VAXIMM is a privately held, clinical stage, Swiss/German biotech company developing oral T-cell immunotherapies for patients suffering from cancer.

VAXIMM’s product platform is based on a live attenuated, safe, orally available bacterial vaccine strain, which is modified to stimulate patients’ cytotoxic T-cells to target specific structures of the tumor and it can be readily adapted to target a wide range of cancer-related antigens.

The Company has a pipeline of complementary development candidates targeting different tumor structures.

Lead product candidate, oral VXM01, activates killer cells targeting tumor-specific vasculature and certain immune-suppressive cells, thereby increasing immune cell infiltration in solid tumors. VXM01 is currently in clinical development for several tumor types, including brain cancer.

VAXIMM has an ongoing clinical trial evaluating VXM01 in combination with the human anti-PD-L1 antibody, avelumab, as part of a scientific collaboration with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany

VAXIMM also has a neoantigen program currently in preclinical development; the Company’s platform allows for fast generation and delivery of personalized T-cell cancer vaccines and may overcome key issues faced by other neoantigen approaches. VAXIMM has a strategic clinical trial collaboration with NEC Corporation for the development of personalized neoantigen cancer vaccines.

The Company also has entered into a collaboration agreement with China Medical System Holdings (CMS), granting CMS full rights in China and other Asian countries (excluding Japan) to VAXIMM’s existing programs.

VAXIMM’s investors include BB Biotech Ventures, BCM Europe, BioMed Partners, CMS, M Ventures, NEC and Sunstone Capital.

VAXIMM AG is headquartered in Basel, Switzerland.  Its wholly owned subsidiary, VAXIMM GmbH, located in Mannheim, Germany, is responsible for the Company’s development activities.

Management Team

VAXIMM has a strong management team of experienced leaders with outstanding scientific knowledge and medical development expertise.

Heinz Lubenau Managing Director VAXIMM
Heinz Lubenau, PhD
Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder
Heinz Lubenau co-founded VAXIMM in 2008. Prior to this, 2003-2008, he was Global Project Manager Biosimilar G-CSF and Head of Preclinical and Clinical Development at BioGeneriX AG, where he led the development work of the first biosimilar G-CSF Ratiograstim® from preclinical studies through European marketing approval and launch and of the second-generation G-CSF Lonquex from project implementation to clinical Phase II. In 1994, he joined Servier and rose to Clinical Research Manager and Project Director Internal Medicine in 2001. In this role he was responsible for Servier Phase I to Phase III clinical trials in Germany, Austria and Switzerland for various indications.

Dr. Lubenau has a PhD in pharmacy from Johannes-Gutenberg-University, Mainz.

Marc Mansour, PhD, MBA
Chief Scientific Officer & Chief Business Officer
Marc Mansour joined VAXIMM in September 2016 with over 15 years of experience in biotech R&D and management. He was previously with Immunovaccine, Inc., a publicly traded Canadian company focused on developing cancer immunotherapies and infectious disease vaccines, for thirteen years. There, he served in positions of increasing responsibility, including Chief Scientific Officer, and, ultimately, Chief Executive Officer. He has strong expertise in vaccines and the early clinical development of immuno-oncology products. He has published a number of articles in peer-reviewed journals and holds several patents.

Dr. Mansour has a PhD in biology from Dalhousie University and an MBA from the Sobey School of Business.

Supervisory Board

Thomas D. Szucs, MD
Prof. Dr. med. Thomas D. Szucs is Professor of Pharmaceutical Medicine and Director of The Institute of Pharmaceutical Medicine/European Center of Pharmaceutical Medicine at the University of Basel. He is also a Professor and part-time lecturer for Medical Economics at the University of Zurich and a honorary professor at the University of Peking Health Science Center.

Previously he was Chief Medical Officer of Hirslanden Holding, the largest private hospital chain in Switzerland. From 1998 to 2001 he was head of the Department of Medical Economics, a joint venture of the University Hospital in Zurich and the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine of the University of Zurich. Professor Szucs’ former appointments include head of research and founder of the Center of Pharmacoeconomics of the University of Milan, head of the working group for Clinical Economics at the University of Munich, senior consultant at Arthur D. Little Inc and head of the Department of Health Economics at F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd. in Basel.

He holds a medical degree from the University of Basel, a Master in Business Administration from the University of St Gallen, Switzerland, a Master of Public Health degree from Harvard University, a LL.M in International Business Law from the University of Zurich and a Doctorate in Law from the Private University of Liechtenstein. Thomas is board certified in Pharmaceutical Medicine as well as in Prevention and Public Health. He is also member of the editorial board of several scientific journals and has published more than 300 articles, book chapters and monographs. He has worked extensively in the field of pharmaceutical economics and epidemiology. From 2004-2014 he was the president of the Swiss Association of Health Economics. In 2016 Professor Szucs was rated among the 20 most influential economists in Switzerland. In 2020 he was recognized as Global Fellow in Medicines Development by the International Federation of Associations of Pharmaceutical Physicians and Pharmaceutical Medicine. Since 2013 he started to work as a clinician in genomic medicine.

Markus Hosang, PhD
Dr. Hosang has a strong pharmaceutical and VC background and joined BioMedPartners in 2004 as a General Partner and Managing Director. Before he was a Venture Partner at MPM Capital, where he was co-responsible for their European deal flow, managed the European office in Munich, and served on the boards of several portfolio companies.

Prior to joining MPM in 2002, he was at Roche, where he served for nearly 20 years in several senior management positions in the global Pharma R&D organization, including VP and Director of the International Pharma Research Strategy Unit and Chief of Staff to the President of Roche Global R&D. He organized and served on the Global Board of R&D Directors and the Pharma Portfolio Board. Most recently he was VP and CSO of Genetics and Integrated Medicine and a member of the Roche Genetics Executive Committee.

Dr. Hosang received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Biochemistry from the ETH in Zurich, and pursued his postgraduate training at Stanford University Medical School and at the University of Washington in Seattle. He currently serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Unitectra AG, the joint technology transfer office of the Universities of Zurich, Bern and Basel.

Mathieu Simon VAXIMM Supervisory Board
Mathieu Simon, MD
Mathieu Simon, MD, is Venture Partner at B|B Pureos Bioventures Bellevue Venture Capital based in Zurich, Switzerland and Senior Strategic Advisor at Messier Maris & Associés, an international investment banking boutique. Since May 2019, Dr. Simon serves as Chairman of the Board of Idorsia Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

He previously served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Cellectis (NASDAQ: CLLS), one of the biopharmaceutical companies leading the development of next-generation CAR-T cell immunotherapies. He also was a member of Cellectis’ Board of Directors. Prior to joining Cellectis, he was Senior Vice President Head of Global Pharmaceutical Operations at Pierre Fabre SA. From 1994 to 2010, Dr. Simon served at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals in both senior corporate and regional roles in the US and Europe (Head of International Marketing and Medical Affairs and Managing Director of several Wyeth affiliates).

Dr. Simon is an advisor to the European Commission D.G. Research and Innovation. Dr. Simon was certified in internal medicine at the Faculty of Medicine, Paris VII.

Cheryl Zimberlin, PhD
Cheryl Zimberlin, PhD, is part of M Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of Merck KGaA. M Ventures takes an active role in company creation and investment, with the mandate to invest in innovative technologies and products with the potential to significantly impact Merck‘s core businesses.

Prior to joining the team, Dr. Zimberlin had a successful academic career at top-tier universities, publishing in major academic journals, including Nature. She holds a PhD in oncology and an MSc in biotechnology. Currently, she holds board positions in several M Ventures portfolio companies.

Huaizheng Peng, PhD
Huaizheng Peng, PhD, serves as General Manager of International Investment and Operations for China Medical System Holdings, a specialty pharmaceutical company listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. He is in charge of international operations for the company, including pharmaceutical asset acquisition/product licensing-in/out, international business development, outbound investment and asset management, among others. Dr. Peng previously was a partner of Northland Bancorp, a private equity firm.

Before that, he worked as a head of life sciences and as a director of corporate finance at Seymour Pierce, a London-based investment bank and stockbroker. Earlier in his career, Dr. Peng was a senior portfolio manager, specialising in global life science and Asian technology investment at Reabourne Technology Investment Management Limited.

Dr. Peng received a Bachelor´s degree in medicine from Hunan Medical College (now Central South University Xiangya School of Medicine) in Changsha, Hunan Province, China, and a Master´s degree in medicine from Hunan Medical College. Dr. Peng was awarded a PhD in molecular pathology from University College London (UCL) Medical School, London, UK and subsequently practiced as a clinical lecturer there.


Jean-Paul Prieels VAXIMM Supervisory Board
Jean-Paul Prieels, PhD
Jean-Paul Prieels, PhD served as a Senior Vice President of Research and Development at GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals (now GSK Vaccines) until January 2011. He joined GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals in 1987 as an Associate Director R&D Projects Evaluation. His responsibilities gradually expanded to lead the global vaccine R&D development activities in Rixensart, Belgium. His career spans from basic research to process and product development. He was instrumental in developing several commercially available vaccines, such as rotavirus, human papilloma virus (HPV), pneumococcal conjugates and others. He serves as a member of the Independent Advisory Board for CureVac Inc. Since 2007, he has been a Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Singapore Bioprocessing Technology Institute. He serves as Chairman of the Board at Immune Health and he was also a Board member of Henogen from 2000 to 2008 (today Novasep).
John Castle, PhD
John Castle, PhD, is Chief Data Scientist at Monte Rosa Therapeutics. Dr. Castle has deep expertise in biomarkers and therapy development using computational immunology, bioinformatics, biotechnology, and genomics. Having built translational bioinformatics and genomics units focused on immunotherapies, Dr. Castle pioneered computational approaches to neoantigen identification for anti-tumor immunity. His bioinformatics and ‘omics approach revolutionized neoantigen vaccine platforms, TCR target identification and I-O response biomarkers. Prior to joining Monte Rosa, he was Associate Vice President for Translational Sciences at Agenus, served as associate director at Rosetta Inpharmatics/Merck & Co. and subsequently co-directed the Biomarker Development Center of Translational Oncology at the University of Mainz, Germany. Dr. Castle built the bioinformatics and genomics department at BioNTech AG. Dr. Castle studied physics at Rice University in Houston and at the University of Göttingen in Germany, was a Fulbright Scholar at the Australian National University in Canberra, and received his Ph.D. in geophysics from the University of Washington in Seattle.


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