Paul CEO of NecstGen completed his LL.M. and MSc. in law and public administration at the Leiden University. After which he worked in commercial and managerial roles at TNT. Driven by his passion to improve healthcare, he joined Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC), holding various positions in logistics and strategic sourcing. From 2011 until 2018, he acted as one of LUMC’s managing directors, overseeing a budget >€150 million per annum and >1500fte. During this time, Paul headed initiatives to improve healthcare, directing the Cardiology Centre Voorschoten and initiating LUMC’s outpatient center in Lisse. In 2015 Paul co-founded VarmX BV, a biotech company developing novel agents for the prevention and treatment of bleeding. In his role as CEO/CBO het led two financing rounds (€14 million) until April 2019. In 2016, he set up Starfish Innovations, an LUMC-subsidiary that promotes the establishment of new high-potential projects, spin-offs and industry collaborations within the field of regenerative medicine. Among others, Starfish Innovations invests in regenerative technologies, as well as translational research enabling novel cell and gene therapies. As co-initiator of the NecstGen organisation, Paul Bilars advocates the accelerated delivery of cell and gene therapies to patients.
Gerard studied Health Care management at the Erasmus University and followed the Value Based Health Care program at Harvard Business School. Gerard started as controller at Fontys school of applied sciences and worked as lecturer at the Academia for Medical Specialists. From 1999 until 2008, he was deputy director of finance and control at the Rivierenland Hospital, Tiel. Subsequently, he held financial director positions at regional hospitals Sint Franciscus, Rotterdam and Vlietland hospital, Schiedam. In 2014, he became director of finance at the LUMC. Here, he oversaw annual turnover of over € 900 million and was involved in construction projects with investments of over € 200 million. He also headed the LUMC Ventures department. Gerard van Loon headed various audit commissions and held several board positions in the medical field, including chairman of the supervisory board of health care institute Verbeeten, Tilburg and chairman of the financial economic management council of STZ hospitals.
Dr. Markwin Velders obtained his PhD in molecular immunology at Leiden University and worked as post-doc and assistant professor at Loyola University, authoring over 40 peer reviewed papers. He was CSO at AM-Pharma, a biopharma company developing treatment for acute kidney injury. Markwin subsequently joined TNO, where he held positions as Operations Manager and Business Unit Manager. In 2013, he was involved in NKI spin-off T-Cell Factory. There he played a crucial role in its acquisition by Kite Pharma. He was also CEO of SomantiX, a biotech company developing on angiogenesis inhibitors. From 2015 until 2020, Markwin Velders worked as Vice President Operations at Kite Pharma. In this period he established the company’s EU headquarters and built the organization from 3 until 300+ employees. After the company’s acquisition by Gilead, in 2017, Markwin headed the establishment of its CAR-T commercial manufacturing site, in Hoofddorp. He played a key role in the clinical advancement and commercial launch of its therapies in Europe. As of 2017 he is chairman of the board of HollandBIO, the association of Dutch biotech companies. He is also supervisory board member at Amarna Therapeutics, a Dutch gene therapy developer, and ISA Pharmaceuticals, a clinical stage immunotherapy company. Markwin Velders brings over 19 years of experience at leading positions in various biotech companies. He combines scientific and commercial experience, specifically in the field of cell and gene therapy.
Johan Hyllner obtained his doctorate at the University of Gothenburg. He is devoted to both scientific and industrial aspects of cell therapy, publishing over 60 peer reviewed articles in this field. Since 2012, he is adjunct Professor of engineering biology at the department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology at Linköping University, Sweden. Throughout the last 20 years, Johan was a C-level executive in five startup companies in the cell therapy field and built these into successful international businesses. Among others, as CSO, he has been part of building Cellectis, Cellartis, SQC Lab and Vitrolife into thriving entities. From 2013 he held the position as CSO of the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult Ltd, London, a high-profile innovation centre established by the British government, where he helped grow the organization from 12 to 170 people. In 2019, he joined AstraZeneca, where he is leading Cell Therapy BioPharmaceuticals R&D. Here, he is responsible for the discovery and development of cell therapy based projects from discovery to clinic across cardiovascular, renal, metabolic, respiratory and immunological diseases. In this role, he oversees the strategic direction of this newly-formed department while building capabilities both internally and through collaborations. Prof. Hyllner brings vast experience in applied research through development to global marketing, manufacturing and commercialization of advanced cell-based products. In addition, he has extensive experience of strategic outlining and execution, external scientific relations, assessment of candidate projects and technical oversight of preclinical programs.