and gene therapy vectors, from early discovery phases to clinical studies. Ruth has a solid broad scientific background with a main focus on assay development, qualification, validation, trouble shooting and tech transfers.

As a project manager she is Pluriomics’ connecting link between multidisciplinary teams, thinks along with customers, guarding project time lines and budgets and translates knowledge into practical solutions and novel strategies.

As a quality manager she exploits her experience with GRP to GMP quality systems for the transition of Pluriomics’ groundbreaking R&D processes to robust manufacturing processes providing predictive iPSC derived products to improve and accelerate drug discovery & development.

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Marta Dunska

Research Technician Cell Development

Marta is one of the new Research Technicians at Pluriomics who was hired to contribute to the realization of ambitious future goals of the company.

With a Masters degree in medical biotechnology she is part of the Cell Development Team in the R&D Department. Marta is responsible for the differentiation process of human pluripotent stem cells into Pluricyte Cardiomyocytes and works on improvements in differentiation technology and cardiac optimization.

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Martijn Meijer, CPA

CFO

Martijn has joined Pluriomics as CFO in 2014.

From 2008 until 2014, Martijn was Vice-President Finance at ProFibrix B.V./The Medicines Company, a biotech-company based in Leiden, The Netherlands.

Before joining ProFibrix Martijn was Chief Financial Officer at NEM B.V., a Dutch engineering company and a major player in the global market for solutions in power generation.From 1992 to 2003, Martijn was at Deloitte Accountants, where he was Senior Audit Manager from 1998 to 2003, supporting general auditing practices, financing activities and mergers and acquisitions. Martijn is a certified public accountant and a member of the Royal Netherlands Institute of Registered Accountants.

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Eva D’Amico, PhD

Manufacturing manager

Eva obtained a Master of Industrial Sciences – Biochemical Engineering (ISICHt Mons, Belgium) and a Post-graduate Diploma of Applied Biology and Industry – Cellular and Molecular Biology (University of Namur, Belgium).  Then, she received her PhD in Biological Sciences from the University of Brussels, Belgium.

At IRIBHM, Research Institute in Molecular Biology of University of Brussels, Eva worked on various research projects related to the transduction of biological signals, using Mouse embryonic fibroblasts and Mesenchymal Stem cells models.

Eva joined Pluriomics’ team with the challenge to set up the manufacturing facility in Belgium. She now leads activities of production of Pluricyte cardiomyocytes and Pluricyte medium.

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Stefan-Braam

Stefan Braam, PhD

Chief Scientific Officer

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Marijn Vlaming, PhD

Scientific Lead Application Development

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Fleur Stevenhagen

Research Technician

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Catarina Grandela, PhD

Scientific Lead Cell Development

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Karin Langenberg

Research Technician

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Arie Reijerkerk, PhD

Scientific Lead Cardiovascular System

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Tessa de Korte

Technician Application Development

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Rolf Denissen

Operations Manager

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Ruth Heemskerk

Project Manager / Quality Manager

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Marta Dunska

Research Technician Cell Development

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Martijn Meijer, CPA

CFO

Eva

Eva D’Amico, PhD

Manufacturing manager

Herman Spolders

Co-founder and chairman of the board of directors of Pluriomics Belgium SA.

Herman has more than 40 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry in Europe and the U.S. He served on multiple boards and in various executive positions. Throughout his career, he has been instrumental in starting and growing biotech companies, IPO’s, forging large pharma-biotech collaborations, defining new product opportunities with a focus on hospital pharmaceuticals and clinical diagnostics for cancer or infectious diseases. He studied biochemistry at the University of Amsterdam.


Alain Parthoens

Alain Parthoens has more than twenty years of international experience in the food and life sciences businesses including marketing for Nestlé, business analysis for Kemira, product development and strategic planning for Monsanto and consultancy in R&D for pharmaceutical companies with PriceWaterhouseCoopers in London.
Before he joined Vesalius Biocapital, Alain was an Investment Director at ING Corporate Investments in Belgium. Since 2001, he has been the lead investor for the private placement of Unibioscreen (oncology, EUR 19 m raised), MTI (stress resistant corn germplasm, EUR 14 m raised), OncoMethylome Sciences (cancer diagnostics, creation of the company, EUR 29 m raised in round A & B followed in June 2006 by a EUR 28 m IPO on Euronext), TiGenix (regenerative medicine, EUR 12 m raised, followed by EUR 16 m pre-IPO round and an IPO of EUR 40 m in March 2007) and most recently Bienca (food preservation, EUR 5 m raised). He was also actively involved in the private placement of BioAlliance (Paris, EUR 12 m private placement, followed by a successful EUR 30 m IPO on Euronext in December 2005) and participated in the refinancing of CropDesign and its trade sale to BASF.
He was the chairman of the Belgian Venture and Private Equity Association and BOD member of Unibioscreen, Oncomethylome Sciences, Apitope, Bienca and Promethera.
Alain holds an MSc in agronomy and speciality biochemistry from the Université Catholique de Louvain, an MSc in finance and computer sciences from the Université Libre de Bruxelles and a management degree from the Solvay Business School (CEPAC)


Gerty Holla – Innovation Quarter

Gerty Holla has over 25 years of experience in investment management, as an investment-manager of various seed funds and as consultant for university spin offs and seed investments. Gerty joined InnovationQuarter Capital in 2014, as senior investment manager life sciences. In 1991 she started her career at the Zernike Science Park. Since then she has been involved as an investment-manager in the creation of over 100 companies, of which 13 years focussing on the life sciences sector with the BioPartner Start-up Ventures Fund. This fund invested 11 Million Euro risk capital in 46 Life Science start-ups, until 2005. Examples from the BioPartner portfolio: ToBBB, ProSensa, AM Pharma, Proxy Laboratories, ProFibrix, Care4cure.
Gerty also worked as manager of the Amsterdam Science Park,  and a couple of years for the Dutch government at the Dutch Advisory Council for Science & Technology.


Philippe Degive – SRIW

Philippe Degive is investment manager with Société Régionale d’Investissement de Wallonie (“S.R.I.W.”) SA. He is responsible for a portfolio of investments in funds and companies active in the pharmaceutical industry and biotechnology. He is also a director in a series of investee companies of S.R.I.W. He is currently member of the Board of Bone Therapeutics, Capricorn Health-Tech Fund, Euroscreen, iStar Medical, Promethera Biosciences and Vesalius Biocapital I/II. Before joining S.R.I.W., Mr. Degive headed Cedip Management SPRL, a company specialised in consulting to enterprises and corporate finance. He has been for more than 10 years a manager with Fortis Bank SA where he has held several responsible positions.


Guy Heynen

Guy Heynen is a specialist in rheumatology and immunology, with extensive experience both in university medical practice and in the pharmaceutical industry. He has over 35 years’ experience in medical and regulatory affairs at local, regional and international levels and has a particular focus on management, team building and leadership. The majority of his career has been with Pfizer Inc., where he held a number of senior roles including Medical Director for Pfizer Switzerland, European Team Leader for the Alzheimer’s disease drug, Aricept, and Medical Team Leader for Pfizer’s anti-inflammatory drug franchise based in New York.

Dr Heynen also serves on the Boards of Euroscreen SA, Progenosis SA and as an advisor for Promethera Biosciences, roles which highlight his expertise and strong network in cell therapy. Dr Heynen remains a Regional Medical Monitor for Pfizer GmbH and has an executive role as Chief Clinical And Regulatory Officer at Bone Therapeutics.


Jean-Paul Prieels

Jean-Paul Prieels has held several executive positions in the life sciences and pharmaceutical industry. He retired in early 2011 from GSK as Senior Vice President Research and Development.

In 1975 Jean-Paul obtained a Ph.D. in Biochemistry at the Free University of Brussels (ULB), Belgium, and in the following years became Associate Professor at the same institution.  He holds several key non-executive positions in prestigious European companies.  Jean-Paul has authored, co-authored numerous articles published in peer reviewed publications.


Prof. Christine Mummery, PhD

Christine Mummery is Professor of Developmental Biology at Leiden University Medical Centre in the Netherlands and head of the Department of Anatomy and Embryology. Her research concerns heart development and the differentiation of pluripotent human stem cells into the cardiac and vascular lineages and using these cells as disease models, for safety pharmacology, drug discovery and future cardiac repair. She is a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Science (KNAW), and board member of ISSCR, the KNAW and the Dutch Medical Research Council (ZonMW). She was recently awarded the Hugo van de Poelgeest Prize for Animal Alternatives in research. She co-authored a popular book on stem cells “Stem Cells: scientific facts and Fiction” in 2011 (2nd edition 2014) and is editor in chief of the ISSCR journal Stem Cell Reports.


Robert Passier, PhD

Robert Passier, PhD brings 20 years of experience in the field of molecular regulation of cardiac differentiation, development and disease. As a postdoc he worked at the UT Southwestern Medical Center in the lab of Eric Olson where he studied molecular mechanisms underlying heart development and the relationship with cardiac failure. He was instrumental in the discovery of HOP as an important gene for cardiac development. Furthermore, he was group leader of a cardiovascular unit at a Dutch biotech company (Crucell), followed by senior post-doc in the group of Christine Mummery at the Hubrecht Institute in 2002. In 2008 he was appointed associate professor in the Department of Anatomy and Embryology at the LUMC where he leads the group “Molecular regulation of cardiac development and disease”. His current research is focused on the biology of stem cell derived cardiomyocytes and aspects of the genetic control of heart development. He is the inventor of 10 patent applications, has publications in leading scientific journals.