Amy LeBlanc

Muna Therapeutics is developing transformative therapies for neurodegenerative diseases. These drugs aim to preserve cognition and enhance the brain’s resilience in diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, providing much-needed hope for millions of patients and their loved ones.
BioWin and MEDVIA are two Belgian organizations which support and promote health innovation in Wallonia and Flanders. This year, these two clusters have come together to jointly organize the event Science for health on the topic of ‘biology meets technology’. In this dual interview, Ann Van Gysel (MEDVIA) and Sylvie Ponchaut (BioWin) discuss the differences between their regions and how they are working to improve cross-border collaboration in Belgium.
This year, Science for health will explore the inspiring innovations at the interface of biology and technology. The event will bring together academics, industry leaders, and policymakers to explore the newest treatment platforms and factories of the future. BioVox spoke to Werner Verbiest, member of the event’s Scientific Committee, about the topic and why collaboration is so key right now.
Belgian Prof. Jan Rabaey has spent the past 35 years conducting pioneering tech research at the University of California at Berkeley. His groundbreaking electronics work has been used in a range of modern devices, including the iPad, brain-computer interfaces, and wireless sensor nodes used for the Internet of Things. The ongoing theme of his work has been miniaturization and connection, which he is now using to link technology and people like never before.
Flanders is home to one of the world’s most innovative agrifood clusters, and Johan Cardoen has been a central figure in that ecosystem for over three decades. From leading positions in agtech startups to the Managing Director of VIB, Cardoen has run the gamut of Flemish biotech. Interested in his decades of firsthand experience in the sector, we spoke with Cardoen about his views on the past, present, and future of sustainable agriculture. provides innovative omics solutions using state-of-the-art sequencing and mass spectrometry platforms. Specializing in expression analysis (RNA-seq and RIBO-seq) and epigenetic profiling, as well as companion diagnostics, the company uses second- and third-generation sequencing technology to enable scientific insights and build assays for better drug and therapy development. With both a wet lab and dry lab in house, offers a full-circle service to biotech and pharma partners.
Byteflies is on a mission to make virtual care available to all. The Belgian company has developed a platform for remote patient monitoring solutions, to save precious time for healthcare providers, reduce hospitalization costs, and boost the quality of life for patients. The aim is to aid the transition from fragmented to connected healthcare, enabling a continuum of care through virtual solutions.
Corteria Pharmaceuticals is developing transformative therapies for heart failure subpopulations most likely to benefit from the company’s novel cardiorenal treatments. The company was founded in 2021 by Sanofi’s former head of cardiovascular research, Philip Janiak, and Marie-Laure Ozoux, former cardiovascular project leader at Sanofi.
Nicky Deasy is Co-Founder and former Managing Partner at The Yield Lab Europe, one of the largest early-stage venture capital funds in the EU focused on the intersection of sustainability and agtech. Since stepping back from the day-to-day running of the fund, she is an Investment Committee Member at biotope by VIB, as well as advising a number of startups and investment funds focused on improving the environmental and carbon footprint of the agrifood industry. She shares her thoughts on how innovative ag- and food-tech startups can help us tackle climate change.
There is a lot of money being invested in health innovation in Flanders, yet companies consistently run into the same roadblocks on their path to market. MEDVIA’s mission is to bring people together to address these barriers, and to facilitate the creation of complex collaborations between different members of the ecosystem for truly innovative patient solutions.
After recovering from metastatic colon cancer, Stefan Gijssels became a patient advocate dedicated to improving the healthcare system that saved his life. As Chair of the Belgian Patient Expert Center (PEC), he has helped to establish a training program turning patients into patient experts who can provide stakeholders like hospitals and companies with valuable insights during the innovation process.
Coave Therapeutics is a French biotech developing gene therapies for neurodegenerative and ocular diseases. The company has developed a technology platform that can be used to redecorate the outer surface of viruses, creating gene therapy vectors that are better at accurately delivering healthy genes to the right target cells, including neurons in the deep brain tissue. By combining this vector technology with transgenes restoring natural cell cleaning pathways, the company has created a pipeline of therapies for both genetically and non-genetically defined neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple System Atrophy (MSA), and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).
BCCM is a Belgian non-profit consortium of seven biological resource centers preserving and distributing microbial and genetic resources, offering storage and scientific services for both academia and industry. These world-class collections are exceptional in terms of the number and variety of specimens and excellent quality control. BCCM’s confidential deposit services are a great way for companies to store genetic material and microorganisms for safety or patent purposes, including hybridomas and other cell lines.
Dr. Federico Mingozzi is the CSO of Spark Therapeutics, the company behind Luxturna – the world’s first FDA-approved gene therapy for a genetic disease. Though we like to focus on success stories like Luxturna, the reality is that gene therapy is a new modality, and the field is still developing. We spoke to Dr. Mingozzi about some of the technical challenges currently hampering progress in gene therapy, and how people are working together to overcome these hurdles.
Beer, chocolate, and… biotech! When it comes to life sciences, Belgium excels. It consistently ranks as one of the world’s top countries for innovation and R&D. But Belgians are generally a modest bunch: despite being part of a world-class ecosystem, few tend to broadcast that news abroad, or even within our own borders. As a consequence, the Belgian science sector doesn’t receive the recognition it deserves. Which is where BioVox comes in!