Dr. Youssef L. Bennani is a scientific leader with over twenty years Pharma/Biotech experience covering the whole spectrum of drug discovery. Youssef currently serves as Site Head and Vice President of R&D at Vertex Pharmaceuticals’ R&D site in Laval, Quebec, Canada. Prior to this role, he spent seven years as Vice President of Drug Innovation at Vertex’s Headquarters in Boston, MA. During his career he has been in management and leadership roles at Athersys, Abbott Laboratories (now AbbVie) and Ligand Pharmaceuticals. Youssef has led multiple R&D programs in the areas of oncology, neurology, immunology and infection, producing over 25 clinical entities and advanced assets. His background spans a PhD in chemistry from Montreal University, a post‐doctoral work in K.B. Sharpless Nobel Laureate laboratory, as well as a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from Lake Forest School of Management ‐ Chicago, IL. He has authored over 245 publications, patents and pending patent applications. In 2011, he received an Honorary Diploma from the Université de Montréal for his contributions to Canadian society.
Sébastien Groyer has served as a Director since 2012. Sébastien has been an active life science investor over the last 10 years, working with various venture capital firms. He has joined Seventure Partners in July 2012 when it merged with Masseran Gestion, which was created in 2008 as a venture arm for the Réseau Caisse d’Epargne. He started his career at CDC-Entreprises as a biotechnology private investor within FCJE, a seed-stage venture fund. Early 2008, he participated to the setting up of Masseran Gestion with regards to its venture capital investment branch. Sébastien has invested in more than 30 life science companies, helping 5 of them going public. Sébastien graduated as a biotechnology engineer from UTC and holds a Master’s Degree in Philosophy from University Paris – La Sorbonne, France.
Michel Ronc has served as a Director since 2008. Michel has more than 40 years of experience in industry and venture-capital. From 2005 to 2011, Michel was a Partner with Demeter Partners, which he co-founded. Previously, Michel acted for the Elf Aquitaine group as R&D manager for the energy efficiency/renewable energy sector, as director of innovation and director of international development (Europe, Germany, Elf Antargaz). From 1984 to 1991, he was President and CEO of Inovelf (Europe) and Elf Technologies Inc. (USA) the venture capital subsidiaries of the Elf Aquitaine group which he developed and finally managed from the US. Under his leadership, 36 investments were made including 20 in the biotechnology sector (such as Qiagen, Transgene, Martech, Oxford Glycosystems), with an outstanding financial performance (overall gross IRR close to 20%) and several partnerships set up between portfolio companies and Elf’s divisions, mainly Sanofi. Michel graduated as chartered engineer from ENSGC Toulouse and from Harvard’s Advanced Management Program. Michel also holds a PhD from McGill University.
Bernard has served as a Director since 2008 as Partner at Auriga Partners, a venture capital firm he co-founded. Bernard is an expert in Life Sciences and was behind successful investments such as BioAlliance Pharma (NYSE Euronext BIO), NicOx (NYSE Euronext COX). He is a member of the French Academy of Technologies. Bernard began his career doing research into particle physics at the University of Orsay, France, the University of California at Berkeley, USA, and CNRS, the French national scientific research center. He subsequently held senior posts at the French Ministry of Industry and Research, where he was in charge of promoting technology transfer from research institutions and of optimizing relations between Research and Industry. After 4 years at Crédit Lyonnais setting up the bank's Venture Capital arm, he joined Finovelec in 1990. Bernard is a graduate of the Ecole Polytechnique in Paris, France and has a PhD from the University of Orsay, France.
Mark has served as Director since 2008. Mark has over 20 years' experience in drug discovery and development and has raised over £100M. He served on the boards of ten private and public companies. Mark is currently Chief Executive of the Life Science Investment Organisation, within UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) of the UK Government. Mark Treherne is also Non-Executive Chairman of Cyclofluidic Limited and a Non-Executive Director of Population Genetics Technologies Limited, as well as Chief Executive of Talisman Therapeutics Limited. Previously Mark worked with Senexis and has co-founded Cambridge Drug Discovery as Chief Executive in 1997 and sold it in 2001 to BioFocus, which was subsequently acquired by Galapagos. Mark also worked at Pfizer to lead the European neurodegeneration team. Mark started his career with a Senior Faculty position at the Biozentrum in Basel. He holds a B.Sc. in Physiology from St Andrews University in Scotland (1983) and a Ph.D. in receptor neuropharmacology from the University of Cambridge, UK (1987).
Sylvie Ryckebusch is a seasoned business development executive who spent twelve years at Merck Serono (Geneva, Switzerland). In her role as head of licensing in neurology and autoimmune disease, she managed a team of business development professionals and was instrumental in numerous product and technology transactions. Most recently, she was appointed chief business officer at the EspeRare Foundation, a non-profit organization which addresses therapeutic unmet needs in rare diseases. Sylvie is also the founder of Octave Biotech Consulting, which advises pharmaceutical and biotech companies on business development strategy and implementation. Sylvie earned a PhD in neurobiology at the California Institute of Technology before completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the Harvard Business School. She worked for four years with McKinsey & Company before joining the pharmaceutical industry.
Pascal Neuville has been Domain Therapeutics’ Chief Executive Officer and Chief Scientific Officer since 2008. Pascal spent one third of his 20-year career in Academia and two thirds in the Biotech industry. After a PhD in molecular and cellular biology from University of Strasbourg, France, he joined and led a group of molecular biologists at the Pathology Department of the Geneva University Hospital (HUG) in the University Medical Center (CMU) in Geneva, Switzerland. He also served as Assistant Professor for 5 years at the University of Geneva, Switzerland. Then Pascal joined Transgene SA, a French Biotech company (NYSE Euronext TNG; NASDAQ TRGNF) where he served as R&D project leader for 3 years. From 2002 to 2008, he served as Chief Scientific Officer of Faust Pharmaceuticals, a drug discovery and development company in the Central Nervous System field. In 2008 he implemented the business model of Domain Therapeutics, with a group of 10 Faust Pharmaceuticals former employees. From 2008 to 2010, Pascal Neuville was President of Alsace BioValley's Board of Directors, the life science competitiveness cluster of Alsace, France and from 2010 to 2014 he was a board member of this association. At present, he is a permanent invitee member of the board of directors. Pascal joined Axilum Robotics' Board of Directors in 2011, the Strategic Committee of the Initiative of Excellence of University of Strasbourg, France, in 2012 and the Investment Committee of the SATT Alsace, the tech transfer office of Alsace, France in 2013.