Neovacs SA Strengthens Scientific Leadership Through Executive Appointments

Therese Croughs, M.D., Named Chief Medical Officer

Géraldine Grouard-Vogel, Pharm.D., Ph.D., Appointed Chief Scientific Officer

PARIS, March 11, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- NEOVACS (Alternext Paris:ALNEV - FR0004032746), a leader in active immunotherapies for the treatment of autoimmune diseases, today announced the enhancement of its scientific leadership team with the appointment of Therese Croughs, M.D., as Chief Medical Officer, effective immediately. Dr. Croughs replaces Pierre Vandepapeliere who is leaving the Company to pursue other opportunities. Additionally, Géraldine Grouard-Vogel, Pharm.D., Ph.D., has been promoted from Head of Research and Preclinical Development to Chief Scientific Officer.

Jean-Jacques Bertrand, Chairman of Neovacs, commented, "We are proud to welcome Therese to the Neovacs team. Her expertise in immunology and oncology, and extensive experience in defining worldwide clinical development programs for immunotherapies and biologics will be instrumental for Neovacs at such a critical time in our clinical development. We plan to launch two clinical trials in lupus with IFNa-Kinoid in the coming months, and we are preparing to initiate the development of IFNa-Kinoid in dermatomyositis, with every intention of a rapid entry into the clinic."

"Therese will be supported in this effort by Géraldine Grouard-Vogel, our new Chief Scientific Officer, who has been a cornerstone of our R&D initiatives for the last 10 years. I am particularly pleased to see her take an even greater strategic role within our company, and have the utmost faith that she will thrive in this new position. We thank Pierre for his dedication to the Company and his contributions to strengthening Neovacs' scientific capabilities over the last seven years. We wish him the best in his future endeavors," Bertrand said.

Dr. Croughs brings more than 20 years of drug development and regulatory affairs experience to the CMO position at Neovacs. Her experience includes work with companies of a variety of sizes in various stages of clinical development in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries across Europe, North America and Asia. Dr. Croughs will lead the clinical development programs for IFNa-Kinoid in lupus and dermatomyositis, while and preparing for the launch of the VEGF-Kinoid development program.

Dr. Croughs began her career in the pharmaceutical industry at Bayer, where she worked on the design, implementation and oversight of clinical trials and product registrations, notably r-FVIII for haemophiliac patients. After 10 years at Bayer, she joined Novo Nordisk where she served as international medical adviser for EU clinical developments of r-FVIIa in severe haemorrhages. Dr. Croughs entered the biotechnology industry in 2004 as the Director of the Adhesive Technology and New Projects Business Units of BioAlliance Pharma. Prior to joining Neovacs, Dr. Croughs was Chief Medical Officer at Cytheris for over six years, where she notably defined the R&D strategy for the worldwide development plan of Cytheris' immunotherapy program r-hIL-7 (growth factor for the immune system). Dr. Croughs has a medical degree from the Catholic University of Louvain, Brussels, Belgium.

Géraldine Grouard-Vogel, Pharm.D., Ph.D., who is currently the Director of R&D and preclinical development, has been promoted to the role of Chief Scientific Officer of Neovacs. Dr. Grouard-Vogel's new role as CSO, will allow her to oversee all scientific developments for Neovacs and play a greater role in promoting Neovacs' preclinical and clinical portfolio candidates.

Dr. Grouard-Vogel joined Neovacs in 2005 and has more than 12 years of pharmaceutical development experience in the U.S. She previously worked at Sanofi-Pasteur USA in bacterial vaccine development. Prior to entering the biotechnology industry, Dr. Grouard-Vogel worked at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research on dengue vaccine development1 and at Seattle University studying HIV-dendritic cells interactions. She holds a Degree in Pharmacy from Angers University (France) and a Ph.D. in immunology - conducted with Pr. Jacques Banchereau at Schering-Plough Lyon (France). Dr. Grouard-Vogel has authored several scientific publications in peer-reviewed journals and patents. She discovered the plasmacytoid dendritic cell2 and demonstrated the presence of dendritic cells in germinal center3 and dendritic cells as the first target for dengue virus1. She has also authored several patents regarding the Kinoid technology.

About Neovacs

Created in 1993, Neovacs is today a leading biotechnology company focused on an active immunotherapy technology platform (Kinoids) with applications in autoimmune and/or inflammatory diseases. On the basis of the company's proprietary technology for inducing a polyclonal immune response (covered by five patent families that potentially run until 2032) Neovacs is focusing its clinical development efforts on IFNa-Kinoid, an immunotherapy being developed for the indication of lupus. Neovacs is also conducting preclinical development works on other therapeutic vaccines in the fields of auto-immune diseases, oncology and allergies. The goal of the Kinoid approach is to enable patients to have access to safe treatments with efficacy that is sustained in these life-long diseases.

For more information on Neovacs, please visit

1 Nature medicine 2000

2 Grouard et al., Journal of experimental medicine, 1997

3 Grouard, Nature, 1996


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