July 05, 2012 -- As of 2 April this year, Alain Schwenck, 51, has joined Genethon as Director of Genethon Bioprod, the new site for the production of clinical grade-gene therapy medicines for the treatment of rare diseases, created by AFM-Telethon. Mr. Schwenck is a seasoned expert in manufacturing of pharmaceutical products. He began his career at Rhône Poulenc, and has since then managed several manufacturing plants for leading institutions in the pharmaceutical industry: Lilly France, the Laboratoire Français du Fractionnement et des Biotechnologies (LFB), Bristol-Myers Squibb France and the Laboratoires Salem. Mr. Schwenck obtained his engineering degree from the French engineering school École Nationale Supérieure des Arts et Métiers. He also holds a business degree from the international business school École Supérieure de Commerce de Paris (ESCP).
Alain Schwenck will bring Genethon Bioprod both his technological and regulatory expertise, as well as that in the organization of industrial production teams: "It is highly stimulating to participate in the development of such a project, given the major recent advances in the field of gene therapy! I am very happy to join Genethon and contribute my expertise to this cutting-edge pharmaceutical company and beyond, to AFM-Téléthon as well."
For Frédéric Revah, Chief Executive Officer of Genethon, Alain Schwenck's arrival presents a unique opportunity: "To reinforce Genethon's position of leader in the field of gene therapies for rare diseases, it is essential to build a team of prominent professionals in the likes of Alain Schwenck. His invaluable experience will benefit our current and future clinical trials, and therefore contribute to the success of our missions, serving patients and their families"
Genethon Bioprod was founded on the initiative of the AFM-Telethon, with major financial contributions from local governmental offices* and from the Evry Genopole®. This unique center is dedicated to the production of gene therapy vectors for clinical trials for the treatment of rare diseases. With nearly 5,000 m², it combines all required facilities and expertise for the highly specific manufacture of therapeutic vectors in accordance with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) for pharmaceutical production. The objective is to produce approximately twenty clinical lots per year that can be supplied to trials in France and abroad. Its running costs are funded by the AFM-Telethon.
*The Regional Council (Conseil Régional) of Ile-de-France, the General Council of the Essonne region
About the AFM-Telethon
The French Muscular Dystrophy Association (AFM) federates patients with neuromuscular diseases (genetic diseases that causing progressive irreversible muscle atrophy lead to death) and their parents. Thanks in great part to donations from France's annual Telethon (€94.1 million in 2011), the AFM-Telethon has become a major player in biomedical research for rare diseases in France and worldwide. It currently funds 36 clinical trials for about 30 different genetic diseases affecting the eye, the blood, the brain, the immune system, and muscles... Thanks to its Genethon research lab, the AFM-Telethon stands out through its unique ability to produce and test its own gene-based medicines.
More information at www.afm-telethon.fr
Created by the French Muscular Dystrophy Association (AFM), Genethon is funded almost exclusively by donations from France's annual Telethon. Its goal is to deliver innovative gene therapies to patients affected with orphan genetic disorders. After having played a pioneering role in deciphering the human genome, with over 220 scientists, physicians, engineers and regulatory affairs specialists, Genethon is one of the world's leading centers for preclinical and clinical research and development in the field of gene therapy for rare diseases. Genethon also has a biomanufacturing platform for clinical-grade vectors, that will open in 2012, the world's largest facility for pre-industrial pilot production (Genethon BioProd). www.genethon.fr
AFM-Telethon / Genethon
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