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Scientific advisory board


Our Scientific Advisory Board is composed of prominent scientists in the field of drug discovery:

Jean-Pierre Maffrand (FR)
Gérard Moinet (FR)
François J. Roman (FR)
Bertrand Castro (FR)
Jean-René Kiechel (FR)



Jean-Pierre Maffrand (FR)

Chemist engineer (1966 ENSC, Montpellier),  PhD  (organic chemistry, 1968, Université Paul Sabatier, Toulouse).

Jean-Pierre Maffrand dis his cooperative military service (1969-1970) at the University of Sherbrooke (Quebec – Canada) under the supervision of Pr. Deslongchamps. He started his career in pharmaceutical research in 1971, in a small company bought in 1974 by Sanofi, subsidiary of Elf. He headed several positions first at Sanofi-Recherche, Sanofi-Synthelabo Recherche & Sanofi-aventis Research and Development among which:

Director of Hemobiology branch 1981-1991; Director of Exploratory Research 1987-1997; Scientific Director of Toulouse Research Center 1987-2005; Director of Discovery Research 1995-2007.

From September 2004 to December 2007, he was Senior Vice-President, Director of Discovery Research of Sanofi-Aventis, in charge of more than 3000 people on the 17 european and american sites. Jean-Pierre Maffrand has retired in January 2008.

His researches in the area of thrombosis lead to the discovery of Ticlopidine (TICLIDR) and Clopidogrel (PLAVIXR). He is the author or co-author of more than 194 publications and 78 patents. Elf company has awarded him the “Prix de l’Innovation » in 1991 for his research.

He is the co-recipient of the “Prix Galien” in 1996 for his work on antagonists of receptors of neuropeptides. He is the recipient of the “Prix Paul Ehrlich » of the French Society of Medicinal Chemistry in 2007. He is the recipient of the « Prix de la Maison de la Chimie” and the  « Prix de l’Université Paul Sabatier » in 2008. He is  Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur of the French Republic.


Gérard Moinet (FR)

Chemist engineer (1965 ENSC, Caen), PhD  (organic chemistry, 1970).

Gérard Moinet, after his chemistry studies, joined in 1967 CNRS in the group og Pr. Conia to prepare his PhD, on total synthesis of keto-11C-norsteroids by  thermo-cyclization of unsaturated ketones, which he obtained in 1970. He held three post-doc positions, first as a Research Fellow at Harvard University in the group of Pr. E.J.Corey (on the total synthesis of prostaglandins), then as a detached Fellow of CNRS in the Research Center of Roussel-UCLAF in Romainville, then at Gif-sur-Yvette in the group of Pr. P.Pottier.

In 1976, he started an industrial career at the Laboratoires Delalande (in cardiovascular and CNS areas). In 1981 he became Head of the Chemistry department of the Research Center of Merck KgaA at Chilly-Mazarin for reasearches more centred since 1993 on diabetes.

Gérard Moinet is involved in the scientific community as a member of the board of the French Society of Medicinal Chemistry and the scientific committee of the Ecole Doctorale « Médicament » (ED 436) of the University Paris 5.

His major interests are mechanism of intracellular mechanism in metabolism (diabetes) and cellular growth (oncology).


François J. Roman (FR)

Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Paris VI, François J. Roman founded FRconsulting in October 2007.

Previously, François J. Roman served as the VP R&D at Euroscreen since 2004. Prior to this position, he was Director of HTS and Assay Development at Pfizer PGRD France, Head of Molecular Pharmacology at Parke-Davis France, Director of Biochemistry Department at Jouveinal Laboratoires, France, and Head of Neurochemistry unit at Laboratoires Servier, where he started his carreer. During more than 25 years F.J. Roman has been involved in many Drug Discovery programs and has managed various projects in a broad range of therapeutic areas including metabolic, CNS, gastrointestinal, pulmonary and inflammatory diseases.

F.J. Roman is the author or co-author of  more than 40 publications and 35 patents.


Bertrand Castro (FR)


Born in 1938, Chemist engineer (1961 ENSC Paris), PhD (organic chemistry, 1966, Faculté des Sciences  de Paris, supervised by Pr. Henri Normant)

After his PhD, Bertrand Castro reoriented his researches towards tervalent phosphorous chemistry, aiming the invention of new reagents useful in organic synthesis.

Nominated as a Professor at Nancy University in 1968, he developed this field in the domain of peptides and carbohydrates. The invention of the BOP reagent (also known as Castro’s reagent), which became a very popular reagent in peptide chemistry, has been one of the achievements of this period. He was also at that time nominated as “Director of E.R.A. 558, CNRS "Manufacturing methods applied serially to sugars, peptides and related molecules" and “Director of INSERM 19 Common Services - Synthetic peptides.”

In 1981, he moved to ENSC Montpellier. Co-founder with Serge Jard of  “Centre CNRS-INSERM de Pharmacologie-Endocrinologie”  in 1981, he was nominated as the Director of this Institute from 1986 to 1989. His researches were reoriented in biochemistry of peptides and enzymology.

In 1989, he left the public research and University to join the Sanofi Company as Head of the Industrial Chemical Development. There, he developed,  from the research bench to the industrial plant, the production processes of  some important products of Sanofi: Irbesartan, Clopidogrel, Arixtra pentasaccharide, Dronedarone. From 2007, he worked as Scientific Director for Industrial Affairs until retirement in 2009.

He is the recipient of numerous Prizes : Prix Willemart (1967), Prix LeBel (1976), Société Chimique de France. Académie des Sciences prize-winner : Prix Henri Labbé (1985). CNRS prize-winner: Silver medal for Chemistry (1986). Société d'Encouragement de l'Industrie Nationale prize-winner (1990). Académie des Sciences : Prix de la Conférence Bardy (Chemical History Craft Committee).Grand Prix Industriel SFC / SCI (1999).


Jean-René Kiechel (FR)


Jean-René Kiechel has over 30 years experience in Pharmaceutical R and D, in various scientific management positions in Switzerland, USA and France with  Sandoz,  Bristol-Myers Squibb, Rhone-Poulenc Rorer and Aventis. Holder of a PhD in Chemistry and a  Diploma in Pharmacology from the University of Basel in Switzerland he extended his training in Clinical Pharmacology (UK and USA) and Management (INSEAD, France).

The main areas of interest and contributions have been Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics, New Drug Delivery Systems, including Nasal and Pulmonary  Delivery, Quinolone Research and Development and Early Discovery to Development transfer.

He has also been involved in Technology platform and Portfolio assessments and has contributed to the success of half a dozen Registrations and the preparation of several IND’s.

 For DNDi (Drug for Neglected Disease initiative) a Geneva based humanitarian organisation he has been since 2002 the International Project Manager of the Malaria projects, the development of two Artesunate based Fixed Dose Combinations which have been both registered successfully in 2007 and 2008.

In the course of his career, Mr. Kiechel has been intervening as an Expert for the French Ministry of Health as well as for Sub-Committees of the European Commission. He has been member of various Scientific committees and a consultant for start-ups and early development projects.