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A New President at the Head of the Genethon Laboratory

Yves Champey Takes Over From Bernard Barataud

EVRY, France, July 7 /PRNewswire/ -- The board of directors at Genethon nominated a new president to head the laboratory created in 1990 by the AFM (French Muscular Dystrophy Association). Thus Yves Champey succeeds Bernard Barataud, who has decided to hand over the reins after heading the laboratory between 1990 and 1995 and then between 1999 and 2008.

Yves Champey is a physician by training. Genethon will benefit from his international experience with responsibility for the development of new drugs within major pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer and Rhone-Poulenc Rorer. Also, he contributed to the creation of the Drug for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi) - of which he was president from 2003 to 2007. The DNDi is a foundation dedicated to the research and development of new drugs against neglected parasite diseases affecting poor populations. Finally, with Pierre Tambourin, he has been deeply involved in the development of Genopole(R) Evry, and is president of the board of directors of the pre-seed fund G1J Ile-de-France.

"I will be placing all my experience at the service of the AFM and Genethon," declares Yves Champey, "with 3 objectives: successfully implementing the clinical trials programs, reinforcing the position of Genethon as a not-for-profit entity of research and development, and developing the innovative biotherapies for the treatment of rare diseases. My ambition is also to open the way to substantial joint projects with the pharmaceutical and biotechnological industries and to develop those that already exist with public research organisations."

President of the AFM (French Muscular Dystrophy Association) from 1981 to 2001, Bernard Barataud is the father of three children, one of whom died from Duchenne myopathy in 1986 at the age of sixteen. Co-founder of the French Telethon in 1987, he was also the founder of Genethon in 1990 with the Nobel Prize winner Jean Dausset. As early as 1992 Genethon supplied the international scientific community with the first maps of the human genome. This considerably accelerated its deciphering and the discovery of the genes responsible for diseases. It is this progress which has led to innovative therapies based on knowledge of genes, therapies which are now undergoing clinical trials. Eighteen years after its creation, Genethon is today a not-for-profit biotechnology enterprise whose aim is to develop biotherapies for rare genetic diseases. Genethon is the promoter of the first gene therapy trial in humans for gamma-sarcoglycan deficiency. It possesses two clinical batch production units for vectors and is engaged in the development of a pre-industrial scale BMP production site to go onstream in 2010.

SOURCE Genethon and AFM (French Muscular Dystrophy Association)
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