Dr. Scheer brings over 25 years of international life science experience in multiple disciplines, technologies and therapeutic areas
Leuven, BELGIUM – 23 April 2020 – Aelin Therapeutics NV, an emerging biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of breakthrough Pept-in™-based therapeutics with novel modes of action to treat serious infectious diseases and cancer, today announces that it has appointed Dr. Alexander Scheer as Chief Scientific Officer (CSO), effective 1 May 2020. Dr. Scheer will be responsible for setting the scientific strategy and priorities for Aelin Therapeutics, as well as overseeing day-to-day research operations.
Dr. Scheer joins Aelin Therapeutics from Erytech Pharma where he most recently served as Chief Scientific Officer, responsible for research and preclinical development in oncology and rare diseases.
Dr. Els Beirnaert, Chief Executive Officer of Aelin Therapeutics, commented: “We are very pleased to welcome Alexander to Aelin Therapeutics. He is an experienced international leader with a broad knowledge of drug development across multiple disease indications and drug platforms, including significant experience in tackling undruggable disease targets. His proven track record of driving drug discovery and development across both internal and external programs will be invaluable as we further expand the applications of our platform to build a pipeline of novel therapeutics to treat life-threatening diseases. We are honored that someone with Alexander’s caliber is joining our team and we look forward to his contributions to bring the company to its next stage of development.”
Dr. Alexander Scheer added: “I am very impressed by the science and innovation of Aelin Therapeutics and the company’s unique and validated approach in addressing severe, difficult-to-treat diseases. I believe that the company has significant opportunity to further exploit a novel disease target space that is difficult to address with current small molecule drugs and biologicals. I am very excited to join this unique company and I look forward to working with the talented team to continue to build leadership in innovative drug development.”
Dr. Alexander Scheer brings over 25 years of industry experience across both biotech and large pharmaceutical companies. He has held multiple R&D and leadership positions at Merck Serono, Pierre Fabre and Erytech Pharma. Dr. Scheer holds a Master’s Degree in Chemistry/Biochemistry from the University of Göttingen, Germany and a Ph.D. in Chemistry/Biochemistry from the German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg. He did his post-doctoral studies in GPCR research at the Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology of the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. Dr. Scheer is co-author of 44 peer-reviewed publications and a co-inventor on four granted and pending patent applications.
About Aelin Therapeutics’ proprietary Pept-in™ technology platform
Aelin Therapeutics’ breakthrough Pept-in™ technology is a highly flexible and powerful platform that can be applied on any disease-related protein, representing a new paradigm in drug discovery and development to tackle diseases that are currently difficult to address with small molecule- and antibody-based drugs. The technology is protected by a broad and strong IP portfolio, trade secrets and knowhow.
Active proteins fold into a three-dimensional structure during and after synthesis. However, some triggers, such as unfavorable environmental conditions or gene mutations, can disturb this folding process, resulting in the aggregation of proteins and thereby making them inactive.
Aggregation prone regions (APR) promote this aggregation process and have been identified inside almost all proteins. The Pept-in™ technology has been discovered and developed based on the observation that the protein aggregation process can be induced in almost any protein by using a synthetic peptide that contains a target protein APR.
Pept-ins™ can therefore functionally and selectively knock-out almost any protein, independent of structural or functional protein class, forming the basis of novel therapeutics against high-value undruggable targets to treat severe diseases with high unmet needs, including infections and various types of cancer.
About Aelin Therapeutics
Aelin Therapeutics is an emerging biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of breakthrough Pept-in™-based therapeutics with novel modes of action to address current high unmet needs in infectious diseases and oncology.
Based on its powerful technology platform, the Company is building a proprietary product pipeline of anti-infectives and anti-cancer drugs. To date, preclinical proofs-of-concept have been achieved in multiple disease areas and published in landmark papers such as Science and Nature.
Aelin Therapeutics was founded in 2017 as a spin-off from the VIB (Flanders Institute for Biotechnology) and its partner universities KU Leuven, VUB and UGent. The Company is backed by a syndicate of renowned life science investors comprising LSP (The Netherlands), PMV (Belgium), Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund (Germany) and Fund+ (Belgium).
 Khodaparast et al. (2018) Aggregating sequences that occur in many proteins constitute weak spots of bacterial proteostasis. Nat Commun 9(1), 866. Gallardo et al. (2016) De novo design of a biologically active amyloid. Science 354(6313), aah4949