Hybridize Therapeutics


“Helping patients overcome untreated kidney diseases with RNA-based therapies”

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Changing the lives of kidney patients

Our focus: protecting kidneys

  • 1:10 people are suffering from chronic kidney disease worldwide.
  • 790K people live with kidney failure in the US alone.
  • $120B is spent yearly in the US to treat kidney disease.

 

Our kidneys are a beautiful organ with more than one million filtering units that filter our blood from waste and toxic compounds. Sadly, 1 out of 10 people in this world do not have healthy kidneys, which means that waste builds up in their body. When kidney disease worsens to end stage renal disease (ESRD), a patient must rely on a dialysis machine 3×4 hours per week to filter their blood to survive. To put the problem in perspective: chronic kidney disease leads to 1.2 million deaths and 28 million years of life lost each year. Furthermore, right now > 790 thousand people suffer from kidney failure in the US alone.

 

At Hybridize, we want to protect those precious kidneys and prevent people from reaching ESRD.

RNA-based therapeutics with high target specificity

Our technology

“We develop RNA-based therapies for patients with acute and chronic kidney diseases. Our therapies are designed to prevent kidney dysfunction with high target specificity.”

 

We believe strongly that our technology, RNA-based therapies, and kidney protection go hand-in-hand. After systemic administration our RNA-based therapies distribute to the exact location where they need to be. Due to their chemical modification they stay there for weeks to months which allows for infrequent dosing. But above all, RNA-based therapies are designed to modulate disease targets with high specificity. This provides for endless possibilities to help kidney patients.

 

To improve our technology, we are leading cutting edge research to discover how to increase the uptake and activity of RNA based therapies in specific kidney cells to become the kidney navigation expert. This is vital, as it improves the therapeutic window and opens new treatment paradigms for currently untreated kidney diseases.

Background Hybridize Therapeutics & the rich ecosystem in Leiden

Our background

Hybridize Therapeutics is a spin-off from the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC). The LUMC has been a frontrunner in both Nephrology & RNA-based medicine since 1943. Prof. Dr. Willem Kolff, inventor of the kidney dialysis machine (1943), studied Medicine at the LUMC, while Prof. Dr. Jacques van Boom played a pivotal pioneering role in oligonucleotide chemistry (LUMC, 1975). Dr. Eric van der Veer (Founder Hybridize) joined the Nephrology Department of the LUMC as a post doc fellow in 2007. During his extensive research period (2007-2015) he focused mainly on RNA-based therapies for kidney diseases. His first breakthrough project focused on a very specific protein that regulates tissue injury through inflammation & fibrosis. His second breakthrough project focused on the kidney virus (BK-virus) that leads to devastating clinical complications in kidney transplant and hematopoietic stem cell transplant patients. In september 2019, Hybridize Therapeutics spun out from the LUMC.

News updates and media gallery

Press room

All PR related information can be found in the press room page here

AiCuris and Hybridize Therapeutics enter worldwide license agreement of up to €100M for a direct-acting RNA-based therapy against BK Virus

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Treating kidney inflammation / fibrosis

Pipeline

Polyomaviruses (BKV & JCV)

BK virus & JC virus are part of the polyomavirus family. Both reside in a permissive form in the urinary tract in 60-90% of the general population. In an immunocompromised patient, they can reactivate and kill the organ in which they replicate. No (effective) treatment exists for both viruses.

 

BK virus
BK virus can wreak havoc in kidney transplant patients, where it slowly destroys the transplanted kidney allograft leading to (premature) allograft loss. In addition, in hematopoietic stem cell transplant patients, BK virus causes an extremely painful, bleeding bladder infection leading up to months prolonged hospitalization.

 

JC virus
JC virus can become activated in severely immunocompromised patients and can relocate to the central nervous system. Here it leads to the brain disease: progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy. Symptoms include cognitive / behavioral abnormalities, sensory & motor deficits, speech impairments, seizures and rapid death.

 

HYB_BKV / HYB_JCV
At Hybridize Therapeutics, we are developing antisense oligonucleotides that target the Achilles’ heel of polyomaviruses. This is the only therapeutic in development that is a direct acting anti-viral which works intra-cellular and protects the cells from within. It is designed to target the viral mRNA and therefore provides for low off-target effects.

Acute & chronic kidney injury

We focus on a very specific protein (undisclosed) that plays a major role in inflammation / fibrosis. The target has been validated in in-vivo models & human pathological material.

HYB_fib (dcRNA)
To control inflammation / fibrosis, we are developing a new type of RNA therapeutic (dcRNA) for kidney inflammation / fibrosis. For more information about this technology and the mechanism of action, feel free to contact us.
Target Viral Discovery Lead opt. IND Phase 1/2 Phase 2/3 Injury HYB_BKV UNDISCLOSED Viral UNDISCLOSED Genetic UNDISCLOSED

Our people

Team

CEO of Hybridize. Founder & former-CEO of Nightbalance – MedTech scale-up sold to Phillips Heathcare

Eline van Beest

CEO

Founder and CSO of Hybridize. Spent >12y as postdoc at the Leiden University Medical Center working on RNA therapies & kidney diseases

Dr. Eric van der Veer

CSO & Founder

COO of Hybridize. Has >15y experience in both big & small biotech companies with the focus on RNA-based therapeutic development

Bianca Matthee

COO

Business strategist of Hybridize. He worked as a strategy consultant at Bain & Company and has a background in both Biopharmaceutical Science & Biomedical Engineering

Alexander Mentink

Chief of Staff

Head of CMC of Hybridize. Extensive experience in defining phase-appropriate CMC strategy (preclinical up to phase 3) in both big pharma and small biotech companies.

Dr. Miranda de Jager

Head of CMC

Extensive experience in clinical and non-clinical drug development strategy with specific interest in RNA-based therapeutics, ADME and orphan diseases.

Dr. Jessica Sipkens

Project Manager

Professional with more than 10 years of experience in biopharmaceutical development across multiple therapeutic areas, with special focus on oligonucleotides, RNA and rare diseases. Strong record leading multidisciplinary teams through Translational and Early Clinical Development

Patricia Biasutto

Head of Translational Science

Jurriën Prins is the the scientific co-founder of our therapy against BK virus and working as post-doc researcher at the department of Nephrology of the LUMC. He studied the role of RNA-binding proteins and various RNA-based therapeutic modalities. He combines bio-informatic approaches with experimental lab work to further the development of antisense therapies.

Jurriën Prins

Senior Scientist

Dr. Falk Wachowius’ research interests lie primarily in the area of nucleic acid biochemistry. He is currently mainly dedicated to the development of oligonucleotides that target viral (sub)genomic RNA to inhibit virus replication. Before this he held research positions at the MRC-LMB in Cambridge and the University of Groningen.

Dr. Falk Wachowius

Senior Scientist

Dr. Eric Verschuren studied the role of urinary flow in kidney (patho)physiology, such as renal electrolyte handling and Polycystic Kidney Disease, during his PhD research at the Radboudumc in Nijmegen. Before joining Hybridize, he worked as a scientist in target discovery and assay development for kidney diseases at Galapagos.

Dr. Eric Verschuren

Scientist

Principal technician with extensive work experience is (semi-) academia and CRO. Skilled in range of immunological, cellular and molecular biology techniques.

Arianne Plomp

Principal technician

Janneke Kouwenberg is a research technician in the Hybridize Therapeutics laboratory team. Besides working with cell based assays and molecular techniques, she has an extensive interest in fluorescence (confocal) microscopy. 

Janneke Kouwenberg

Researcher

Researcher at Hybridize Therapeutics with the ambition to improve the lives of kidney patients. She has a Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences background and worked before at the Target Discovery and Validation department of Galapagos.

Iris van Wissen

Researcher

Chaja is a researcher with a background in regenerative medicine, as she is passionate about improving the quality of life for patients. She has experience with complex culture techniques and oligonucleotide research.

Chaja Hudepol

Researcher

Onno van de Stolpe founded Galapagos in 1999 and has served as CEO from 1999 to the present. From 1998 to 1999, he was the Managing Director of Genomics at IntroGene BV (later Crucell NV, which was acquired by Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc. in 2011).

Onno van der Stolpe

ex-CEO Galapagos

From 2002-2021, Dr. John Maraganore has been the CEO and Director of Alnylam ($20B+). Before that he worked for Millennium Pharma as Senior Vice President and Strategic Product Development. Before Millennium he served as Director of Molecular Biology and Director of Market and Business Development at Biogen.

Dr. John Maraganore

Ex-CEO Alnylam Pharmaceuticals

Dr. James Shannon has extensive expertise in clinical drug development. From 2012 until his retirement in 2015, James was Chief Medical Officer at GlaxoSmithKline. Prior to that he was Global Head of Pharma Development at Novartis and Senior Vice-President Clinical Development at Sterling Winthrop Pharmaceuticals.

MD James Shannon

Ex-CMO GlaxoSmithKline

Michael Hodges has deep RNA therapeutics technical expertise. He is supporting a number of Biotechnology companies in the role of drug development consultant.  Previously, he was the CMO of Amplyx Pharma, developing treatments for life-threatening viral and fungal infections in immuno-compromised patients.

MD Michael Hodges

Drug Development advisor,
ex-CMO Amplyx

Dr. Dinko Valerio is founder and former CEO of Crucell, and one of the founders of its spinout, Galapagos Genomics. Adding to his corporate experience, Dr. Dinko Valerio was also a professor of gene therapy at the University of Leiden.

Dr. Dinko Valerio

Founder Crucell / Galapagos

Daniel is founder and CEO of ProQR. After one of his children was diagnosed with a rare disease, he started ProQR to develop RNA therapies for rare diseases. Under Daniel’s leadership ProQR developed a diversified pipeline of potential treatments for rare diseases and raised over $300M in funding, including an IPO on Nasdaq.

Daniel de Boer

CEO ProQR

Dr. Andre Hoekema joined Galapagos as CBO in 2005. Before that he worked for Invitrogen Corporation, where he was Managing Director of Corporate Development Europe. He brings 20 years of biotech experience from many different firms (a.o. Crucell, DSM Life Sciences, Syngenta and Genentech).

Dr. Andre Hoekema

CBO Galapagos

Alison Lawton is a seasoned Biotech Executive with experience as CEO and Independent Directorships at private and public companies. Deep regulatory and commercial/business expertise.

Alison Lawton

ex-CEO Kaleido

Dr. Annemieke Aartsma-Rus is a Professor of Translational Genetics at the Department of Human Genetics at the LUMC. She played an important role in the development of an antisense-mediated exon skipping therapy for Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Prof. Dr. Annemieke Aartsma-Rus

Professor Human Genetics, LUMC

Dr. Mariet Feltkamp is a medical virologist and Associate Professor at the LUMC Department of Medical Microbiology. In 2010, she discovered (and named) a new human polyomavirus in skin lesions of a trichodysplasia spinulosa patient (TSV or TSPyV).

Dr. Mariet Feltkamp

Associate Professor, LUMC

Dr. Gerard Platenburg is co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer at ProQR. Before that, he co-founded Prosensa growing it to become a well-known clinical stage RNA modulation company. He held various positions including CEO and CDO.

Dr. Gerard Platenburg

CIO ProQR

Prof. Dr. Volker Nickeleit started his own research group specializing in the diagnostic and scientific evaluation of kidney diseases. He is the leading author of the  BANFF classification for BK-virus associated nephropathy and is regarded as the key opinion leader in this field.

Prof. Dr. Volker Nickeleit

University of North Carolina

Dr. Troels Koch has 20+ years experience in the life science and biopharmaceutical industry. Founder of several biotech companies of which Exiqon and Santaris Pharma are the most commonly known. Santaris Pharma A/S was successfully exited in August 2014 – acquired by Roche – and Exiqon A/S was acquired in 2016 by Qiagen.

Dr. Troels Koch

ex-CTO, Santaris/Roche

Prof. Dr. Jaap Jan Boelens is a pediatric hematologic oncologist and Chief of the Pediatric Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapies Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering. He is specialized in bone marrow and cord blood transplantation to treat blood diseases in children and young adults.

Prof. Dr. Jaap Jan Boelens

Chief HSCT Memorial Sloan Kettering

Dr. Benjamin Laskin is an attending physician at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. His research interests are in infections and kidney disease in immunosuppressed children.

Dr. Ben Laskin

Assistant Prof. Pediatrics Univ. of Pennsylvania

Dr. Anton Jan van Zonneveld is the scientific co-founder of our therapy against BK virus and Professor of Experimental Vascular Medicine at the LUMC. Before that, he was the Managing Director Cardiovascular Research at Crucell. He also serves as a member of the Board of the Dutch Kidney Foundation.

Prof. Dr. Anton Jan van Zonneveld

Laboratory Director
(LUMC)

Collaborators

Our Partners