PARIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–HORAMA, a clinical stage gene therapy company in ophthalmology, today announced that seasoned life sciences executive Dr. Benedikt Timmerman is taking over as the firm’s new Chairman.
Benedikt has over 25 years of experience building and leading businesses in life sciences. His career is a testament to his entrepreneurial skills at recognizing talent, building strong teams and uniting the financial resources needed for preclinical and clinical drug development programs.
Benedikt is currently a part-time Venture Partner at IRDI SORIDEC Gestion and a board member of such companies as Cell-Easy and Horama. At IRDI SORIDEC Gestion, he advises the firm on investment opportunities in the Health Care sector and serves on the board of various portfolio companies, including Ixaltis, Antabio and Aelis Farma. From 2018 to 2020, as a senior business advisor to Brainvectis, Benedikt paved the way to the sale of all of the company’s shares to Asklepios Biotherapeutics (USA), in April 2020. As founder and CEO of BT Pharma in 2001, which became Genticel in 2010, he raised over €34 million in venture funding. In 2014, he took the company public on Euronext in Paris and Brussels, raising another €34.7 million in the process. In 2017, he oversaw the merger of Genticel and Genkyotex (GKTX). Previously, Benedikt held senior R&D and corporate licensing positions at NOVARTIS (1996 – 2000) and SANDOZ (1991 – 1996).
Benedikt holds a master’s degree in Biology and a Ph.D. in Genetics from the University of Ghent, Belgium, as well as an M.B.A. from INSEAD, Fontainebleau, France.
“The Horama team is delighted to welcome Benedikt as our new Chairman. His corporate leadership experience will add significant value to the company and will help us to reach the next level, by pursuing the development of innovative gene therapy products which we are developing for ophthalmic patients,” said Christine Placet, CEO of Horama.
“Horama has made significant progress and achieved outstanding results under the leadership of Christine Placet. The company is now well positioned to shape the future of the gene therapy market in ophthalmology and deliver innovative solutions for inherited retinal dystrophies and beyond. I look forward to contributing to its success,” said Benedikt Timmerman, Chairman of Horama.
Gene therapy market (source: FiorMarkets and Grand View Research, Inc)
Gene therapy is being developed with an aim to treat rare conditions with limited or no treatment options. Genetic disorders occur due to gene mutations, which can result in incorrect protein synthesis. Gene therapy is used to introduce a healthy gene into cells to allow the synthesis of a functional protein. Growing awareness and acceptance of gene therapy for various disease treatments are favouring market growth. The global gene therapy market is estimated to reach €5.94 billion ($5.5 billion) by 2026, while the global ophthalmology market is projected to grow to €46.44 ($43 billion) by 2026, both according to an April 2019 report issued by Grand View Research, Inc., a market research and consulting company.
At HORAMA, we believe gene therapy is appropriate for treating a broad range of inherited disorders. Our focus is on Inherited Retinal Dystrophies with our lead clinical program targeting patients with PDE6B gene mutations, a condition which leads to progressive vision loss in children and adults, ultimately leading to legal blindness. Our team is pushing the boundaries of gene therapy by advancing next generation delivery platforms and functional genes that will improve effectiveness and coverage of gene transfer addressing multiple diseases. For more information, please go to: www.horama.fr.