October 17, 2023   |   News
mRNA/LNP technology platform company etherna names Bernard Sagaert as Chief Executive Officer and Marijn Dekkers as Chairman of the Board

• Sagaert’s CEO appointment follows his successful interim period implementing etherna’s new partnership-driven business strategy.
• Sagaert joined etherna in 2017 and brings extensive operational and strategic experience in the life sciences industry.
• Dekkers, who is the founder of investment and advisory firm Novalis Capital Partners LLC and former CEO of Bayer AG and Thermo Fisher Scientific, is widely recognized as a visionary industry leader.
• etherna’s integrated technology offering is internationally recognized as key differentiator – proprietary RNA chemistry and customized LNP platforms matched with deep GMP process know-how.
• The company has also rebranded its name from eTheRNA immunotherapies to etherna , and has launched new websites.

Niel, Belgium, October 16, 2023 – etherna (“the Company”), a leading mRNA/LNP technologies company, announced today that Bernard Sagaert has been confirmed-as Chief Executive Officer. This follows an interim 12-month period during which he has successfully led the Company’s pivot to a new partnership-driven business strategy. At the same time Marijn Dekkers, an existing Board Member representing investor Novalis LifeSciences LLC, has been appointed Chairman of the Board. Both appointments come as etherna’s new strategy is gaining significant traction globally. etherna is enabling a growing number of life science and pharma companies to accelerate their pursuits into the fast-growing nucleic acid sector by leveraging the Company’s industry-leading proprietary RNA-based chemistry, its custom LNP delivery platforms, and its GMP process knowhow.

Prior to the interim CEO role, Bernard Sagaert was COO at etherna. He joined the Company in 2017 after a successful career in both industry and consulting including roles as QA & Supply Chain Director at Mylan in Belgium, and VP QA EMEAA at Sterigenics, a Sotera company.

Marijn Dekkers is the Founder and Chairman of Novalis Capital Partners LLC, an investment and advisory firm for the Life Science industry. Previously, he served as CEO of Bayer AG in Leverkusen, Germany and as CEO of Thermo Fisher Scientific near Boston, MA, USA.

Tony de Fougerolles, Board Member and Head of Remuneration Committee added: “Bernard has shown exceptional leadership and clarity of purpose over the last year. I am therefore pleased to confirm his appointment as CEO. Equally I congratulate Marijn on his appointment to Chairman and look forward to working with both of them as etherna further exploits its mRNA/LNP expertise that is world-leading and impressive in both its breadth and novelty.”

Bernard Sagaert commented: “I am delighted to be confirmed as CEO and thank the board for their confidence. I also welcome Marijn as Chairman, and would like to thank Russell Greig, our previous Chairman, for his long term engagement with the company and the support he has given me during the Interim CEO period. etherna’s new partnership strategy has been very well-received in both Europe and the US. With the help of our highly dedicated and professional team, I now intend to continue and accelerate our drive towards becoming the premier discovery and development partner for pharma and biotech aiming to deliver novel RNA-based therapeutics to patients.”

Marijn Dekkers, new etherna Chairman said: “I am honored to be asked to take the role of Chairman at this exciting Company and working closely with Bernard, the etherna leadership team, and the board. Already as COO, Bernard was instrumental in building etherna’s unique technology platform. During the past 12 months, he has demonstrated strong and focused leadership as the Company has introduced the new business partnership strategy. The board has now confirmed his permanent appointment, confident in his ability to lead the company to its next stage of development, contributing its breakthrough technologies to the development of mRNA-based therapeutics, an area that is full of unimaginable opportunities.”

Since etherna was founded in 2013, the Company has established an integrated set of proprietary capabilities for end-to-end design, development and manufacture of next-generation mRNA products, with a focus on modulated expression delivery platforms, optimized RNA chemistry supported by proprietary process technologies. These include molecular designs, lipid biochemistry expertise, customized lipid nanoparticle formulations (cLNPs), mRNA-based T cell adjuvants, and advanced manufacturing processes, and they overcome the current challenges facing the development of mRNA therapeutics. etherna’s business model utilizes this suite of capabilities as enablers to deliver superior products for partners in both early-stage research as well as later-stage development for mRNA therapeutics.

To reflect both the new business strategy, board restructuring and permanent appointment of Sagaert, the Company has also rebranded its name from “eTheRNA Immunotherapies” to “etherna”. The updated website for the Partnerships can be found at www.etherna.be