advisory board

Our international advisory board acts as a sounding board for companies looking for advice. The Science Park University of Antwerp makes space available to innovative companies and is actively promoting the development of a respiratory cluster. In the Darwin incubator, start-ups are surrounded by fellow entrepreneurs and various experts who can provide guidance in aspects such as taxation, legal matters and intellectual property.

The initiative Eu.reca

Eu.reca is an initiative of Frank Pieters, an internationally recognised expert in the respiratory field. His background includes market innovation and product development specifically related to inhalation at companies such as GlaxoSmithKline, Teva and Cipla. Through his own company, P&L Projects, he coaches various start-ups and contributes to the growth of diverse internationally oriented companies.

Also actively involved is the Development Authority of the Province of Antwerp (Provinciale Ontwikkelingsmaatschappij or POM Antwerp). With the ambition of further reinforcing the position of the Province of Antwerp as a knowledge region, POM is focusing on accommodating growth companies. The Science Park University of Antwerp, which was developed by POM Antwerp, is thus geared towards attracting innovative companies in fields such as Life Sciences. The respiratory field was selected as a spearhead sector by the POM.

Eu.reca is governed by an advisory board that reviews all activities for relevance and topicality for the respiratory field.

Frank Pieters, CEO P&L Projects, chairman of the board at Softhale NV, head of strategy and business development at Aquilon.

Didier Cataldo is a clinician pneumologist and ordinary Professor at the University of Liege. He manages a research lab at university of Liege focused on the mechanisms of asthma, COPD and lung cancer/mesothelioma progression. Many different tools are available in his lab to study mechanisms of action of various experimental drugs in vitro and in animal models. He is the chairman of the scientific advisory board at Aquilon and member of the Académie Royale de Médecine de Belgique. Also, he is the president-elect of the Belgian Respiratory Society.

Stefano Console has more than 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and fine chemical business. The broad experience gathered with different CDMOs (Contract Development & Manufacturing Organizations) in Italy and Switzerland covered strategic roles managing a large number of successful projects for big as well as small Pharma partners across EU, USA and Japan. Currently Stefano is Senior Advisor at Oriento SA, a Swiss based advisory firm.

Pietro Crovetto worked in General Management, Marketing, and Business Development in several blue chip pharma companies, like GSK, Novartis, Chiesi, Teva, Lupin. In these positions he has acquired a deep understanding of the issues connected with the development and marketing of respiratory products and delivery devices like pMDI, DPI and ADI (aerosol, powder, and aqueous inhalers), in licensing and out licensing product and medical technologies, industrialisation of both devices and products, and development of strategic alliances worldwide.

Marc Dechamps is a biologist with extensive experience of more than 30 years in the Pharmaceutical and Biotech industry. Marc was subsequently Executive Director Commercial department “Specialty care & Vaccines” at GSK Belgium, Head of European Mid-Size Countries at ViiV Healthcare (ViiVHC) and Head of ViiVHC European Commercial – Market Access Operations team. Recently Marc was CEO of eTheRNA, Immunotherapies, a clinical stage Biotech company involved in Immuno-oncology. Marc is now Director International Affairs at BioWin the health cluster of Wallonia.

Marc Decramer is a pneumologist, was professor at KU Leuven, Chief of the Respiratory Division and CEO at the University Hospital UZ Leuven. His research activity dealt primarily with respiratory rehabilitation and pharmacotherapy of COPD, leading to more than 400 papers in international peer reviewed journals. He was a member and President of numerous national and international societies, including President of the European Respiratory Society (2010-2011), and Editor of the European Respiratory Journal (1999-2002). He currently is a member of the Board of Trustees of the University Medical Centre of Leiden (LUMC).

René Deman is Pneumologist and Head of the Department of Respiratory Medicine at AZ Groeninge ( Kortrijk – Belgium ) . He has a broad interest in the field of astma , COPD en sleep medicine

Paul De Vuyst headed the Chest Department at the Hopital Erasme of the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) until 2018. He was Professor of Pulmonary Medicine at the same university, as well as Chairman of the Fellowship in Pneumology. He is currently a consultant in Hopital Erasme and member of the Scientific Committee of the Occupational Diseases Fund (Brussels). He is author and co-author of around 100 articles published in international peer-reviewed journals and of more than150 communications in international conferences. He is a member of the American Thoracic Society, the European Respiratory Society, the Société de Pneumologie de Langue Française and the Belgian Society of Pneumology. He focuses particularly on occupational and environmental lung diseases, pleural diseases, iatrogenic lung diseases, interstitial lung diseases in general (IPF) and more recently air pollution.

Guy Joos is Pneumologist and Head of the Dept of Respiratory Medicine at Ghent University Hospital. He is full Professor at Ghent University and Director of Research at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences of Ghent University. His main research interest is translational and clinical research in asthma and COPD. He has (co)authored more than 300 articles, and has been (co)promotor of 16 PhD theses in the field of translational research in asthma and COPD. Guy Joos has been president of the Belgian Thoracic Society (2010-2012), and has served several functions for the European Respiratory Society (ERS): secretary of the ERS Assembly Airway Diseases, ERS Treasurer and ERS President from september 2016 to september 2017. He is currently member of the ERS Advocacy Council and GINA advocate.

Gudrun Koppen is an Engineer in Chemistry and Agricultural Sciences. Since 1999 she works at the Flemish Institute of Technological Research (VITO, Belgium), in the unit Environmental Risk and Health. She mainly performs project work in the field of ‘human biomonitoring’. Tasks include WP coordination, study design, logistics, data interpretation, statistics and reporting. In this context she has more than 20 year experience in molecular epidemiology, and biomarker development in the areas of genotoxicity, inflammation and oxidative stress.

Robert Lins is a results-focused manager with a strong entrepreneurial spirit and extensive experience in the health care sector. Strong experience as a physician-specialist and as general manager in hospital sector, in hospital clinical research, in clinical research organisation, and as consultant to pharmaceutical industry

Julie D. Suman is co-founder and President of Next Breath, an Aptar Pharma Company. Next Breath is a contract research organization dedicated to the development and analytical testing of nasal, inhalation and injectable delivery systems. Dr. Suman directs the research division that supports product development and regulatory submissions for North American and International Clients in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device markets.

Jan Van Meerbeeck is currently professor of Thoracic Oncology at both Ghent and Antwerp University and chair of the Pulmonology Department of the Antwerp Academic Hospital (UZA). His translational scientific interests include the molecular diagnosis of lung cancer and the evaluation of biomarkers of asbestos exposure and the management of mesothelioma. He is a full member of the ASCO and the IASLC, external expert at the Belgian HTA Knowledge Center KCE and he has an extensive presentation and publication track, with more than 300 peer-reviewed articles in oncology and pulmonology journals and textbooks.

Stijn Verhulst, MD, PhD is professor in pediatrics at the University of Antwerp, Belgium and head of the department of pediatrics at the Antwerp University Hospital. He is a pediatric pulmonologist and sleep physician and serves also as director of the Antwerp Cystic Fibrosis Center. His research focuses on several aspects of pediatric pulmonology and sleep medicine including sleep-disordered breathing, respiratory insufficiency, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, RSV-bronchiolitis, respiratory physiotherapy, asthma and air pollution.  He is author or co-author of more than 120 papers and book chapters in national and international journals.

Wim Beernaert, CEO of Nelson Group, has extensive experience in advising and guiding international and national companies and organizations in their policy development, growth strategies, plan and project development, project and process management, marketing and sales, customer segmented communication and branding. Wim is one of the pioneers in place or location marketing in Belgium. Developing and implementing city and regional marketing plans according to a unique methodology is one of his specialties that he applies to cities, municipalities and regions in Belgium, but also across national borders. Thanks to his analytical skills and his systematic Go-to-Market! approach, Wim has already guided dozens of SMEs in determining their strategy.