Aelin Therapeutics is a privately held Belgian biotherapeutics company, pioneering a novel modality in drug development.

Using our Pept-inTM platform technology, we can create a completely new class of antibiotics and first-in-class therapeutics against high-value undruggable human targets. The technology harnesses the power of protein aggregation to specifically induce functional knockdown of a target protein.


Building on a solid scientific base and a convincing data set, Aelin Therapeutics secured € 27M in a Series A financing, bringing together a strong group of well-reputed investors consisting of LSP (the Netherlands), PMV (Belgium), Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund (Germany) and Fund+ (Belgium).




Els Beirnaert


Els Beirnaert, PhD, brings along 18 years of experience in drug development, venture and business development. Previously she was one of the start-up pioneers of Ablynx leading multidisciplinary project teams and translating drug development projects from discovery to pre-clinical development to clinical development (phase 1 and phase 2a). She was Head of New Ventures at VIB responsible for the establishment of start-up/spin-out companies in life sciences. She served in the board of directors of Confo Therapeutics, Q-Biologicals and Multiplicom. Dr. Beirnaert obtained a Master in Biotechnology at the University of Ghent and a PhD in Biochemistry at the University of Antwerp.

Hans Ulrichts

Chief Development Officer

Hans Ulrichts brings more than 15 years of drug development to Aelin Therapeutics.
In 2006, he joined Ablynx, a Sanofi Company, where as a functional lead, he was contributing to the development and successful submission of Cablivi®. Concomitantly, he took various roles with increasing responsibilities leading to heading up the Pharmacology department.
In 2017, he joined UCB as head of the bioanalytical scientific management team, being accountable for the bioanalytical activities in the development portfolio. He contributed to the approval of Cimzia® for non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis and Bimzelx® for the treatment of moderate to severe plaque psoriasis.
Dr Ulrichts holds a PhD degree in Biochemistry from the University of Leuven.

Paul Vauterin

Chief Information Officer

Paul Vauterin holds a masters degree and PhD in physics from the University of Ghent. In 1997 he co-founded Applied Maths, a company that became a global leader in advanced biological data analytics for bacteria. For 15 years he headed the company’s product development team. After this, he worked for three years at the University of Oxford, developing advanced computational tools for the interpretation of large-scale full genome data for malaria research. In 2014, he joined Multiplicom, where as VP Informatics he started a software unit and created CE-IVD approved SAAS software for the analysis and interpretation of the company’s human diagnostics assays based on nextgen sequencing. Subsequently, he moved to ONTOFORCE, a company developing an innovative data science software platform supporting drug discovery & development, and as VP R&D he headed the company’s product development team.

Geert Tackaert

Head Finance & HR

Ann Debunne

Program Manager

Noor Remmerie

Program Manager

Filip Claes

Head of Technology

Andreas Rybka

Head of Chemistry

Andreas Rybka holds a PhD in peptide chemistry and has meanwhile more than 20 years of experience in building and leading teams responsible for peptide synthesis, analysis, biophysical characterization and formulation development. He has a broad experience in the development of peptides in various application routes including peptides targeting intracellular undruggable targets. Besides his experience in different biopharmaceutical companies, he built up extensive expertise in the pharmaceutical (Teva Ratiopharm, Senior Manager Peptide Formulation) and CDMO environment (Eurofins CDMO, Line Manager Drug Product Biologics).

Bernard Scorneaux

VP Preclinical Development

Bernard Scorneaux, PhD, has 20 years of experience in research in infectious diseases, including 15 years in the United States. Specialist in the development of anti-infective drugs, his expertise extends to the entire development process, from design, implementation, and follow-up of preclinical and early clinical studies (Phase I) to the drafting of regulatory documents. He has contributed actively to the development of several first-in-class drug candidates in Europe and the United States, including antifungals, antibiotics and antiretrovirals. Actively involved in the Malaria for Medicine Venture program, he participated in the development of Arterolane, an antimalarial drug responding to a real public health issue, placed on the African market in 2015.

Before joining Aelin Therapeutics, Dr Scorneaux managed several programs and teams within Deinobiotics, Eyevensys, Scynexis, Enanta and the Swiss Tropical Institute.

Bernard Scorneaux holds a PhD in biology, pharmacokinetics and microbiology from the Université Catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium.


Tim Van Hauwermeiren

Chairman and independent director

Tim Van Hauwermeiren co-founded argenx in 2008 and has served as its Chief Executive Officer since April 2008. He has served as a member of its board of directors since July 2014. Mr. Van Hauwermeiren has more than 20 years of general management and business development experience across the life sciences and consumer goods sectors. Mr. Van Hauwermeiren holds a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in bioengineering from Ghent University (Belgium) and an Executive MBA from The Vlerick School of Management.

Prabha Fernandes

Independent director

Dr. Prabhavathi Fernandes has more than 35 years of pharmaceutical discovery, development and management experience in large and small pharmaceutical companies. She obtained her undergraduate and Master’s degree training in India, worked at the University of Ghent, Belgium in Immunochemistry, received her Ph.D. in Microbiology from Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia and completed post-doctoral fellowship in Clinical and Public Health Microbiology. Dr. Fernandes held executive leadership positions at pharmaceutical corporations including Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute where she was a vice-president in Drug Discovery, Abbott Laboratories, where she was the leader of Anti-infective Discovery and The Squibb Institute for Medical Research, where she conducted key research on the first monobactam antibiotic, aztreonam. She was directly involved in the development of antibiotics, six of which have been approved, with one, clarithromycin, achieving sales over a billion dollars for Abbott laboratories. After leaving Bristol- Myers Squibb, she has founded and led four biotechnology and CRO companies as President, Chief Executive Officer and Director of each of these companies. Prior to her retirement in December 2016, she led Cempra, Inc. for 12 years as its founder, CEO and chief scientist and developed solithromycin and fusidic acid. In 2012, she led the initial public offering and listing on Nasdaq for Cempra, and has successfully raised over half a billion dollars for the company and obtained additional drug development support by licensing solithromycin in Japan to Toyama/Fujifilm and obtained funding from BARDA, the biodefense arm of Health and Human Services in the U.S. Prior to Cempra, she was President and CEO of DarPharma, Ricerca and Small Molecule Therapeutics. Dr. Fernandes has served on the U.S. Congressional Panel for Assessment of Impact of Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria and on the American Society for Microbiology Advisory Panel for Antibiotic Resistance. She has worked on policy matters to help in combating antibiotic resistance with IDSA and the Anti-infective Working Group. She serves as the Section Editor for the Journal of Antibiotics, is on the publications committee for the Infectious Diseases Society for America and is an ad hoc reviewer for other journals. She has served as a member of the Product Development working group for Biodefense for the NIAID; and was an Advisory Board Member of Optimer Pharmaceuticals, Inc. as well as the Supervisory Board of GPC Biotech. At Optimer, she was involved with the development of fidaxomicin. In January 2017 she was appointed to the National Biodefense Science Board for the US Government and was appointed its Chairperson in July 2018. In 2018 she was appointed as a Scientific Advisor to GARDP (Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership, a DNDi/WHO initiative) and has been appointed as its Chairperson from November 2019. She is currently on the Supervisory Board of Curetis a European based, publicly traded, molecular diagnostic company. She serves as a consultant and scientific advisor to a few other biotechnology companies. She has authored over 250 publications and several reviews, book chapters and served as an editor for books.

Joseph Bolen

Independent director

Dr. Joseph B. Bolen Ph.D. is Chief Scientific Officer at PureTech Health, a leading biotechnology company listed on the London Stock Exchange and part of the FTSE 250 Index, which develops medicines to combat serious diseases. Dr Bolen has more than 30 years of industry and research experience and has been at the forefront of cancer and immunology research. Before joining PureTech Health, Dr. Bolen oversaw all aspects of research and development for Moderna Therapeutics as president and chief scientific officer. Previously, he was chief scientific officer and global head of oncology research at Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company. Prior to joining Millennium in 1999, Dr Bolen held senior R&D positions at Hoechst Marion Roussel, Schering-Plough and Bristol-Myers Squibb. He began his career at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), where he contributed to the discovery of a class of proteins known as tyrosine kinase oncogenes as key regulators of the immune system. Dr Bolen graduated from the University of Nebraska with a BS degree in microbiology and chemistry and a PhD in immunology and conducted his postdoctoral training in molecular virology at the Kansas State University Cancer Center.

John De Koning

John de Koning, PhD is partner at EQT Life Sciences, formerly LSP, one of Europe’s largest and most experienced healthcare investors, targeting innovative life sciences and health care companies. In addition to Aelin Therapeutics, John currently serves on the boards of ONWARD Medical (Euronext: ONWD), eTheRNA, VarmX, Visus Therapeutics and Xilis. He also served on the boards of several other companies, such as argenx (NASDAQ: ARGX), Merus (NASDAQ: MRUS), BMEYE (acquired by Edwards Lifesciences) and Prosensa (acquired by BioMarin). Prior to joining EQT in 2006, John was the Managing Director of Semaia Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Hybrigenics). Previously, he was a senior researcher within several prestigious medical research labs and worked with, among others, Prof. Hans Clevers, Prof. Bob Löwenberg and Prof. Allan Balmain. John has a Master’s degree in Medical Biology from the University of Utrecht and a PhD in Oncology from the Erasmus University Rotterdam, both in the Netherlands. After obtaining his PhD, he received a prestigious fellowship from the Dutch Cancer Society to work at the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center in San Francisco. His results were published in numerous leading scientific journals, including Nature Genetics.

Kenneth Wils

Kenneth Wils is head of the Life Sciences department at PMV. As an experienced finance and venture capital professional with a passion for life sciences and healthcare, he started his career at BNP Paribas as an equity analyst covering European blue chip chemicals and Belgian pharma and biotechnology companies. After this, he acquired M&A expertise at the Ernst and Young Transaction Advisory department as corporate finance manager. Later on, Kenneth joined PMV, where he laid the foundations of the current life sciences & care activities, first through fund-of-fund investments and after via direct investments in innovative companies. Together with his team, he manages a portfolio of 33 life sciences companies, which represent around 10% of PMV’s assets. At this moment, Kenneth is a member of the board of directors at Aelin Therapeutics, AnimAb, eTheRNA, Feops, and Biotechfonds Vlaanderen. A Chemical Engineer (KULeuven) by training, he complemented his technical background with a postgraduate in Business Economics and an International MBA in General Management. As a people manager he enjoys bringing the best out of his teams.

Frank Kalkbrenner

Frank is the Global Head of the Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund. He served as board member of STAT Diagnostica (acquired by Qiagen in 2018), Hookipa Biotech (IPO at NASDAQ in 2019) and Amal Therapeutics (acquired by Boehringer Ingelheim in 2019). Currently, he is on the Boards of eTheRNA, Aelin Therapeutics, RinRi Therapeutics, Acousia Therapeutics, and Brainomix.
Frank is a physician by training did his PhD in Pharmacology and specialized in Pharmacology and Toxicology. He spent more than 10 years in academic research in the Max-Planck-Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin and in the Institute of Pharmacology of the Freie Universität, Berlin.
He began his industrial career at Schering AG and moved in 1999 to Boehringer Ingelheim joining Pulmonary Research. In 2005, he took over the responsibility for the Licensing Department. In this function, he was responsible for the licensing activities of the German Boehringer Ingelheim organization in various indication areas. In addition, he built up the Biological Research unit at the German Research site in Biberach.
In 2010 - shortly after its initiation - Frank joined the Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund.

Jan Van den Bossche

Jan Van den Bossche holds a Master Degree in Applied Economic Sciences at the KULeuven. He worked for more than 12 years as a biotech analyst at Petercam. He was involved in numerous public and private transactions of Belgian and Dutch Biotech companies, such as ThromoboGenics, Tigenix, UCB, AMT (Uniqure), IBA, MDxHealth . Before he joined Fund+, he was for more than 2 years part of the investor relations team at the Dutch life sciences and materials sciences company DSM (Geleen, NL). He represents Fund+ on the Board of Octimet Oncology, Immunic and Aelin Therapeutics.

Griet Vanpoucke

Griet Vanpoucke, PhD, is Head New Ventures at VIB. With her team she translates exciting science from the research institute into successful novel ventures. She currently also serves as non-exec Director on the Board of Orionis Biosciences. Previously she was part of Pronota, a biomarker discovery and diagnostics start-up company. As Director R&D she was responsible for several internal and partnered biomarker discovery programs. She played a leading role in the companies transformation from a proteomics discovery company to a diagnostic product company, up and till the company was acquired in 2014. She holds a PhD in Biotechnology from Ghent University and did a postdoc at the MRC in Edinburgh, UK.

Aelin Therapeutics’ pipeline is based on the groundbreaking work of renowned structural biologists Prof Joost Schymkowitz and Prof Frederic Rousseau of the Switch lab.

Joost Schymkowitz

Frederic Rousseau and Joost Schymkowitz are a scientific duo since 1998. They both obtained their PhD in 2001 from the University of Cambridge (UK) where they used protein engineering methods to study mechanisms of protein folding. They then moved to the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg (Germany) where they contributed to the development of several structural bioinformatics tools to predict mutational effect on protein stability and aggregation (FoldX and TANGO).

They are currently group leaders at the KU Leuven-VIB Centre for Brain & Disease Research where they conduct research on mechanisms of protein misfolding and aggregation in disease. They developed several technology platforms manipulating protein aggregation either to inhibit protein aggregation or to design synthetic amyloid peptides with biological activity.

Frederic Rousseau

Frederic Rousseau and Joost Schymkowitz are a scientific duo since 1998. They both obtained their PhD in 2001 from the University of Cambridge (UK) where they used protein engineering methods to study mechanisms of protein folding. They then moved to the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg (Germany) where they contributed to the development of several structural bioinformatics tools to predict mutational effect on protein stability and aggregation (FoldX and TANGO).

They are currently group leaders at the KU Leuven-VIB Centre for Brain & Disease Research where they conduct research on mechanisms of protein misfolding and aggregation in disease. They developed several technology platforms manipulating protein aggregation either to inhibit protein aggregation or to design synthetic amyloid peptides with biological activity.

Do you want to be the first to learn about Aelin Therapeutics developments?