Chief Executive Officer, co-founder
Thomas Kuhn joined Merck KGaA in 2000, where he held various positions in clinical development, largely in the area of diabetes. Between 2004 and 2007 he directed global R&D projects, with two products in Phase II clinical trials, and life cycle management projects, specifically for Glucophage®, the current reference in diabetes treatment. After the integration of Serono in 2007, Thomas was involved in refining Merck Serono's strategy. With the decision to divest from diabetes as an integrated therapeutic area, Thomas drove the project to relocate the diabetes assets, leading to the establishment of Poxel. Thomas received a pharmacy degree from the University of Lyon I (France) and an MBA from Ashridge University (UK).
Research Director, co-founder
Sophie Hallakou-Bozec joined Merck KGaA in 1998 where she managed a drug discovery team in a pharmacology department. She has acquired a strong experience for managing research projects from target identification to preclinical development candidates. Sophie has developed her knowledge in models (in vivo and in vitro) used in research programs for identifying preclinical development candidates in the diabetes field. She acquired a solid expertise in metabolic diseases particularly in the diabetes field. This experience in pharmacology led Sophie to support a clinical development compound for all preclinical pharmacology aspects. Sophie received a PhD in nutrition, metabolism and obesity from the Paris VII University.
Chief Scientific Officer
Sébastien Bolze has broad experience in drug development from discovery screening to first-in-man clinical trials. He was global head of the preclinical candidate selection unit at Solvay Pharmaceuticals, a multidisciplinary unit providing support to research projects from optimization of validated hits to delivery of candidates for preclinical development. From 2003 to 2006, Sébastien was executive head of the ADME department at Fournier Pharma. He acquired strong organizational and managerial experience in research projects within a multidisciplinary and global environment. Sébastien has also co-authored over 10 research publications and posters. Sébastien is a pharmacist and holds a PhD in pharmacokinetics and drug metabolism from the University of Lyon I (France).
Chief Medical Officer
Pascale Fouqueray–Grellier joined Merck KGaA in 2000 from Paris VII University, where she was assistant professor of physiology. At Merck KGaA, her activities were centered on metabolism, with a particular focus on diabetes and obesity but also including lipids and uric acid metabolism. She was responsible for the clinical development of compounds for the treatment of diabetes and gout disease, working on strategies to define and reach proof-of- concept and investigate mechanisms of action. Pascale graduated from medical school at the University of Angers (France) and then specialized in endocrinology and metabolism at the University of Paris V. She received a PhD from the University of Paris XI.
Chief Business Officer
Pascale Malgouyres started her career at the French affiliate of Eli Lilly as a clinical research associate, subsequently moving to the sales department. She then joined Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals, where she was responsible for marketing programs in rheumatology. Pascale joined Merck KGaA in 1992, where she held various positions in national and international marketing departments. She has focused on diabetes since 2001 as a marketing contributor to the global product teams in charge of three different new chemical entities (NCEs) in development. In this capacity, she developed a comprehensive approach to channel marketing input towards research, and she developed methods to produce business cases. Her last position at Merck Serono was global marketing director of the Glucophage® franchise. Pascale received a pharmacy degree from the University of Lyon I (France) as well as an MSc in clinical pharmacokinetics.
Chief Financial Officer
Eric Massou has 16 years' experience as an external auditor at Mazars and Ernst & Young, where he was mainly in charge of industrial groups such as Becton Dickinson, Black & Decker, Brenntag and Candia. Eric acquired experience as a financial controller and group CFO at Veriplast Packaging, a plastic packaging company operating in 7 European countries. There, he was involved in all recurrent financial aspects and monitored two major vendor due diligence projects to welcome Charterhouse in 2004 and SUN in 2007 as new shareholders. In addition, Eric was on the deal team for all M&A activities and in charge of external stakeholders, and he raised all necessary new monies to support business growth and finance new industrial capex. Eric received a Master in Finance at the BESS program of Trinity College Dublin (Ireland) as well as the French CPA.
Global Clinical Project Manager
Rodica Orza has 7 years' international experience in clinical operations management of Phase I and III cardiovascular and rheumatology studies. She started her career monitoring Phase I bioequivalence trials for a generics company in Romania. She subsequently spent over five years at Servier Laboratories, where she monitored and coordinated clinical trials in Europe and Latin America, implemented strategy for clinical trials in new countries and developed delocalized operational teams. Rodica received a pharmacy degree from the University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Cluj-Napoca (Romania) and completed her scientific background with a specialized master's degree in the management of pharmaceutical industry at the Burgundy School of Business (France).
Chemistry and Patent Manager
Daniel Cravo joined Merck KGaA in 1997 and focused his chemical expertise on the search for NCEs to treat Type 2 diabetes. Daniel was involved in many promising chemical programs, with 12 published patents and 4 still-unpublished patents. One program led to his discovery of Imeglimin, currently in Phase II clinical development at Poxel. Daniel was also in charge of the medicinal chemistry of AMPK activators (lead optimization stage) and GK (lead discovery stage) projects. Daniel received a PhD in organic synthesis from the University of Paris VI.
Project Manager and Administration
Isabelle Tronel started her career in 1989 in the service industry as front desk manager for a 4-star luxury hotel. She joined Merck KGaA in 1996 as project assistant for global product development in the CardioMetabolic Care area. She ensured all budgeting, controlling and logistic activities for a global team. Isabelle became project manager in 2007, ensuring team coordination and project planning for a Phase III product.
Global R&D Project Manager
Sandrine Dauchy joined Les Laboratoires Servier in 2009 as Head of Biological Studies in the Angiology Therapeutic Division. She was there responsible for coordinating early phase 1 trials and preclinical studies. In 2010, she focused her activities in the pharmacokinetic area in joining the Clinical Pharmacokinetic Department in a project manager position. She managed there PK and bioequivalence studies as well as PK interpretation. Sandrine is pharmacist by training. She is graduated with a Master Degree in PK and Drug Metabolism from Paris XI University and a PhD in Pharmacokinetics and Drug Metabolism from Paris Descartes University.