October 11, 2021
What is your role at Leyden Labs?
My title is Senior Director and Head of Preclinical Development & CMC – I lead our preclinical efforts that encompass all early development activities once a compound is handed over from our Discovery team. Together with my team I work on early pharmaceutical development, proof of concepts, chemistry, manufacturing and quality control (CMC) to enable the clinical development trajectory.
Why did you decide to join Leyden Labs?
I have been working in the biopharmaceutical industry for more than 20 years. At first I worked for an intermediate-size pharmaceutical company in several functions including pharmacology/toxicology, CMC and Operations. The last 15 years I have been working as an independent consultant for small, intermediate and large (bio)pharmaceutical companies in a wide variety of functions. I worked with Jaap Goudsmit (CSO) for many years at Crucell and J&J, and when I was approached to work with Leyden Labs as a consultant back in August 2020 and learned about the goal of the company I did not have to think twice before joining. Towards the end of 2020, I was asked to join Leyden Labs in my current role. Although I liked the consultancy business and having my own company, the chance of being part of a great team and truly accomplish something special was the reason to join Leyden labs as an employee.
What are you working on now? Can you tell us about the scientific progress of the product?
I am working with the team on all programs, but most intensively on our most advanced program. We are very busy getting the product tested and produced for clinical use. Moreover, we are setting up a lab for assay development focussed on preclinical, clinical and CMC assays. In addition, we are busy producing compounds for one of our other programs, which will be tested soon. Besides our strong focus on R&D, we are also working hard on structuring our fast growing company and finding the right people to strengthen the team. You can check-out current vacancies here.
Can you share some insights/ fun facts about working with your colleagues from the Preclinical Development team?
Today, the Preclinical Development & CMC team is still small and we are actively working to build out the team. We are working very closely with the Discovery team on all Leyden Labs programs under the leadership of Jaap [Goudsmit, CSO]. I am proud of what the team has already accomplished in this short time. It is great to see that we have managed to make significant progress despite all the challenges of a young, starting company and restrictions of a, for a long time, locked down society. It is amazing that this is all possible, but I have to say that I am kind of ready to give up the endless Zoom sessions that have become part of a normal working day.
Bertjan joined Leyden Labs as Senior Director and Head of Preclinical Development & CMC. He has a PhD in Biopharmaceutical Sciences from Leiden University and after his PhD, he worked as a Postdoc before joining (bio)pharmaceutical industry. Prior to joining Leyden Labs, he worked multiple different roles and founded his own consultancy company.
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