About Us

We deliver exceptional scientific solutions for those who hope and search for better health.

A CDMO built on great science

ExcellGene is a privately owned contract research, development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) based in Monthey, Switzerland and founded in 2001 by Prof. Dr. Florian M. Wurm and led by Dr. Maria João Wurm, CEO since 2017.

Florian Wurm was a manager and scientist at Genentech Inc. and was among the pioneering scientists to generate manufacturing processes for the first pharmaceutical proteins made in CHO cells.

Maria Wurm (aka Maria J. De Jesus) invented and developed several breakthrough technologies as Senior Scientist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) in Lausanne. These inventions have had profound effects on cell line development, and some have attained global application in early R&D work towards clinical manufacturing of biologics. Both founders of ExcellGene are often invited to speak at conferences on the manufacturing of proteins with recombinant cells in bioreactors.

The heart of ExcellGene is applying smart science and technology to provide high quality proteins. We serve life science companies that need to move rapidly and confidently from concept and discovery to clinical use.

Meet the executives

Maria João Wurm

Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Maria João Wurm, known through her published record as Maria De Jesus (publications), was the first employee of ExcellGene and built the company through increasing managerial responsibilities. Chief Operating Officer from 2009 to 2017, she was appointed Chief Executive Officer in January 2017.

Maria, mother of two, often speaks at international conferences for protein expression from animal cells and development and scale up of manufacturing approaches. Maria obtained a Master in Environmental Engineering from the University of Lisbon, Portugal and a PhD (Dr. es. Sci.) from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne.

Florian Wurm

Chief Scientific Officer, Founder

Dr. Florian Maria Wurm is co-founder and chairman of ExcellGene. He guided the scientific and technological innovations of the company.

As Professor of Biotechnology at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne for 20 years (1995-2015) he and his students contributed highly relevant insights into the manufacturing and production of recombinant proteins and considered an international expert in the complex genetics and phenotypes of CHO cells. He has co-authored more than 250 publications.

Prior to his appointment in Lausanne, Florian Wurm worked at Genentech Inc. in Process Sciences (1985-95) where he contributed to several products that became blockbuster drugs. Wurm is a trained geneticist (Diploma and PhD) from the Justus Liebig University in Giessen, Germany and was employed at Behringwerke AG in the Department of Virology after his studies in the early 1980s.

George Hong

Chief Commercial Officer

Dr. George Hong joined ExcellGene in 2018 as its Chief Commercial Officer, bringing with him 20 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical, biotech, medical device (IVD), and life science industries. He has developed visions for organizations by identifying strategic growth opportunities and led teams from marketing, sales, distribution, finance, operations, QA/RA, R&D, engineering and operations to generate optimal outcome from P&L responsibilities.

As a leader, he is passionate about connecting with people and gauging their interests to confront challenges head on. He has always felt personally driven to do what he can for the betterment of those around him. George earned his Ph.D. in Molecular Medicine from the Duke University School of Medicine, and his MBA in Corporate Entrepreneurship from the Questrom School of Business at Boston University.

Sebastian Rheindorf-Zaorski

Chief Strategy Officer

Sebastian Rheindorf-Zaorski holds an Executive MBA in Marketing and Strategy from University Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA and University of Warsaw, Poland and a MSc in Economics from University of Cologne, Germany.

He joined the Board of ExcellGene in 2009 and was appointed Chief Strategy Officer of ExcellGene in 2018. Before joining ExcellGene he worked 20+ years for HypoVereinbank and UniCredit Group in different senior executive roles. Among others he was a Member of the VISA Executive Board Poland, the UniCredit Group Private Banking Executive Board and the Chief Data Officer Executive Board in Milano, Italy. His experience ranges from Finance, Sales and Marketing over Organization, IT and Procurement to Strategy and Governance.

Martin Schmid

Chief Financial Officer

Martin Schmid holds an Executive MBA in integrated Management from the University of Applied Science Fribourg, Switzerland and a BBA in Finance.

Before joining ExcellGene SA and co-founding JMO Advisory and Associates Sarl, Martin developed and implemented tailored solutions in the fields of strategic planning, finance, project- and change-management as well as quality improvement audits in startup companies. He acquired much experience as CEO, CFO and Director of  strategic- and M&A-projects in major food transformation companies.

Our clients

We serve biotech solutions worldwide

We've provided biologics and biotech solutions to over a hundred clients, including 6 of the top 10 pharmaceutical firms, biotech companies, contract research organizations and academic institutions.

Clients choose us due to our singular scientific expertise from DNA to product and a highly personalized, communicative approach towards each project. Through this, we ensure that your project goals are delivered reliably and in good time.

  • Biotech 47% 47%
  • Big pharmaceutical 25% 25%
  • Academic 11% 11%
  • Other 18% 18%

Why ExcellGene?

ExcellGene’s unique transient and stable protein expression technologies and manufacturing processes are based on proprietary CHOexpress™ cells – a most productive and robust cell host. Similar performance is obtained for HEKexpress™ and for insect cells (FlyExpress™). The company’s services cover the value chain from DNA construction and transfection to scalable process and manufacture.

ExcellGene has a very deep understanding of the nuances of CHO cell clone development. We have seen in multiple projects that their thorough process ensures that each step is done right.

David S. Block

CEO, Gliknik Inc.

For an academic vaccine developer like me, it is of utmost importance to build our research program with the support of a biotech company with which we have built a high level of confidence and trust. Communication has to be easy and transparent, and the delivery of our product has to be in purity and quantity as needed, so that the timing for starting a clinical trial matches our plans. This is exactly the experience I have with ExcellGene. In addition to it, as a science-driven company, they bring innovative and creative solutions to complex problems.

Prof. François Spertini, MD

Laboratory of Immunology and Allergy Chief Physician, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois (CHUV), Lausanne, Switzerland

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