9 March 2023
VarmX Appoints Dr. Jeffrey Lawson, MD, PhD as Chief Scientific Officer
Leiden, The Netherlands, 8 March 2023 – VarmX, a biotech company focusing on the development of innovative approaches for the reversal of anticoagulation, today announces the appointment of Dr. Jeffrey Lawson as its new Chief Scientific Officer (CSO).
Dr. Lawson will take over the role from Prof. Dr. Pieter Reitsma, CSO and founder of VarmX, who will continue to serve as a special advisor to the Company. Dr. Lawson and Prof. Dr. Reitsma will work closely to ensure a smooth transition and the continued scientific development of the company’s innovative technologies.
Dr. Lawson is a renowned scientist in blood coagulation biochemisty and surgical hemostasis, and also a clinical vascular surgeon who brings over 20 years of experience in the development of hemostatic products and vascular technologies. Prior to joining VarmX, he served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Humacyte, a NASDAQ-listed regenerative medicine company, where he oversaw the clinical development of the company’s vascular technologies and led Phase III clinical trials for dialysis access, peripheral arterial disease and vascular trauma. Dr. Lawson also co-founded InnAVasc, a vascular device company dedicated to safe and reliable vascular access for hemodialysis which was recently acquired by Gore.
Dr. Lawson has a lifelong interest in blood coagulation and vascular biology, having studied these areas both clinically and in his laboratory at Duke University Medical Center, where he held various leadership roles, including Professor of Surgery and Pathology, Vice Chair for Research in Surgery, and Director of Clinical Trials for the Department of Surgery. Dr. Lawson has also directed numerous clinical and preclinical studies in the areas of bleeding, vascular biology and surgical hemostasis.
He has also served on the Board of Directors for the Kidney Health Initiative (KHI), the Foundation for Women and Girls with Bleeding Disordes, the American Board of Vascular Surgery, and has served as the President of the Vascular Access Society of the Americas (VASA). He has received grants from the American Heart Association, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Department of Defense, and various biotechnology companies to support his research on hemostasis, tissue engineering, and vascular surgery.
Dr. Lawson will report directly to VarmX’s CEO, Dr. Jan Öhrström.
Dr. Jan Öhrström, CEO of VarmX, said: “We are delighted to welcome Jeff to the team at VarmX. He is a world class researcher in blood coagulation and an outstanding scientist whose extensive experience and in-depth knowledge will be invaluable to VarmX as we continue our development of innovative approaches for the reversal of anticoagulation.”
He added: “At the same time, we thank our founder Prof. Pieter Reitsma for his vision and dedication. It was his discoveries made at Leiden University Medical Centre which formed the basis of VarmX and he has been instrumental in VarmX’s journey ever since, from early-stage development into the clinic. We are glad that he will continue to be part of the team as Special Advisor to the management team and Board of Directors.”
Dr. Jeff Lawson, CSO designate of VarmX, said: “I am pleased to join VarmX and collaborate with the team to further advance the goal of developing groundbreaking solutions for reversing anticoagulation. The lead candidate, VMX-C001, is looking very promising and I am confident that our advanced scientific approaches and unwavering dedication to addressing patient needs will set the stage for our success.”
Prof. Dr. Pieter Reitsma, CSO and Founder of VarmX, said: “I take great pride in having founded VarmX based on my discoveries at Leiden University Medical Center and I am honored to continue supporting the team as a Special Advisor. Dr. Lawson, a leading expert in blood coagulation, is uniquely positioned to further progress our innovative approach in the field of anticoagulation. I look forward to handing over to him and I wish him every success in his new role.
VarmX is a pharmaceutical spin-off from the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC), founded in 2016 by Professor Pieter Reitsma, a world leading expert in hemostasis and thrombosis. VarmX’s lead compound VMX-C001 is a modified recombinant blood factor X. The compound is being developed for the treatment of severe spontaneous bleeding and for the prevention of bleeding during urgent surgery in patients taking oral factor Xa inhibitors (FXa DOACs) as anticoagulation therapy. The Company is supported by a strong syndicate of investors including Ysios Capital, INKEF Capital, Lundbeckfonden Ventures, EQT Life Sciences (formerly LSP), BioGeneration Ventures and the regional economic development fund, InnovationQuarter. For more information: www.varmx.com.