Targeting Undruggable Cancer Targets
with RNA Therapeutics.
Our company was built upon our deep experience and know-how in RNA therapeutics and we are well-positioned to advance candidates against targets considered “undruggable”, using RNA chemistries. We are focused on advancing our clinical pipeline for large unmet oncology indications where we believe RNA-targeting can be successful.
Stéphane van Rooijen, MD, MBA
Stephane van Rooijen (MD, MBA) joined Flamingo Therapeutics in 2023 as Chief Executive Officer and serves on its Board of Directors, bringing extensive global life sciences operational, commercial and leadership experience. Stephane became Flamingo’s CEO after the merger between Flamingo and Dynacure. He had served as Dynacure’s CEO since its formation in 2016 until its merger with Flamingo.
Stephane van Rooijen started his career at Arthur D. Little working on strategy consulting. He joined Genzyme (now Sanofi) in 2004 and held leadership positions in business development and finance, and eventually became the European Cardiovascular Business Unit Leader, where he built and oversaw cross functional business unit teams, early and late stage portfolios, launched novel products, and managed P&Ls. In 2012 he joined Viropharma (London) as a member of Viropharma’s European Business Council and global pipeline project team, where he was responsible for leading the company’s main European commercial program for the orphan disease hereditary angioedema, building infrastructure, driving geographic expansion and partnerships, and supporting R&D pipeline development. In 2014, as founding CEO of Confo Therapeutics (VIB-VUB spin-off), he set up the company, raised funding, recruited an outstanding team, and led the companies’ expansion to build a portfolio of drug development programs. In 2016, he became CEO of Dynacure, a rare disease company, focused on developing treatments for neuromuscular diseases.
Stephane studied medicine at KU Leuven and obtained an MBA at Erasmus University Rotterdam and Georgetown University, Washington DC.
Mike Garrett has more than 30 years’ experience in the biotech industry in positions of increasing responsibility. Prior to co-founding Flamingo, he was a Partner with TCG, a life science consulting group in RTP, North Carolina. Prior to this he was Vice President of Corporate Development at Scynexis, Inc. and a member of the team that executed the company’s IPO. Mike was Global Vice President, Ventures & Business Development for BTG plc, with responsibility for the company’s investment portfolio. Prior to this he worked in the corporate venture group of Aventis (Paris) and in their business development group. Earlier in his career he was a patent attorney in the Rhone-Poulenc Intellectual Property department, based in France and the UK.
Mike is a British and European Patent Attorney, holds an Honors degree in Chemistry from Southampton University, UK and an Executive Certificate in General Management from the Cedep INSEAD business school, France.
Floor Stam, PhD
Floor Stam is a co-Founder of Flamingo Therapeutics and serves as VP of Corporate Development and Operations. Floor studied Biomedical Sciences at Leiden University in the Netherlands and obtained her PhD at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, where she focused on molecular Neurobiology. She moved to the USA where she continued her research at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California as a Postdoctoral Research Associate. Aftercompletion of her training, she relocated to Belgium and was recruited by VIB, a non-profit research institute with a dual focus on performing cutting-edge science and translating it into value for society. At VIB, Floor first worked as a Business Developer, creating public-private partnerships through R&D and licensing assets to industry, and then transitioned into an Entrepreneur in Residence role to raise the series A for Flamingo. She and Michael Garrett founded Flamingo Therapeutics in 2019.
Mark Gidjunis joined Flamingo Therapeutics in 2023 and serves as VP Finance – Corporate Controller, following the merger between Flamingo and Dynacure. He had served in this role at Dynacure since 2020, building the financial infrastructure and leading the Company’s finance, accounting and IT teams. Previously, he served as the Assistant Controller at Optinose, a publicly traded specialty pharmaceutical company, participating in multiple follow-on offerings, a commercial product launch, leading the financial planning for the Company’s supply chain, and ensuring compliance with SEC regulations. Mark began the first 8 years of his career within the audit practice at KPMG LLP, primarily working with life science companies at various stages of development, including public / privately owned, commercial stage and clinical stage companies. Mark holds a B.S. in Accounting from the Rutgers University – Camden and is a Certified Public Accountant in the USA.
Morgane Perdomini, PhD
Morgane Perdomini joined Flamingo in 2023 as Director of Development and serves as Compound Development Team Leader and Portfolio Manager. Morgane holds a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the IGBMC (Strasbourg, France) and a degree in Biotechnology from the ESBS Engineering School at Strasbourg University.
Morgane worked as a scientist for several years focused on the development of AAV-mediated gene therapies for rare genetic diseases in academic labs and start-up company. She transitioned to R&D project management in 2017 at Medday Pharmaceuticals where she was managing nonclinical projects to support late-stage clinical development in progressive multiple sclerosis. In 2020, she joined Dynacure, a rare disease company focused on developing treatments for neuromuscular diseases, as Development Project Manager and later Associate Director. Over the years, she gained expertise in leading cross-disciplinary projects for drug development programs.
Andrew E. Denker, MD, PhD.
Prior to joining Flamingo, Dr. Denker served as Vice President Early Development at ElevateBio Technologies, where he was responsible for building the clinical development organization, developing clinical strategies for multiple therapeutics and managing clinical trial partnerships. Prior to ElevateBio, Dr. Denker held several positions of increasing responsibility at Alexion Pharmaceuticals, including Vice President, Clinical Development Services, where he led global teams for multiple ULTOMIRIS® development programs. Previously, he held several positions at Merck Sharp & Dohme, Corp., ultimately serving as Executive Director, Clinical Oncology, where he was the team leader for multiple KEYTRUDA® indications, KEYTRUDA® combination partnerships and next generation early development immune-oncology compounds. He received an A.B from Princeton University, his M.D, Ph.D. from Thomas Jefferson University and completed a General Surgery Internship and post-doctoral research at Washington University School of Medicine. Dr. Denker is an author on over 25 peer-reviewed publications and has contributed to numerous patent applications in the oncology field.
Board of Directors
Benoit Barteau, PhD
Benoit Barteau is Investment Director in the Life Sciences Department of Bpifrance Investissement. He has been involved in around 20 investment deals and current board member positions include Alentis, Flamingo, Igyxos, Meiogenix, BrainEver and Tridek One. Prior, he gained experience in various biotech roles, co-discovered a vaccine candidate, developed an antibody production service. He holds an MSc in Biotechnology Engineering from the University of Technology of Compiègne (UTC), a PhD in immunology from the University of Nantes and an executive Master in Finance from the Sorbonne Business School.
Tine Bekaert, PhD
Tine Bekaert is a senior investment manager at PMV (ParticipatieMaatschappij Vlaanderen), where she focuses on the financing of start-ups active in the life sciences & care sector. Currently, Tine is a member of the Board of Directors of Flamingo Therapeutics, Dualyx, Nobi and Indigo Diabetes. Tine holds a PhD in Biotechnology from Ghent University (Belgium) and has been involved in different European research infrastructure programs in the life science sector. Prior to PMV, Tine worked as a senior manager at Deloitte, where she managed a team responsible for strategic advice on grants and tax incentives for R&D and innovation
Rémi Droller is currently managing partner of Kurma Partners SA and member of the board of directors of ImCheck Therapeutics SAS, AM Pharma BV, Flamingo Therapeutics BV and Vico Therapeutics. He started at CDC Innovation (now bpi) from 2000 to 2003, later joining AGF Private Equity (now Eurazeo) where he developed the investment activity in the life sciences. He made investments such as Pharvaris (listed on Nasdaq), Zealand Pharma (listed on Nasdaq), Novagali Pharma (listed on Euronext and acquired by Santen) Prosensa Therapeutics (listed on Nasdaq and acquired by Biomarin) Vivacta (acquired by Novartis). Rémi Droller holds a master’s degree in molecular biology from Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris and a Master’s degree in finance and management of innovation from AgroParisTech.
Ms. Franchi brings over 30 years of experience in the biotechnology and life sciences industry to the Flamingo Board. Ms. Franchi currently serves as Chief Financial Officer of Replimune Group Inc. Previously, Ms. Franchi served as the Chief Financial Officer for Merrimack Pharmaceuticals where she streamlined the financial operations while strengthening the balance sheet through the retirement of debt, sales of assets, and navigating the review of strategic alternatives. Prior to Merrimack, Ms. Franchi held the position of Chief Financial Officer at other public and private biotechnology and life sciences companies, including Dimension Therapeutics and Good Start Genetics. Ms. Franchi also spent 16 years at Genzyme (acquired by Sanofi in 2011), holding several positions including Senior Vice President of Finance and Senior Vice President of Corporate Finance in which she played an important role in the approximately $20+ billion acquisition of Genzyme by Sanofi. Ms. Franchi serves on the Boards of BioDesix, Inc. Ms. Franchi earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Hofstra University.
Georges Gemayel, Ph.D., has over 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, including management, executive and supervisory positions spanning the United States and Europe. Dr. Gemayel has served as a member of our Board of Directors since 2018.
Dr. Gemayel currently serves as Chairman of the board of directors of Enterome Bioscience and GlycoEra AG both privately held companies, as well as a Director of Supernus and Disc Medicine both publicly traded companies. He was previously a director of Adolor
Corporation, a publicly traded company, acquired by Cubist Pharmaceuticals. Inc., a director at Prosensa, acquired by Biomarin, a director at NPS, acquired by Shire, a director of Epitherapeutics, acquired by Gilead, a director of Raptor Pharmaceutical Corp., acquired by Horizon Pharma plc, the Chairman of Dimension Therapeutics, acquired by Ultragenyx, the Chairman of Orphazyme ApS, the Chairman of Gemini Therapeutics that has merged with Disc Medicine, a Director of Momenta Pharmaceuticals, a publicly traded company, acquired by Johnson and Johnson. Dr. Gemayel served as the Chairman of Vascular Magnetics, and Oxthera AB privately owned companies.
In 2011 and 2012, Dr. Gemayel served as Executive Chairman of Syndexa Pharmaceuticals Corp., a privately held drug development company. Prior to that, in 2010, Dr. Gemayel served as Executive Chairman of FoldRx until its acquisition by Pfizer. From June 2008 until November 2009, Dr. Gemayel served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Altus Pharmaceuticals, a publicly traded pharmaceutical company. From 2003 to 2008, he was Executive Vice President at Genzyme Corporation where he was responsible for Genzyme’s global therapeutics, transplant, renal and biosurgery businesses. From 2000 to 2003, Dr. Gemayel was employed as Vice President National Specialty Care for Hoffmann La-Roche, responsible for its U.S. business for dermatology, oncology, transplantation, hepatitis and HIV. Dr. Gemayel joined Hoffmann-La Roche in 1988 and served in various positions of increasing responsibility over his tenure there. Dr. Gemayel received his doctorate in pharmacy from St. Joseph University in Beirut, Lebanon and his Ph.D. in Pharmacology from Paris-Sud University in Paris. France.
Christopher K. Mirabelli, Ph.D.
Dr. Mirabelli has spent over 40 years is the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries as a research scientist, senior executive and venture capital investor. He is currently the chairman of the board of directors of Leap Therapeutics, Inc., an oncology-focused drug development company. Dr. Mirabelli was the chief executive officer of Leap Therapeutics from its founding in 2015 until 2020. He is a member of the board of directors of Aro BioTherapeutics, a privately held company developing a protein-based drug targeting platform. He is a managing director of HealthCare Ventures, a venture capital firm located in Cambridge, MA, which he joined in 2000. Prior to HealthCare Ventures, he was the chief executive officer and chairman of the board of directors of LeukoSite, Inc., from its start in 1993 until its acquisition by Millennium Pharmaceuticals in 1999. Dr. Mirabelli was a co-founder of Isis (now Ionis) Pharmaceuticals, where he held several positions, including senior vice president of research, from 1989-1993. He started his career at SmithKline & French Laboratories R&D division in 1981 as a member of the department of molecular pharmacology and ultimately became its director prior to leaving the company in 1989. He has authored 192 scientific publications, abstracts and review articles and is an author of 24 issued patents.
He received his Ph.D. degree in molecular pharmacology from Baylor College of Medicine (1981) and B.S. degree in biology from SUNY-Fredonia (1977).
Dr. Mirabelli currently serves on the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute – Business Development Council, the Scripps Research Institute Board of Overseers, the Longview Ventures Investment Advisory Committee, and the Fredonia College Foundation board of directors.
Brett Monia, PhD
Dr. Monia is the chief executive officer, a member of the board of directors and a founding scientist of Ionis Pharmaceuticals. His contributions at Ionis include research into the medicinal chemistry and mechanisms of action of RNA-targeting modalities to treat human diseases, most notably antisense-based therapeutic strategies. Dr. Monia has extensive experience across a range of therapeutic areas, including oncology, metabolic disease, inflammation, neurological disease and cardiovascular disease, which have resulted in a broad range of successful clinical achievements and in marketing approvals for new medicines.
Dr. Monia has published more than 200 primary research manuscripts, reviews and book chapters, and is an inventor on more than 100 issued patents. He serves as a senior editor for the journal Nucleic Acid Therapeutics. He is on the board of directors of Cognition Therapeutics and the board of directors of Flamingo Therapeutics. He has also served as president of the Oligonucleotide Therapeutics Society (OTS). Dr. Monia is also an adjunct professor of biology at San Diego State University where he lectures at the graduate level on pharmacology.
Dr. Monia received his Ph.D. in Pharmacology at the University of Pennsylvania and B.S. degrees in Molecular Biology and Analytical Chemistry at Stockton State College in Pomona, New Jersey.
Henry Skinner, PhD
Henry Skinner, PhD, MJur, is an experienced executive who is deeply versed in the economic and scientific challenges of antimicrobial drug development.
Prior to joining the Fund, he held leadership positions across the pharmaceutical and venture capital sectors, including serving as Senior Vice President, Venture at Tekla Capital Management and as Deputy Head and Managing Director of the Novartis Venture Fund. In addition, Henry was the CEO of SelectX Pharmaceuticals, which focused on developing small molecule antimicrobials, and NeoGenesis Pharmaceuticals, which developed a platform for identifying and optimizing drug candidates.
Over the years, he has held Business Development positions at the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, Pfizer, Pharmacia, Pharmacia & Upjohn, and Lexicon Genetics. Henry was a postdoctoral fellow at Baylor College of Medicine in de department of Human and Molecular Genetics. He earned a PhD in Microbiology and an MS in Biochemistry from the Universities of Illinois; and MJur in Health Law, Policy and Management from Texas A&M; and an MS and a BS in Biology/ Biotechnology from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
Jean Christophe Marine, Ph.D.
Jean-Christophe Marine obtained his PhD from the University of Liège, (Belgium, 1996), and was a Howard Hugues Medical Institute Fellow at the St Jude Children’s Research Hospital (Memphis, USA, 1996-99). He was a Marie Curie Fellow at the European Institute of Oncology (IEO, Milan, Italy, 2000-2003).
He became a junior VIB Group leader in 2004 at the University of Ghent (Belgium) and moved his laboratory to the University of Leuven (KULeuven) in 2010 where he is now Professor, senior VIB group leader and Director of the VIB center for Cancer Biology. He received several national and international prizes, including the EMBO Young Investigator award in 2006, for his work on p53 modifiers. His interests focus on the mechanisms by which cancer-specific non-mutational (i.e. epigenetic and (post-)transcriptional) events modulate tumor initiation, progression and therapy outcome. Our laboratory has recently developed a growing interest in several aspects of melanoma biology, and in particular, in the identification of melanoma initiating cells and the mechanisms that contribute to early tumor development, emergence of inter- and intra-tumor heterogeneity and therapy resistance.
Pieter Mestdagh, Ph.D.
Pieter Mestdagh is focused on studying the role of non-coding RNAs in cancer by combining wet lab and dry lab activities. He is co-founder of various international consortia related to the study of ncRNAs including the miRNA Quality Control consortium (miRQC), the extracellular vesicles Quality Control study (evQC), the extracellular RNA Quality Control study (exRNAQC) and the RNA-Atlas consortium. His work contributed to novel insights on the role of miRNAs and lncRNAs in various cancer types such as neuroblastoma and melanoma. Currently, his lab is evaluating the application of cancer-type specific (non-coding)RNAs as biomarkers in circulation and novel targets for therapy.
Dr. Mestdagh authored more than 100 articles in international peer reviewed journals and is an inventor on 6 patents. His work has been awarded with various national prizes and he was nominated among the top 5 young investigators in Belgium and the Netherlands by The New Scientist. Pieter Mestdagh currently holds positions as an assistant professor at Ghent University and group leader at the Cancer Research Institute Ghent.
Arul M. Chinnaiyan, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Chinnaiyan is a molecular pathologist and physician scientist at the leading edge of translational cancer research and precision oncology. He is an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, American Cancer Society Research Professor, and Director of the Michigan Center for Translational Pathology. He has received number of honors including the Paul Marks Prize for Cancer Research, the NCI Outstanding Investigator Award, and was inducted into the AACR Academy Class of 2020. He is a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, Association of American Physicians, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, National Academy of Inventors, National Academy of Medicine, and the National Academy of Sciences.
Dr. Chinnaiyan is best known for the discovery of TMPRSS2-ETS gene fusions in a majority of prostate cancers, the first causative gene fusion in a common solid tumor. This landmark discovery from was made using a bioinformatics approach to detect outlier genes in an aggregated tumor gene expression database called ONCOMINE, developed by his group. In 2011, he established the first integrative, comprehensive clinical sequencing approach for advanced cancer patients called MI-ONCOSEQ, which has served as a paradigm for cancer precision medicine. He has also been taking advantage of integrative sequencing efforts to understand the non-coding genome of cancer especially in the area of biomarker and therapeutic development.
Hagop Youssoufian, M.D.
Dr. Youssoufian has more than 25 years of experience in drug development. Following a successful academic career as a clinician, teacher and NIH-funded investigator, he held various roles, including Chief Medical Officer and President of R&D, in clinical and translational science at Bristol-Myers Squibb, Sanofi Aventis, ImClone, Ziopharm Oncology, Progenics and BIND Therapeutics. Dr. Youssoufian is an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation. He received a B.S. in biology from Boston College and M.Sc./M.D. from University of Massachusetts Medical School, followed by fellowships at Johns Hopkins, Harvard and MIT.
Partners and Investors
We have a strategic partnership with Ionis Pharmaceuticals, the leader in RNA-targeted therapy,
and we are proud to be supported by well-known biotechnology investors.