Erwin Blomsma holds a Master’s degree in Bioscience Engineering and a Ph.D. in Applied Biological Sciences (1995) from the KU Leuven (Belgium). After post-doctoral studies at UCB, he started his career at Janssen Pharmaceutica (Belgium) in 1996 in the Chemical Process Technology Group. In 2000, he co-founded Crystallics, a spin-off from the University of Leiden (Netherlands) specialising in preformulation research. Crystallics was absorbed by Avantium Technologies in 2001, and he was appointed COO there in 2004, playing a key role in making the company cash-positive. In 2007, Dr Blomsma joined Dr Stefaan Wera and Professor Johan Neyts as co-founder and CEO of Okapi Sciences.
Nesya Goris holds a Master’s degree in Biological Sciences (2002) from the KU Leuven (Belgium) and obtained her Ph.D. in Veterinary Sciences (2008) at Ghent University (Belgium). She started her career at the Veterinary and Agrochemical Research Centre (CODA-CERVA) in 2002 where she conducted ground-breaking research into the foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) and was appointed scientific attaché of the Section ‘Development of Diagnostic Tools for Epizootic Diseases’. In 2008, Dr Goris joined Okapi Sciences as one of the first employees. Today, she heads the research and development teams.
Chief Scientific Officer
Johan Neyts is Professor of Virology at the Rega Institute, Faculty of Medicine at KU Leuven (Belgium). He obtained his Ph.D. at KU Leuven in 1993. After a post-doctoral fellowship at the Lineberger Cancer Center, University of North Carolina, USA, he returned to Leuven. His research focuses on the development of novel antiviral strategies against a number of viruses, including herpes-, picorna- and flaviviruses and against the hepatitis B and C viruses. He is on the editorial board of several journals and on the board of directors of the International Society for Antiviral Research. He teaches medical virology at the school of dentistry and the school of medicine at KU Leuven. Professor Neyts is co-founder and CSO at Okapi Sciences.
Chief Operating Officer
Stefaan Wera studied Biological Sciences at the KU Leuven (Belgium), where he also obtained his Ph.D. in 1992. After a post-doctoral position at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology at the University of Liège (Belgium), he was awarded an EMBO fellowship at the Friedrich-Miescher Institut in Basel (Switzerland). He continued his research as an FWO post-doctoral fellow at the Biochemistry Department and the Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology, KU Leuven, until 2001. In early 2002, he founded reMYND NV, and ran the company as CEO from its start-up until late 2007. During this period, the company developed contract research activities and ran a highly successful drug discovery and development programme in the field of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. In 2007, Dr Wera co-founded Okapi Sciences and joined the company as COO.