Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Founder and Chief Scientific Officer
Chief Medical Officer
Takao K. Hensch, PhD, is a joint professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School at Boston Children’s Hospital, and professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Harvard’s Center for Brain Science. After undergraduate studies with Dr. J Allan Hobson at Harvard, he was a student of Dr. Masao Ito at the University Tokyo (MPH) and a Fulbright fellow with Dr. Wolf Singer at the Max-Planck Institute for Brain Research, before receiving a PhD in neuroscience working with Dr. Michael Stryker at the University of California, San Francisco in 1996
Jean-Christophe Corvol is Professor of Neurology at the Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital, head of the Clinical Research Center for Neurosciences at the Brain and Spinal cord Institute (ICM), co-chair of the French clinical research network for Parkinson’s disease and movement disorders (NS-Park/FCRIN), and researcher in the team of neurogenetics at the ICM (head Pr A. Brice). JC Corvol has a training in both Neurology and Pharmacology (MD in 2003), has done a PhD (2005) in experimental neurosciences on dopaminergic signalling (Institut du fer à moulin, Paris) and a post-doc at UCSF (2006-2007, San Francisco, USA). His field of interest is genetic modifiers and pharmacogenetics in Parkinson’s disease. The approach is transversal, combining experiments in experimental models, candidate genetic association studies in well-phenotyped cohorts, imaging-genetic studies, and genome wide association studies. JC Corvol has published >100 original articles in peer review journals (H index=33).
After a PhD thesis prepared at the Faculty of Sciences in Paris and MIT on the structure of plant messenger RNAs, Alain Prochiantz joined the College de France, first as a post-doc and then as a junior group leader, where he studied the in vitro development of mesencephalic dopaminergic neurons and the regulation of neuronal polarity.
Following a sabbatical year at NYU School of Medicine, he started a Research unit at Ecole normale supérieure in Paris. In this new environment, he studied the role of homeoproteins in the definition of neuronal shape. This led his laboratory to discover that homeoproteins can travel between cells. This novel signaling pathway has received experimental confirmation in several models including the establishment of the retino-tectal map and the regulation of plasticity in the developing and adult cerebral cortex.
In addition to its fundamental aspects his work has opened the field of transduction peptides and led to several biotechnological and biomedical developments in the field of neurological diseases. In addition to his scientific work, Alain Prochiantz has written several books and theater plays for the lay public. Member of the French Academy of Sciences since 2003, he presently chairs the Council of Administration of the Collège de France where he holds the Chair of morphogenetic processes.
Stéphane Palfi, MD., PhD, is a Professor of Neurosurgery and Head of the Neurosurgery Department at Henri Mondor Medical center, Paris University (UPEC) and Head of a research Team 14 INSERM IMRB 955.
His interests are in developmental therapeutics for Parkinson disease, Huntington disease, Tremor, Dystonia, Psychiatric disorders. He has worked extensively in the area of electrical neuromodulation of the brain in movement disorders, gene therapy for Parkinson disease, cell grafting for Huntington and Parkinson disease as well as primate models of neurodegenerative disorders.
Pr. Stéphane Palfi has published extensively on trophic factor and enzymes based gene therapy in Parkinson disease and Huntington disease. He is a principal investigator on numerous preclinical and clinical studies and has been involved in studies of many novel agents including implanted brain devices, trophic factors GDNF, CNTF and Lentiviral vectors Prosavin.
Dr. Jeffrey H. Kordower is the Jean Schweppe-Armour Professor of Neurological Sciences, Professor of Neurosurgery, Director, Research Center for Brain Repait, Section Head on Neuroscience, and Director of the Neuroscience Graduate Program at Rush University Medical Center. He received his B.A. and MA from the CUNY and his Ph.D. from that same institution in 1984. He received an Honorary Doctor of Science from CUNY in 2004. Dr. Kordower is an international authority in the area of aging movement disorders, which special expertise in experimental therapeutics and pathogenesis in movement disorders. His laboratory is particularly well known for studies in primates. In this regard, he has performed the critical preclinical studies required to translate experimental therapeutic into clinical trials. In this regard, numerous gene and cell therapy preclinical studies that have been tested in patients with Parkinson’s disease. Experimentally, he has published landmark papers in the area of cell replacement strategies including the first demonstration that fetal dopaminergic grafts can survive, innervate and form synapses in patients with Parkinson’s disease (NEJM). Furthermore, he demonstrated that long-term grafts in such patients can form Lewy bodies (Nature Medicine). He recently co-authored a paper in Nature demonstrating that of human dopaminergic stem cell can survive and function in parkinsonian mice, rats and monkeys (Nature). With regards to gene therapy, he published the lead article in Science demonstrating that gene delivery GDNF can prevent the emergence of motor symptoms and prevents nigrostriatal degeneration in nonhuman primate models of PD. He also was also the first to demonstrate that gene delivery of CNTF can obviate neurodegenerative processes in a nonhuman primate model of Huntington’s disease (Nature). Dr. Kordower has published close to 400 manuscripts and chapters, has lectured all over the world, has been on over 20 Journal Editorial boards (including Sections Head or Associate Editor on three; Journal of Comparative Neurology, Movement Disorders, and Neurobiology ofAging). He has also been the Past President of the American Society of Neural Transplantation (now American Society of Neural Therapy and Repair), served on the program committee for the World Parkinson’s Congress, and is both a founding SAB member, and past Executive Committee member, for the Michael J. Fox Foundation.
Before joining Turenne Capital in 2014, Bervin Bouani spent six years as an Asset Manager within the investment department at SHAM, an insurer specialized in healthcare companies’ risks. At SHAM, Bervin was in charge of risky assets (listed equities, Hedge Funds and private equity) and in particular was involved in the development of the private equity business (€ 30 million invested in 15 companies, including Adocia). Bervin began his career as a junior financial engineer at CM-CIC.
Bervin holds a Master’s degree in Markets and Corporate Finance from Université Catholique de Lille.
Bervin is responsible for the Brainever, Cytoo, and Orega Biotech holdings.
Anne Bousseau has an extensive experience in drug development. During her 25+ years in the Sanofi-Aventis group, Anne has held multiple senior positions all along the drug value chain, from leading a discovery group in the early days of HIV research to developing and registering oncology molecules such as cabazitaxel/ Jevtana in advanced metastatic prostate cancer.
From 2004 to 2015, Anne has led the Sanofi Oncology Project Direction group, in charge of the development strategy of more than 30 molecules, small molecules and biologics, starting at the preclinical stage up to registration, internally or through collaborations and alliances. During these years, a strong focus has been on translational research and the transition from Research to Development.
Before that, she held different positions in the Research organization, such as AIDS Therapeutic Area leader, including target validation, lead optimization and preclinical characterization of candidates.
Anne Bousseau received her medical degree from the Paris School of Medicine. She also did a PhD inImmunology in Paris at the Institut Jacques Monod (CNRS).
From 2005 to 2015, Alexia was Partner and Head of Healthcare at Omnes Capital. She co-headed the management of the 26 innovative funds in venture capital.
Alexia joined the venture capital space in 1999 as an investment manager at Sofinnova Partners, where she was involved in the selection and creation of several successful investments. Alexa holds an MAE from IAE and an MSc in Neurosciences from University of Life Sciences-Inserm, Lyon.
Christophe Bancel has a track record in the healthcare industry ranging from start-up to midsize Biopharma. He was Franchise General Manager at UCB, leading the Central Nervous System Operations in France. Prior to that, he held several corporate and strategic positions at UCB, including Pricing and Markets Access in the US (Atlanta, GA), Global Marketing (Brussels) and Patient & Market Insight (Brussels).
He also worked for Serono (Now Merck Biopharma) in multiple Sales and Marketing positions. He started his career in Biotech, as Business Developer at Transgene (Boston, MA) and then was a co-founder and Director of Corporate & Business Development at Faust Pharmaceuticals (now Domain Therapeutics).
In 2014, Christophe co-founded and became CEO of Gecko Biomedical. Under his leadership, this medtech company has raised over 30M€ (Series A&B) to finance the industrialization, regulatory and clinical development of its proprietary polymers platform. In 2016, with Bernard Gilly, Alexia Perouse and Muriel Badawi, he co-founded iBionext, the first entrepreneurial venture fund in healthcare in Europe, that has raised €50M in less than 6 months with a targeted final closing of €100M in June 2017.
He is a graduate from Ecole Centrale Paris (Master of Engineering), holds a Master in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Tokyo (Todaï) and an MBA from INSEAD.
After 6 years of academic research (PhD in cognitive neurosciences, La Salpêtrière – Paris and Rush Hospital – Chicago), Nitza joined the pharmaceutical industry in 2001 and spent 7 years at Servier Pharmaceuticals as Head of Biological Studies in Neurospychiatry Department. Early 2009, she joined Fovea Pharmaceuticals, that became Sanofi Ophthalmology Business Division, as Director of Preclinical Department to lead CMC, DMPK, toxicity regulatory program and First into man study.
In 2013, she started GenSight Biologics, a gene therapy company dedicated to rare ophthalmic diseases. As Preclinical Chief Officer, she leads development programs up to first clinical studies (including manufacturing, tox & biodistribution, clinical and regulatory activities). In parallel, she led the development of medical devices at Gecko Biomedical since 2014.
As an active member of the iBionext Network, she co-founded BrainEver in 2015.
Bernard Gilly has over twenty years of experience in the financial and pharmaceutical sectors, and as an entrepreneur.
In 2011, he created iBionext with the aim of building an innovation ecosystem to develop healthcare start-ups in France. Within iBionext, Bernard Gilly co-founded several high potential companies in the biotech and medtech space. He is currently CEO of GenSight Biologics (2012), and non-executive chairman of Pixium Vision (2011), Gecko Biomedical (2013), Chronocam, BrainEver and Chronolife (2015) and Tilak Healthcare (2016).
Prior to that, Bernard was Chairman and CEO of Fovea Pharmaceuticals, a biotech company he founded in 2005 and sold to Sanofi in 2009 for €370m before becoming Senior VP of the Ophthalmology Division of Sanofi until 2012. From 2000 to 2005, Bernard was a Partner at Sofinnova Partners. He founded and invested in several companies, including Sequoia Pharmaceuticals (USA), Faust Pharmaceuticals (France, now Domain Therapeutics) and Cellzome (Germany). Prior to joining Sofinnova, Bernard was President and CEO of Transgene, a company he drove from its early financing round in 1994 to its dual listing on the Nasdaq and the Nouveau Marché (Now Euronext-C) in1998, successfully raising €160m. Before Transgene, Bernard spent 6 years as VP R&D at Pasteur-Mérieux-Connaught, now Sanofi Pasteur.
Bernard Gilly holds an engineering degree from the Ecole Nationale d’Agronomie and PhD from Universite de Rennes.
Chahra Louafi is Senior Investment Director and Head of the Biotherapies and Rare Diseases Fund of Bpifrance (formerly CDC Entreprises). Before joining CDC Entreprises in 2001, Chahra Louafi was in charge of project development and company creation for a private incubator that specialised in biotechnologies.
Chahra Louafi is Vice-Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Inserm Transfert Initiative and a member of the Supervisory Board of Cap Decisif Management.
Chahra Louafi also sits on the Boards of Directors of DBV Technologies, Eyevensys, Sensorion, MedDay, Pixium Vision, Lysogene, Annapurna Therapeutics, BrainEver, Enyo Pharma, GMP-Orphan, SparingVision and Therachon.