Jean-Marc Herbert, ex Sanofi Drug Discovery VP, to support Aqemia’s rapid growth as Senior Advisor

July 1, 2020

Dr. Jean-Marc Herbert, ex Vice-President Discovery at Sanofi, will provide his experience in drug discovery to support Aqemia’s rapid growth in the field. His strategic advice will range from selecting therapeutic targets & projects, and building the best model to address drug discovery challenges, to navigating through the large Pharma ecosystem.

Dr. Jean-Marc Herbert has more than 35 years of experience working in pharmaceutical R&D at international scientific and managerial positions. He obtained his PhD in cellular biology and biochemistry at the University of Clermont-Ferrand and Center of Clinical Research in London UK. For 10 years, he worked as International Director of the Cardiovascular/thrombosis Research Department for Sanofi. In 2004-09, he was Deputy and Senior VP, in charge of Discovery at Sanofi-Aventis. In 2009-15, he was leading a multinational group at Sanofi, based in Europe, US and China called "Early to Candidate" at the interface between academia and Pharma R&D. He has authored more than 400 papers and is listed as an inventor in more than 50 patents in various fields, including thrombosis, vascular biology, inflammation, infectious diseases, cardiology and cancer.
Across his multiple roles he contributed to the discovery and development of more than 70 products and candidate drugs, including life-saving products on the market such as Plavix® and Arixtra®.

Aqemia is a deep-tech start-up in de novo drug discovery, spin-off from ENS and CNRS. Aqemia leverages unique quantum-inspired statistical mechanics coupled with generative artificial intelligence to invent better and more innovative lead-molecules, faster.

Aqemia has raised 1.6M€ in 2019 with Elaia Partners, Business Angels and Bpifrance and now gathers a team of a dozen high profiles at the crossroads of Medicinal Chemistry, Statistical Mechanics and Artificial Intelligence.

“I am eager to contribute to Aqemia’s efforts to bring innovation in the upstream drug discovery phase, with the ambition to invent more innovative and differentiating lead molecules for hot targets. They are making exciting progress with their unique combination of AI and disruptive
structure-based methods. I am happy to bring my experience, expertise and network to assist this promising firm with their ambitious objectives, said Dr Jean-Marc Herbert.

Maximilien Levesque, CEO and co-founder of Aqemia, commented: “Jean-Marc brings decades of experience in the drug discovery industry with particular expertise in multiple fields, including infectious diseases, cardiology, oncology, and immune & inflammatory indications. We’re really
proud to have him advise us in order to support Aqemia’s fast growth.”

“We have exciting challenges ahead with the development of strategic research collaborations with Pharma & Biotech partners, as well as the start of our own projects pipeline. On both sides Jean-Marc’s experience as leader of a large drug discovery organization is a great asset for
Aqemia”, added Emmanuelle Martiano, COO and co-founder of Aqemia.

About Aqemia

Aqemia is an in silico drug discovery start-up, whose ambition is to discover rapidly more innovative therapeutic molecules with better chances of success.

How? Just like an AI can learn to play chess, Aqemia’s generative AI learns to invent relevant compounds thanks to unique Statistical Mechanics algorithms predicting drug-target affinity among other properties.

Aqemia differentiation lies in its affinity prediction both accurate and 10 000x faster than competition, enabling efficient guidance of generation towards compounds with better chances to become drugs.

Aqemia is a spin-off of Ecole Normale Supérieure leveraging disruptive algorithms from 8 years of research. Aqemia’s team is composed of high profiles at the crossroads of Medicinal Chemistry, Statistical Mechanics and Artificial Intelligence.

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