About

ViGeneron is based on our passion to deliver gene therapy innovations and advances to people in need. Our proprietary science solves major limitations in current gene therapy approaches.

At ViGeneron we are dedicated to developing innovative gene therapies to treat ophthalmic diseases with high unmet medical need, as well as partnering with leading biopharmaceutical players in other disease areas.

The company’s pipeline is built on two unique and proprietary adeno-associated virus (AAV) technology platforms. The first, vgAAV gene therapy vector platform, allows superior transduction efficiency and intravitreal, less invasive treatment administration. The second, REVeRT vector platform, targets diseases caused by mutations in large genes.

ViGeneron was founded in 2017 as a spin-off of the Ludwig-Maximilians-University (LMU) Munich. The company’s founding team includes highly experienced executives and internationally renowned experts with track records in developing retinal gene therapy programs from discovery to clinical stage.

Our core team

Dr. Caroline Man Xu

Co-founder and CEO
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Dr. Caroline Man Xu
Co-founder and CEO

Caroline Man Xu has extensive experience leading global and regional cross-functional teams including 10 years at Novartis where she had global responsibilities for new products in the neuroscience, ophthalmology, and oncology fields. Prior to Novartis, she was senior management consultant at McKinsey & Company where she focused on Pharma/Biotech strategy, R&D, M&A, marketing, and operations. Caroline trained as a pharmacologist with over five years scientific drug research at the Medical Center of Columbia University in New York, Technical University Munich (TUM) and Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).

Caroline has a Ph.D. in Molecular Pharmacology from TUM Munich and an MBA from Cornell University.

Prof. Dr. Martin Biel

Scientific co-founder and Chairman of Scientific Advisory Board
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Prof. Dr. Martin Biel
Scientific co-founder and Chairman of Scientific Advisory Board

For over 20 years, Martin Biel has been a full professor and Chair of Pharmacology at Ludwig-Maximillians-Universität, Munich. He is a world-renowned expert in disease mechanisms, gene functions and therapies. Martin is the co-founder and co-speaker of the German retinal gene therapy consortium RD-CURE, he co-led the first ophthalmic gene therapy program from his lab to clinical trials in Germany. He has authored over 160 original publications, over 60 reviews and book chapters. Martin is a member of the Leopoldina German National Academy of Sciences and a member of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences.

Martin studied pharmaceutical sciences at Saarland University, where he also gained his Ph.D. He completed his postdoctoral fellowship at Technical University Munich and he also holds an honorary professorship of Fudan University, Shanghai.

Prof. Dr. Stylianos Michalakis

Scientific co-founder and Chief Scientific Advisor
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Prof. Dr. Stylianos Michalakis
Scientific co-founder and Chief Scientific Advisor

Stylianos Michalakis is Professor for Ocular Gene Therapy at Ludwig-Maximillians-Universität, Munich. He has an outstanding track record and a recognized expertise in pre-clinical and translational retinal gene therapy products from discovery to phase II. Stylianos has more than 15 years of experience in gene therapy and extensive understanding of AAV vector design, engineering, production, gene therapy applications and is principal investigator and co-principal investigator on DFG and NIH grants for retinal gene therapy. He has authored over 100 peer-reviewed  publications.

Stylianos has a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from LMU Munich and completed his postdoctoral fellowship at TUM and LMU.

Dr. Elvir Becirovic

Chief Technology Advisor
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Dr. Elvir Becirovic
Chief Technology Advisor

Elvir Becirovic is the Head of Novel Gene Therapy Technologies Group at Ludwig-Maximillians-Universität, Munich. He has more than thirteen years of experience in (molecular) genetics, protein biochemistry, gene functions & therapy. Elvir has a strong track record in functional characterization of retinal disorders in combination with novel applications utilizing AAV vectors. He is principal investigator and co-principal investigator on DFG grants for retinal gene therapy and development of novel AAV vector-based treatment strategies for therapy of retinal diseases. He has authored over 40 publications.

Elvir has a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from LMU Munich, where he also completed his postdoctoral fellowship.

Scientific Advisory Board

We are proud to be supported by a distinguished and highly experienced Scientific Advisory Board of renowned experts in their individual fields.

Prof. Dr. Martin Biel

Scientific co-founder and Chairman of Scientific Advisory Board
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Prof. Dr. Martin Biel
Scientific co-founder and Chairman of Scientific Advisory Board

For over 20 years, Martin Biel has been a full professor and Chair of Pharmacology at Ludwig-Maximillians-Universität, Munich. He is a world-renowned expert in disease mechanisms, gene functions and therapies. Martin is the co-founder and co-speaker of the German retinal gene therapy consortium RD-CURE, he co-led the first ophthalmic gene therapy program from his lab to clinical trials in Germany. He has authored over 160 original publications, over 60 reviews and book chapters. Martin is a member of the Leopoldina German National Academy of Sciences and a member of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences.

Martin studied pharmaceutical sciences at Saarland University, where he also gained his Ph.D. He completed his postdoctoral fellowship at Technical University Munich and he also holds an honorary professorship of Fudan University, Shanghai.

Prof. Dr. Gang Pei


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Prof. Dr. Gang Pei

Gang Pei is cell biologist, professor and the former President of Tongji University, and Principal Investigator and the former president of Shanghai Institute of Biological Sciences of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). Gang has chaired several scientific committees of China National Key Projects including “Stem Cells and Translational Research”. He is the Editor-in-Chief of Cell Research, honorary President of the Chinese Society for Cell Biology, an academician of CAS, and a member of the Leopoldina German National Academy of Sciences.

Gang received his BSc and MSc from Shenyang College of Pharmacy (China), and his PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (USA). He completed his postdoctoral research in Howard Hughes Institute, Duke University Medical Center (USA).

Prof. Dr. Siegfried Priglinger


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Prof. Dr. Siegfried Priglinger

Director and Chariman of the University Eye Hospital of the Ludwig-Maximillians-Universität, Munich. Siegfried Priglinger is one of the most renowned ophthalmologists and eye surgeons in the German-speaking region. He has authored over 200 original publications. He is a board member of the European Board of Ophthalmology and the German Ophthalmic Society. He has been the chief editor of the “Klinischen Monatsblätter für Augenheilkunde since February 2020”

Investors

In November 2019, we closed a series A financing round with two esteemed investors - WuXi AppTec and Sequoia Capital China known for investing in cutting-edge technologies and tomorrow’s treatments and cures for patients in need. The proceeds are enabling us to accelerate our proprietary viral vector-based gene therapy platforms and drive product development in two ophthalmic gene therapy programs.

About WuXi AppTec
WuXi AppTec provides a broad portfolio of R&D and manufacturing services that enable companies in the pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device industries worldwide to advance discoveries and deliver groundbreaking treatments to patients. As an innovation-driven and customer-focused company, WuXi AppTec helps partners improve the productivity of advancing healthcare products through cost-effective and efficient solutions. With industry-leading capabilities such as R&D and manufacturing for small molecule drugs, cell and gene therapies, and testing for medical devices, WuXi AppTec’s open-access platform is enabling more than 3,700 collaborators from over 30 countries to improve the health of those in need – and to realize our vision that "every drug can be made and every disease can be treated."

About Sequoia Capital China
The Sequoia team helps daring founders build legendary companies. In partnering with Sequoia, companies benefit from the unmatched network and the lessons we've learned over 47 years. As “The Entrepreneurs Behind The Entrepreneurs”, leading venture capital firm Sequoia Capital China is renowned for investing early in many successful companies and focuses on four sectors: TMT, healthcare, consumer/service, and industrial technology.