Meet the Leadership Team

Axovia is led by pioneers in BBS research and care, and supported by Jaguar Gene Therapy, a team with extensive experience in bringing gene therapies to market. Together, our leadership team is composed of some of the best minds in the field.

Professor Phil Beales

Co-founder and CEO

Phil Beales has been studying Bardet-Biedl syndrome and caring for patients for over 25 years after a chance encounter with his first patient in the emergency room of the Royal London Hospital. This led to his passion for understanding the cause of this little-known condition, then called Laurence-Moon-Biedl syndrome (now rebadged as Bardet-Biedl syndrome (BBS). This began with building the first UK registry and DNA biobank for BBS in the UK followed by his appointment as medical advisor to the patient advocacy society, LMBBS (now BBSUK) in the mid-90s.

Upon moving to Houston, Texas in 1999, Phil joined Jim Lupski’s Lab and together with Nico Katsanis identified the first gene for BBS (of 22 and counting). On his return to London, Phil set up his lab at UCL, dedicated to working out the purpose of these BBS genes which led to our current understanding that dysfunction of ubiquitous cilia underpins BBS and dozens of other ciliopathies. Since 2015, his lab has been developing the basis for genetic therapies that has culminated in Axovia Therapeutics today.

Dr. Victor Hernandez

Co-founder and CSO

Victor Hernandez is a Lecturer in Biomedical Sciences at Brunel University London. He started his career as a developmental biologist at the University of Barcelona, studying how mutations in different genes affect the formation of organs and tissues.

In 2008, he joined efforts with Professor Beales, at the Institute of Child Health (UCL), to study BBS and other ciliopathies. At Axovia Therapeutics, Victor has been leading the development of the gene therapy methods to treat BBS that have already demonstrated preclinical efficacy.

Axovia is a majority owned subsidiary of Jaguar Gene Therapy, whose team is led by alumni of gene therapy pioneer, AveXis, and backed by Deerfield Management Company, a healthcare-specific investment firm. Axovia is receiving initial operational support from Jaguar Gene Therapy, including critical manufacturing guidance intended to expedite Axovia’s development timelines and enable it to bring its much-needed discoveries to patients.