December 23, 2022
As planned since 2020, Javier García will transition to the position of Chairman of the Board of Viralgen, effective January 1, 2023. Jimmy Vanhove, Viralgen's former Head of Digital and Operational Readiness, will assume the role of CEO.
Since its establishment in 2017, and under Garcia's leadership, Viralgen has grown to over 400 employees and has increased its physical footprint in San Sebastian, Spain. As a result, the company could soon have over 6000 liters of commercial cGMP manufacturing capacity and is one of the world's leading manufacturers of cGMP-certified AAV. In his new role, Garcia will continue contributing to Viralgen's growth by providing guidance and support in the company's strategy.
"Javier's leadership has been critical to Viralgen's success. We are pleased that he will continue to support the company as Chairman of the Board," stated AskBio Co-Founder and CEO Sheila Mikhail. "With Jimmy as the new CEO, I am confident that Viralgen will continue to thrive and advance in its mission to develop and manufacture gene therapies of the highest quality for their clients. We are excited about the future and look forward to working with Jimmy in his new role."
"I'm happy to see Jimmy step into the role of Viralgen CEO at this important time for our company," added Garcia, "With his leadership, strategic vision and experience, Viralgen will enter the next phase of growth and advance its leading position in the AAV gene therapy CDMO space."
Vanhove brings a wide range of biotech strategy, operational management, and digital transformation experience to his new position. Prior to joining Viralgen in 2021, he served as Chief of Staff at Bayer Global Technical Operations. Vanhove has also held various leadership roles in manufacturing and strategic consulting at multinational companies such as GSK Vaccines and Roland Berger. He holds an MSc in Bioscience Engineering from KU Leuven and an MSc in General Management from Vlerick Business School. Vanhove also holds an executive qualification in Digital Transformation at IMD, Lausanne, and in Executive Management Development at IESE Business School, Barcelona.
"I'm honored and proud to lead Viralgen as it enters its next phase of growth," said Vanhove. "We are inspired by our purpose, which is to provide access to cures for people with genetic disorders, and I'm humbled by the talent and commitment of our team. I couldn't imagine a more exciting time to lead Viralgen”.
Today, Viralgen is a fully integrated CDMO for clinical and commercial manufacturing, process development, analytics, and fill and finish. It is a particular and interesting time in the history of Viralgen as the new facility for Commercial Manufacturing will get soon the green light to start the operations. This will expand the capabilities and capacity to produce up to 6000L of cGMP commercial, as the new facility currently includes 3 independent state-of-the-art commercial production suites with 500L and 2,000L single-use bioreactors.