Who we are

Since our founding in 2003, we have pursued our vision of using the immune system to find and fight proteins central to the development and progression of neurodegenerative diseases. Our ultimate aim is to improve the lives of patients suffering from neurodegenerative diseases, by focusing on the root cause rather than symptom management: an ethos inspired by the impact that vaccines have on health and society worldwide. We have a broad portfolio of immunotherapy candidates which are currently in clinical trials or in preclinical development for a variety of neurodegenerative diseases; these include Parkinson’s disease (α-synuclein), Huntington’s disease (mutHTT), and Alzheimer’s disease (β-amyloid).

Meet our exceptional team, who have a proven track record of making ground-breaking scientific discoveries and developing novel therapies.

Together we can achieve more.

Management

Oliver Siegel

Chief Executive Officer

Oliver Siegel has been Chief Executive Officer at AFFiRiS since May 2015, and prior to this served as the company's Chief Operating Officer from July 2014 to May 2015.

Before joining AFFiRiS, Oliver was a Managing Director at N M Rothschild & Sons Limited, London, UK between 2007 and 2014. In this role, he was responsible for the firm's pharmaceutical industry corporate finance activities in Europe. Oliver joined NM Rothschild & Sons Limited as a healthcare industry investment banker from HSBC, London, UK and Merrill Lynch Plc, London, UK. Oliver holds a master's degree in business administration from Otto Friedrich University, Bamberg, Germany.

Günther Staffler, PhD

Chief Technology Officer

Günther Staffler is Chief Technology Officer at AFFiRiS, where he is responsible for preclinical development and technology. Prior to his appointment to the executive board, Günther led the immunology department.

Before joining AFFiRiS, he held various positions at Intercell and Biovertis AG, which he co-founded. Günther completed his doctorate degree in biochemistry and immunology at the Institute of Immunology, University of Vienna, Austria and has authored many publications in international journals. He was awarded the ‘Förderungspreis’ from the Austrian Society of Chemistry in 1996 and the ‘Fritz and Ursula Melchers Preis’ from the Austrian Society of Immunology in 2003.

Albina Poljak, PhD

Head of Business Development

Albina is Head of Business Development at AFFiRiS. She is responsible for managing the organization’s external relations, including generating and seeking out potential new opportunities. Albina studied genetics and microbiology at the Universities of Zagreb and Vienna and holds a PhD in immunology. She is also a certified project manager (University of Salzburg Business School). Since 2006, she has been active in the field of immunotherapy development both as a scientist and as a project manager.

Christine Landlinger-Schubert, PhD

Head of Preclinical Development

Christine is Head of Preclinical Development, a role she started in January 2019. Prior to that she was Head of Cardiometabolic Research and Development, and she started her career at AFFiRiS in 2009 as scientist. Before joining AFFiRiS, Christine spent three years as a scientist developing diagnostic tools for the early detection of life threatening infections in immunosuppressed individuals at the Children’s Cancer Research Institute (CCRI) in Vienna, Austria. Christine studied microbiology at the University of Vienna and Lund (Sweden) and holds a PhD from the Institute of Medical Biochemistry at the Medical University of Vienna.

Gerald Remberg, PHD

Head of Quality Operations

Gerald’s educational background is in analytical chemistry. He has longstanding experience in Quality Assurance, Quality Control, and regulatory processes. Gerald has been certified as a Qualified Person by the Austrian regulatory authorities since 2011. Before joining AFFiRiS, Gerald worked for many years in various Quality Control, Quality Assurance, and Operational Excellence functions at the Vienna-based manufacturing sites of Baxter AG and Intervet GesmbH (MSD Animal Health).

Martina Hopitzan

Head of Finance & Administration

Martina Hopitzan is Head of Finance & Administration and is mainly responsible for Accounting and Controlling. She has been a member of AFFiRiS since 2009 and previously gained multiple years of experience in the biotech/high-tech sector at companies such as Intercell. She holds a degree in Controlling and is a Certified Accountant.

Alexandra Kutzelnigg, MD

Head of Medical Scientific Affairs

Alexandra is a trained psychiatrist. She has longstanding experience as a clinical investigator in the field of neurodegeneration. During a post-doctoral position at the Brain Research Center in Vienna, her research focused on various aspects of neuroimmunology in multiple sclerosis. Before joining AFFiRiS, Alexandra worked for many years as a researcher and clinician at the Medical University of Vienna. She has several years of experience as a consultant and contractor for the pharmaceutical industry in CNS indications.

Supervisory Board

Michael Motschmann

Chairman

Michael Motschmann has been an entrepreneur for over 20 years. In 2004, Michael co-founded MIG Verwaltungs AG (MIG AG), and as well as being a member of the board of management, he is Head of the Participations Division. MIG AG is a management company for various VC funds, which are financed by private investors who invest in companies in Austria and Germany (mainly in the life science and high tech fields). Michael is also a member of the Supervisory Board of BioNTech Gmbh, Mainz, Germany.

Helmut Jeggle, MBA

Vice Chairman

Helmut Jeggle is Managing Director of ATHOS Service GmbH in Munich, Germany. In this role, Helmut has been responsible for building an extensive portfolio of biotechnology companies for ATHOS/Santo. Helmut is also Chairman of the Supervisory Board of BioNTech Gmbh, Mainz, Germany and 4SC AG, Munich, Germany. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Sidroga AG, Zoffingen, Switzerland and SiO2 Medical Products Inc, Auburn, USA.

Noel Barrett, PhD

Noel Barrett is a distinguished business leader in the field of vaccines. He has more than 30 years of experience in the vaccine and biologics industry, with management responsibilities covering the complete development process required to bring vaccine products to the market. In his prior position as Vice President Global Research and Development Vaccines at Baxter Healthcare, he led the development and licensure of Baxter’s FSME tick-borne encephalitis vaccine, Meningococcal C vaccine, and cell‑culture derived H5N1, H1N1, and seasonal influenza vaccines (Preflucel®). His contribution to the Baxter scientific community was recognized with the title of Baxter Distinguished Scientist, the most prestigious scientific recognition within the company, and the Baxter Bioscience President’s Leadership Award.

Klaus Schollmeier, PhD

Klaus Schollmeier has more than 20 years of international management experience in executive and senior positions in the pharmaceutical industry. Previous roles include Chief Executive Officer of SuppreMol GmbH (2013–2015), Santhera Pharmaceuticals AG (2004–2011), and Graffinity Pharmaceuticals GmbH (2003–2004). Previously he worked at BASF and subsequently AbbVie, where his scientific responsibilities included Head of Oncology/Immunology Research at BASF’s central laboratories in Ludwigshafen, Germany, and Senior Director of Biotechnology at BASF Bioresearch Corporation in Cambridge.

Klaus is also Chairman of the Board of Directors at Anergis SA, Epalinges, Switzerland and Inthera Bioschiences AG, Wädenswil, Switzerland as well as member of the Supervisory Board of Apceth Biopharma GmbH, Munich, Germany.

Claudia Juno

Claudia Juno studied biomedical analytics at the Vienna General Hospital, Austria and has been employed at AFFiRiS since 2008. She has gained long-standing laboratory experience in university and industry settings from Max F. Perutz Laboratories, University College London, UK, and Baxter BioScience, among others. At AFFiRiS, Claudia has worked on several projects in the areas of Parkinson’s disease and CETP. Since 2012, she has been part of the PCSK9 project team. Claudia has also been appointed by the works council as a delegate to the supervisory board.

Marie Le Bras

Marie Le Bras studied human biology at the University of Vienna, Austria and has been employed at AFFiRiS since 2009. She has gained experience in research laboratories at the Vienna General Hospital, the Royal Free Hospital, London, UK, and the Children’s Cancer Research Institute in Vienna. At AFFiRiS, Marie has worked on CETP and osteopontin projects. Since 2012, she has been part of the PCSK9 project team. Marie has also been appointed by the works council as a delegate to the supervisory board.

Scientific Advisory Board

Professor Christoph Huber, MD PhD

Chairman

Christoph Huber is Professor Emeritus at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany, former Head of the Department of Hematology and Oncology at the Mainz University Medical Center, and an international leader in the field of immuno-oncology. He chairs Europe’s Association for Cancer Immunotherapy, is a board member of the Ci3 Cluster of Individualized ImmunIntervention e.V in the Rhine-Main metropolitan area of Germany, and is a senior advisor to international pharmaceutical companies, science-driven SMEs, and big-science institutions. Professor Huber is also a co-founder of BioNTech AG and of Ganymed Pharmaceuticals.

Professor Rogier Sanders, MD PhD

Rogier Sanders is a Professor of Virology at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands where he is the Principal Investigator for research into vaccine design. His main research interest is HIV and the development of vaccines for infectious diseases. He is a recipient of a Starting Investigator Grant from the European Research Council, as well as numerous other research grants and fellowship awards.

Professor Werner Poewe, MD

Werner Poewe is Chairman of the Department of Neurology, Medical University of Innsbruck, Austria. His main research interests are in the field of movement disorders, with particular emphasis on the clinical pharmacology of Parkinson’s disease and dystonia. Professor Poewe has published over 550 papers in the field of movement disorders. He has served as President of the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society, President of the Austrian Society of Neurology, President of the Austrian Parkinson's Disease Society, and Chair of the Movement Disorder Society/European Section.

Professor Michael Platten, MD

Michael Platten is a Professor of Neurology at Heidelberg University, Germany and Chairman of the Department of Neurology, University Hospital Mannheim, Germany. He is also Head of the Immune Monitoring Unit at the German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg, a position he has held since 2015. Professor Platten has received many honors including, honorary membership of the European Academy of Tumor Immunology in 2016. He has published over 140 research papers and has served on several editorial boards.