Antonin (Tony) de Fougerolles appointed as new Chair of etherna

etherna, a leading mRNA technologies company, today announced the appointment of Antonin (Tony) de Fougerolles as Chair. Tony has served as an Independent Board Member since January 2023. The outgoing Chair, Marijn Dekkers, will remain on the Board. In addition to his role as Chair, Tony will also take an active consultancy role for the Company.

I am absolutely thrilled to be able to work more closely with Tony. His vast experience, connections, and strategic vision in the field will further accelerate the development and success of the Company. I also want to thank Marijn for the close collaboration over the last eight months, which has been inspirational.

Bernard Sagaert, CEO, etherna

Tony de Fougerolles, etherna Chair, added: “Over the last 18 months, I have seen first-hand how the cLNPs and mRNA manufacturing expertise that etherna has developed is world-leading and impressive in its quality, breadth, and novelty. The recently announced partnership with Almirall is clear recognition of this. I am excited to accept the role of Chair and look forward to actively helping Bernard and his talented team take full advantage of the exciting opportunities to help our partners bring novel mRNA-based therapeutics to patients.

Marijn Dekkers, etherna Independent Board Member, noted: “Tony has already proven to be an extremely valued addition to the Board, and therefore, I am delighted to welcome him as my successor. His combination of scientific and entrepreneurial excellence as well as clear strategic vision will enable him, I believe, to steer etherna successfully through the next stage of its development.”

Tony de Fougerolles has foundational experience in both mRNA therapeutics and LNPs, specifically through his roles at Moderna and Alnylam. He has nearly 25 years of biotech R&D experience building drug pipelines, and he has played a key role in developing and successfully advancing three new drug modalities to the market (mRNA, RNAi, single-domain antibodies) and in helping build several multi-billion-dollar companies from the start-up stage. 

As founding Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) at Moderna Therapeutics, he pioneered modified mRNA as a new therapeutic and vaccine drug modality and the mRNA chemistry and delivery systems that form the basis of the approved COVID-19 mRNA vaccines. Prior to that, as VP of Research at Alnylam, he helped develop RNA interference (RNAi) as a new drug modality, including overseeing development of the 1st approved LNP-based RNAi delivery system and the development of several approved RNAi drugs including inclisiran.

Author of over 60 scientific publications and an inventor on over 110 issued US patents, Tony also has a ‘Belgian’ connection from his time as CSO at Ablynx (now Sanofi), where he played a key role in the approval of the 1st single domain antibody drug, caplacizumab. Most recently, Tony was CEO of Evox Therapeutics, where he built out an exosome-focused biotech, raised over $140 m in equity financing, and entered into pharma partnerships with combined upfronts > $60 m and total deal value >$2 billion. Tony obtained his Ph.D. in Immunology from Harvard University.

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