PharmaDiagnostics appoints director of assay development

PharmaDiagnostics NV, a company developing and marketing a broadly-enabling, label-free screening technology that uniquely does not require specialized instrumentation, announces today the appointment of Dr Sylviane Boucharens as director of assay development. Sylviane joins from Merck’s MSD site in Newhouse, Scotland, where she was head of global compound repository and in vitro screening. Working closing with the PharmaDiagnostics Synthetic Nanotechnology team, Sylviane’s appointment is the latest in a series of additions to further strengthen the PharmaDiagnostics R&D team. Sylviane will play a central role in driving the growth of PharmaDiagnostics’ assay product range, and via her extensive contacts in the market, in developing business globally. She will be closely involved in the product development strategy.

PharmaDiagnostics will benefit significantly from Sylviane’s considerable experience in pharmaceutical research and her knowledge of different screening technologies in drug discovery. Her move from a technology user to a provider gives PharmaDiagnostics valuable insight into market needs that will allow them to further develop their technology and product portfolio.

“Sylviane is a scientist of international renown, I am delighted to have her join our growing team. This is the latest mark of confidence from a leading industry figure, and follows on from the appointment of Ulf Jönsson, the former CEO of Biacore, as an independent director,” said David Ricketts, CEO, PharmaDiagnostics. “This clearly demonstrates the market potential of our SoPRano technology to revolutionize label-free screening. We have removed the need for expensive dedicated instruments and therefore can significantly expand the application of label-free screening in drug discovery.”

“Having worked for a global pharmaceutical corporation, I was keen to join an innovative, growing company with an exciting technology with significant commercial potential,” said Dr Sylviane Boucharens. “PharmaDiagnostics’ technical capabilities in label-free screening, together with its ambitious growth plans promise a true revolution in the screening market and I am looking forward to contributing to its success.”

Sylviane worked at Merck from 2000 to 2011 (Legacy Schering-Plough Research Institute & Organon Laboratories Ltd.) as the head of global compound repository and in vitro screening. Sylviane attained her PhD from the University of Grenoble, France, followed by post-doctoral positions at the INSERM U366 Laboratory, Grenoble, France and University of Manchester, UK under the Wellcome Trust International Fellowship. She started her career in the pharmaceutical industry in 1995 when she joined the Immunology Department in the Laboratoires Fournier (Dijon, France).

About PharmaDiagnostics NV

PharmaDiagnostics NV develops label-free screening technology with the unique capability in its market of operating without the need for expensive specialized instrumentation.  PharmaDiagnostics’ novel technology platform, SoPRano(TM), is based on localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR), and uses specifically functionalized gold nanoparticles. The technology is broadly enabling and applicable to a range of applications including: receptor-ligand binding (with applications in lead identification and fragment screening); antibody screening and ADME. The assays are sensitive, reproducible and have the potential for very high throughput. The company supplies assay kits for use by pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, and also offers bespoke assay development and screening services.

The company, based in the Z1 Research Park in Zellik, near Brussels, was founded in 2007. It has raised more than EUR 4.0 million (USD 5.6M) in two rounds of venture funding and EUR 100,000 in grants from IWT (Instituut voor de aanmoediging van innovatie door Wetenschap & Technologie in Vlaanderen), a Flemish innovation agency.

For further information, please contact:

Mark Tidmarsh