Management board

Dr. Andreas A. Bastian

Chief Executive Officer (CEO), co-founder

Since 2008, Dr. A. A. Bastian is working on natural product-based antibiotics as lead compounds and co-invented in total three technologies for the selective modification of structurally complex natural products. Dr. Bastian studies Biomedical Chemistry at the University of Mainz in Germany and graduated with highest distinction in 2008. After his PhD studies (cum laude, 2012) at the University of Groningen, he received the Rubicon Research Grant from the Netherlands Organization for Research (NWO) to perform his postdoctoral studies at the University of Notre Dame in the United States. In 2015, he was awarded the prestigious Veni Grant from NWO and started his own research at the University of Groningen focusing in novel antibacterials for the treatment of life-threatening Gram-negative infections. In 2017, Dr. A. A. Bastian co-founded AGILeBiotics and is now full-time employed as managing director (CEO) leading the business and the development of novel antibiotics.

Dr. Maria Bastian

Chief Science Officer (CSO)

After finishing her studies in Biomedical Chemistry at the University of Mainz in Germany, Dr. Bastian started her PhD studies at the University of Groningen in 2009. Working in the group of Prof. Dr. Ben Feringa she gained experience in rout scouting and complex total synthesis of natural product inspired molecular structures. In 2014, she decided to perform her postdoctoral studies in the group of Prof. Dr. S. Mobashery at the University of Notre Dame in the United States. Dr. Bastian was involved in different stages of antibiotic development (in vitro and in vivo studies) and published her successful work in scientific journals. In 2016, Dr. Bastian moved back to the Netherlands, where she joined Syncom BV as Research Scientist before she joined AGILeBiotics as Chief Science Officer. At AGILeBiotics Dr. Bastian is taking the lead in various lead-optimization projects developing the next generation antibiotic against multidrug-resistant pathogens of major concern.

Dr. Bernard J. van Vliet

Chief Operating Officer (COO)

Dr. B. J. van Vliet is the CEO of Integrex Research B.V., a CRO in Groningen. During his career at Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Dr. Bernard van Vliet has managed a considerable number of drug discovery programs providing him with in depth experience in the various aspects of drug discovery. He has established a successful track record in the early development of Nurr-1/RXR agonists (SLV357, SLV359 and SLV360, up to pre-clinical candidates) for the modification of disease progression in Parkinson’s disease and Endothelin-1 converting enzyme inhibitors (SLV334, up to Phase IIa) for reduction of secondary damage in traumatic brain injury. At AGILeBiotics, Dr. B. van Vliet is acting Chief Operating Officer (COO) responsible for the preclinical screening and profiling activities according to pharma industry standards. He connects all partners of AGILeBiotics and reaches out for CROs essential for antibiotic development.

Research Team

Dr. M. Yagiz Unver

Research Scientist

Dr. M. Yagiz Unver obtained his Master`s degree at Middle East Technical University, Ankara in 2013. After gaining experience in asymmetric synthesis and organocatalysis, he pursued his PhD in a medicinal chemistry group at University of Groningen under the supervisions of Prof. A. K. H. Hirsch and Prof. B. L. Feringa. Throughout his PhD, he has been working on several drug discovery projects in the early stage of drug development (hit-identification & optimization). Thereby, he employed novel methodologies with target-guided synthesis and structure/fragment-based drug design. Dr. Unver published his successful work in various scientific journals. During his PhD studies, he was also working at the Helmholtz-Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS) in Saarbruecken (Germany), where he gained additional experience in drug development. After finishing his PhD in September 2017, he joined AGILeBiotics as a Research Scientist to support the development of novel antibiotic candidates against multidrug resistant infections.

Dr. Yasemin Gumrukcu

Research Scientist (outsourced by Syncom B.V.)

After finishing her Masters in Organic Chemistry at Middle East Technical University in Turkey, in 2009 Dr. Gumrukcu moved to the Netherlands for her PhD studies at University of Amsterdam and join the research group of Prof. Dr. Joost N. H. Reek. Involved in the Catchbio (Catalysis for Sustainable Chemicals from Biomass) program, she mainly focused on the Palladium-based homogeneous catalysts for substitution reactions of biomass based compounds with an enzyme-mimicking approach. She gained in-depth knowledge and experience in multi-step organic synthesis of phosphorus based ligands, catalysis and kinetic studies to investigate reaction mechanisms. Since 2017, Dr. Gumrukcu is employed as a Research Scientist at Syncom B.V., where she is working full-time as a team member of AGILeBiotics supporting the development of novel antibiotic candidates against multidrug-resistant infections.

Advisory board

Prof. Dr. Andreas Herrmann

Scientific Advisor, Co-founder

Prof. Herrmann holds the chair of Polymer Chemistry & Bioengineering at the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials at the University of Groningen, is co-founder of AGILeBiotics and co-invented together with Prof. Adri Minnard and Dr. A. A. Bastian the OxaSelect technology. He has broad experience in establishing synthetic strategies for structurally complex drug candidates. Moreover, he is providing novel synthetic methods applicable for the lead-optimization process of our drug candidates. Additionally, Prof. Herrmann is supporting the development of AGILeBiotics’ drug pipeline by providing state-of-the-art laboratory facilities for testing antibiotic candidates in different bacterial strains.

Research Group website

Prof. Dr. Adriaan J. Minnaard

Scientific Advisor

Prof. Dr. A. Minnaard is the Director of the Stratingh Institute for Chemistry and head of the Department of Chemical Biology at the University of Groningen. Prof. Minnaard co-invented and established our technology OxaSelect, and set the basis for the efficient drug development process we apply today at AGILeBiotics. As one of their main research topics, the Minnaard group embarked on the virtually unexplored field of selective catalytic modification of unprotected natural compounds, in the expectation that this will significantly contribute to the development of synthesis and chemical biology both. The challenge to selectively address various functionalities is in our opinion in the same ball park as that of selective C-H activation in natural products. Prof. Minnaard is supporting AGILeBiotics with the continuous optimization of our technology and development of novel methods for selective modification of natural product-based drugs. Further information on the work of the Minnaard group can be found at www.chemicalbiologygroningen.nl.