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Press Release

Oncodesign Completes the Acquisition of François Hyafil Research Centre and Appoints Two New Strategic Activity Directors

Posted on: 01 Dec 16

Oncodesign (FR0011766229 - ALONC), a biotechnology company serving the pharmaceutical industry in the discovery of new therapeutic molecules to fight cancer and other serious illnesses with no known effective treatment, today announced the effective transfer to Oncodesign of François Hyafil Research Centre (FHRC) from GSK and the appointment of two new activity directors.

In order to accelerate its in-house programmes of therapeutic molecules and expand its service offering, Oncodesign signed in September 2016 an agreement for the acquisition of François Hyafil Research Centre from GSK in Les Ulis (see Press Release of September 28th 2016). This agreement came into force unconditionally today.

Effective transfer to Oncodesign of the building and the research team

The transfer to Oncodesign of the 11,000m² building, largely rebuilt as new in 2010, scientific equipment and the team of 57 employees, including 47 highly qualified scientists specialising in drug discovery, has been completed. It should be remembered that this transfer was accompanied by financing from GSK of €35 million to be paid to Oncodesign over 4 years, subject to the continued employment of the transferred employees during this period. This financing will enable a significant acceleration in Oncodesign’s in-house therapeutic and diagnostic research and will allow the company to offer a broader range of services, particularly in the “Drug Discovery Full Services” market, which is currently worth an estimated $14 billion1.

Appointments of Experimentation Director and Discovery Director

Dr Fabrice Viviani, 51, former Director of Biology at FHRC has been appointed Head of FHRC and Oncodesign’s Experimentation Director, with immediate effect. After 25 years’ experience in Drug Discovery, as R&D Director in therapeutic research centres at Rhône-Poulenc Rorer, Aventis and Sanofi, he joined GlaxoSmithKline as Director of Biology at FHRC in 2012. Fabrice Viviani has considerable expertise in oncology and inflammatory, metabolic, cardiovascular and central nervous system diseases. Fabrice holds a PhD in organic chemistry and a Masters in biochemistry from Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris (France).

Dr Alexis Denis, 55, former Director of Medical Chemistry at FHRC has been appointed as Oncodesign’s Discovery Director, with immediate effect. After 27 years’ experience as Director of Medical Chemistry at HMR, Aventis, Pfizer and Mutabilis, he joined GlaxoSmithKline in 2008. Alexis Denis is an expert in inflammatory and metabolic diseases and in infection treatments. Alexis holds a PhD in organic chemistry from Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris (France).

Fabrice Viviani and Alexis Denis will join Oncodesign’s Executive Committee, chaired by Philippe Genne. They will work under the direction of Oncodesign’s Chief Scientific Officer, Jan Hoflack.

“The completion of this acquisition will enable us to extend our technologies and skills over a large range of therapeutic segments, whilst increasing our capacity in both Discovery and Experimentation. This acquisition is a perfect fit with Oncodesign’s approach and gives us new resources to reach the ambitious targets we recently set out in our 2017-2020 Strategic Plan,” said Philippe Genne, CEO and founder of Oncodesign. “We are delighted to welcome all those working at the François Hyafil Research Centre, and particularly pleased that Fabrice and Alexis will be joining our management team at this exciting time. Their proven experience and scientific expertise will undeniably be key strengths in our continued development.”

“On behalf of all of us at the François Hyafil Research Centre, I would like to say how happy we are to be joining Oncodesign, with whom we share many values, a solid results-based culture and a clear focus on serving clients,” said Fabrice Viviani, Oncodesign’s new Experimentation Director. “Our expertise and our capacity in developing Drug Discovery projects will help expand Oncodesign’s discovery activities, internally and through collaborations, as well as its service offering. The acquisition of FHRC is above all a real human adventure, and we are impatient to work together on the many promising projects at Oncodesign.”

Alexis Denis, Oncodesign’s new Discovery Director, added: “Oncodesign has unique advantages in the successful discovery of new treatments, thanks in particular to its proprietary Nanocyclix® technology, its rich research pipeline in both oncology and other areas, consisting of a new generation of kinase inhibitors. We are thrilled to be working alongside these very innovative teams and to help support Oncodesign’s long-term growth plans.”

Next financial publication: Full-year 2016 revenue, Tuesday January 31, 2017 (after the market close)


Founded over 20 years ago by Dr Philippe Genne, the Company’s CEO and Chairman, Oncodesign is a biotechnology company that maximises the pharmaceutical industry’s chances of success in discovering new therapeutic molecules to fight cancer and other serious illnesses with no known effective treatment. With its unique experience acquired by working with more than 600 clients, including the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, along with its comprehensive technological platform combining state-of-the-art medicinal chemistry, advanced animal modelling and medical imaging, Oncodesign is able to predict and identify, at a very early stage, each molecule's therapeutic usefulness and potential to become an effective drug. Applied to kinase inhibitors, which represent a market estimated at over $46 billion in 2016 and accounting for almost 25% of the pharmaceutical industry’s R&D expenditure, Oncodesign’s technology has already enabled the targeting of several promising molecules with substantial therapeutic potential, in oncology and elsewhere, along with partnerships with pharmaceutical groups such as Bristol-Myers Squibb, Ipsen and UCB. Oncodesign is based in Dijon, France, in the heart of the town’s university and hospital hub, and within the Paris-Saclay cluster, Oncodesign has 165 employees and subsidiaries in Canada and the USA.

1 Source: VisionGain 2015

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Last updated on: 01/12/2016

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