Mr Fanneau de La Horie joins Pherecydes Pharma to secure funding and further develop phage therapy to fight bacterial infections
Romainville, France, February 22, 2016 – Pherecydes Pharma, a biotechnology company specialized in the research and development of anti-infective therapies based on therapeutic lytic bacteriophages, announces today the appointment of Guy-Charles Fanneau de La Horie, MBA, as Chief Executive Officer.
Phage therapy is an innovative therapeutic method for treating bacterial infections, in particular hospital-acquired infections and/or antibiotic-resistant infections. By leveraging Mr Fanneau de La Horie's expertise, Pherecydes Pharma will be able to move forward with its three R&D programs: PHAGOBURN in burns, PNEUMOPHAGE to treat Pseudomonas aeruginosa respiratory infections, and PHOSA for the treatment of serious Staphylococcus aureus infections. The company expects to conclude its first phage therapy clinical trial and the preclinical phases for two new products before the end of the year. Mr Fanneau de La Horie will be responsible for increasing the financial resources of the company and developing industry partnerships.
Guy-Charles has over 20 years' experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Before joining Pherecydes Pharma, he held a number of international management roles, including positions within Schering-Plough, Biogen and IDM, in both Europe and the USA. More recently, he was CEO of PathoQuest, a company developing NGS-based infectious disease diagnostic technology. Between 2006 and 2013 he was the CEO of Neovacs and coordinated the 2010 IPO. Prior to that, he spent eight years with Biogen, where he set up and ran the subsidiaries in France and Benelux. During his time with Biogen he managed a $700M (€639M) sales force in the US and held Europe-wide responsibility for marketing, regulatory and medical matters. A graduate of the National Veterinary School in Lyon, France (1982), Guy-Charles also holds an MBA from INSEAD, awarded in 1988.
He also co-founded the 'Angels Santé' health care business angels network in 2008 and has invested in start-ups such as Santévet, Nanobiotix, Effimune and Pherecydes Pharma.
"It is an honor to welcome Guy-Charles Fanneau de La Horie as the head of our management team," said Michel Joly, chairman of the supervisory board of Pherecydes Pharma. "His high-level management experience and his financial expertise will help Pherecydes Pharma achieve its primary objective: to bring effective phage therapies to market for addressing the therapeutic difficulties that clinicians face with antibiotic treatment."
"I am extremely pleased to join the senior management team of a company that is leading the way in the field of phage therapy," said Mr Fanneau de La Horie, CEO of Pherecydes Pharma. "Phage therapy is now considered to be one of the most promising approaches for combating multidrug-resistant bacteria. The next pharmaceutical revolution will be based on phages. Pherecydes Pharma is the undisputed frontrunner in this field today."
About phage therapy
Phage therapy involves using lytic bacteriophage viruses (more commonly known as phages) to treat bacterial infections. This type of treatment was widely used on an informal basis throughout the world before the discovery of antibiotics. Today, both Georgia and Russia include phages in their pharmacopeias. Phages are also used in Poland in compassionate practice.
Since the early 2000's, the emergence of HAIs involving multi-resistant bacteria and the absence of new and effective antibiotics has led to a modern form of phage therapy emerging in numerous countries. In Europe, this revival can be traced back to 1994 when the use of phages to treat an infection caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa proved effective during skin grafts. Since then, a number of other studies on animals have prompted further interest in this kind of treatment.
HAIs affect 5% of hospital inpatients in France and cause 13,000 deaths annually . WHO estimates that each year in Europe and the US, HAIs affect 4 million and 1.7 million patients, and cause 147,000 and 99,000 direct and indirect deaths, respectively. The annual costs incurred are estimated at €7 billion ($7.8bn) in Europe and $6.5 billion (€5.84bn) in the US. The rapid pace at which antibiotic resistance is developing makes it a major public health issue.
About Pherecydes Pharma
Pherecydes Pharma SA specializes in research into innovative and adaptive solutions to fight multi-resistant bacterial infections, using cocktails of natural phages.
Thanks to its unique expertise, Pherecydes Pharma has managed to develop a large bank of bacteriophages cocktails to fight antibiotic-resistant infections, steadily on the rise since the 1980s. The company owns a vast collection of phages against Escherichia coli (E.coli), Pseudomonas and staphylococcal infections. These three species are responsible for more than 50% of bacterial infections in industrialized countries. Half a dozen patents have been filed or are in the process of being registered in order to protect the technology and products developed by Pherecydes Pharma. In addition to the two products being tested in the Phagoburn clinical trial, the company is developing two other products: one for the treatment of respiratory tract infections and the other for bone and joint infections and diabetic ulcers.
Located in the Biocitech science park near Paris, Pherecydes Pharma has twelve employees. Having raised €2.3 million ($2.57m) since it was founded in 2007, the company raised an additional €2.6 million ($2.9m) from private investors in March 2015. It also benefits from public funding from the Ministry of Defense (PneumoPhage project), the Single Inter-Ministry Fund (Phosa project) and the European FP7 grant for the Phagoburn project.