Chief Executive Officer
Francois Bettez has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of The Centre for Commercialisation of Cancer Immunotherapy (C3i) in June 2016.Prior to joining C3i, Francois worked at the Novartis Pharma Canada Inc. for 17 years where he held several senior management commercial positions of increasing responsibilities including National Sales Director for the Oncology Business Unit, Marketing & Sales Director for the Neuroscience Business Franchise and Director Marketing, Sales & Training Effectiveness in the Commercial Operations Business Unit. During all of his years at Novartis, he delivered sustained success by focusing on strong development and execution of the operational plans and was recognised on many occasions for his Marketing Excellence. Francois also served on several Global Advisory TEAMs for Sales Excellence and has launched multiple products in different therapeutic areas.
Before joining Novartis Pharma Canada Inc. Francois Bettez was with Pharmacia and Upjohn as the Regional Business Manager where he was responsible for overall planning, sales and profit performance of three key divisions (Nutrition, Ophthalmology and Hospital).
Francois holds a M.Sc. in Molecular Biology from the Cancer Institute of Montreal as well as a B.Sc. in Microbiology from University of Montreal.
Director, Business Development and Operations
Louisa Petropoulos joined C3i in August 2016. Prior to that she was at Thrasos Therapeutics as Director of Business Development where she headed BD, Market & Commercial Development of Thrasos’ leading products. Prior to Thrasos, she was an Associate Direrctor of BD at MethylGene (now Mirati) where she played an active role in the negotiations leading to successful licensing deal with upfront, RD and milestone payments of more than $50M. In addition, Louisa played a key R&D, market & commercial role in MethyGene’s anti-infective programs that helped advance the Company’s anti-fungal into clinical trials. Before joining MethylGene, she spent 8 years in venture capital as part of Innovatech du Grand Montreal then Multiple Capital where she was Director of Life Science Investments leading and supporting numerous deals and public offerings including Enobia, MethylGene (Mirati) leading to over $1B in value. She also held several board and observer seats that included Enobia (sale to Alexion), BioAxone, BioAgriculture (sale to Merck), Nextal Biotechnoligies (sale to Qiagen), Vascular Genetics (now VIA Pharmaceuticals).
Louisa holds a Ph.D in Microbiology & Immunology from McGill University.
Chief Scientific Officer
Dr. Roy is currently Director of the Hopital Maisonneuve-Rosemont Research Center and Scientific Director of its cGMP Cell Therapy Center (CETC). He is a practicing hematologist at HMR. He is also Professor of Medicine at the Université de Montréal; Clinician-Scientist in the Hematology and Medical Oncology Program Dr. Roy is CEO of the Network of Centres of Excellence: CellCAN Regenerative Medicine and Cell Therapy Network. He is Director of the Clinical Therapeutics Arm of the Canadian Stem Cell Network, Co-Director of the ThéCell FRSQ Network, and former board member of the Canadian Blood and Marrow Transplant Group and Executive Committee of the National Cancer Institute of Canada- CTG-Hematology. Dr Roy is a renowned researcher in the field of hematopoietic stem cell therapy with publications in Nature Medicine, Cell, Cancer Cell, NEJM, J Clin Investigation and Blood. His main area of research is translational research; and includes stem cell transplantation and graft engineering. He has developed a photodepletion strategy to selectively remove alloreactive T-lymphocytes from cell grafts to prevent the development or treat graft-versus-host disease. He participated to all steps of development of this strategy that is now in Phase II clinical trials for 2 different indications. Throughout his career he interacted closely with biotech and pharma. The combination of his laboratory and clinical expertise have led him to devise and chair more than 15 national and international Phase I-II clinical trials in stem cell transplantation. He is currently co-director of a Genome Qc-Genome Canada project aimed at eliminating leukemia cells using T lymphocytes directed agains minor histocompatibility antigens. He has been on numerous scientific review panels, including the Fonds de la recherche en Santé du Québec (president, clinician-scientists panel), Cancer Research Society, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and is currently sitting on the Quebec Leukemia Cell Bank and Canadian Institutes for Health Research scientific review panels.
Owing to his current activities within the clinical research field, Dr Roy draws from a wealth of experience in network development and homologation processes with Health Canada and various other regulatory agencies. Dr. Denis-Claude Roy obtained his Medical Degree from Université de Montréal and completed residencies in Internal Medicine and Hematology prior to completing a Tumor Immunology fellowship at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard University.
As the CSO of C3i Denis-Claude brings solid scientific acumen and his extensive knowledge of homologation processes to the table, which will prove invaluable for the successful implementation of clinical trials within the framework of the C3i program.
Chief Medical Officer
Dr Busque is a practicing hematologist at Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont (HMR), and serves as Chief of Molecular diagnostic and Chief of HMR’s Diagnostic Program of Medical biology being altogether responsible for 300 employees and managing a budget of 30 Million$/year. He sits on several Quebec government regulatory committees such as the Institut National d’Excellence en Santé et Services Sociaux (INESSS). He is the co-founder of the Quebec CML Registry and a founder and current president of the non-for-profit organization GQR-LCM/NMP (Groupe québécois de recherche en leucémie myéloide chronique et en néoplasies myéloprolifératives) where he successfully built a network comprising 20 oncology centers in the province of Quebec. Dr. Busque is a sought after as a key opinion leader (KOL), and his advice and expertise are critical to numerous pharmaceutical companies.
Dr Busque has over 20 years of biotechnology and clinical research experience. He founded and was the medical director at ProDNA diagnostics, a molecular diagnostics provider, which was later sold to Warnex (now known as Dynacare). He founded and was the President of HemaX Genome, a company focused on the identification of genes of medical interest localized on the X chromosome. HemaX genome was later acquired by Emerillon Therapeutics Inc. During these tenures, Dr Busque acquired experience in raising venture capital funds and in developing international collaborations.
Dr. Lambert Busque obtained his Medical Degree from the Université de Montréal in 1986 and completed residencies in internal medicine and hematology before completing a post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard in molecular hematology. He has since continued on as an accomplished clinician-researcher and with a specific interest in translational hematology. He has published in prestigious journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine, Nature Genetics, Blood and the Journal of Clinical Investigation. He is Professor of Medicine at the Université de Montréal.
As Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of C3i, Lambert will bring a unique blend of expertise inscience, business, management, clinic, reimbursement, network building, and raising public and private funding. These aspects are essential to the successful implementation of clinically relevant solutions for cancer immunotherapy within the C3i program.
Chief Financial Officer
Ms. Laberge is a chartered accountant and graduate of HEC. She previously held the position of Director General, Administration and Real Estate Services at Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec. She was Senior Director of Financial and Material Resources at l’Autorité des marchés financiers and Vice-President, Finance & Administration at Le Devoir from 1999 to 2013. She has also held various executive positions during her career.
Manager – Business Development and Operations
GMP Manufacturing Unit
Arnaud joined C3i in June 2017 and is our BD Manager dedicated to the commercial development of our cGMP Manufacturing Unit, the Centre of Excellence in Cellular Therapy (CETC). He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge, UK in Cellular signalling & Immunology in 2013, and carried on his research during his postdoc at the Babraham Research Campus (UK). Following his time in academia, he went onto achieving project management missions at the United Nations in Rome (Italy), establishing links between the scientific and the policy communities by increasing the visibility of breakthrough findings in the global political debate. His work led to cross-field UN publications, helping several governments in integrating novel scientific findings into their national health and social policies.
Danielle de Verteuil
Manager – Business Development and Operations
Biomarker and Diagnostic Unit
Danielle de Verteuil joined C3i as business development and operations manager for the Biomarker and Diagnostic unit in April 2017. She holds more than 10 years of experience in cancer immunology. Danielle completed a PhD in system’s biology from the molecular biology program of the University of Montreal, followed by a postdoctoral internship at Monash University, Melbourne, where she specialized in immunobiology and antigen presentation to T cells. During a postdoctoral fellowship at McGill University she studied the interaction between the immune system and the microenvironment of solid tumors. In the past years, Danielle managed several interdisciplinary projects involving research teams from Canada, Australia and the United-States.
Project Manager & Regulatory Affairs
Contract Research Organization Unit
Wilkinson Narcisse has joined C3i as a Senior Clinical Research Associate in February 2018 and as a project manager & regulatory affairs for our Clinical Research CRO unit in December 2018. He holds more than 11 years’ experience of clinical research (Phase I, II, III, and IV) monitoring and management in Canada & US with different CRO’s including Scimega Research, Covance, and PRA Health Sciences. Wilkinson Narcisse has also previously held the position of Director Business Development at MDS Pharma Services and Scientific Project Manager at Algorithme pharma (Altasciences).
Wilkinson has completed a BSc. In Microbiology with an M.Sc. In Reproductive Immunology from Laval University, Canada.
In addition to his solid knowledge about the pharmaceutical industry, the clinical trials process, the drug development process, and the CRO business, Wilkinson has experience with the following Clinical Indications: Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL), Multiple Myeloma (MM), Renal cell Carcinoma, Breast Cancer, Ovarian and Colorectal Cancer, Small cell Lung Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Pancreatic Cancer, Dermatology (Skin Disease, Antibiotic), and Infectious Disease (Hepatitis C).
Fabienne Perreau joined C3i in August 2016, Prior to join C3i she was with AgeChem and GeneChem since July 1997. She initially worked as a legal secretary in several well known law firms before joining the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec in 1987 as Administrative Assistant to the Vice President – Health and Biotechnology. She then earned the position of Administrative Assistant to the President of Sofinov, Société financière d’innovation Inc., the venture capital subsidiary of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (now CDP Capital).