Leadership

Management Team
Daniel de Boer is our founding Chief Executive Officer since our incorporation in 2012. Daniel is a serial-entrepreneur and passionate advocate for rare disease patients. He assembled a group of successful biotech executives as co-founders and built a team of a 150 experienced scientists and drug developers, devoted to creating RNA therapies for patients in need. Under Daniel’s leadership ProQR initiated clinical trials in multiple development programs for rare diseases, and raised over $300M in funding, including an IPO on Nasdaq. Daniel is responsible for the overall strategy and general business in the company. Before founding ProQR, Daniel was founder and Chief Executive Officer of RNA Systems, PC Basic and Running IT, companies he led through phases of growth, developing and launching several products in multiple European countries. Daniel was also a co-founder of Amylon Therapeutics, a company developing therapies for genetic brain diseases. In 2018 Daniel was named "Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year" by EY.

Gerard Platenburg has served as our Chief Innovation Officer since February 2014. Gerard is a co-founder of our company and also served as the sole member of our supervisory board between August 2012 and December 2013. Gerard has an extensive background in RNA modulation and orphan drug discovery and development and is in charge of our innovation unit. Gerard has more than twenty years of senior managerial experience, which he gained during his different operational and leadership roles in growing biotech companies. Prior to joining our company, Gerard worked at Isa Pharmaceuticals B.V. from June 2009 to January 2014. Gerard co-founded Prosensa Holding N.V., growing it to become a well-known RNA modulation clinical stage company, and held various positions between April 2002 and May 2009, including Chief Executive Officer and Chief Development Officer. Gerard also worked at Pharming B.V. from April 1990 to March 2002. He is a passionate and driven pioneer of early stage technologies. Gerard has a master’s degree in chemistry and molecular biology from Leiden University in 1987 and pursued PhD work at Leiden University.

Smital Shah has served as our Chief Financial Officer since October 2014 and was promoted to Chief Business and Financial Officer in November 2018, where she is responsible for finance, investor relations and communications, business development and commercial. Smital has a 12-year track record of management and leadership in biopharma companies and investment banking, with particular experience in financial strategy, capital markets and business development. Prior to joining us Smital was at Gilead Sciences, where she managed their multi-billion dollar debt, cash and investment portfolios. Prior to Gilead, Smital spent several years in investment banking at Leerink Partners and JP Morgan focused on capital raising and strategic transactions in the biotech space. During this time, Smital has helped raise over $1 billion in equity capital and over $7 billion in debt capital for emerging and established biotech companies as well advised on a variety of strategic transactions such as mergers, divestitures, asset sales, dividends, royalty monetizations and corporate partnerships. Previously, she held various R&D focused roles at Johnson & Johnson. Smital has a Bachelors and Masters in Chemical Engineering and an MBA from the University of California at Berkeley.

David Rodman, MD is our Executive Vice President of Research & Development. David joined ProQR in 2017 having previously served in leadership roles with Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research (NIBR), Vertex Pharmaceuticals, miRagen Therapeutics and Nivalis Therapeutics. Prior to moving to industry in 2005, David had a distinguished academic career, leading the Center for Genetic Lung Diseases at the University of Colorado and directing the Cystic Fibrosis Care, Teaching and Research efforts at the National Jewish Medical and Research Center in Denver, Colorado. During 12 years in industry, David has had global responsibility for driving innovation in the translation of cutting-edge science into transformational new therapies for rare diseases including CF, pulmonary fibrosis, pulmonary artery hypertension and severe immunologic and inflammatory diseases. At Vertex Pharmaceuticals he directed early- and late-stage CF clinical development programs including Kalydeco®, Orkambi® and VX-661. David received a BA in Economics from Haverford College in 1976, an MD from the University of Pennsylvania in 1980 and completed training in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the University of Colorado. He has served as an advisor to the National Institutes of Health, was elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation and is a Fellow of the American Heart Association.


Leadership Team
Aniz Girach, MD is our Chief Medical Officer. After having spent 11 years in academia, he joined the pharmaceutical industry with Eli Lilly, focusing on retinal diseases. He has in total 22 years industry experience in roles with Merck, as their Global Head of Ophthalmology, and Alcon, where he was Vice President of Clinical Development, and ThromboGenics (now Oxurion), where he was the Global Head of Ophthalmology/Chief Medical Officer overseeing the development and approval of Ocriplasmin (Jetrea)—a first in class biologic therapy for retinal disease. In addition to an Honorary Professorship at Wills Eye Hospital, Philadelphia, USA, he was recently the Chief Medical Officer at Nightstar Therapeutics, overseeing the development of gene therapies for inherited retinal diseases. He is a member of 3 Scientific Advisory Boards for international ophthalmic organizations currently, and reviewer for 5 peer-reviewed journals, including Eye and IOVS. He has edited 4 books and published over 100 abstracts/manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals in Ophthalmology.

Tiffany Burt is our Vice president, Head of Commercial and has more than 20 years of global commercial experience across all phases of pre-launch market development and global biopharmaceutical commercialization including multiple rare therapeutic areas. She has been involved with the launch of 8 different products. Prior to joining ProQR, she served as Vice President, Marketing at Verastem Oncology where she built the marketing organization including key platforms and programs across the commercial organization launching Duvelisib in 2018. Before joining Verastem, Tiffany held numerous commercial leadership positions at EMD Serono, ARIAD and Novartis. Tiffany received her undergraduate degree in psychology from Vanderbilt University and an MBA from Webster University.

Supervisory Board

Dinko Valerio is one of our founders and currently serves as the chairman of our supervisory board. Mr. Valerio has served on our supervisory board since January 2014. Mr. Valerio is a scientist and an experienced biotech entrepreneur with experience in both public and private companies as CEO and board member. Mr. Valerio is founder and former CEO of Crucell N.V., a Dutch biotech company, and founder and former general partner of Aescap Venture, a life sciences venture capital firm. In 1999, Mr. Valerio was one of the founders of Galapagos Genomics N.V., a spinout from Crucell N.V. which develops novel mode of action medicines. Adding to his corporate experience, Mr. Valerio is a professor in the field of gene therapy of the hematopoietic system at the University of Leiden. He received his Master of Science degree in Biology from the University of Amsterdam in 1982 and completed his Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics with Honors at the University of Leiden in 1986. Mr. Valerio also was a visiting scientific specialist at Genentech Inc., San Francisco in 1985 and a postdoctoral fellow at the Salk Institute, San Diego from 1986 to 1987. He is an author on more than 100 articles in peer-reviewed journals and an inventor on 11 patent-families.

Antoine Papiernik has served on our supervisory board since January 2014. Mr. Papiernik is managing partner at Sofinnova Partners, which he joined in 1997. Mr. Papiernik has been an initial investor and active board member in public companies like Actelion, Addex, Auris Medical, Orexo, NovusPharma (then sold to CTI), Movetis (then sold to Shire), Mainstay, Pixium and Stentys, which went public respectively on the Zürich Stock Exchange, the NASDAQ Global Market, the Stockholm Stock Exchange, the Milan Nuovo Mercato, the Belgium Stock Exchange, the Dublin Stock Exchange and EuroNext Paris, in Cotherix (initially NASDAQ listed, then sold to Actelion), CoreValve (sold to Medtronic), Fovea (sold to Sanofi Aventis) and Ethical Oncology Science (EOS, sold to Clovis Oncology). Mr. Papiernik has also invested in and is a board member of private companies MD Start, ReCor, Shockwave Medical and Reflexion Medical. Mr. Papiernik has an MBA degree from the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania.

Alison Lawton has served on our supervisory board since September 2014. Ms Lawton is currently President and Chief Executive Officer of Kaleido Biosciences Inc. Ms. Lawton previously served as Chief Operating Officer of Aura Biosciences Inc. and OvaScience, Inc. From 1991 to 2013, Ms. Lawton worked at various positions of increasing responsibility at Genzyme Corporation, or Genzyme, and subsequently at Sanofi-Aventis, following its 2011 acquisition of Genzyme, each a global biopharmaceutical company. Ms. Lawton served as head of Genzyme Biosurgery, where she was responsible for Genzyme’s global orthopedics, surgical and cell therapy and regenerative medicine businesses. Prior to that, Ms. Lawton oversaw Global Market Access at Genzyme, which included Regulatory Affairs, Global Health Outcomes and Strategic Pricing, Global Public Policy, and Global Product Safety & Risk Management. Before joining Genzyme, Ms. Lawton worked for seven years in the United Kingdom at Parke-Davis, a pharmaceutical company. Ms. Lawton serves on the board of directors of Verastem, Inc., a public biopharmaceutical company. She also served on the board of directors of Cubist Pharmaceuticals for three years until its acquisition by Merck &Co., Inc. in 2015. She currently sits on the Scientific Advisory Board for the Massachusetts Life Science Center. She is past President and Chair of the Board of Regulatory Affairs Professional Society and past FDA Advisory Committee member for Cell and Gene Therapy Committee. She earned her BSc in Pharmacology, with honors, from King’s College London.

James Shannon, MD has served on our Supervisory Board since June 2016. James has had an extensive career in drug development and pharma. From 2012 until his retirement in 2015, James was Chief Medical Officer at GlaxoSmithKline. Prior to that he was Global Head of Pharma Development at Novartis and Senior Vice-President, Clinical Development at Sterling Winthrop Pharmaceuticals. He held board positions at companies including Biotie, Circassia, Crucell, Endocyte, MannKind and Cerimon Pharmaceuticals. He received his undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at Queen's University of Belfast and is a Member of the Royal College of Physicians (UK).

Bart Filius joined Galapagos in 2014 as CFO and added the role of COO in 2017. Prior to joining Galapagos, Mr. Filius held a variety of executive positions at Sanofi , where he was Vice President, CFO Europe, Country manager for The Netherlands and Vice President for Mergers & Acquisitions. Prior to joining Sanofi, Mr. Filius was a strategy consultant at Arthur D. Little. Mr. Filius has an MBA degree from INSEAD and a bachelor’s degree in business from Nyenrode University.

Theresa Heggie currently serves as Senior Vice President, Head of CEMEA at Alnylam Pharmaceuticals. She previously served in senior commercial and operating roles at Shire where she built the EMEA rare disease business and led the Global Commercial Operations and, following Shire’s acquisition of Jerini served as its Chief Executive Officer. Earlier in her career, Ms. Heggie held increasingly senior positions in the commercial organizations at Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Baxter Healthcare. Ms. Heggie has also been a board member at SOBI (Swedish Orphan Biovitrum) and currently serves on the board of BioCryst. She received a BSc from Cornell University.

Honorary Supervisory Board Member

Henri Termeer
28 February 1946 – 12 May 2017

Henri was our co-founder in 2012 and vice chairman of our supervisory board from January 2014 until he passed away on May 12th 2017. From October 1983 to June 2011, Henri served as chairman, president and chief executive officer of Genzyme Corporation. For ten years prior to joining Genzyme, Henri worked for Baxter International Laboratories, Inc., a manufacturer of human health care products. Henri resigned from Genzyme in June 2011 following the acquisition of Genzyme by Sanofi. Widely acknowledged for his contributions to the biotechnology industry and health care field, Henri was active in the areas of humanitarian assistance, policy issues, and innovation in providing access to health care. He was a member of the board of each of Massachusetts General Hospital and Partners HealthCare and a member of the board of fellows of Harvard Medical School. Henri was also a member of the board of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and serves on its Executive Committee and a board member of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO). He was chairman emeritus of the New England Healthcare Institute, a nonprofit, applied research health policy organization he was instrumental in founding. Henri was a board member of ProQR Therapeutics N.V., Abiomed Inc., Aveo Pharmaceuticals, Verastem, Inc., Moderna Therapeutics and Medical Simulation, and was a board member of Allergan, Inc. from 2014 through its acquisition by Actavis in March 2015. In 2008, he was appointed to Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s Council of Economic Advisors. Henri was chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s board of directors from 2010-2011. Henri studied economics at the Economische Hogeschool (Erasmus University, the Netherlands) and earned an MBA from the Darden School at the University of Virginia.

Henri was a visionary rare disease leader that pioneered rare disease drug development as the CEO of Genzyme. In 2017 Henri unexpectedly passed away. ProQR will continue to honor his legacy through completing the mission we set out together.
Learn more on HenriTermeer.org

Scientific Advisory Board

Art Levin, PhD has more than two decades of experience in RNA drug development from discovery through drug registration, both in large pharma and biotech companies. He has been key to the development of numerous of oligonucleotides, including the first approved antisense medicines, and the first microRNA-targeted therapeutic in clinical trials. He is currently the Executive Vice President, Research and Development at Avidity Biosciences, Dr. Levin has published over 60 scientific articles and served as a director of the Oligonucleotide Therapeutics Society.

Pete Adamson, PhD is VP, Disease Area Stronghold Head, Ophthalmology at Johnson & Johnson. He is our former Senior Vice President of Ophthalmology. Pete previously served as the Vice President and Head of Discovery Ophthalmology GlaxoSmithKline. During his time with GSK Pete was responsible for the scientific aspects of a number of high profile external alliances and the development of a number of internal assets. Pete obtained his PhD in Biochemistry from the University of London and subsequently worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Cancer Research and Vascular Biology Research Centre before becoming Professor at University College London Institute of Ophthalmology. Pete has authored over one hundred peer-reviewed scientific publications in the domains of inflammation, ophthalmology and neurology. Pete retains an honorary appointment at UCL, Institute of Ophthalmology where he is Professor of Molecular Pathology.

Phillip D. Zamore, PhD is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, Gretchen Stone Cook Chair of Biomedical Sciences, Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, and Chair of the RNA Therapeutics Institute at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He is also a co-founder of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals and Voyager Therapeutics. Dr. Zamore and his coworkers have played a role in nearly all of the major breakthroughs in the study of RNA silencing.

Cy Stein, MD is a Professor of Medical Oncology and Molecular and Cellular Biology and the former chair of the Department of Medical Oncology & Therapeutics Research at City of Hope, overseeing the department’s clinical and research programs. He was co-editor-in-chief of Nucleic Acid Therapeutics for over 20 years and the series editor for Perspectives in Antisense Science. Dr. Stein has been named a top physician in his field by New York Times Magazine and New York Magazine, he has been awarded 11 patents, and he has published widely in prominent journals, including Science, Nature Biotechnology and Annals of Internal Medicine.

Annemieke Aartsma Rus, PhD, professor of Translational Genetics at the Leiden University Medical Center, has played an important role in the development of the antisense mediated exon skipping therapy for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). In 2015 and 2016 she was selected as the most influential scientist in DMD in the past 10 years by Expertscape. Dr. Aartsma-Rus has coordinated stakeholder meetings involving academics, industry, regulators and patient representatives, including two hosted by the European Medicine Agencies in April 2015 and November 2016. Amongst others, she is chair of the COST Action “Networking towards clinical application of antisense-mediated exon skipping for rare diseases”, past chair of the executive board of the TREAT-NMD alliance, and President-Elect of the Oligonucleotide Therapeutics Society.

Thaddeus (Ted) Dryja, MD is a Professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School and faculty member at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. He previously served as the Global Head of Ophthalmology Research at the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research. In 1983, he joined the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and the faculty of the Department of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School where he led a research team studying the molecular genetics of hereditary diseases of the retina, as well as practicing general ophthalmology and ophthalmic pathology. Dr. Dryja’s research discoveries include finding compelling evidence for the recessive nature of oncogenic mutations at tumor suppressor genes like the retinoblastoma gene, the identification and cloning of the retinoblastoma gene, and the identification of 16 different genes responsible for forms of retinal degeneration and retinal dysfunction. In 1996, he became a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

Peter A. Beal, PhD is a Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of California at Davis. His research focuses on the use of chemical approaches to the study of RNA biology with a particular emphasis on RNA editing and RNA interference. Work in the Beal laboratory has advanced our basic understanding of the mechanism of action for the ADAR enzymes responsible for adenosine to inosine RNA editing in humans. In addition, his group has led in the development of structure-guided methods for optimizing chemically modified oligonucleotides for RNA interference with reduced off-target effects. Beal received a Bachelor of Science degree from University of North Dakota in 1989 where he carried out undergraduate research in nucleoside analog synthesis with Professor Donald Bergstrom. He received his Ph.D. under the direction of Professor Peter B. Dervan at the California Institute of Technology in 1994 and was a National Institutes of Health (NIH) postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University in the laboratory of Professor Stuart L. Schreiber from 1994-'96. Beal joined the faculty of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Utah in 1996 where he rose to the rank of Full Professor in 2005. He moved to UC Davis in 2006 where he holds the tenured rank of Professor. His awards and service to the research community include: NIH First Award (1998), Camille Dreyfus Teacher Scholar Award (2002), Robert Parry Teaching Award, University of Utah (2005); Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2012) Charter member of Synthesis and Biological Chemistry A NIH study section (2008-2012). Beal teaches organic chemistry at the undergraduate level and several classes in nucleic acids chemistry and chemical biology at the graduate level. He is also Director of the NIH-funded UC Davis Chemical Biology Graduate Program. Beal has mentored over 40 Ph.D. and Master of Science degree students carrying out graduate research in his laboratory.

Yi-Tao Yu, PhD is a Professor of biochemistry and biophysics at the University of Rochester Medical Center, where he started his own research laboratory in 1999. His research is focused on understanding the role of posttranscriptional RNA editing in regulating cellular processes, such as telomere regeneration, pre-mRNA splicing, and protein coding capacity of mRNAs. He is also known as a pioneer of targeted RNA editing for correcting protein translation defects caused by premature termination codons. Professor Yu is the author of over 70 peer-reviewed scientific articles, and has served as a member or reviewer in a number of scientific, government, and patient organizations, including the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Gilbert Family Foundation and the RNA Society. He received his PhD from Case Western Reserve University in 1994, and initiated his research into RNA editing during his postdoctoral studies at Yale University School of Medicine 1995-1999.

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