Novasep has announced the appointment of Dr. François D’Hooge as bioconjugation unit manager. In his new role, Dr. D’Hooge will manage Novasep’s new Antibody Drug Conjugates (ADC) production facility in Le Mans, France, currently undergoing completion. Novasep began building a €10 million ($11.2M) fully integrated ADC conjugation facility at its Le Mans site last year, in response to increasing market demand for full bio-conjugation services for clinical and future commercial ADCs.
The arrival of Dr. D’Hooge enriches Novasep’s know-how and skills in ADC conjugation, which will contribute to the smooth launch of the new facility, scheduled for Q1 2017. “I’m excited to join Novasep at this time of growth and expansion. Novasep is one of the few CMOs able to produce both commercial scale ADCs payloads and monoclonal antibodies,” said Dr. D’Hooge. “Novasep is a forward-looking company. I am eager to combine my skills and knowledge in ADCs with those of my new team. We are keen to get the expanded CMO services fully operational by early 2017.”
Dr. D’Hooge joins Novasep from Spirogen, a member of the AstraZeneca Group, where he helped develop a potent and flexible class of ADCs. He holds a PhD in organic chemistry and has worked on ADCs since 2011. “We are delighted to have François onboard, bringing with him years of world-class experience in bioconjugation,” said Thierry Van Nieuwenhove, president of the synthesis business unit at Novasep.
“The new facility in Le Mans allows us to integrate our R&D, analytical and cGMP manufacturing services within a single unit; providing our customers with flexibility, quality assurance and an integrated supply chain.”
Dr. D’Hooge’s career in biotech began at Glythera, where he worked on bioconjugation of proteins and polysaccharides. He then joined Spirogen in November 2011 to launch its ADC operations. During his tenure, he created the bioconjugation/ADC department, where his team generated more than 1,000 different ADCs for PBD payload platform development, proof-of-concept batches and in vivo batches for potency or toxicity evaluation.