Reinhard Kandera has more than 20 years of professional experience in the finance and healthcare industries including 15 years as senior executive within biotech companies. Immediately prior to joining Hookipa, he was a Member of the Management Board and CFO of Valneva SE, a commercial stage biotech vaccine company, listed on the Euronext Paris and the Vienna Stock Exchange.
Prior to his role at Valneva, he was CFO and member of the Management Board of Intercell AG, another publicly listed European biotech company, which was merged with Vivalis SA to become Valneva in 2013. Before becoming Intercell’s CFO, Reinhard Kandera held various other positions at Intercell, including Global Head of Finance, and Investor Relations and CFO of Intercell USA (the formerly NASDAQ-listed Iomai Corporation). Reinhard played a pivotal role in the IPO of Intercell in 2005, multiple public and private financings exceeding hundreds of millions of euros/dollars, the acquisition and integration of businesses in Scotland, the USA, Switzerland and Sweden as well as the European cross-border merger that created Valneva. Reinhard Kandera started his career in the finance industry at Deutsche Bank AG where he held positions with increasing responsibility. He holds doctorate degrees in Business Administration and in Law from the Vienna University of Economics and Business, and the Vienna University’s Faculty of Law, respectively.
Commenting on the appointment, Hookipa´s CEO, Mr. Jörn Aldag said: “I am very pleased to welcome Reinhard to our team, at an important juncture for Hookipa, particularly in light of our expanded strategic ambitions and the extension of our portfolio to include immuno-oncology. The breadth of Reinhard´s financial and transactional experience will make an invaluable addition to our development as well as in considering and executing on financing options.”
Dr. Kandera said, “With its novel Vaxwave® and TheraT® platforms, Hookipa has a strong technology foundation and I am excited to have the opportunity to contribute to the Company’s growth and to help the Company to deliver on its ambition of bringing next-generation cancer immune therapeutics and vaccines to patients.”
About Hookipa Biotech
Hookipa Biotech is developing next-generation immunotherapies for infectious diseases and cancer using novel proprietary arenavirus vector platforms. To date, Hookipa has raised EUR 13.7 million in non-dilutive funds and EUR 37 million equity investment from internationally renowned venture capital investors including Sofinnova Partners, Forbion Capital Partners, Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund, Takeda Ventures and BioMedPartners.
Hookipa´s Vaxwave® technology presents a completely new replication-defective viral vector platform designed to overcome the limitations of current technologies. In this vector the gene encoding the viral envelope protein, normally responsible for virus entry into target cells, has been deleted and replaced with a target gene of interest. The resulting vectors infect target cells and stimulate very potent and long-lasting immune responses, however they can no longer replicate and are therefore non-pathogenic and inherently safe. HB-101, a cytomegalovirus (CMV) prophylactic vaccine, is in a clinical phase 1 trial and has already shown to be both safe in humans and to elicit potent antibody and T cell responses. We are confident to establish HB-101 as the best-in class CMV development program.
Hookipa’s TheraT® platform is based on an attenuated replicating virus and is capable of eliciting the most potent T cell responses - a crucial step in treating patients with aggressive cancers. Significant pre-clinical data demonstrates that TheraT® is a powerful modality capable of turning “cold tumors hot” which should result in an additional layer of efficacy in the fight against solid tumors. Specifically, TheraT® has proven to be safe in animals as well as capable of eliciting > 50% antigen-specific T cell responses and strong tumor control in mice. The first clinical trial with HB-201 targeting human papilloma virus-induced head and neck cancer is currently being prepared. This immuno-oncology technology is further being leveraged to target tumor self-antigens or shared neoantigens.
Issued for and on behalf Hookipa Biotech AG by Instinctif Partners.