Our company

Virometix AG is a privately held biotechnology company developing a new generation of vaccines and immunotherapeutic drugs for the prevention and treatment of infectious and chronic human diseases.

In an increasingly global world there is a considerable medical need for vaccines to combat infectious as well as a number of chronic human diseases. Fast growing demands, health threats from newly arising complex viral and bacterial pathogens and increasingly stringent requirements for stability, safety and tolerability require new approaches to tackling current and future challenges.

Rational molecular design, chemical synthesis and Virometix' proprietary Synthetic Virus-Like Particle platform technology allow for the rapid production and optimization of vaccine candidates with superior properties in terms of safety, efficacy and stability.

Virometix is a spin-out company from the University of Zurich. Virometix AG was founded end of 2009, and is based in Zurich, Switzerland.

Our mission

Virometix' mission is to develop safe, effective new-generation vaccines for the treatment of chronic human diseases and the prevention of infectious diseases afflicting millions of people worldwide.

Virometix exploits the tools traditionally used in drug discovery, rational molecular design and chemical synthesis, for the generation of structurally optimized Synthetic Antigen Mimetics (SAMs) along with its proprietary Synthetic Virus-Like Particle (SVLP) platform technology for delivery of SAMS to immune system cells.

With its uniquely positioned SVLP and SAM platform technologies, Virometix aims to establish a new benchmark in the design of synthetic vaccines and nanomedicines.

Management

Dr. Arin Ghasparian
Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Ghasparian is CEO, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors and a co-founder of Virometix. He has been a member of the management team since the incorporation of the company in 2009. Prior to Virometix Dr. Ghasparian worked as a researcher at the University of Zurich, where he developed novel approaches to vaccine design. During this time, he co-invented the Synthetic Virus-like Particle technology and laid the groundwork for the foundation of the company. Dr. Ghasparian studied Chemistry and holds a Doctorate in Biochemistry from the University of Zurich.

Dr. Armando Zuniga
Chief Scientific Officer

Dr. Zuniga joined Virometix as CSO in July 2013. He previously worked at Crucell/Berna Biotech Ltd., where he held senior positions in the recombinant vaccines department and at Redbiotec AG as Head of Pre-Clinical Development. He has 20 years of research experience in Life Sciences and more than 12 years of industry experience in vaccine development. Dr. Zuniga holds a DVM degree from the Institute of Veterinary Bacteriology of the University of Zurich.

Emmanuel Savioz, MBA
Chief Financial Officer

Emmanuel Savioz, MBA has 15 years experience in financing and business. He co-founded and is a Board member of several high tech companies in Switzerland including Phi Pharma, HYT, and Preciflex. Over the past 7 years, Mr. Savioz arranged more than CHF 70 million of equity financing for high tech companies in Switzerland. Previously, he worked in New York as an investment banker in M&A handling large international transactions in consumer goods and healthcare. Emmanuel Savioz is former member of the Admission Committee of the MBA Program at IMD in Lausanne, Switzerland, and holds an MBA from the Haas School of Business, University of California at Berkeley, USA.

Board of Directors

Dr. Pierre Morgon, Pharm.D. LL.M., MBA
Chairman

Dr. Morgon has over 30 years of experience up to C-level positions in large life science companies, including Sanofi Pasteur, and biotech firms such as AJ-Biologics. In these roles, he has provided leadership in the construction and expansion of vaccine portfolios and partnerships, with turnaround initiatives and with financing for start-up vaccine companies. Dr. Morgon is also Regional Partner for Switzerland at Mérieux Développement, Non-Executive Director to the Board of Theradiag, as well as Non-Executive Director to the Board of Eurocine Vaccines. He holds a Doctor of pharmacy and MBA with additional qualifications in Business Law.

Dr. Arin Ghasparian
Vice-Chairman

Dr. Ghasparian is CEO, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors and a co-founder of Virometix. He has been a member of the management team since the incorporation of the company in 2009. Prior to Virometix Dr. Ghasparian worked as a researcher at the University of Zurich, where he developed novel approaches to vaccine design. During this time, he co-invented the Synthetic Virus-like Particle technology and laid the groundwork for the foundation of the company. Dr. Ghasparian studied Chemistry and holds a Doctorate in Biochemistry from the University of Zurich.

Dr. Isaac Kobrin, MD

Dr. Isaac Kobrin is an internist with 15 years of experience in academic medicine both in Israel and the USA. With 23 years of experience in the Pharma industry, he was responsible for the worldwide clinical development of key compounds at Roche for 10 years and subsequently in Actelion for 13 years. In Actelion, Dr. Kobrin was the head of clinical development and member of the executive committee for 10 years and later he was appointed as Chief Medical Officer and Chairman of the Strategic and Portfolio Board of the company. Dr. Kobrin is also a Board member at ProteoMediX.

Dr. Ivan Csendes

Dr. Ivan Csendes has a longstanding experience in the pharmaceutical industry. He has been working for 30 years at Ciba-Geigy and Novartis, the first seven years as laboratory head in antibiotics chemistry research, afterwards 23 years in the Business Development & Licensing Department, where he was responsible for in and/or out-licensing of drugs in different therapeutic areas, as well as for drug delivery and drug-device projects. Ivan Csendes is a founding member and member of the board of Swiss Pharma Licensing Group (today Swiss Healthcare Licensing Group) and was the president of the association from 2004-2008. He is member and past-chairman of the European Pharma Licensing Council. He holds a PhD in Organic Chemistry from the University Basel and did two years post-doctoral work at the University of California in Berkeley.

Harry Welten, MBA

Mr Welten is CFO of Kuros (formerly known as Cytos Biotechnology Ltd.) since June 2010. He has more than 20 years of international executive experience, 17 of which as CFO in biotech. Prior to joining Cytos, he was the CFO at Nitec Pharma, which was merged with Horizon Pharma and is now listed on Nasdaq. From 2001 to 2009, he was CFO at Arpida, which he took public in 2005 at the SIX main segment. He is a member of the Board of Kanyos, BiognoSYS, ProteoMediX and Horizon Pharma. Furthermore, he is a member of the foundation council of HBM Foundation. He holds a degree in banking and finance, a degree in economics and an MBA from Columbia University, New York.

Advisory Board

Prof. Paul-Henri Lambert, MD

Prof. Paul-Henri Lambert, MD, is now associated with the Centre of Vaccinology in the Department of Pathology and Immunology at University of Geneva. He is directing the International Advanced Course of Vaccinology (ADVAC) organized under the auspices of the Fondation Mérieux and University of Geneva. He is a member of the Governing Board of the Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative (TBVI), past-chairman of the Human Vaccine Committee of the International Association for Biologicals (IABS) and of the Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety of the World Health Organization (WHO). In 1987, he was appointed as chief of Microbiology and Immunology at the World Health Organization and in 1994, chief of the Vaccine Research and Development, WHO Global Program for Vaccines and Immunization. During this time he was deeply involved in co-ordination of research aiming at the development of vaccines against diseases of major importance in developing countries.

Dr. Martin L. Moore

Dr. Moore is an Assistant Professor at Emory University, Director of the Emory Children’s Center for Childhood Infections and Vaccines (CCIV), and a Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Research Scholar. He is a recognized leader in RSV research and has been running an NIH-funded laboratory in the Department of Pediatrics at Emory since 2008. Dr. Moore’s work on RSV vaccines was recognized as Emory University’s Innovation of the year in 2013. Dr. Moore is co-inventor of numerous RSV-related technologies and is a frequent national/international lecturer on RSV.

Dr. Urs Regenass

Dr. Urs Regenass has over 30 years experience in pharmaceutical drug discovery, most recently as Senior Director Oncology at Actelion Pharmaceuticals. Before, he led the oncology biology unit at Ciba then, first at Ciba and then Novartis he became a member of the global research management board and led the global Core Technology department in research. From Novartis, he joined Discovery Partners International, a CRO headquartered in San Diego as VP Drug Discovery and as CEO of the Allschwil, Switzerland site. Since 2016 he provides his knowledge in drug discovery and oncology as an independent consultant. Urs has published over 50 articles and book chapters in the field of oncology and drug discovery. He served on the board of directors of 2 start-up companies and lectured for 7 years at the university of Basel in experimental oncology. Urs obtained his PhD in Cell Biology at the Biocenter, University of Basel.

Prof. Gerd Pluschke

Prof. Pluschke is Head of the Molecular Immunology Unit and the Department of Medical Parasitology and Infection Biology at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH). Prior to joining the Institute, he worked as a scientist at the Max-Planck-Institute for Molecular Genetics, the Basel Institute for Immunology and for Ciba Pharma Research. Prof. Pluschke has published more than 150 papers and holds several patents. He graduated in Biochemistry, receiving his Doctorate from the University of Tubingen.

Prof. Richard Ulevitch

Prof. Ulevitch is Venture Partner at 5AM Ventures (Menlo Park CA USA), Professor of Immunology and Chairman Emeritus at The Scripps Research Institute ( La Jolla, CA USA). For nearly four decades, Prof. Ulevitch has performed research to understand the role of the immune system in human disease. He also serves as a scientific advisor to Aravis Ventures and was previously an advisor to the Lombard Odier Immunology Fund. Prof. Ulevitch currently serves on the Scientific Advisory Boards of multiple biotechnology companies. He has authored more than 200 scientific publications and is a co-inventor on multiple patents. He received an A.B. from Washington and Jefferson College and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Pennsylvania and joined The Scripps Research Institute in 1972.

Dr. Rinaldo Zurbriggen

Rinaldo Zurbriggen is currently Director, Strategic Growth Investments and Head Microbial Program Management at Lonza Visp. Previously he was Head of Viral Research at Berna Biotech and later on co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Pevion Biotech. He has been working in the pharmaceutical and vaccine field for more than 15 years and has brought three vaccine candidates from preclinical testing to human clinical trials. Dr. Zurbriggen has published more than 50 peer-reviewed papers in scientific journals and is author of chapters in three different scientific books. He graduated from the University of Fribourg with a Doctorate in Biochemistry.

Dr. Urs Breitenstein

Dr. Breitenstein is one of the leading valuation experts in Switzerland. He is Partner at Hoffmann & Co. Prior to Hoffmann & Co fe worked as equity analyst for a Swiss Bank, then for PricewaterhouseCoopers and, most recently, for Deloitte in Zurich, where he was a partner and team leader of the M&A- as well as of the internal life science industry team. He holds a Doctorate in economics from the University of Basel.

Prof. John A. Robinson

Prof. Robinson is a co-founder of Virometix, professor of organic chemistry and former chairman of the Organic Chemistry Institute and the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Zurich. Prof. Robinson is a leading expert in the development of epitope mimetics for drug and vaccine applications. He has published more than 150 papers in major scientific journals and is named as co-inventor on 12 patents. He obtained his Doctorate in Chemistry from Cambridge University, UK.

Careers

Working at Virometix

Are you a team player whose scientific curiosity is complemented by an entrepreneurial spirit, focus and persistence? Do you feel motivated to bring innovative medical solutions to breakthrough?
If so, we encourage you to send your curriculum vitae to hr@virometix.com.