EPALINGES, Switzerland – February 1st, 2012 – Anergis, a clinical-stage
biopharmaceutical company developing novel allergy vaccines, today announced the
appointment of Jacques-François Martin, Chairman and CEO of vaccine company Mymetics,
as Chairman of the Board of Directors.
Anergis develops allergy vaccines based on its proprietary technology of “Contiguous
Overlapping Peptides” (“COPs”). Anergis’ lead allergy vaccine, called “AllerT”, is in clinical
Phase IIb development and is designed to provide ultra-fast and safe desensitization to birch
pollen allergy, a widespread condition in developed countries. Anergis’ vaccines are
designed to provide long-term protection against allergies with a 2-month treatment.
“Anergis´ technology and products clearly have the potential to be game-changing in the
treatment of allergies and I am delighted to contribute to the development of the company
together with its management and Board of Directors,” said Jacques-François Martin. Mr.
Martin takes over the function from Dr. Markus Hosang, General Partner at BioMedPartners
AG, Switzerland, who had served as interim Chairman since July 2011 and who will remain a
Member of the Board.
“We are very pleased and honored to welcome Jacques-François Martin to the Board of
Directors. Mr. Martin brings a very rich business management and development experience
from the vaccine industry, where he held a number of critical senior executive positions, and
we look forward to working with him to continue the fast-paced development of Anergis,”
added Vincent Charlon, Chief Executive Officer of Anergis.
Jacques-François Martin is Chairman and CEO of Mymetics Corporation. Previously, he was
CEO of Chiron Vaccines (now Novartis) from 1991 to 1993 and CEO of Pasteur-Mérieux
(now Sanofi-Pasteur) from 1988 to 1991. In addition, he held leadership positions with
not!for!profit organizations dedicated to the development of vaccines for debilitating and life-
threatening diseases in both developed nations and third world countries. Among others, he
was the first President and CEO of The Vaccine Fund (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation)
from 2000 to January 2005 and a member of the Board of the International AIDS Vaccine
Initiative (IAVI) from November 1997 to June 2003. He started his executive career as Chief
Executive Officer of Rhône-Poulenc Pharma in Hamburg, Germany, in 1970. Mr. Martin is a
member of the French Academy of Technologies and an officer in the French Order of Merit.
Anergis SA is a Swiss-based biopharmaceutical company specializing in the discovery and
development of novel allergy vaccines targeting the most frequent allergies.
Allergies are the most prevalent and the fastest growing chronic condition in the
industrialized world, with over 300 million people affected. While short-term symptomatic
treatments of allergies need to be prescribed continuously, the only curative therapy, known
as “desensitization” or “Specific Immunotherapy” (SIT), is a process of induction of tolerance
to the allergen that today requires 3-5 years of treatment and poses the risk of serious side
Anergis is developing innovative SIT products based on its proprietary Contiguous
Overlapping Peptides (“COPs”) technology. In contrast to conventional desensitization
treatments, COPs can be safely administered at high doses to induce tolerance to the
allergen after few injections only. Studies of COPs targeting bee venom and birch pollen
allergies in both animals and humans have demonstrated excellent safety (no immediate
allergic reaction) and immunogenicity (production of specific antibodies and cytokines
against the original allergen and establishment of a long-term immune memory). Anergis’
lead-product is currently in Phase IIb clinical development.
Anergis raised CHF 18 million in March 2011 from lead investors Vinci Capital, Sunstone
Capital, BioMedInvest and other investors, including Esperante Ventures and Defi Gestion.
Vincent Charlon, CEO
Dr. Ludger Wess, Ines-Regina Buth
Tel. +49 40 88165964 or
Tel. +49 30 2363 2768