Company Focus

Calypso Biotech is an immunotherapy biotech company, spin-off from Merck Serono, that discovers and develops monoclonal antibodies for the treatment of immune pathologies with large unmet medical needs. Calypso Biotech’s portfolio consists of two preclinical therapeutic antibodies that intercept key immune checkpoints involved in multiple immune pathologies.

Calypso Biotech’s lead program, CALY-002, is a best-in-class therapeutic antibody that binds to and neutralizes interleukin-15 (IL-15). IL-15 plays multiple roles in the immune system by controlling the homeostasis and activation of T, B, NK but also has recently emerged as a key driver of disease-perpetuating tissue resident memory T cells (TRM). Thus, CALY-002 has the potential to be a game-changing treatment in multiple indications where TRM cells are important.

Calypso Biotech targets diseases which incidence has dramatically increased in recent years due to changes in diet and lifestyle, likely through alteration of the microbiome. Among these, Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE) is an emerging immune pathology driven by food antigens and resulting in severe dysphagia and poor quality of life in children and adults. Therapeutic options for EoE are very limited, and Calypso Biotech has demonstrated the strong potential of its anti-IL-15 CALY-002 antibody for EoE. CALY-002 has obtained Orphan Drug Designation status for EoE with the European Medicines Agency.

Calypso Biotech is headquartered in Amsterdam (The Netherlands), and has offices and laboratories in Geneva (Switzerland). Calypso Biotech is also a resident company of Johnson & Johnson Innovation JLABS at Beerse in Belgium (JLABS@BE).

Leadership Team

Alain Vicari

CEO, Co-founder

Dr Vicari co-founded Calypso Biotech in 2013. Prior to Calypso Biotech, he accumulated more than 15 years international experience in translational immunology and drug discovery at Merck Serono, Pfizer Vaccines, Coley Pharmaceutical Group and Schering-Plough.

Dr Vicari received a Doctor in Veterinary Medicine degree from the Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire de Lyon and a PhD in Immunology from the Université Claude Bernard, Lyon. He completed post-doctoral training at the DNAX Research Institute (Palo Alto, California).

Yolande Chvatchko

CSO, Co-founder

Dr Chvatchko co-founded Calypso Biotech in 2013. Prior to Calypso Biotech, she accumulated more than 20 years international experience in basic immunology and drug discovery at Merck Serono, Serono and Glaxo SmithKline and Lausanne University Hospital.

Dr Chvatchko received a Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from the Nice University, and a PhD in Cell Biology from the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research. She completed post-doctoral training at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (Lausanne, Switzerland).

Scientific Advisory Board

Prof. Brian Feagan


Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology, and Biostatistics at University of Western Ontario, Director of Clinical Trials at the Robarts Research Institute, Canada.

Dr. Arjan Bredenoord

Consultant Gastroenterologist, AMC Amsterdam.
President-elect European EoE Society EUREOS, The Netherlands.

Prof. Alex Straumann

Professor of Gastroenterology and Internal Medicine, University of Basel, Chair of Swiss EoE Research Group and of the Swiss Eosinophilic Esophagitis Research Network, Switzerland.

Prof. Evan S. Dellon

Associate Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology, Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, UNC Chapel Hill, USA.

Prof. Gerhard Rogler

Professor of Gastroenterology and Hepatology and Head of the Division of Gastroenterology & Hepatology, Department of Medicine, Zürich University Hospital, Switzerland.

Board of Directors

Jasper Bos – M Ventures

M Ventures (Chairman)

Based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and a subsidiary of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, M Ventures is the strategic, corporate venture capital arm of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. Its mandate is to invest in innovative technologies and products with the potential to significantly impact Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany‘s core business areas. From our headquarters in Amsterdam and offices in the US and Israel we invest globally in transformational ideas driven by great entrepreneurs. M Ventures takes an active role in its portfolio companies and teams up with entrepreneurs and co-investors to translate innovation towards commercial success.

Fiona Maclaughlin

Inkef Capital

INKEF Capital is an Amsterdam-based venture capital firm that focuses on long-term collaboration and active support of innovative technology companies. INKEF Capital was founded in 2010 by Dutch pension fund ABP and with €500 million under management is one of the largest venture capital funds in the Netherlands. INKEF focuses on investment opportunities in Healthcare, Technology, IT/New Media & FinTech.

Arthur Franken

Gilde Healthcare

Gilde Healthcare is a specialized European healthcare investor managing €1 billion across two business lines: a venture & growth capital fund and a lower mid-market buy-out fund. Gilde Healthcare’s venture & growth capital fund invests in digital health, medtech and therapeutics. The portfolio companies are based in Europe and North America. Gilde Healthcare’s lower mid-market buy-out fund invests in profitable European healthcare services companies with a focus on the Benelux and DACH-region. The portfolio consists of healthcare providers, suppliers of medical products and other service providers in the healthcare market.

Jeanne Bolger


Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc. is the venture capital subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson that has been investing since 1973 in the medical device, diagnostic, pharmaceutical, and consumer health areas. JJDC’s goal is to create opportunities that meet the strategic needs of its operating affiliates while providing visibility to innovative emerging technology, businesses and business models. JJDC invests in companies across the continuum from early stage seed investments to advanced stages of series venture management.

Alexandre LeBeaut, MD

Independent Director

Executive Vice-President of R&D and CSO, Ipsen. Before joining Ipsen, Dr LeBeaut held several global leadership positions in clinical development and medical affairs with biopharmaceutical companies including Bluebird Bio, Axcan Pharmaceuticals, Sanofi, Novartis and Schering Plough Research Institute.