About us

Coave Therapeutics is a clinical stage biotechnology company focused on developing life changing gene therapies in rare ocular and CNS (Central Nervous System) diseases.
*Co·av·e
(noun) from Conjugated AAV Vectors
(pronounced ‘cove’)
We are pushing the boundaries of gene therapy through application of our AAV-Ligand Conjugates platform (ALIGATER) that enables targeted delivery, enhanced gene transduction and tissue distribution to improve the effectiveness of advanced gene therapies for rare diseases.
Our strategy is to advance a pipeline of novel therapies targeting rare ocular and CNS diseases where targeted gene therapy has the potential to be most effective, where there is a clear unmet need and where success will provide rapid validation of our ALIGATER platform.
We are backed by leading international life science investors:

Our team

Coave Therapeutics has an experienced leadership team with years of successful company building and gene therapy experience, as well as strong relationships with gene therapy academic and research centers of excellence to execute on its strategy.
The Coave Leadership Team

RODOLPHE CLERVAL
M.Sc., CEFA, Chief Executive Officer

Rodolphe has over 20 years’ experience in the pharma and biotech industry. Rodolphe joined Coave Therapeutics in 2020 from Enterome, which he co-founded. During his tenure at Enterome, Rodolphe executed over 15 transactions, including major industrial partnerships with Takeda, J&J, BMS, Abbvie and Nestle Health Sciences, generating over €100 million in upfront, R&D payments, and equity investments. He was also actively involved in multiple fundraising rounds. Rodolphe has previously worked in business development at TcLand Expression and Genzyme, and as a sell-side equity analyst at Natixis Bank.
Rodolphe graduated with a M.Sc. degree in Biochemical Engineering from Polytech Marseille and is a Certified European Financial Analyst from EFFAS-SFAF.

JEAN-YVES DESLANDES
M.D., Chief Medical Officer

Jean-Yves joined Coave Therapeutics in 2017 as CMO. He has over 25 years of international experience in the pharmaceutical industry, particularly in ophthalmology and ocular gene therapy. His past positions include Expert Clinical Project Lead at Alcon/Novartis, Director of Clinical Research at Sanofi-Fovea, and Director of the Clinical Research Unit at Allergan Europe. He has a degree in medicine from the University of Paris VII.

NICOLAS FERRY
M.D., Ph.D. – Chief Development Officer

Nicolas joined Coave Therapeutics in 2021 as CDO bringing more than 30 years’ experience in cell and gene therapy and having authored more than 100 scientific publications. Prior to joining Coave Therapeutics, he was Scientific Director of the Department of Cell and Gene Therapy at Servier Laboratories from 2018 to 2020. He was previously developing a platform for cell and gene therapy at the Saint Louis hospital in Paris. Nicolas also spent more than 25 years as a scientist at INSERM, where he developed new gene and cell therapy strategies for liver cancer and hereditary liver diseases. He set up his own INSERM laboratory in 2009 and was an expert in gene therapy for the French regulatory authority (AFFSAPS) from 2000 to 2010. In 2011, he joined the French Medicines Agency (ANSM) as head of the Department of Vaccines, Blood Products and Advanced Therapies. From 2011 to 2016, Nicolas was also a member of the European Medicines Agency’s Committee for Advanced Therapies. Nicolas was trained as an M.D., Ph.D. from Paris University.

CEDRIC COUSTEIX
Finance Director

Cédric brings 15 years of experience in financial auditing, management, and transaction consulting. Prior to joining Coave Therapeutics, he was at EY in Paris, where he specialized in private equity and growth companies and acquired deep expertise in financial auditing and transaction consulting. Cédric is an engineer who graduated from the Grande École d’Ingénieurs (Institut supérieur d’électronique de Paris – ISEP) in Paris and holds a degree in corporate finance from the EM Lyon Business School.

The Coave Team

GAELLE LEFEVRE
Ph.D.– Head of Project Management & Discovery Sciences

Gaelle joined Coave Therapeutics in 2019 as a project manager. She holds a Ph.D. in Molecular Oncology from Paris University and spent over 20 years as a research scientist in renowned academic institutions in France (Institut Pasteur), Canada (McGill University) and the US (NIH, University of Michigan). In 2014, she transitioned to project management and coordinated several large, collaborative translational research studies on rare genetic sensory disorders of the eye and ear and the development of AAV-mediated gene therapies for these indications. She brings her unique expertise to the global management of all the non-clinical projects at Coave Therapeutics.

NICOLE BRUMENT
M.Sc. – Head of CMC and Supply Chain

Nicole was a BioProcess Engineer at INSERM Translational gene therapy for genetic diseases -UMR 1089 for 18 years managing the development of production processes for viral vectors, especially for AAVs. She was involved in the early development of Coave Therapeutics’ lead products, for process design as well as for GMP manufacturing (2 processes patented). She also worked for a year in Florida at Biologix, US – now Thermo Fisher Scientific. Nicole began her career in the pharmaceutical industry at GSK in cardiovascular research. She obtained a master’s degree from the University of Paris.

EMMANUELLE JORDI
Ph.D.– CMC Project Manager

Emmanuelle joined Coave Therapeutics in 2020 as a CMC project manager. She has 7 years’ experience in the non-clinical development of biologics for both European and American biotechnology companies, with a strong focus in CMC and regulatory affairs of gene therapy. In her previous company, Leads to Development (L2D), Emmanuelle has been the CMC project lead for 3 non-viral gene therapy products in oncology on behalf of L2D’s clients, which successfully reached clinical stage Phase I and II. She has developed a broad understanding of agency expectations and operational creativity to face development challenges of early-phase products.
Emmanuelle holds a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from The Rockefeller University, USA and The University Pierre et Marie Curie, France.

MARIE-ANNE BURLOT
Ph.D. – Preclinical Manager

Marie-Anne joined Coave Therapeutics in January 2021 as a project manager. She has a veterinary medicine degree from the National Veterinary School of Toulouse and holds a Ph.D. degree in Neuroscience from Paris University. During her thesis, she used AAV vectors to restore brain cholesterol metabolism in a model of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In 2014, she joined Animalliance to practice as a veterinarian in experimental research. In 2016, she transitioned to project management and coordinated several research studies on AD, brain aging and neurodegenerative diseases at Medday Pharmaceuticals.

CORNELIE BATISSE
Ph.D. – Quality Assurance Manager

Cornélie Batisse joined Coave Tx in July 2021 as Quality Assurance manager. She holds an engineering degree from Chimie ParisTech and a PhD degree in therapeutic chemistry from Paris Descartes university. In 2015 she joined Biotech Quality Group to gain experience in the pharmaceutical industry, particularly in QA. Prior to joining Horama, she was fully involved in the development of a Quality Managment System at Medday Pharmaceuticals, supporting various processes such as R&D and Temporary Authorization for Use holder activities.

MAGALY LEVEQUE
Office manager

Magaly joined Coave Tx in June 2017. Previously she used to work in the furnishing world for almost 20 years as commercial assistant (Boussac, Pierre Frey) before becoming the office manager of the French subsidiary of Designers Guild. She holds a degree in business and administration.

Our Board of Directors

BENEDIKT TIMMERMANN
M.Sc., Ph.D., MBA - Chairman

Benedikt is currently a part-time Venture Partner – Health Care at Irdi Capital Investissement, where he serves on the boards of Ixaltis, Antabio, Aelis Farma, Lucine and Phostin.
Benedikt has acquired over 30 years of experience in the Life Science industry with senior R&D management and corporate licensing positions at Sandoz (1991 – 1996) and Novartis (1996 – 2000). Benedikt was founder & CEO of BT Pharma/Genticel since 2001. Genticel listed on Euronext in 2014, raising nearly €70 M over the period. In 2017, Benedikt merged Genticel into Genkyotex (GKTX) and started a business development & finance consulting firm called Timmerman Conseil. In 2018, he co-founded Cell-Easy and advised Brainvectis in its business development, which led to its acquisition by Asklepios Biotherapeutics in 2020.
Benedikt holds an M.Sc. in Biochemistry, a Ph.D. degree in Genetics from the University of Ghent, Belgium, and an MBA from INSEAD, Fontainebleau, France.

CHRISTINE PLACET
Director

Christine PLACET is HORAMA founder’s representative. She previously served as CEO of HORAMA, before she joined HORAMA in 2016 she served as CFO at Trophos from 2004 until 2012, when she became CEO. During this time Trophos developed an innovative medicinal product for the treatment of spinal muscular atrophy, a rare and currently incurable disease. After obtaining promising results from a Phase II/III trial, the company was acquired by Roche Pharmaceuticals in early 2015. Before moving to Trophos, Christine acquired over 18 years of experience in finance and business management, working for 8 years at Ernst & Young, and subsequently as CFO in several growing companies and start-ups in various industries. Christine graduated from Kedge Business School.

WILLEM BROEKART
M.Sc., Ph.D. – V-Bio Ventures

Willem is the Managing Director of V-Bio Ventures, a life sciences venture capital fund. Before co-founding V-Bio Ventures in 2015, Willem spent over 15 years working in and growing venture capital-backed life sciences companies as an entrepreneur, consultant, and executive. He was the founder and CEO of Fugeia NV (now owned by Cargill), and Vice President R&D of CropDesign NV (now part of BASF). Before joining CropDesign NV, Willem was a professor of plant biotechnology and plant pathology at the University of Leuven, Belgium.
Willem holds an M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Bioscience Engineering from the University of Leuven, Belgium, and a master’s degree in agricultural economics from IGIA/ESSEC in Paris, France.

THIERRY LAUGEL
Ph.D., MBA – Kurma Partners

Thierry is the managing partner of Kurma Life Science Partners. Thierry holds a Ph.D. in pharmacology and an MBA from INSEAD. Thierry was a scientific representative for Laboratoires Fournier in Japan for four years, at a time when Lipanthyl was released in Japan and research programs were being rolled out with Grelan, a Takeda Group company. He subsequently joined Flamel Technologies after its IPO on Nasdaq, as project director for Pharmaceutical R&D. In 1998, he moved to the investment world, firstly at CDC Innovation and then with AGF Private Equity, where he supervised the healthcare investment team. He subsequently co-founded Kurma Life Sciences in 2008. Thierry has led investments in more than 25 companies including Actelion, Arpida, Targacept, Adocia, Auris and Erytech.

PHILIPPE MONTEYNE
M.D., Ph.D. - Fund+

Philippe is a Partner at Fund+, a Belgian venture capital. He has held senior positions in SmithKline Beecham, GSK, and Sanofi. He served as the Head of Global Vaccine Development at GSK for several years, and then served as Senior VP-Head of Development and CMO at GSK Rare Diseases from 2010 to 2012. More recently, he served as Vice President R&D France at SANOFI. He is a director of different Biotech companies. Philippe was also visiting Professor of Neurology at the UCL (Université Catholique de Louvain), Brussels.
He holds an M.D. degree in 1989 and Ph.D. in Viral Immunology in 1995, both from University College London, and has also been trained at Pasteur Institute in Paris.

CLAIRE POULARD
Omnes Capital

Claire joined the Omnes Capital Life Sciences Venture Team in 2015. She began her career in research at the Singapore Institute for Neurotechnology. She holds a specialized master’s degree in Pharmaceutical Management and Biotechnology from ESCP and a Master in Bioengineering and Neuroscience Innovation from ESPCI (École Supérieure de Physique et Chimie Industrielle).

BRUNO MONTANARI
PharmaD, M.Sc., Seroba Life Sciences

Bruno is a Partner at Seroba Life Sciences. He has a background in venture capital and investment banking, with a focus on the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries.
Bruno graduated in 1998 with a PharmD, from the Université René Descartes, Paris V and in the same year completed a master’s degree in Strategic Management at HEC.
Prior to joining the firm in 2017, Bruno was a Partner at Omnes Capital (Paris), in charge of life sciences investments for the venture capital team. His previous venture capital experience was at Atlas Venture (Paris/London) and CDP Capital (Paris/Montreal). He started his career in 1999 in London, in the healthcare teams of the investment banking divisions of Deutsche Bank and later Merrill Lynch. Bruno brings a wealth of experience and strong networks, particularly in continental Europe, where he is based.

RODOLPHE CLERVAL
M.Sc., CEFA, Chief Executive Officer

Rodolphe has over 20 years’ experience in the pharma and biotech industry. Rodolphe joined Coave Therapeutics in 2020 from Enterome which he co-founded. During his tenure at Enterome, Rodolphe executed over 15 transactions, including major industrial partnerships with Takeda, J&J, BMS, Abbvie and Nestle Health Sciences, generating over €100 million in upfront, R&D payments, and equity investments. He was also actively involved in multiple fundraising rounds. Rodolphe has previously worked in business development at TcLand Expression and Genzyme, and as a sell-side equity analyst at Natixis Bank.
Rodolphe graduated with a degree in Biochemical Engineering from Polytech Marseille and is a Certified European Financial Analyst from EFFAS-SFAF.

FRANÇOIS LONTRADE
M.Sc., Théa Open Innovation

François Lontrade is an Executive Director at Laboratoires Théa. He currently holds the M&A/Business Development Director position for Théa and Equity Investments Director for Théa Open Innovation. François has been Group CFO for 11 years and Group Industrial and Supply Chain Director for 5 years (Manufacturing Purchasing and Supply Chain). Before joining Théa, François was a Director in a Management Consulting firm. François graduated as an engineer from ESPCI Paris and holds a master’s degree in finance from ESSEC Business School Paris. He is a Board Member at Ripple Therapeutics (Toronto, Canada)

Technology

Our AAV-Ligand Conjugates platform, called ALIGATER, leverages the wealth of knowledge around commonly used and well-characterized AAV vectors with a proprietary chemical conjugation technology to produce novel coAAV capsids for gene therapy products.
AAV-Ligand conjugation technology is altering the biology of AAV capsids through several potential mechanisms:
BIODISTRIBUTION

Site-specific conjugation onto capsid proteins enables altering of extracellular capsid sequestration, by blocking the binding of the AAV capsid to extracellular motifs.

CELL AND TISSUE TARGETING

Ligands are rationally designed to improve cell and tissue targeting, based on defined ligand-receptor interactions.

INTRACELLULAR

Site-specific conjugation of capsid proteins leads to improvement of intracellular AAV capsid trafficking and payload delivery to the nucleus.

EVADE IMMUNE RESPONSES

Ligand conjugation reduces coAAV exposure to immune reaction and neutralizing antibodies.

Preclinical experiments have demonstrated superiority of coAAVs over best-in-class AAV serotypes in terms of transduction efficiency and tissue distribution.
As a result, our ALIGATER technology offers the potential to generate coAAV based gene therapies with improved delivery to target tissue, at lower doses, thus limiting systemic and local toxicity.

Pipeline

We are focused on driving value creation in the company through advancing and expanding our pipeline and entering partnerships in our key disease areas to progress novel candidates towards the clinic.

Ocular diseases

Inherited Retinal Dystrophies

Inherited retinal dystrophies are rare ophthalmic pathologies that can be divided into two groups:

  1. pigmentary retinopathies, which include retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and Leber congenital amaurosis
  2. macular dystrophies

Retinitis pigmentosa is the most common form of inherited retinal dystrophy representing 50% of all retinal dystrophies.

While multiple genes are implicated in each of these groups, within each patient or family, only one causative gene is involved.

PDE6b Inherited Retinal Dystrophy (IRD)

PDE6b RP is an inherited retinal dystrophy that leads to blindness by midlife and is characterized by the progressive loss of photoreceptors, with or without the loss of retinal pigment epithelium cells.

It is caused by mutation of the PDE6b gene resulting in dysfunctional Rod PDE6, an enzyme found in rod outer segments that plays a key role in the phototransduction cascade in rods (the process by which light is converted into electrical signals). Dysfunction of the PDE6 protein, and in particular its PDE6ß subunit, ultimately leads to death of rod photoreceptor cells, then cone photoreceptor cells, leading to blindness.

Mutation of PDE6b is one of the most prevalent human mutations within autosomal recessive RP and accounts for 2-4% of RP cases.

There are currently no approved treatments for PDE6b RP.

CTx-PDE6b: A clinical stage AAV based gene therapy for treating PDE6b IRD

CTx-PDE6b is an AAV based gene therapy designed to deliver a full-length non-mutated copy of the  functional human PDE6b gene into the subretinal space, where it rapidly induces robust transgene expression and synthesis of functional PDE6b proteins in photoreceptive rods and cones. By effectively providing these cells with a functional protein, CTx-PDE6b may significantly delay or halt retinal degeneration in PDE6ß-deficient patients.

CTx-PDE6b is currently in Phase I/II clinical trials.

A description of the protocol can be found on clinicaltrials.gov

Stargardt’s disease

Stargardt’s Disease is an inherited retinal dystrophy affecting the macula, a part of the retina. It leads to gradual visual loss and blindness. It is the leading cause of childhood blindness.

The gene responsible for autosomal recessive Stargardt’s Disease, ABCA4, encodes an ABC transporter expressed in the cones and rods of the retina. The loss of ABCA4 function results in the accumulation of cytotoxic retinoids, leading to the death of photoreceptors and retinal pigment epithelium, and leads to progressive vision loss.

There is currently no treatment available for Stargardt’s disease.

CTx-ABCA4 is an optimized coAAV based gene therapy designed to deliver a full-length non-mutated copy of a functional human ABCA4 gene into the subretinal space.

CNS

Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson’s disease is a severe and progressive neurodegenerative disorder that affects more than seven million people worldwide.

Population-based genetic studies have recently identified several causative and risk genes for Parkinson’s disease. Many of these genes are involved in the normal functioning of lysosomes, a cell organelle containing enzymes responsible for degrading biomolecules.

The GBA1 gene encodes the lysosomal enzyme beta-glucocerebrosidase (GCase), which is needed for the disposal and recycling of glycolipids — a type of cellular lipid component that is known to accumulate with aging. Mutations in the GBA1 gene lead to a deficiency of GCase and are associated with earlier onset of Parkinson’s disease, with more severe symptoms, and increased likelihood of progression to dementia.

There are currently no approved therapies that modify the course of Parkinson’s disease or the underlying pathological process.

Neuronopathic Gaucher Disease

Gaucher disease is a lysosomal storage disorder caused by mutations in both copies of the GBA1 gene, which can have a wide range of effects on organs throughout the body. Gaucher disease has three subtypes (Type 1, 2 and 3), which vary by the presence or absence of neurological symptoms, severity of symptoms, age of onset and age at death.

Type 2 and Type 3 Gaucher diseases are the most severe forms and are present in either childhood or adulthood. They involve neurological symptoms and, in infants or toddlers (Type 2), cause rapid and irreversible brain damage beginning in the first six months of life.

Enzyme replacement therapies (ERTs) are approved for the treatment of Type 1 Gaucher disease but are only effective in treating the peripheral symptoms of disease, since they cannot cross the blood brain barrier. There are currently no approved therapies for the neurologic manifestations of Gaucher disease.

CTx-GBA1 : an optimized gene therapy for treating GBA1 associated diseases

Our gene therapy product candidate, CTx-GBA1, utilizes a coAAV vector to deliver a gene sequence encoding functional GCase enzyme. CTx-GBA1 has been optimized for improved transduction and distribution of the GBA1 gene in the key structure of the brain involved in Parkinson’s and neuronopathic Gaucher diseases.

Careers

JOB OFFERS

September, 15 — 2021

Gene Therapy Research Scientist

In your role as a member of our Research Team, you will contribute to the advancement of our platform and discovery programs. Using your expertise in vector biology, molecular and cell biology, and bioanalytics you will work with a team of junior scientists and lead from the bench to expand our AAV platform and pipeline projects.

September, 15 — 2021

Gene Therapy Research Engineer / Associate Scientist

In your role as a member of our Research Team, you will contribute to the advancement of our platform and discovery programs. Using your expertise in vector biology, molecular and cell biology, and bioanalytics you will work with a team from the bench to expand our AAV platform and pipeline projects.

We are a talented, passionate group of colleagues with a desire to translate innovative science into novel gene therapies for patients with rare ocular and CNS diseases and beyond.

We are committed to building a vibrant team combining deep expertise in AAV vector engineering and genetic construct design, innovative and advanced therapeutic product development, and manufacturing.

We are looking for more talented individuals to join our team.

Contact us

We welcome enquiries regarding our pipeline programs, ALIGATER technology, partnerships, and career openings.

Headquarters
Pépinière Paris Santé Cochin
27 rue du Faubourg Saint-Jacques
75014 Paris – France

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