Nijmegen, the Netherlands – Byondis B.V. today announced the appointment of Timo K. van den Berg, Ph.D., as senior director, Immuno-Oncology (IO) Research and Development. Van den Berg will assume this role on September 1, operating out of Byondis’ headquarters in Nijmegen.
In his new role, Van den Berg will be instrumental in helping shape Byondis’ IO pipeline, which includes the anti-SIRPα monoclonal antibody BYON4228.
“We are pleased to welcome Timo to the Byondis family. He is a globally recognized IO pioneer, having made important contributions to the field, such as being the first to describe the role of SIRPα and recognizing the potential to use this target to develop a drug for the benefit of cancer patients,” said Byondis Chief Scientific Officer Wim Dokter, Ph.D.
As a longstanding Byondis collaborator, Professor van den Berg played a pivotal role in the discovery of the CD47-SIRPα axis as an innate immune checkpoint. CD47 is known in the IO space as the “don’t eat me” signal that allows tumors to escape recognition and destruction.
“I am very excited about this new chapter in my career,” said Professor van den Berg. “I believe that Byondis and I are well matched. We share the same values, including a strong, goal-oriented work ethic, and a passion for improving patients’ lives by creating precision medicines targeting difficult-to-treat cancers.”
Van den Berg brings to Byondis more than 30 years of experience in the IO field -- as a renowned researcher, educator, inventor, lecturer and coauthor of over 175 peer-reviewed publications. His most recent position was head and principal investigator, Immunotherapy Laboratory, Department of Molecular Hematology at Sanquin Research, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Since 2017, Van den Berg has been professor of Immunotherapy, Vrije Universiteit, which is affiliated with the Department of Molecular Cell Biology and Immunology, Amsterdam University Medical Center. He spent 25 years as research group leader and department head at Amsterdam University Medical Center and Sanquin Research. Sanquin, a non-profit organization responsible for the blood supply in the Netherlands, also develops and produces pharmaceutical products, conducts scientific research and develops and performs diagnostic services.
Van den Berg is a member of many boards, including Amsterdam Infection and Immunity Institute and Cancer Center Amsterdam. His professional memberships include the Dutch Society of Immunology and the European Society for Clinical Investigation. He received his Ph.D. from Amsterdam’s Vrije Universiteit, and his M.Sc. in Biological Sciences (cum laude) from the University of Amsterdam.
Driven to improve patients’ lives, Byondis is an independent, privately held, clinical stage biopharmaceutical company creating innovative precision medicines targeting intractable cancers and autoimmune diseases. The company is developing new biological entities (NBEs) and new chemical entities (NCEs) using proprietary molecular concepts, such as ByonZine®, its duocarmazine linker-drug (LD) technology, and ByonShieLD®, its site-specific conjugation technology, to generate next generation antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs).
Byondis’ broad development portfolio comprises preclinical as well as early- and late-stage clinical programs, including the anti-HER2 ADC [vic-]trastuzumab duocarmazine (SYD985), whose pivotal Phase III TULIP® study recently released positive topline results. The company has a dedicated team of about 400 employees, including highly educated scientists and skilled technicians working in state-of-the-art R&D and Good Manufacturing Practice manufacturing facilities on its Nijmegen campus in the Netherlands. Byondis regularly collaborates with leading, global biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, as well as many academic research institutions. For more information, visit www.byondis.com.