Board and operational level

Dr. Luis Ruiz-Avila

Dr. Luis Ruiz-Avila is a molecular biologist with an extensive academic background, and since 2001, entrepreneur, administrator and manager of several biotech companies.

Dr. Ruiz-Avila has founded and managed several biotech companies. In those companies he raised an aggregated total of more than 60M US$, built and managed heterogeneous project teams, combining internal and external expertise to complete research and develop the projects.

The functions assumed by Ruiz-Avila focus on institutional representation, coordination of business development (“in” and “out” licenses), definition of the overall strategy, operational objectives and access to financing.

Joan Marca

Directorship of operations (Chief Operating Officer, COO): the day-to-day management of the company is carried out by Joan Marca, veterinarian of vast executive, commercial and regulatory experience at the highest level in veterinary companies operating in Spain (Virbac, Calier), closely linked to innovation Veterinary and general sector.

Joan Marca is a great connoisseur of the Spanish veterinary academic environment, as well as of the veterinary business world and of the productive sector, which gives Aquilón a great capacity of access to the sources of innovation as well as to its recipients, final clients or marketers.

Dr. Marta García

The VLP-BVD project leader is Dr. Marta García, with entrepreneurial experience, is one of the founders, comes from the scientific team of Dr. Rubio and is a specialist in dysentery. Her commitment to the company is demonstrated by her individual shareholding.

Dr. García coordinates the external providers of the projects in development and the internal activities related to the development of vaccines and probiotics.

From the operational point of view, which impacts directly on the implementation stage of the project, the experience of Senior Project Manager Dr. Marta García leading this project will be critical due to the need of the coordination of different research groups and activities, as to scientific and regulatory advisors. Her experience in vaccine development and regulatory issues will be applied in all stages of the process, thus it is necessary to design a rationale process of antigen and vaccine prototype selection aimed to demonstrate a safe and effective product for a future potential license. Her main activities within the project implementation framework will be:

Coordination of the external and Aquilón team involved in the project
Design of the in vivo trials according to regulatory and statistical
Monitoring of the trials
Results and discussion of the results
Final report and participation on the diffusion events
Strategic and scientific advice

Dr. Enric Mateu

Dr. Enric Mateu is researcher at CRESA (Centre de Recerca en Sanitat Animal) and Professor of Animal Health and Anatomy of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona (UAB).

Throughout the last 20 years, his research has been focused in infectious diseases of swine, particularly on those of viral aetiology, however, some bacterial diseases have been also investigated in his group, specially zoonosis such as Salmonella. With reference to projects, he has been principal investigator of different national and international calls and participated in European communitarian projects.

Furthermore, Enric Mateu participates actively in R&D contracts with companies (5 projects in the last 5 years), all under Confidentiality agreements (CDA). He has directed 14 doctoral theses (2 more on going). He is co-author of more than SCI indexed 100 publications and has participated in scientific committees

Paula Martínez

Paula Martínez holds a degree in Veterinary Medicine with training in clinical trials and regulatory affairs.

She has been working for 14 years as Regulatory Affairs Manager (immunological products) in Laboratorios Ovejero S.A. and as director of the R + D + I department, updating the registration dossiers for immunological products (vaccines and sera) for compliance with current European legislation and developing new immunological products.

Dr. Marcelino Álvarez

Dr. Marcelino Álvarez Martínez is Professor of Animal Health of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the University of León.

His research has been developed mainly in viral diseases of ruminants -rotavirus, coronavirus, respiratory syncytial bovine, PI3 and, especially, pestivirus and bovine herpesvirus 1- and rabbit, using the virus of the haemorrhagic disease of this specie as animal model of human fulminant hepatitis.

His main line of work has been the realization of vacunal field tests for several multinational companies. With reference to pestiviruses and herpesviruses, he has been a speaker at national and international meetings and congresses, hired as an expert by several multinational companies in the sector and responsible for a diagnostic service subsidized by a company. He is coauthor of 42 indexed works and has directed 10 doctoral theses.

Dr. Thierry Pobel

Dr. Thierry Pobel holds a degree in Veterinary Medicine by the University of Nantes.

He has worked in different pharmaceutical companies and is an expert in the design of clinical trials and Biostatistics.

Currently leads a Contract Research Organization (CRO); TPC.

Strategic and scientific advice


VLP Bio is a company that develops novel vaccines in the field of animal health, based on Chimeric Virus-Like Particles (Ch-VLPs). The company is a subsidiary of BDi Group, created for the development of new vaccines based this technology.

BDi Group is a privately held company supported by private investors, risk capital funds (Inveready) and US investors (Dyadic International Inc), all of them specialized in biotechnology:

The Ch-VLP platform is an antigen-display nanoplatform designed to induce specific immune responses against target pathologies in the veterinary field.

Ana Gómez Rodríguez

Ana Gómez Rodríguez, Aquilón’s partner in this project, is the Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) of VLPbio from 2016. She has a PhD in Biology from the University of Oviedo (Spain), specialized in Microbiology and Molecular Biology.

She counts with more than 20 years of experience in the field of the Microbial Biotechnology mainly focused in the development of recombinant proteins and other compounds of interest for industrial, food and pharmaceutical applications.

She has worked in either academic research institutions or biotech companies in Spain, France and Germany and she is the co-author of 15 publications in international journals and the co-inventor of 5 patents.