Fabrice Romano trained as a D.V.M. (Doctor in Veterinary Medicine) and specialized in ophthalmology and microsurgery. He began his career in 1989, working in medical technology at Domilens Laboratories, a leader of intraocular implants in Europe (acquired by Bausch & Lomb). While there, Dr. Romano was responsible for new lines of implants and surgical equipment for cataract treatment.
Dr. Romano’s career took him to Biomatech (NAMSA), Multi Active (McCann Erickson HealthCare), Sofradim (COVIDIEN), and EDAP-TMS. His 30-plus years in the industry provided him with experience in a host of capacities, from R&D to Marketing to Business Development, finally leading him to found his first start-up – Medtech, EyeTechCare – in 2008. A well-known success story in France, that company has more than 40M€ in private funding and was able to launch a therapeutic breakthrough innovation in just four years with his EyeOP1 invention for the non-invasive treatment of glaucoma.
He founded KERANOVA after identifying the potential of an academic discovery and conceptualizing new ways to apply it to cataract and refractive surgery..
Denise Hoblingre, Executive Vice President
Denise worked 20 years in different international banking Groups, including 10 years at HSBC. During these years she occupied several positions in Private Banking and Financial Assets Management departments. She held different managing positions with increasing responsibilities, including Head of Business Banking Centers.
Involved in financing innovation, Denise serves as Board member of French Tech One Lyon St Etienne and as Vice-President Finances of the cluster Minalogic.
Denise holds a Master in finance from Dijon Business School (BSB) and an International Certificate in Corporate Finance from HEC Paris. Her background and strong knowledge of the regulation and the financial processes are essential to support the development of KERANOVA since its creation.
Valérie Calenda, PhD, partner at Mérieux Développement Investment Fund
Valérie Calenda started her career as research scientist in Hematology and Virology at the Institut National de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM). After collaborating at a French/US research program on HIV at Davis University in California, she joined Transgene, an affiliate of Institut Mérieux focusing on immunotherapy, in 1994 where she was in charge of several projects focusing on HIV and Cardiovascular areas until 2000. She then led a spin-off project in cardio-vascular therapeutic area before collaborating with a Paris based seed Venture Capital firm. Valérie also managed several biotech clinical-stage product developments within the infectious diseases and oncology disease areas, from pre-IND to Phase 2. This led her to manage both in-licensing and out-licensing activities, including global license agreement and alliance management with Hoffman La Roche, acquisition of biotech assets in Europe and in the US.
Valérie joined Mérieux Développement as a Partner in January 2010. She currently serves as Board member of ImaginAb (USA), Valkee (Finland), and Ninox Medical (Israel) .
Valérie received her PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Marseille. She holds a degree in Hematology and a B.Sc. in Biochemistry-Immunology from the University of Marseille.
Celia Hart, PhD, General Partner at Supernova Invest Fund
Celia Hart represents Supernova Invest on the board of Keranova. She has more than 20 years of experience in the chemical and biotechnology sector. Following her chemistry Ph.D. at Oxford University (UK), Celia worked for Cambridge Antibody Technology, UK (now MedImmune) holding different positions including Head of Lead Optimization. She was involved in the development of several therapeutic antibodies in collaboration with international biotechnology and pharmaceutical partners.
In France, she assessed new business opportunities for the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) and the Atomic Energy Commission (CEA). She joined CEA Investissement (now Supernova Invest) in 2005 and is currently General Partner. She serves (or has served) on the Boards of several companies including Algaia, Carthéra, Diabeloop, NH Theraguix, Theranexus and Uromems.
Celia holds a degree in Chemistry from the University of Geneva (Switzerland), a Ph.D. from Oxford University (UK) and an MBA from Grenoble École de Management (France).
Michel Therin, D.V.M., PhD, President, Advanced Therapies, Siemens Healthineers
Since 2018, Michel Therin has headed the Advanced Therapies branch, one of the three branches of Siemens Healthineers. He is responsible for the strategy and operational activities of the 5 business units it comprises, namely interventional cardiology and radiology, surgery, radiotherapy and robotics.
Previously, he held a number of positions within the Medtronic group, responsible among others for General Surgery, Abdominal Wall Surgery, Biosurgery and Sutures. Prior to his acquisition by Medtronic, Michel Therin was also in charge of research and advanced technologies for the surgical division of Covidien. He was previously Managing Director and Vice President of Research and Development of Floreane Medical Implants, where he developed the entire product and intellectual property portfolio until its acquisition by Covidien in 2005.
Michel THERIN is a graduate of the Maisons Alfort veterinary school, holds a doctorate in Biological and Medical Engineering, option Biomaterials (Paris XIII) and a university degree in toxicological and experimental anatomopathology (Paris VII). His name is associated with the filing of some sixty international patents over the past twenty years.
Philippe Tourrette, President Tourrette Investissement Fund
Self-made man, Laureate of the National Contest of Enterprise Creation, Winner of Les Victoires des Autodidactes in 2000 organized by Harvard Business School, Philippe Tourrette creates IOLTECH Laboratories in 1990 specialized in the field of ophthalmology. Very quickly the company becomes one of the European leaders of intraocular implants. In 1998 the company operates with great success its IPO and initiates a significant diversification by developing innovative products such as Mydriasert a new galenic form to control the diffusion of active ingredients at the eye level. IOLTECH also puts on the market a range of equipment as retractive lasers, phacoemulsificators and operates several acquisitions in the sector with Vitrolife in Scotland – manufacturer of viscous products, FCI – manufacturer of medical devices for the posterior segment of the eye and the American company Ciba Vison – specialized in intraocular implants, owned by Novartis.
In 2005 IOLTECH (Turnover 120M€, 500 employees) is acquired by the German group ZEISS AG. Philippe Tourrette ensures during 2 years the integration of the company with a great success.
Following this period, Philippe Tourrette creates TI a family investment fund and acquired major and minor holdings in various fields such as medical (Zeiss, Hemarina, Keranova) software/web and AI (VSG, Genius Objects, Artsper, Swaven) and hotel (Hôtel Le Clos Saint Martin ****, Ré island).
Marc Le Bozec, Observer, Fund Manager – Financière Arbevel
Marc joined Financiere Arbevel late 2014. He runs a ca. €40m private equity fund dedicated to life sciences.
Marc was a consultant (Bossard now Capgemini and Arthur D. Little) when he incepted BioProtein Technologies back in 1998. He ran such company for 8 years. He made Cellectis public on Paris stock market back in 2007 and was a CFO there for 7 years and in parallel CEO of Cellectis bioresearch. Most recently Marc was CEO at Cytoo, a biotech company based in the French Alps, which is now a leader in drug discovery for muscle-related diseases.
Marc was a Director at French NIH SAB and is graduated from HEC School of Management.