Dr Jeanne-Marie Lecomte
Ceo and founder of bioprojet
""Bioprojet has now taken a considerable step forward by becoming worldwide. We are established in 6 European countries...""
Could you explain what prompted you to create Bioprojet and what was the focus point of this enterprise?
Bioprojet is an innovative and atypical pharmaceutical company, which Pr Schwartz and I created in 1982 because we shared the same philosophy and idea with respect to pharmaceutical research. It is atypical because it was built from fundamental research, which was rather unusual in those days.
By the way, more than a century ago, Pasteur already shared this idea when he said there aren’t two kinds of science: there is fundamental science and research applications which are both linked together like a tree and the fruit it bears.
This is even truer when talking about the research on a new drug to be carried out as early in the chain as possible, to a point where physiological and pathophysiological mechanisms are solved, and which must take an interdisciplinary approach.
Thus, on the basis of new biological targets of which we suspected they played a role in diseases, since the 1980’s we have been rationally trying to identify new therapeutic classes that could be useful in public health.
After ten years of research and development, we found an entirely new molecule in a field where innovation had been scarce for a long time. What we found was a pure antisecretory molecule which inhibited hypersecretions induced by diarrhea.
So, from our first product named Tiorfan®, we went on to create a second company named Bioprojet Pharma laboratory in 1992.
And was it a success ?
Yes indeed, in two years’ time, Tiorfan® became the leader of its category because it really had an added value. It is now developed, registered, and sold in 90 countries.
This success allowed us to continue our research and development strategy, and fortunately we acquired in 2001 the Bioprojet Biotech research laboratory.
Bioprojet has now taken a considerable step forward by becoming worldwide. We are established in 6 European countries (not counting France), and this presence enables Bioprojet to expand internationally.
The next step for Bioprojet is to establish our foothold in the United States through one of our products, Wakix®, which was registered in 2016 in Europe for the treatment of narcolepsy with or without cataplexy. Its registration in the USA is expected to occur in 2018.
We remain ambitious, but also faithful to our vocation for research and innovation, and we look forward to pursuing our mission: to be at the service of the sick.