Belgian biotech Apaxen appoints Bart Wuurman as CEO

Privately owned biotech Apaxen SA has chosen Bart Wuurman as CEO. The preclinical-stage biotechnology company is developing novel oral drugs for chronic inflammatory diseases, with a primary focus in pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH).

Wuurman succeeds Joël Crouzet, Ph.D. as CEO, who has accepted another appointment. “We are very grateful for Joël’s efforts to structure the company and lead it through the series A funding round,” says Enrico Bastianelli, co-founder of Apaxen.

Wuurman is an accomplished biotech CEO with more than 30 years of experience in innovative drug development, biotech financing, business development, and licensing. Management says he has extensive experience in working with research and development-based companies in pharmaceutical product development in several therapeutic areas, including cancer, fibrosis, cardiovascular diseases and renal diseases. Wuurman was instrumental to successful biotech company exits in the UK and in the Netherlands. He was responsible for pharma licensing deals worth more than $700 million. He was CEO of De Novo Pharmaceuticals, AM-Pharma, Lanthio Pharma and Lyramid Ltd., and is a director of Hercules Pharmaceutical. Wuurman was also managing director of DDF Ventures, a life-science focused venture fund with a portfolio of start-up companies in The Netherlands.

Bart Wuurman

“I am very excited to join the Apaxen team,” Wuurman says. “Apart from showing great potential as novel treatment for PAH, Apaxen’s MIF inhibitors may also have many other applications against chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases via their inflammasome activation blocking activities.”

“We are very pleased to have found a CEO for Apaxen with the caliber of Bart Wuurman,” says Lotfi Yelles Chaouche, Apaxen board member and partner at Theodorus. “He brings the experience and drive to take the company onto the next level of development.”