Joe Dupere was appointed as Chief Executive Officer of Ixaka (formerly Rexgenero Ltd) in February 2015. Joe has more than 25 years of drug development, operational and research management, M&A, business development and fund-raising experience in the biopharmaceutical and healthcare investment banking sectors. Joe was previously an independent business development and finance advisor for the healthcare sector and Head of Business Development at Riemser Pharma GmbH. Joe has also held senior healthcare investment banking positions at Deutsche Bank and Bear Stearns in London and New York. Prior to joining Bear Stearns he led early-stage drug development programs in neurology and psychiatric disease research at Glaxo Wellcome.
Joe received his B.Sc. in Neuroscience (First Class) from the University of Manchester, Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Bristol and MBA from Cranfield School of Management.
Nick Robbins-Cherry joined Ixaka in October 2021. After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant with PwC, Nick has worked in a variety of finance and commercial roles in international pharmaceuticals, technology services, software, and telecoms businesses. He has over 20 years of experience in fund-raising, public markets and private equity backed businesses.
Prior to Ixaka, Nick was CFO of a PE backed telecoms infrastructure business, Vorboss Limited. Before that, he was CFO at Midatech Pharma PLC, a listed pharmaceutical business with R&D
facilities in the UK, a manufacturing operation in Spain and commercial operations in the US. He successfully steered Midatech through its IPO on AIM, a dual listing on NASDAQ and subsequent fundraises.
Nick holds an MBA from Henley Business School and a BSc in Pharmacology from Bath University.
Gilbert Wagener, M.D., has served as Head of R&D and Chief Medical Officer of Ixaka since July 2020. Gilbert is an expert in immunological based drug development, cardiovascular and orphan diseases with three decades experience leading clinical research in cardiovascular, immune-mediated and CNS indications, including biopharmaceuticals, antibodies and cell and gene therapies. Prior to Ixaka, Gilbert was a Senior Partner at TranScrip acting in an interim CMO capacity including cell and gene therapies most recently for Sonsorion S.A. Previously Gilbert served as VP for cardiovascular clinical research at Genzyme Europe responsible for stem cell and gene therapy and dual biologic therapy proof-of-concept trials in cardiovascular, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis indication as well as European medical due diligence. Prior to Genzyme, Gilbert was Director of Global Clinical Strategy Cardiovascular at Bayer Healthcare AG where he led late-stage development, life cycle management, phase 1 and proof-of-concept studies with a particular interest in clinical trial design and adoption of new products into medical practice.
Gilbert studied and practiced human medicine at Marburg University Hospitals, Germany with an MD thesis in pharmacology and clinical practice in Neurophysiology and clinical Neurology. He also earned an MBA in Pharmaceutical Medicine from the University of Basel, Switzerland and a PhD in Epidemiology/Public Health at the Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Gilbert is a fellow of the European Society of Hypertension and a member of the European Society of Cardiology cardiovascular pharmacology and drug therapy working group; BIA Cell Therapy and Regenerative Medicine Advisory Committee; German Society of Pharmacology and Toxicology; and the German Society of Physiology.
Dr Karen Miller has served as Chief Scientific Officer of Ixaka since July 2022. Karen has more than 30 years’ experience of biopharmaceutical research leading drug discovery and preclinical development teams in a wide range of indications and multiple modalities. Most recently as Senior Vice President, Pipeline Research, at Adaptimmune PLC a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of novel cancer immunotherapy products. Previously she was Head of the Immunology Innovation Fund at GSK and Head of the Cytokine, Chemokine and Complement Discovery Performance Unit at GSK. She was also Senior Director and Head of Biology at UCB, Head of Biology at Vertex and Head of Biology at British Biotech. Karen has led development of multiple highly innovative therapeutic products including cell and gene therapies, antibodies, and small molecule drugs. She has participated in driving numerous products into clinical development and in filing for marketing authorization. Most recently, these include preparation of a BLA for Afimetresgene autoleucel, an engineered T cell therapy targeting MAGE 4 for solid tumors, the advancement of next generation MAGE A4-targeted T cell therapies, an engineered T cell therapy targeting AFP for liver cancer, and an engineered TIL product for melanoma into the clinic.
Karen has a PhD (SRC CASE Award) with ICI Pharmaceuticals / University of Liverpool and a BSc in Medical Cell Biology and Biochemistry at the University of Liverpool. She also held a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Heidelberg, Germany and a Postdoctoral Fellowship at Imperial College, London.
Sadia joined Ixaka in January 2021, bringing 23 years of manufacturing and supply experience, the majority of those in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. Most recently at Sangamo Therapeutics where Sadia served as Senior Director Manufacturing and Supply Chain. In this role, Sadia managed the relationship and technical transfer activities with Sangamo’s Contract Manufacturing Organization (CMO) for Clinical Trials Supply. Sadia was also responsible for the set-up of the supply chain for the CARTreg programs, working closely with the clinical teams to ensure provision for clinical supply.
Prior to Sangamo Therapeutics, Sadia spent 17 years at GlaxoSmithKline in the UK, where she held several leadership and management roles in technical support to Commercial Manufacture, she was also Plant Manager for Clinical trials API manufacture, and managed large Clinical supply chains. Sadia spent her last 6 years at GSK as part of the CGT platform. In her last role as Supply Chain Director, Cell & Gene Therapy, she implemented a global supply chain for autologous cell and gene therapy products for Rare Diseases and Oncology and established the supply chain aspects for the launch of Strimvelis. Prior to GSK, Sadia worked in France for nearly 5 years designing and commissioning fertilizer plants worldwide.
Sadia is a senior manufacturing and industry leader who brings with her a substantial level of international business experience and is bilingual French and English.
Sadia holds an MBA from the Warwick Business School, UK and a Master’s in Chemical Engineering (Ingénieur Génie Chimique) from the Université de Technologie de Compiègne (UTC), France. Additionally, Sadia is also a qualified development Coach from the Coaching Academy, London.
Juan Jesús joined the company in February 2020 as Managing Director for the Iberian region. JJ is an experienced senior executive manager highly skilled in leading human teams to reach corporative goals. JJ has more than 25 years in executive managing positions, 20 of them in the Health Sector. JJ started his career in Price Waterhouse. Prior to joining Ixaka, JJ was Managing Director of VIDIA group, Managing Director of the Andalusian Foundation for Health Research, Director of the Andalusian Health ICT Strategy, Technical Director in the Andalusian Agency for Health Quality Assessment, among other Executive management positions.
JJ received a degree in Economics from the University of Málaga, as well as a Master in Health Business administration from the University of Granada and an Expert Degree in Health services Management from ESADE Business & Law School.
George O’Rourke, an experienced pharmaceutical and biotech executive, has joined IXAKA as VP and GM of the French affiliate. George has accumulated a broad work experience in the biotech environment having worked at Avexis (Now Novartis Gene Therapies), Gentium, Jerini AG, Elan and BioMarin. He spent the first half of his career at Eli Lilly and has worked both in America and Europe.
His recent responsibilities included the launch of Zolgensma (onasemnogene abeparvovec), a gene therapy, for the treatment of spinal muscular atrophy. George is a graduate of McGill university and Cornell University where he obtained his MBA. He lives just outside Paris with his wife and three boys.