Our people are the force behind uniQure success—here are a few of their stories.
As Manufacturing Supervisor at our Lexington, Mass. manufacturing facility, Bawan Elayathamby values the role his team plays in the production of our investigational gene therapies, including etranacogene dezaparvovec for hemophilia B and AMT-130 for Huntington’s disease.
“Our team plays an important role in helping uniQure succeed in our mission, which is to deliver important gene therapies that could provide new treatment options for patients,” says Bawan.
Bawan says uniQure’s patient-centric focus helps connect him to the meaning of the work we do: “As we’ve learned from patients who have spoken at company meetings, they really struggle with these diseases. And now I’m working for a company that could potentially treat this kind of disease with a gene therapy, help that struggle, and bring a smile to someone’s face. That’s a great feeling.”
Bawan cites uniQure’s “busy but fun” atmosphere as another reason he enjoys working here. “For me, uniQure is more than a workplace. The events we have – company outings, “Fun Friday,” softball games – bring everyone from the company together and give us chance to talk. I love being part of this team.”
Global Portfolio and Program Management
Nathalie Pech-Zwahlen joined our Amsterdam office in 2015 and today serves as our VP of Global Portfolio and Program Management.
In her role, she works with all departments at uniQure to come up with an agreed execution strategy for our drug development programs – ensuring that our teams work well together to keep the programs on track and achieve uniQure’s goals.
“The fact that I directly contribute to developing a potential therapy for patients that are suffering from diseases is a true satisfaction. When I hear our patients’ stories, I realize how devastating these diseases can be, and this is what inspires me. It is extremely rewarding to see their pictures all around our office and hear their stories of how their lives have been changed participating in uniQure’s gene therapy clinical trial programs.”
She is also motivated by the challenges of developing gene therapy, an innovative field of medicine in which there is no pre-defined path. “Gene therapy is, really, uncharted territory. I am learning every day — nothing is easy, and there are many pitfalls and unknowns. Personally and professionally, this is an amazing journey.”
Nathalie, who comes from France and is an avid traveler, says she thrives working with uniQure’s “truly international team of enthusiastic, committed, and talented people. I came from a bigger company and found it’s harder in large organizations to communicate with all the different departments. Here, as a smaller, growing company, you get a chance to actively contribute to our overall mission. I also very much appreciate the faster decision-making process and agility of a company of our size.”
Scientist, Adult Neurology
In her work as a scientist in our Amsterdam R&D hub, Vanessa Zancanella is focused on the preclinical development of our gene therapy candidate for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), AMT-161.
She enjoys being a part of the team involved in the early research and making decisions that bring a new program to life. “I enjoy working in a field of science where I can make a difference,” says Vanessa. “Here at uniQure, our motivation is to develop a potential therapy for the patients that are suffering from diseases for which there are no cures or only very limited possibilities. At the end of the day, this is what drives me to do my best.”
She looks forward to advancing our ALS program and to continuing to develop gene therapies for the central nervous system.
Beyond the cutting-edge science, Italy native Vanessa says she enjoys working at uniQure because of its dynamic international environment. “I love to interact with my colleagues as much as possible. uniQure feels like a second family to me!”