Thomas Monath and Farshad Guirakhoo Join Hookipa Biotech as Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Officer
Vienna (Austria), January 8, 2013 - Hookipa Biotech AG, a vaccine biotech start up pioneering a new class of vaccines, today announced the appointment of two new members to its Management team: Thomas P. Monath as Chief Medical Officer and Farshad Guirakhoo as Chief Scientific Officer.
"We are very pleased to have Tom and Farshad join Hookipa," said Dr. Katherine Cohen, Chief Executive Officer of Hookipa Biotech. "Tom is a true vaccine veteran who has spearheaded the development of several market approved vaccines through his past work at CDC, Acambis and other companies, Farshad is an accomplished virologist and has spent more than two decades in both biotech and large pharma companies. With their outstanding track record and deep insight, they will help to accelerate application of our proprietary Vaxwave® vaccine platform for development of new breakthrough vaccines."
"I am extremely impressed with the technology platform being developed by Hookipa and look forward to working with the highly experienced team already assembled at the company," commented Dr. Monath.
"I am very happy to join Hookipa Biotech, a dynamic company with a unique and very promising technology that can potentially be applied to a wide variety of infectious and non-infectious diseases. The competency of its senior leadership team, dedication and close working relationships of the scientific staff and strong support from scientific founders, provide the key ingredients of a successful recipe to develop products against significant unmet medical needs," said Dr. Guirakhoo.
Dr. Thomas P. Monath, serving as consulting Chief Medical Officer will play a key role in setting up Hookipa´s R&D strategies and product development processes. Dr. Monath is a former partner in the Pandemic and Biodefense Fund, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and also Adjunct Professor at the Harvard School of Public Health. He has served on numerous government and international committees on infectious diseases and biosecurity, World Health Organization expert committees and the (U.S) National Vaccines Advisory Committee. Between 1992 and 2006, Dr. Monath was Chief Scientific Officer and Executive Director of Acambis where he pioneered the development of numerous vaccines against various infectious diseases. Acambis was acquired by the vaccine giant Sanofi Pausteur in 2008 for £ 285 million.
Dr. Guirakhoo serving as Chief Scientific Officer will be responsible for all aspects of research and development activities at Hookipa. Prior to joining Hookipa, Dr. Guirakhoo held the position of Senior Director of External Research and Development at Sanofi Pasteur. Before his appointment at Sanofi in 2007, he spent 15 years with vaccine biotech Acambis, where he headed research and co-invented the ChimeriVax-technology platform.
About Hookipa Biotech AG
Hookipa Biotech, founded in Vienna, Austria in summer 2011, develops a new class of innovative prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines based on its proprietary Vaxwave® technology.
The Vaxwave® technology is a novel vaccine platform using a replication-defective viral vector for the prevention and treatment of multiple infectious diseases and cancer. The platform is one of the most promising new technologies for next generation vaccines due to its ability to stimulate both potent B-cell and CD8+ T-cell immune responses. Vaxwave® has been validated in various disease models. Unlike other vectors, Vaxwave® vaccines can be administered repeatedly to boost the immune system.
In October 2011, Hookipa raised €7 million from internationally renowned venture capital investors, Sofinnova Partners and Forbion Capital Partners. The company currently focuses on the development of its lead vaccine candidate HB101 and plans to further industrialize the Vaxwave® technology and build a robust product pipeline. Hookipa has recently moved into its state-of-the-art BSL2 facility at the Campus Vienna Biocenter.