About Us


April 14th 2015: Anagenesis Biotechnologies secures its second private investment with CAP INNOV’EST.

December 4th 2013: Anagenesis Biotechnologies secures its first private funding from AFM (French muscular dystrophy association).

December 3rd 2013: Anagenesis Biotechnologies signs an exclusive worldwide license agreement with INSERM Transfert and AFM on two patent families protecting the P2MC production technology

September 1st 2013: MYOSTEM research project kick-off (co-funded by AFM (French muscular dystrophy association), Région Alsace and BPI France)

June 2012: Anagenesis Biotechnologies is laureate of the national innovation contest «Création-Développement » organized by the French research ministry and coordinated by Oseo (now BPI France)

April 25th 2011: Creation of Anagenesis Biotechnologies. Anagenesis was then incubated at Semia, an Alsacian structure hosting newly created start-up companies


Management team


Jean-Yves Bonnefoy, PhD – President & CEO, Co-founder & Board member

Jean-Yves Bonnefoy is CEO of Anagenesis Biotechnologies since January 2014 and President since April 2015. He is President and board member of the biotech company Syndivia. He is a member of the scientific advisory board of iTeos Therapeutics and Centre de Recherche des Cordeliers. He is also member of the investment committee of the alsacian TTO SATT Conectus and of the steering committee of Matwin. He was for two mandates President of the Life Sciences Competitiveness Cluster and Alsace BioValley.

Jean-Yves has 30 years of experience in pharmaceutical industry directing research and development projects. Before joining Anagenesis, he held the position of VP, R&D of Transgene SA for 9 years. From 2002 to 2005, he launched and managed the Cancéropôle Lyon Rhône-Alpes. From 1992 to 2002, he headed the Centre d’immunologie Pierre Fabre. From 1998 to 2002, he was Director of the Immunology Department of the Glaxo-Wellcome Institute in Switzerland. From 1985 to 1987, he was scientist at the Research Centre of Schering-Plough in France.

Jean-Yves holds a PhD in Immunology, a “Thèse de 3ème cycle” in Biochemistry and followed the Senior Management Program of the London Business School, in the UK. He is author and co-author of more than 230 publications and reviews (H-index 55-30-13).

Contact: jybonnefoy@anagenesis-biotech.com

Mélissa Guyot – Project Coordinator

Mélissa Guyot joined the company in January 2015 to manage R&D projects and participate in fundraising and business development activities. Mélissa has experience in the field of innovation and healthcare; before joining Anagenesis, she held the positions of General Manager in Vironexx, a biotech start-up developing innovative treatments for liver diseases, and Development Coordinator in SEMIA, the incubator for innovative start-ups in Alsace. Before that, she was a consultant for the healthcare and food industries in Switzerland for the company Alcimed.

Mélissa holds a Master degree in Life Sciences from Montpellier SupAgro which she completed with a MSc in Strategic Management at the prestigious business school HEC Paris.

Contact: mguyot@anagenesis-biotech.com



Christopher Henderson, PhD – Co-founder

Christopher Henderson is VP Neurology at Biogen Idec and Co-director for High-Throughput Screening at the JP Sulzberger Columbia Genome Center. He is also Co-director of the Columbia University Center for Motor Neuron Biology and Disease, holds a joint appointment as Professor in the Departments of Pathology and Cell Biology and Neurology, and is on the faculty of the Center for Neurobiology and Behavior.

Henderson’s research is focused on understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms responsible for motor neuron degeneration and loss, particularly in the context of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease) and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). Because it is difficult to study these diseases in patients or in animal models, his work uses stem cells to study motor neuron development, both as an important in area in its own right and as an approach to understanding and analyzing mechanisms underlying SMA and ALS. His work incorporates methods from high-throughput screening to test methods for understanding and controlling motor neuron development.

Henderson obtained his PhD from the University of Cambridge in 1979. He subsequently spent much of his career in France, first at the Pasteur Institute in Paris with Jean-Pierre Changeux, then as CNRS Director of Research in Montpellier and Marseille, where he directed the INSERM research unit on Neuronal Development and Pathology. Henderson’s interest in translational neuroscience led him to spend time as a visiting scientist with Genentech, Inc. and to become co-founder of Trophos, S.A., a drug discovery biotech focused on neurodegenerative disease, including ALS and SMA. He currently leads Target ALS, a private-funded collaborative consortium focused on seeding ALS drug development programs. He moved to Columbia in May 2005.



Nicolas Carboni

Nicolas Carboni is the President of Conectus Alsace inc., a “SATT”, the new kind of TTO created in France in 2012. With a team of 31 people, Conectus is in charge of managing IP and licensing for all public research laboratories in Alsace Region, as well as research collaboration with industry (average 8M€ / year). Conectus also manages a 35M€ “Proof of Concept” fund to speed up tech transfer.

Prior to joining Conectus, Nicolas was CEO of Alsace Biovalley, one of the leading biocluster in France, leading the development of the life science sector in the Alsace Region. In that position, Nicolas has led the construction and funding of over 50 public-private R&D programs representing over 120M€ of R&D investment. Before that, Nicolas has lived 13 years in Canada, 10 of which working at the interface of public research and industry ‐ both from the public and private side. During that period, he has worked for the National Research Council of Canada, Universities, the Government of Quebec, as well as large industrial groups. Nicolas has a 20-year experience in innovation management and technology transfer accumulated both in France and in North America. In 1997, he was co‐founder of Bio Artificial Gel Technologies (reached FDA approval in 2008), one of the first spin-offs from Université du Québec à Montréal.

He has a background in Law, Business and Engineering, obtained both in France and Canada.

 Jean-François Rax

Jean-François Rax

Jean-François Rax is a graduate from INSA (Lyon), joined Alsace Capital in April 2014 as Investment Manager of the seed fund Cap Innov’Est. Cap Innov’Est is a 36M€ tri-regional (Alsace, Bourgogne, Franche-Comté) fund dedicated to investments in young innovative start-ups. Prior to joining Alsace Capital and since 2008, Jean-François was an Analyst at Inserm Transfert Initiative, seed fund dedicated to life sciences and human health. In addition, he was also the Head of the company creation department at Inserm Transfert where he actively helped and coached many researchers and entrepreneurs to define their business model and to refine their strategy. Owing to his previous experiences, he has also a solid background in technology transfer, licensing and marketing strategy.


Philippe Grand

Philippe Grand, currently an Associate at Ernst & Young, is the French representative of the E & Y Life Sciences network, and is also responsible for the young innovative start-ups market and for the EY Venture Capitalist Advisory Group to facilitate trade between major accounts of the pharmaceutical industry, innovative start-ups and European venture capital firms.

For 25 years, Philippe GRAND conducted more than 500 missions to support the creation of technology companies including the negotiation of alliances, technology transfers, fundraisings, validation of launch strategies, and financial and legal engineering related to the creation of activities in different sectors and in particular the health sector.

He has also worked with venture capital firms, Technology Transfer Offices, incubators, the Ministry of Research and Innovation and BPI France for the expert assessment of innovative projects.

Philippe GRAND is part of the international team that annually conducts Beyond Borders, the EY Global Biotechnology Report and is involved in the emergence of a national initiative around personalized medicine.



Thierry Noel, MBA – Co-founder

Thierry Noel was President from 2011 to April 2015.

Since 2008, Thierry Noel has been working as an entrepreneur, creating and developing start-ups focused on innovation in the environmental sector. He is President and owner of Consoneo (Internet base service to incentivize, finance, and manage energy efficiency in the residential, industrial, and municipal markets), founder and Managing Partner of Amane Advisors (advisory services focused on the water and renewable energy markets) and Amane Branding (brand strategy and advertising agency dedicated to Socially Responsible Consumer goods and the environmental sector). Amane Advisors and Branding have advised several CEOs and boards in their development including start-ups that have recently gone for IPO on the French markets (Orege, Innoveox).

Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, Thierry Noel led an international career in the energy, environmental, and water sectors at the following positions: Executive VP for Tyco Water in charge of EMEA from 2005 to 2006, EVP of Strategy and Business Development for the Water Division of Suez Environnement in Paris from 2002 and 2005 (€15bn revenue), SVP of Origination in Houston (Texas) from 1999 to 2001, and EVP of Corporate Development for Suez Environnement in North America (based in New York City, where he led or was involved in several acquisitions including Wall Street take-overs totaling over $7bn) from 1996 to 1998.

Thierry Noel is a graduate from the French “Grandes Ecoles”, Institut National Agronomique Paris (“Agro Paristech”) where he met Olivier Pourquié, and he also holds a Masters in Finance from the London Business School.


Olivier Pourquié, PhD, Princeps inventor of the technology & Co-founder

Olivier Pourquié is currently Professor in the Department of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and Professor of Pathology at the Brigham and Woman’s Hospital.He also holds the position of DR INSERM. He served as Director of the Institute for genetics and Molecular and Cellular Biology in Strasbourg from 2009 to 2012, and prior to that was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research in Kansas City.

For the past 15 years, Olivier Pourquié’s group has been studying the differentiation of muscle, skeletal and dermal precursor cells in the embryo and he is an internationally recognized leader in the field of musculo-skeletal axis formation and in muscle precursor cells differentiation. His laboratory’s discovery of the first evidence of the existence of a molecular oscillator- the segmentation clock- associated to the rhythmic production of vertebral precursors (the somites) in the embryo was recognized as one of the 25 milestones in Developmental Biology in the 20th century by Nature magazine.

Pr. Pourquié is an elected member of the EMBO and of the Academia Europea. He is the recipient of several prestigious awards including the Lounsbery Grand Prize of the French and American Academy of Sciences, the Allianz Grand Prize of the French Academy of Sciences and a European Research Council Advanced Grant.


Marie Knockaert, PhD – Co-founder

Consultant since december 2014, Marie Knockaert helds the position of COO for Anagenesis from december 2013 to november 2014.

Marie Knockaert did her PhD in the field of anti-cancer drug development studying the intracellular mechanism of action of candidate-drugs prior to preclinical testing initiation. She then did a post-doc in the laboratory of Pr Ali Brivanlou at the Rockefeller University (New York) where she specialized in human stem cell biology.

From 2009 to 2013, she worked in Olivier Pourquié’s group where she coordinated the 4-year strategic project funded by AFM (the French Muscular Dystrophy Association) at the origin of Anagenesis’ princeps technology.


Jérôme Chal, PhD – Inventor of the technology & Co-founder

Dr. Jérôme Chal is Research Scientist in the Department of Pathology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School. Dr Chal is an expert in stem cell biology and has a keen interest in harnessing stem cell differentiation to develop innovative technologies.

His research focuses on the molecular mechanisms of pluripotent stem cells differentiation toward muscle, skeletal and dermis progenitors. While in the Pourquié lab at IGBMC (France), he supervised the muscle cell differentiation research program at the heart of Anagenesis’ technology. This work provided the first description and characterization of mature, contractive skeletal muscle fibers derived from pluripotent stem cells.

Dr.Chal holds a PhD in stem cell and developmental biology from the University Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris. He graduated from the Ecole Normale Supérieure and completed his research training at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research in Kansas city.


Photo C. Girard

Christian Girard, MSc Management – Senior Advisor

Christian Girard is the founder of ABCrowdFunding Advisors, a corporate advisory firm with a focus on alternative financing and orphan drugs companies. Additionally, he is the CEO of Orphan Drugs Industry Insider, a competitive intelligence information provider in the rare diseases area.

His entry in life sciences dates back to 1994, when he joined the newly formed French subsidiary of Deknatel, a medtech spin-off of Pfizer, which was later acquired by Genzyme. He is also a co-founder of a biotech company repurposing small molecules in orphan indications, as well as an advisor to several research institutions and start-ups companies.

He holds a Master of Science in Management from ESCP Europe.


Photo A Xaya

Alain Xayaphoummine, PhD

Alain Xayaphoummine brings his experience in fundraising strategy to Anagenesis.

He used to work at BPI France, where he analyzed more than 400 business plans and financed about 150 projects, including CellProthera and MesaGraph. At Alsace Biovalley, he is in charge of the advisory team for strategy and fundraising. His first successes include Infinite Vision Optics, Defymed and Lysea (crowdfunding). He is also deputy lecturer at the University of Strasbourg on the subject of Financing Innovation.

Alain holds a PhD in Physics and a Master degree in Management of Innovation.



Olivier Pourquié and Christopher Henderson are co-founders of the biotechnology company Trophos, developing high throughput screening strategies for the treatment of neuro-degenerative and cardiovascular diseases. Since its creation in 1999, the company has established itself as an international player in the field of drug discovery. Trophos‘s lead compound Olesoxime just obtained positive top-line results in a Phase 3 clinical trial in Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) (announced march 2014) and is currently evaluated in multiple sclerosis. Roche announced in January 2015 the acquisition of Trophos for 470m€.