Senior profiles from Merck KGaA and FUJIFILM Cellular Dynamics join in to accelerate the global dissemination of proprietary C-StemTM technology for cell therapy mass-production.
Bordeaux, France, February 5, 2020 – TreeFrog Therapeutics, a pure player in iPSC-derived cell therapies, today announces the appointment of 2 senior executives and 2 independent board members. Pascale Berthet, formerly Business Development Manager at FUJIFILM Cellular Dynamics was appointed Chief Business Development Officer, and Michaël Lanero Fidalgo, former Head of EMEA Biodevelopment Center at Merck KGaA, was recruited as Chief Operating Officer. In addition, 2 independent board members joined TreeFrog Therapeutics’ corporate governance: Julia Berretta, formerly VP of Business Development at Cellectis, and Frederic Desdouits, former Bionest Partner and Pierre Fabre North America director.
“Attracting top executives from the biopharmaceutical industry to bring about a game-changing technology for cell therapy manufacturing is per se a key milestone in our roadmap. Our corporate goal is to start a first-in-man trial using therapeutic cells mass-produced with C-StemTM technology by 2022. Pascale Berthet, as CBDO, is in charge of establishing strategic partnerships with cell therapy leaders worldwide, while Michael Lanero Fidalgo’s mission consists of streamlining our bioproduction processes to comply with cGMP standards by the end of 2021.”
Kevin Alessandri, CEO-CTO, TreeFrog Therapeutics
“I have been searching for sparring partners to control the execution of the roadmap and challenge our business model and market access strategies. I am delighted to welcome Julia Berretta and Frederic Desdouits as independent members of the board. On one hand, TreeFrog will greatly benefit from Julia Berreta’s experience in the field of cell & gene therapy to advance simultaneously our in-house cell therapy programmes and the C-StemTM technology platform. On the other hand, Frederic Desdouits brings a unique experience in pharma/biotech strategy and manufacturing operations.”
Jean-Luc Treillou, Chairman of the Board
Pascale Berthet, MSc
Chief Business Development Officer
Holding a 20-year experience in business development within the biotechnology industry, Pascale Berthet worked in innovative start-ups (Artelis), SMEs (The Automation Partnership) and worldwide leaders (Pall Life Science, Perkin Elmer). Before joining TreeFrog, she worked for 3 years as Business Development Manager in the Regenerative Medicine Division of FUJIFILM Cellular Dynamics, a global pioneer in iPS cell technologies.
Michael Lanero Fidalgo, MSc, EMBA
Chief Operations Officer
Most recently heading the EMEA Biodevelopment Center of Merck KGaA in France, Michaël Lanero Fidalgo brings an 18-year experience of senior leadership in the biopharmaceutical industry. Prior to his experience at Merck in transitioning innovative therapies into commercial manufacturing, he worked for 10 years in vaccine process development field at GlaxoSmithKline in Belgium.
Julia Berretta, PhD
Independent Board Member
Julia Berretta is the CEO of Epsilen Bio s.r.l., an Italian biotechnology company focused on the development of novel therapies based on epigenetic silencing. She was formerly part of the Executive Committee of Cellectis S.A. a Nasdaq listed company developing allogeneic CAR-T cells in oncology, where she held various positions including VP of Business Development & Strategic Planning.
Frederic Desdouits, PhD
Independent Board Member
Frederic is CEO of PCAS and Managing Director at Seqens CDMO, a world leader in small molecules manufacturing. Prior to this, Frederic was EVP Corporate Licensing, Acquisition and Market Intelligence and Director of Pharmaceuticals US within the Pierre Fabre Group. Before, Frederic was Managing Partner at Bionest Partners, a consulting and transaction boutique specialized in healthcare and biotechnology.
About TreeFrog Therapeutics
TreeFrog Therapeutics is a startup company aiming at providing access to cell therapies for millions of patients. TreeFrog Therapeutics has developed C-StemTM, a high-throughput cell encapsulation technology allowing the mass-production and differentiation of stem cells in industrial bioreactors. This proprietary technology platform provides an end-to-end and scalable solution that will dramatically improve the quality of therapeutic cells and reduce treatment costs.
Since its incorporation in December 2018 in Bordeaux, France, TreeFrog Therapeutics has experienced strong acceleration, raising over €13M in 2019. In January 2020, TreeFrog Therapeutics joined the FrenchTech120, an elite programme for the fastest-growing technology companies in France. The team – currently 20 staff – also growing – will move into a brand-new production facility of 1000m² in April 2020.
TreeFrog Therapeutics is receiving funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program through the SME Instrument Phase 2 under grant agreement n° SME 881113.