VarmX appoints Dr. Gerard Short as Chief Medical Officer
Leiden, The Netherlands, 27 January 2021 – VarmX, a biotech company focusing on the development of innovative approaches for the reversal of anticoagulation, today announces the appointment of Dr. Gerard Short, MBBS, as Chief Medical Officer (CMO).
As CMO, Dr. Short will be responsible for overseeing the clinical development of VarmX’s pipeline, including progression of its lead product, VMX-C001, into clinical proof of concept and registrational studies.
Dr. Short brings to VarmX extensive clinical development expertise, with a particular focus on rare diseases and gene therapy for haematological disorders. With more than 20 years of experience working within the sector – for both big pharma and biotech – he has established a strong track record of successfully leading teams in clinical development and medical affairs.
Alexander Vos, CEO of VarmX, said: “We are delighted to welcome a person of Gerard’s calibre to our team. His proven knowledge in clinical, medical, and regulatory affairs, combined with his history of successfully advancing programs into the clinic, will be instrumental as VarmX enters a key transition phase to becoming a clinical stage company in 2021.”
“I’m pleased to be joining VarmX at this stage in the Company’s evolution.” commented Dr. Gerard Short, CMO of VarmX, on his appointment. “I recognise the potential that the lead compound, VMX-C001, holds as an effective and differentiated antidote to oral anticoagulants, reversing the severe consequences that patients face. As such, I look forward eagerly to further progress the program towards the start of clinical studies later this year.”
Dr. Short joins VarmX from Freeline Therapeutics, where he served for five years as SVP Clinical and Regulatory and later SVP Medical Science. During this time, he grew the medical, clinical, and regulatory groups, and established an in-house pharmacovigilance function. Further, he advanced gene therapy clinical programmes in haemophilia B and Fabry’s disease. Before Freeline, Dr. Short spent a decade at Genzyme, preceding and following its acquisition by Sanofi. He held roles of increasing responsibility, ultimately serving as Global Development Team Leader leading innovative treatment programmes targeting Pompe’s disease (phase 3) and acute leukaemia. Prior to Genzyme, Dr. Short established his clinical development career through a series of roles at Novartis, Pfizer and Sanofi-Synthelabo following eight years as a clinical practitioner.
Dr. Short received his Bachelor of Medicine (MBBS) degree from St. Mary’s Hospital Medical School (now part of Imperial College) and holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from London Business School. In addition, he is a Member of the Royal College of Physicians (MRCP UK) and a Fellow of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine (FFPM).
VarmX is a pharmaceutical spin-off from the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC), founded in 2016 by Professor Pieter Reitsma, a world leading expert in hemostasis and thrombosis. VarmX’s lead compound VMX-C001 is a modified recombinant blood factor X based on the venom of the Australian brown snake, Pseudonaja textilis. The compound is being developed for the treatment of severe spontaneous bleeding in patients taking oral factor Xa inhibitors (FXa DOACs) as anticoagulation therapy. The Company is supported by a strong syndicate of investors including Ysios Capital, INKEF Capital, Lundbeckfonden Ventures, LSP, BioGeneration Ventures and the regional economic development fund, InnovationQuarter. For more information: www.varmx.com