Jacques Banchereau joins Roche as R&D Head for Inflammation and Virology
NUTLEY, NJ and BASEL, Switzerland -- October 4, 2010 -- Roche announced today that Jacques Banchereau, Ph.D., has joined Roche as Senior Vice President and Head of the Inflammation and Virology Discovery and Translational Areas (DTAs). In this role, he will oversee research and early development up to late stage development in the field of Inflammation, including autoimmune and respiratory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) as well as Virology with hepatitis, HIV, influenza and other infectious diseases. Jacques will relocate to the Roche R&D site in Nutley, New Jersey where the company's Inflammation and Virology DTAs are headquartered. He also will serve as Roche Nutley's Chief Scientific Officer.
Jacques has 30 years experience in discovery and translational science, both in the pharmaceutical industry and in academia. He is recognized as a world-class leader in human immunology. His research group was the first to discover how to grow dendritic cells, an important discovery that led to the better understanding of autoimmune disorders, like lupus and to develop dendritic cell-based immunotherapy. In 1991, he was also one of the first to develop human monoclonal antibodies using novel strategies to grow human B cells.
"I am delighted to welcome Jacques to Roche," said Jean-Jacques Garaud, Global Head of Pharmaceutical Research and Early Development (pRED). "His outstanding history of achievement as a scientist will serve us well as we broaden our efforts to address unmet medical needs in Inflammation and Virology."
Since 1996, Jacques has been the Founder and Director of the Baylor Institute for Immunology Research in Dallas, Texas. The Institute focuses on studying patients suffering from diseases that involve the immune system. He orchestrated the Institute's growth, building a broad human immunology research portfolio by applying a multi-disciplinary approach and actively securing large grants to fund research activities. The Institute actually hosts an INSERM Unit specialized in human vaccines.
After graduating as a pharmacist from University of Angers, France, Jacques transferred to the University of Paris, earning certification in pharmacology and immunology, as well as clinical biochemistry, microbiology, and parasitology, before completing a Ph.D. in biochemistry in 1980. One year later, Jacques joined Schering Plough's research unit in Dardilly, France - the beginning of a highly productive 15-year career including the understanding of the biology and therapeutic potential of numerous cytokines.
Jacques and his teams at the Baylor Institute are conducting translational research spanning diseases such as cancer (melanoma, breast cancer), autoimmunity (arthritis, lupus) and infectious diseases (HIV, HCV and Influenza). The Baylor Institute has also pioneered a genomic analysis of blood to develop biomarkers for disease diagnosis and therapeutic target identification leading to the creation of a Center for Personalized Medicine within the Institute. These studies led to the identification of alpha Interferon as a target in lupus and IL-1 as a target in Systemic juvenile arthritis. Jacques is inventor or co-inventor on numerous patents, and a widely published author.
"Roche is the largest biotech in the world and I'm thrilled to be able to join a company with such a deep and strong commitment to embracing a rigorous scientific process to drive the discovery of drugs," said Jacques Banchereau. "Furthermore, Roche's potency in diagnostics combined with its passion for developing medicines that make a difference fits very well with my vision of personalized medicine."
There are five Discovery and Translation Areas with Roche's Pharmaceutical Research and Early Development organizations that oversee research and early development up to full development decisions. The other DTAs are focused on Oncology, Metabolics and Central Nervous System.
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