AiDD’s team has a track record in target selection and translating novel biology into new drug-candidates, as well as managing and licensing related intellectual property.
Our group’s experience encompasses discovery & development of various forms of therapeutics including biologicals (recombinant proteins and antibodies) and small molecule compounds (conventional agonists and antagonists as well as allosteric modulators) on multiple classes of targets such as receptors (GPCRs, cytokine receptors, receptor tyrosine kinases, integrins) and cytoplasmic enzymes.
AiDD team members have made key contributions to projects in various therapeutic areas (oncology, immunotherapy, inflammation, metabolism, neurodegeneration, psychiatry) and at different stages of early development - from discovery (i.e. target identification/validation, hit finding, lead generation) to early drug development stages including in vivo proof of concept, and the successful delivery of clinical drug candidates.
Laurent Galibert, PhD
Laurent is an accomplished immunologist with more than 20 years of experience in industrial drug development. As a member of the executive management board at Addex Therapeutics (2008-2012), Laurent was recruited to lead and build an inflammation-focused drug discovery unit (staff of 28 scientists), adapting allosteric screening tools to non-GPCR targets, including the TNF superfamily and the receptor tyrosine kinase family. At Merck Serono, as Senior Staff Scientist from 2005-2008, Laurent was responsible for biomarker discovery. At Immunex as Principal Scientist, Laurent cloned RANKL (receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa B ligand) and co-authored the initial patent leading to Prolia/denosumab, a major drug to prevent tumor induced osteolysis and osteoporosis marketed by Amgen. Laurent received his PhD from Centre Universitaire des Sciences et Techniques in Clermont-Ferrand after working as a PhD fellow at Schering Plough (1991-1995). Laurent co-authored of 27 peer-reviewed publications and 9 patents.
Thibaut De Smedt, PhD
Thibaut has two decades of experience as an immunologist and has more than 18 years of experience in industrial drug discovery. As former Research Director at Addex Therapeutics (2008-2013), Thibaut led the development of novel screening assays for high throughput screening and early development of allosteric modulators of GPCR and non-GPCR targets for inflammatory, neurological and metabolic diseases. He also co-led the identification and assessment of new technologies. At Apoxis (acquired by TopoTarget), from 2004-2008, Thibaut co-authored the first publication describing successful treatment of gout patients using IL-1 antagonists. As Senior Group Leader, he led the immunology R&D efforts, oversaw technology transfer from Prof. Jurg Tschopp’s lab (UNIL), discovery & early-stage drug development, and out-licensing of the inflammasome franchise. At Immunex, from 1999-2004, Thibaut was a Research Scientist in the inflammation department developing immunotherapies for cancer, and small molecule and protein therapeutics for inflammation. He initiated or contributed to a number of programs that are now in clinical development at Amgen (which acquired Immunex). Thibaut studied immunology at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium, where he obtained his PhD in 1998. He has co-authored 30 peer-reviewed publications and 10 patents.
Luc Otten, MD, PhD
Luc has seven years of experience in finance. He worked as Investment Principal at Vinci Capital in Lausanne from 2010-2015 for the Life Science part of the portfolio (Addex, Anergis, Evolva, Immatics, Sensimed, Symetis). Prior to that, at Helvea, a leading Swiss brokerage company and spin-off of Pictet & Cie, from 2008-2010, Luc worked as equity research analyst in the biotech and pharma industry and conducted company research (Ablynx, Actelion, Arpida, BioInvent, Galenica, Genmab and MorphoSys). He also produced sector reports on GLP1 drugs for treating diabetes and monoclonal antibodies.
Luc studied Medicine in Geneva with internships in Australia, and holds a doctorate in Medicine and Biology from the University of Geneva in immunogenetics (1999). He was co-awarded a Histiocytosis Research Trust Grant award in 2005 for the very first animal model of histiocytosis. He co-authored 22 peer-reviewed publications. He followed post-graduate course in clinical research in 2008 and also holds a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Management of Biotech, Medtech and Pharma Ventures from EPFL (Lausanne, 2011). He is one of the founding members of the Swiss MD-PhD Association.