Our mission

We discover and develop new therapies to treat and cure patients suffering from deadly and debilitating diseases, such as cancer.

Company overview

Ecrins Therapeutics is a clinical-stage Biotech company that develops a pipeline of innovative drug candidates. Our lead product ET-D5 is a first-in-class small molecule active against several oncology indications. ET-D5 is currently in the regulatory preclinical stage and scheduled to enter the first-in-human clinical trial in 2020. The translational clinical trial in canine patients started in 2018 and is ongoing.

Our history

Incorporated in July 2010, Ecrins Therapeutics was founded by experts in cell biology, discovery of bioactive small molecules, and clinical oncology. The research conducted in 2004-2009 at INSERM in the group of Dr Andrei POPOV has been pioneering a new approach to the drug discovery engine, based on the phenotypical screening for the traits specific for cancer cells.

Prior to the creation of the company, the project was awarded the “Proof of concept” grant by the “Canceropôle Lyon Auvergne Rhône-Alpes” (CLARA), allowing the founders to establish the in vivo proof-of-concept in several animal models of human cancers. After filing a patent in March 2010, Ecrins Therapeutics was born in July that same year, founded by Andrei POPOV, Aurélie JUHEM, and Professor François BERGER.

Today the company is developing both new small molecule therapeutics and therapeutic antibodies, all first-in-class, in various oncology areas with high unmet medical needs. Ecrins is based in La Tronche (Grenoble area), France.

Management team

Andrei Popov
Andrei PopovCEO

Trained initially as a physician, Andrei graduated from the Sechenov Moscow Medical Academy in 1988. He then worked as a doctoral and postdoctoral fellow respectively at the Babraham Insitute in Cambridge, UK, and at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany. In 2003, Andrei became a laureate of the Inserm program “Avenir”. This grant allowed him to establish an independent research group at Inserm in Grenoble, France, with a focus on the mechanisms of cell division and bioactive small molecules, both fields relevant to oncology. To date, Andrei has authored 25 publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals, obtained 10 research grants, and is the named inventor on 2 patents.
Andrei followed the business courses at the Grenoble business incubator GRAIN and a business course for the winners of the National Competition for the setting up of innovative businesses at EM Lyon. In 2016 Andrei obtained a Bordeaux University Diploma in the specialty “Methods of clinical research”.

 

Aurélie Juhem
Aurélie JuhemCOO

Trained as a biologist, Aurélie Juhem earned her PhD in cell biology in 2008 from the Grenoble Alpes University. After spending 2 years in a lab focused on intestinal chronic diseases, she decided to turn towards cancer research by joining Dr. Popov’s group for her thesis. During her time there, she established an original drug-screening algorithm that lead to the discovery of ET-D5. To date, Aurélie has published 10 peer-review papers and is the named inventor on 1 patent.
Trained in toxicology in 2014 at the Claude Bernard University (Lyon), she also obtained a Bordeaux University Diploma in the specialty “Methods of clinical research”. Co-founder of Ecrins Therapeutics, she held the role of R&D Director until February 2016 before becoming COO of the company.

 

Scientific advisory board

Jean-Yves Blay
Jean-Yves Blay

Jean-Yves, MD, PhD, is Professor of Medicine in Medical Oncology and Head of the Medical Oncology Department at the Centre Leon Berard of the Université Claude Bernard in Lyon, France. Key opinion leader in the field of sarcomas, Dr. Blay has served as the Chairman of the French Sarcoma Group and currently acts as the Network Director of Conticanet, a network of excellence funded by the EU commission dedicated to novel treatment approaches in sarcomas (www.conticanet.eu). At the EORTC, Prof. Blay has been active in the Translational Research Advisory Committee, the Protocol Review Committee, and as a faculty member on EORTC educational programs. Dr. Blay has co-authored more than 250 peer-reviewed articles and over 200 abstracts and book chapters. He advises Ecrins Therapeutics for clinical design and sarcoma indication.

Jacques Descotes
Jacques Descotes

Jacques Descotes, PharmD, MD, PhD, is a leading authority in toxicology. VP R&D at Immunotoxicology Consulting Group, he is also Professor Emeritus at the University Claude Bernard in Lyon. A medical toxicologist, he was a long-serving head of the Antipoison and Pharmacovigilance Center in Lyon. He is the author of over 350 scientific papers and 12 books. As independent consultant, Jacques assists Ecrins Therapeutics on the regulatory toxicology aspects of the ET-D5 program.

Gerald Thompson
Gerald Thompson

Gerald Thompson is an expert in regulatory affairs. He spent all his career in the pharmaceutical industry (Sanofi, Novartis) defining regulatory strategy for clinical development and registration of many products including anticancer drugs. Managing Director at Realtime Regulatory Ltd, he assists Ecrins Therapeutics by providing regulatory input on the ET-D5 development program.

Jean-Paul Thénot
Jean-Paul Thénot

Jean-Paul Thénot, PhD, is an expert in pharmaceutical development, with a focus on preclinical pharmacokinetics (PK) and metabolism (M). After 10 years in North-America holding several academic positions, he came back in France and served at Sanofi as MPK Director. Consultant for pharmaceuticals companies since 2008, he assists Ecrins Therapeutics on the Preclinical metabolism and PK aspects of the ET-D5 program.

Josiane Lemut
Josiane Lemut

Josiane, PharmD, is an expert in CMC and regulatory affairs, working as a freelance consultant for a number of biotechnology companies. She worked 28 years in pharmaceutical industries (Fournier, Sanofi, Lilly). A specialist in formulation, CMC and the writing of technical documents, she assists Ecrins Therapeutics on the CMC aspects of the preclinical and clinical development plan.

Jean-Pierre Armand
Jean-Pierre Armand

After a research fellow position in Columbia University New York, Dr. Armand joined the Claudius Regaud Institut in Toulouse until 1984. For the following 23 years, he held various positions at the Institut Gustave Roussy (IGR) in Paris. Founder of the IGR Phase I Unit (Ditep) in the early 80s, he conducted the first-in-human Phase I clinical trials of numerous drugs including the now classical cytotoxics – Irinotecan, Oxaliplatin, Taxotere, Navelbine, Vinflunine, and more recently, targeted therapies such as Sutent, Sorafenib, and Temsirolismus. He is the co-author of more than 300 medical and scientific peer-reviewed articles and has received numerous awards. Dr Armand assists Ecrins Therapeutics on the design of the first-in-human clinical trial of ET-D5.

Christian Schirvel
Christian Schirvel

Dr Schirvel, DVM MSc CAAM, was previously Head of Business Development and Licensing at Novartis Animal Health then at Elanco, one of the world’s major animal health companies. Prior to this, he held several senior positions in Global Marketing and Strategic Development at Merial. Dr Schirvel is a leading global animal health advisor with an extensive background in product licensing, corporate strategy, marketing and alliance management. He is now president of Vel-Vet AH Consulting and assists Ecrins Therapeutics’s business and clinical development activities.

Jean-Jacques Zeiller
Jean-Jacques Zeiller

After graduating in chemistry, Jean-Jacques Zeiller started a long career (32 years) in R&D in the pharmaceutical industry as a medicinal chemist. He then took over the responsibility of several preclinical projects as Preclinical Development Team Leader in different therapeutic areas. He was nominated as Global Product Team Leader (GPTL) in Oncology, where he was responsible for international clinical development projects. As GPTL, he took care of transitions from preclinical to Phase 1, launch and follow-up of Phase 1, as well as the preparation and set-up of Phase 2 clinical trials.
Since the end of 2010, Jean-Jacques assists Ecrins Therapeutics for the preclinical and clinical development of ET-D5.

Claudine Vermot-Desroches
Claudine Vermot-Desroches

With a postgraduate degree in Immunology & Molecular biology (PhD and Post PhD), Claudine VERMOT-DESROCHES has more than 25 years’ experience in research and development of innovation projects in biotechnology or pharmaceutical companies to improve Human Health. Its professional background is characterized with an expertise in Innovation – Development – Management – Partnerships, combined with an entrepreneurial spirit. Claudine has co-founded iDD biotech, with a position of CSO and General Manager. This work with her team led to the development of four drug candidates with robust IP and the conclusion of licensing agreements with international pharmaceutical companies.Claudine Vermot-Desroches is now founder and president of TheraWings Consulting, a translational research consulting company for the discovery and development of innovative medicines.

François Berger
François Berger

Leading French expert in nanomedicine and cancer research, is an ex director of Clinatec, a multidisciplinary research facility founded by the CEA (the French Atomic Agency) and Grenoble University. Currently, François is a clinical oncologist at the Grenoble University Hospital and the director of INSERM Unit 1205, fulfilling the role of a scientific advisor.

Strategic advisory board

Damien Salauze
Damien Salauze

Dr. Salauze, PhD, MBA, has extensive experience as a pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry executive and venture capital investor in life science companies. He currently serves as Head of FINDMED, a technology transfer program financed by the French government. Dr. Salauze previously held positions at Aventis as Head of a Toxicology Department, then Senior International Marketing Director (Oncology). He has also been a partner at Auriga Ventures, as well as the CEO of Novagali Pharma and Sepal Pharma. Until 2016, Damien served as Tech Transfer Officer at the Institut Curie in Paris. He currently holds a seat with the Board of Directors of several companies.

Paul BRUMA
Paul BRUMA

Paul Bruma has graduated as an Engineer from ParisTech Telecom (1976) and MBA-INSEAD (1983). He is currently Vice-President of « Les Business Angels des Grandes Ecoles » (BAdGE) and is responsible for the Sourcing (BAdGE was the most important French business-angels association in 2018). He worked more than 20 years with Alcatel-Lucent (until 2019) and held different positions.

Jean-Marc Herbert
Jean-Marc Herbert

Jean-Marc Herbert, PhD, has more than 30 years of industrial experience in pharmaceutical research and development (Sanofi). He has authored more than 400 papers and is listed as an inventor in more than 50 patents in various fields, including cancer.
Jean-Marc HERBERT is now President of ARKELY-Consulting, a consulting company in translational research for the discovery and development of innovative medicines.
He is a member of the “strategic advisory boards” of several biotechnology companies in various fields and, since 2016, venture partner at GO Capital, a major player in the financing and support of start-ups, small businesses, and SMEs in the West of France.

Lionel Arnaud
Lionel Arnaud

Lionel Arnaud obtained his Master’s degree in “Technologies and Innovations Management” at Paris Dauphine before recieving a post-graduate degree in Cellular Biology and Physiology from The City College of New York. After a spell as a consultant specialized in innovation public funding at Eurinnov, he left for F.Iniciativas to co-create the «Innovation Grants » business unit where he managed a team of ten consultants for 6 years, raising a total of 50M€+ soft money from public bodies. He joined Par’Immune as COO in early 2018. An Expert Evaluator for the European Commission, he is an expert in business planning for innovative start-ups.

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