Interview with the Founder and Chairman, the CEO, and the EVP and CFO: Abivax SA (OTCMKTS:AAVXF)
Philippe Pouletty, M.D., is Founder and Chairman of Abivax and Co-founder and CEO of Truffle Capital. Dr. Pouletty has a strong background in Europe and the United States (including Silicon Valley) and is a pioneer in the biotechnology and medical devices sector. As an entrepreneur, he founded/co-founded among others: Carmat, Deinove, Abivax, Pharnext, Vexim — Truffle portfolio companies. As an inventor, Dr. Pouletty has filed 32 patents, one of which is the second-highest revenue generator in life sciences for Stanford University, earning him membership in Stanford’s prestigious Invention Hall of Fame in 2012. Dr. Pouletty was Chairman of France Biotech from 2001 to 2009, and has held the title of Honorary Chairman since 2009. He conceived the Jeune Entreprise Innovante (JEI) program to boost the development of young and innovative companies in France. Philippe Pouletty is a medical doctor, former resident in haematology and immunology in Parisian hospitals, and was a postdoctoral researcher (1986-1988) at Stanford University. He was the 1999 winner of the American Liver Foundation award. Dr. Pouletty has been awarded Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur. Profile
Prof. Hartmut J. Ehrlich, M.D., is Chief Executive Officer of Abivax. Prof. Ehrlich 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 seven years before joining Abivax, Prof. Ehrlich, 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. Prof. Ehrlich has authored and co-authored over 120 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. In 2011, Prof. Ehrlich 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. Profile
Didier Blondel is EVP, Chief Financial Officer and Board Secretary of Abivax. Mr. Blondel 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, Mr. Blondel 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). Profile
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TWST: Can you talk about the history of the company, including when and why it was founded?