Prof. Hartmut J. Ehrlich, M.D. Chief Executive Officer
Hartmut is a physician with 30 years of experience in academia and in the biopharmaceutical industry, 20 of which were in product development at Baxter and Sandoz (now Novartis). He has lived and worked in the United States (Eli Lilly and Indiana University, Dept. of Medicine), the Netherlands (Central Laboratory of the Dutch Red Cross), Germany (Max Planck Foundation, Sandoz, Baxter), Switzerland (Sandoz), Austria (Baxter) and France (Abivax).
Over the past seven years before joining Abivax, Hartmut, as Head of Global R&D, successfully built and advanced Baxter BioScience’s R&D portfolio with over 50 programs in preclinical and clinical development. He drove the regulatory approval of key biologics in the specialty areas of Hemophilia, Thrombosis, Immunology, Neurology, Oncology, Biosurgery and Vaccines, thereby bringing novel therapies to patients with substantial medical needs. Hartmut has authored and co-authored over 120 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. In 2011, Hartmut was named “Professor” by the Austrian President and the Austrian Minister for Science and Research, and he received the title of “Adjunct Professor” of the Danube University Krems, Lower Austria in 2013.
Didier Blondel Chief Financial Officer & Board Secretary
Didier was Chief Financial Officer at Sanofi Pasteur MSD, a Lyon-based joint-venture between Sanofi and Merck, and European leader in human vaccines, since 2012. During the previous 20-year period, Didier held a wide scope of senior finance positions at Sanofi, in Commercial Operations and then R&D, where he became Global R&D CFO. He started his career as an auditor at Price Waterhouse Coopers, after graduating from the Commercial Institute of Nancy (ICN), a leading French Business School. He also holds a Master in Finance and Accounting degree from University of Nancy, as well as a Professional Certificate in Finance and Accounting (DESCF).
Sophie Biguenet, M.D. Chief Medical Officer
Sophie is a physician and brings 25 years of experience in academia and in the biopharmaceutical industry with an extensive track record in international clinical development, leading to the successful registration of several new drug products across various treatment areas, including immunology, virology and liver diseases.
Sophie is a general and pediatric surgeon and completed her residency in France. She started her biopharmaceutical career focusing on immunosuppression in solid organ transplantation (Roche). Sophie held different leadership positions in global drug development in France (Biogen Idec), the United States (Bristol-Myers Squibb, AbbVie) and Switzerland (Medicines for Malaria Venture, Versantis). She supervised the development of small molecules and biologics, especially in the fields of immunology, virology and infectious diseases as well as pediatric drug development.
Prior to joining Abivax, Sophie served as Chief Medical Officer at Versantis, a Swiss-based clinical-stage biotech company, developing orphan and non-orphan drugs in severe liver conditions where she successfully took the pipeline from pre-clinical stage to Phase 2b.
Pierre Courteille, Pharmacist, MBA Chief Commercial Officer & Vice President of Business Development
Pierre has more than 20 years of experience in marketing and sales within the pharmaceutical industry in France and in Japan. He holds a pharmacy degree and MBA from Chicago Booth University (USA). At Sanofi-Pasteur Japan, and its joint-venture with Daiichi, Pierre was in charge of the pre-launch activities of HIB/ meningitis and IPV/polio vaccines as Marketing Manager. At the start of 2005, he became President of Guerbet Japan and VP for Guerbet Asia. He successfully managed the roll-out of its Japanese subsidiary and led the development of other branches in Asia. From 2009, Pierre served as VP Sales for Asia, Latin America and EMEA and met the ambitious objective of optimizing commercial performance across these 3 regions. Prior to joining Abivax, Pierre was Senior VP sales and marketing for Guerbet and CEO of MEDEX (medical devices company owned by Guerbet) from 2012. Also, Pierre is Vice President of France Biotech and President of the Chicago Booth Alumni Club of France.
Jérôme Denis, Ph.D. Vice President Process Development & Manufacturing
Jérôme has more than 10 years of experience in pharmaceutical development and drug product manufacturing for clinical and commercial use. He started his career as project manager in Canada and France working on several programs targeting different infectious diseases. He joined Imaxio (Lyon, France) in 2009 as Executive Head of Development and then Associate Director of Vaccine Development: he successfully initiated and led different process development and transfer programs. In 2014, he joined Abivax as Manufacturing Director, in charge of the implementation and coordination of all process development and manufacturing operations. He also handled Investigational Medicinal Product supply for all clinical studies in Asia and Europe. Jérôme holds a Ph.D. in Immunology and Microbiology from Laval University (Québec, Canada).
Alexandra Pearce, Ph.D. Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, Quality and PharmacoVigilance
Alexandra joins Abivax from Viramal, where she served as Chief Operations Officer and Head of Regulatory Affairs. Previously, she held roles as Executive Vice President and Head of Global Regulatory Affairs for Glenmark (UK), responsible for regulatory strategy, drug development and the successful commercialization of all in-house and in-licensed products spanning 80 countries. Prior to this, as Executive Director, Global Regulatory Affairs and Safety at Amgen, she was responsible for developing and executing global regulatory strategies for early pipeline molecules across all therapeutic areas. Before joining Amgen, Alexandra was the Global Regulatory Leader and Director of Worldwide Regulatory Strategy at Pfizer. In this role, Alexandra was accountable for current and emerging business interests for products within the cardiovascular portfolio, as well as serving as Pfizer’s regulatory liaison with the FDA. She started her career as a research scientist at the Centre for Applied Microbiology and Research (CAMR) – Division of Biotechnology in the UK in the late 1980s, and received her Ph.D. in Biotechnology from the Open University in London in 1993.
Didier Scherrer, Ph.D. Vice President of R&D
Didier, prior to joining Abivax, combined the functions of CEO and Scientific Director at Splicos. Didier has a PhD in Molecular Pharmacology. He completed his post-doctoral studies at Harvard Medical School and then at the Stanford University School of Medicine. A Research Director at Entelos (California – USA) from 2000 to 2005, he then joined the Research Department of AstraZeneca as Associate Director (Capability Pathways – Discovery Enabling Capabilities and Sciences), and then joined as Head of Research, at LFB Biotechnologies where he led a team of fifty scientists in charge of developing the portfolio of therapeutic proteins in oncology, autoimmune diseases and hematology-oncology. He is the author of numerous publications and presentations in the field of systems biology applied to the research and drug development.
Paul Gineste, Pharm D. Vice President of Clinical Operations
Paul brings 20 years of experience in clinical development and strategy with leading international pharmaceutical and biotech companies. Paul began his career in 1998 with Boehringer Ingelheim as International Clinical Trials Manager before taking over the position of Head of Clinical R&D at Altana Pharma in 2003. In 2007, Paul was appointed Director of Clinical Studies at AB Science where he led the early clinical development of a tyrosine kinase inhibitor in the U.S. and Europe. In 2013, he moved to Theravectys, a spin-off of the Institut Pasteur specialized in lentiviral vectors, as Executive VP, Clinical Development. Paul joined Abivax in 2015 as Head of Clinical Operations. Paul holds a doctorate in pharmacy from the University of Rouen, France and a Master’s degree in Law from the University of Paris XI.
Prof. Jamal Tazi, Ph.D. Vice President Research
Jamal is professor of functional genomics at the University of Montpellier, Senior Member at the University Institute of France and deputy director of the health center biology “Rabelais” responsible for education and training. He performed a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of Molecular Pathology (Vienna, Austria), before joining the CNRS in 1990. For 20 years, he led his team within the Institute for Molecular Genetics in Montpellier (IGMM) to gain a better understanding of gene expression and editing of their products. In 2008 Jamal co-founded the company Splicos and established its partnership with public institutions as a cooperative laboratory, where he became Scientific Director. Jamal has co-authored over 90 publications in some of the leading international journals. His work on RNA metabolism and its role in human disease earned him four prizes: French Academy of Sciences (1999), French Academy of Medicine (2006), ARRI (2010), and CNRS Medal of Innovation (2017). Internationally, Jamal is the coordinator of a European Associated Laboratory (LEA) and also a member of a European network of excellence (EURASNET) which brings together the best European research centers working on alternative splicing.
Regina Jehle Director of Communications
Regina Jehle has ten years of experience in public relations and communications. Prior to joining ABIVAX in 2019, she was Head of Public Relations and Communications at BioNTech, a German biotech company developing individualised cancer treatments. Since 2014, she has established and developed BioNTech’s public relations department and external and internal communication strategies during a busy and high-growth period for the company. She was also involved in managing and coordinating collaborations with major pharmaceutical companies such as Genentech/Roche and Sanofi. Prior to working in the pharma/biotech sector, she served as an advisor to an MEP in Brussels (Belgium) and worked as a business development advisor at the Canadian German Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Montreal (Canada). She holds a Master’s degree in International Economics from the University of Tübingen (Germany).