Innovation Accelerator

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The main challenge for academics in the commercialization of important new discoveries is the technological development gap: the phase between inventions at an early stage and the stage that innovative technologies must reach to become viable and attractive candidates for licensing and commercialization.

For high risk/high value products or for products with low commercial profitability, it is often necessary nowadays to bring discoveries one step further to ensure their transfer to industry or to attract venture capitalists.

The newly created Development of Innovation Office seeks to bridge the gap to achieve this goal, through an industrialization process that involves:

  • Setting up a development strategy for these projects in a sustainable manner with a visibility of 5 to 7 years
  • Ensuring complementary scientific developments necessary for technology transfer
  • Providing opportunities for scientists wishing to develop applications for their research
  • Fostering the creation of startups
  • Adapting organizational aspects to achieve this objective without in any way reducing the basic research that was the source of the emerging disruptive technology

Innovation Accelerator programs 
4 areas

Diagnostics

Sébastien Quesney - Innovation - Institut Pasteur

Sébastien Quesney, 
Head of Diagnostic Innovation Development

A new organizational structure is in place to better support our scientists and their Research & Development partners. In particular, this will help identify and structure partnerships, target internal seed funding to support the maturation of certain projects, and facilitate access to external funding, notably through collaboration with public/private partnerships.

Dr. Quesney PhD joined the Technology Transfer and Industrial Partnership Department in 2019 as Head of Innovation Development in Diagnostics. Its main mission is work with researchers to identify components enabling a move towards diagnostic innovations and to support them with the maturation of such innovations. Since the need for diagnosis is not confined by borders, innovations must meet the needs of patients in developed and developing countries. This mission is fully aligned with the collaborative spirit of working with researchers from the Institut Pasteur International Network.

Following a doctorate at Sanofi Pasteur, Sébastien Quesney joined bioMérieux in 2002 as Head of Industrialization and Production of Raw Materials for Human Diagnostic Use. In 2007, he joined Magnisense as Chief Technical Officer with the objective of developing and industrializing MIAtek® technology for use in human and veterinary diagnostics. In 2013, he was appointed Director of R&D at IMACCESS, a subsidiary of Institut Mérieux, a human diagnostics company whose mission is to market rapid tests for the benefit of patients in developing countries. He also helped both these companies achieve ISO 13 485 certification. In 2014, IMACCESS became a subsidiary of the Mérieux Foundation and Sébastien Quesney took up the position of Director of IMACCESS and Director of Access to Diagnosis - Neglected Tropical Diseases - within the Mérieux Foundation. In 2017, he became a member of the scientific and strategic committee of the French-speaking network on neglected tropical diseases. In 2018, in collaboration with Fondation Mérieux, FIND, IRD and the Institut Pasteur de Dakar, he encouraged the creation of diaTROPiX, a local production entity for diagnostic tools within the Institut Pasteur de Dakar, which focused on an innovative access model that leverages prototypes from multiple private/public institutions and provides access to products for patients with neglected tropical diseases.

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Technology

Elodie Brient-Litzler - Innovation - Institut Pasteur

Elodie Brient-Litzler, 
Head of Technology Innovation Development

Dr. Brient-Litzler PhD joined the Technology Transfer and Industrial Partnership Department in 2018 as Head of Innovation Development for Technologies for Life Sciences/Medtech. In this role, she oversees the institute’s most advanced technological projects and helps turn them into valuable assets for the tech industry, including reagents, instruments, and software. She is also involved in earlier projects capable of delivering game-changing technologies for research or medical applications. She has served as co-director of the Regional R&D program DIM ELICIT “Empowering Life Sciences with Innovative Technologies” since 2016.

Elodie Brient-Litzler is a graduate of the Ecole Polytechnique and Chimie Paristech in Paris. After completing her thesis at Hugues Bedouelle’s laboratory at the Institut Pasteur, she joined industry, working for the French engineering company Bertin Technologies as chief scientist for the KIM technology, a rapid immuno-agglutination platform. She was also in charge of academic partnerships and open innovation in the field of biotechnologies. After four years, she joined Andrew Griffiths’ laboratory at ESPCI, where she was in charge of managing DigiDiag, a €20 million national program dedicated to the development of new diagnostic tools using microfluidic devices. She was involved in the launch of the startup company HiFiBiO. She joined the Institut Pasteur in 2015, and previously held the post of Deputy Director of the Center for Innovation and Technological Research (Citech). During her career, Elodie Brient-Litzler has secured over €5 M of public funding for technology R&D projects.

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Therapeutics

Michel Perez - Innovation - Institut Pasteur

Michel Perez,
Head of the Development of Innovation Office

Dr. Perez PhD joined the Institut Pasteur in 2019 as Head of the Development of Innovation Office and Head of Therapeutic Innovation Development. In this role, he oversees the institute’s most advanced therapeutic projects and helps turn them into valuable assets for pharmaceutical development. He is also involved in earlier projects aimed at addressing breakthrough innovations in fields such as rare diseases, antimicrobial resistance, and gene therapy.

Prior to this position, he was a Senior Director in the French pharmaceutical company Pierre Fabre in charge of pre-clinical research programs. Dr. Perez spent more than 25 years in the pharma industry, from research to pre-clinical development, in fields such as oncology, the cardiovascular system, and the central nervous system. During that period, he had the opportunity to work on numerous projects focusing on small molecules, antibodies or conjugates. He also led multiple collaborations with academic institutions such as the CNRS and Universities, and also with biotechs and startups.

Before joining Pierre Fabre, Dr. Perez worked as scientist at the Eisai Research Institute in the Boston area. He is the co-author of numerous articles and patents and has received two awards during his career.

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Vaccines

Gerke Christiane - Innovation - Institut Pasteur

Christiane Gerke, 
Head of Vaccine Innovation Development

Dr. Gerke PhD is the Head of Vaccine Programs and Vaccine Innovation Development at the Institut Pasteur, managing the vaccine portfolio and leading vaccine projects from basic research to early clinical development and industrial partnerships. She also co-heads the newly created Institut Pasteur Vaccinology and Immunotherapy Initiative tasked with building a strategic program across the Institut Pasteur International Network. Christiane Gerke joined the Institut Pasteur in 2015 after seven years at the Novartis Vaccines Institute for Global Health (now GSK) where she spearheaded the development of the novel GMMA technology as Shigella vaccine Project Leader and Technology Platform Leader. In these roles, she led the GMMA vaccine candidate for shigellosis from the idea through research and technical development to proof of concept in first-in-human clinical trials and supported additional vaccine projects based on this technology. Christiane Gerke holds a PhD in Microbial Genetics from the University of Tübingen, Germany, and trained as post doc at Stanford University in immunology and host-pathogen interactions.

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