Onno van de Stolpe founded our company in 1999 and has served as our Chief Executive Officer and a member of our board of directors 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). Prior to joining IntroGene in 1998, he was Managing Director of Molecular Probes Europe BV. He established the European headquarters after joining Molecular Probes, Inc. in the United States. Previously, he worked for The Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency in California, where he was responsible for recruiting biotechnology and medical device companies to locate in the Netherlands. Mr. Van de Stolpe started his career as Manager of Business Development at MOGEN International NV in Leiden. He received an MSc degree from Wageningen University. Mr. Van de Stolpe has previously served as a member of the board of directors of DCPrime BV and as a member of the supervisory board of the Stichting Institute for Human Organ and Disease Model Technologies.
Piet Wigerinck joined us in April 2008 as SVP Development and was appointed Chief Scientific Officer in 2012. Under his leadership, we have developed a large pipeline of novel mechanism of action drug candidates. He has supervised multiple successful proof-of-concept patient studies, including filgotinib, GLPG1690, and MOR106. Prior to his tenure at Galapagos, Dr. Wigerinck was Vice President, Drug Discovery, Early Development and CM&C at Tibotec-Virco Comm VA (a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc.). Under his leadership at Tibotec, TMC114 (Prezista™) and TMC435 (Olysio™) were selected and moved forward into clinical trials. Dr. Wigerinck played a key role in Tibotec’s expansion into novel diseases such as Hepatitis C and advanced several compounds into Phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical trials. Dr. Wigerinck has over 30 years of R&D experience in the pharmaceutical industry and biotechnology. He holds a Ph.D. from the KU Leuven and is inventor on more than 25 patent applications. In May 2018, Dr. Wigerinck was elected as independent board member of Ipsen SA, France.
Bart Filius has served as our Chief Financial Officer since December 2014 and as our Chief Operating Officer since September 2017. Prior to that, Mr. Filius worked over 13 years at Sanofi SA, where he was the Chief Financial Officer of Sanofi Europe during the last three years. Earlier at Sanofi, Mr. Filius was the Country Manager and Chief Financial Officer of Sanofi in the Netherlands. Before that, he was Vice President for Mergers & Acquisitions, during which time Mr. Filius led and completed the divestiture of various franchises. Prior to joining Sanofi, he was a strategy consultant at Arthur D. Little. Mr. Filius has an MBA degree from INSEAD and a bachelor’s degree in business from Nyenrode Business University. In May 2019, Mr. Filius was appoitned to the supervisory board of ProQR Therapeutics NV.
Andre Hoekema is responsible for M&A, licensing and Intellectual Property at Galapagos as our Chief Business Officer. He joined Galapagos in March 2005 from Invitrogen Corporation, where he was Managing Director of Corporate Development Europe. He brings 20 years of biotech experience from positions at Molecular Probes Europe BV (Managing Director), Crucell NV (Director of Business Development), DSM Life Sciences NV and Syngenta MOGEN BV (Research and Project Management) and Genentech, Inc. (R&D). Dr. Hoekema has a Ph.D. degree from Leiden University and is the inventor of over 20 series of patent applications, resulting in 15 patents issued in the United States. Dr. Hoekema currently also serves as a member of the supervisory board of Mimetas BV and has previously served as a member of the supervisory board of VitalNext BV.
Walid Abi-Saab joined Galapagos as Chief Medical Officer in March 2017. Dr. Abi-Saab drives the overall medical strategy of the company and is responsible for late stage clinical development and operations, medical and regulatory affairs, and safety. Previously, Dr. Abi-Saab worked at Shire AG where he held various clinical development leadership roles, most recently as Group Vice President, Global Clinical Development - Therapeutic Area Head, Gastro-intestinal, Endocrinology and Metabolism. Prior to that, he led clinical development activities at Novartis Pharma AG, Abbott Laboratories Inc. and Pfizer Inc., addressing a wide range of therapeutic areas and leading teams throughout the clinical development process. Under his leadership, more than 30 molecules have advanced through clinical development leading to several approvals in the United States, EU and Canada. Prior to his pharma roles, Dr. Abi-Saab was Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Neurosurgery at Yale University Medical School, where he headed their Schizophrenia Research at the Clinical Neuroscience Research Unit and the Neurosurgery Epilepsy Microdialysis Research Program. Dr. Abi-Saab holds an M.D. degree from Université Saint Joseph in Beirut, Lebanon.