Polyplus-transfection is located in Illkirch, in the suburbs of Strasbourg, the capital of the Alsace region , in the North-East part of France, close to Germany and Switzerland. Alsace has a very strong cultural identity, and has been the home of numerous Biotechs and Pharmas for years. To learn more about the unique situation of Alsace, visit our dedicated webpage.
Founding of the company
Dr. Jean-Paul Behr, Dr. Anne-Lise Monjanel, Mrs. Joelle Bloch and Mr. Patrick Metz co-founded Polyplus-transfection in January 2001 to make highly effective and easy to use transfection reagents commercially available to research scientist working in molecular and cell biology.Dr. Jean-Paul Behr served as Directeur de Recherche Classe Exceptionnelle at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and was elected as a member of the French Academy of Sciences in 2008.
Jean-Paul graduated at the head of his class from the University of Strasbourg’s School of Chemical Engineering and subsequently joined Prof. Jean-Marie Lehn in 1969 to study for his Ph.D. in Physical Organic Chemistry which was awarded in 1973. Following postdoctoral work with Dr D. Chapman in Sheffield (UK), where Jean-Paul developed a triplet-triplet annihilation technique for the measurement of lateral diffusion in biological membranes, J-P rejoined Prof. Lehn (1987 Chemistry Nobel Prize Laureate) at the University of Strasbourg to work on the development of Supramolecular Chemistry.
In 1989 J-P moved to the Faculty of Pharmacy (Univ. Strasbourg) to set up the Laboratoire de Chimie Génétique where the focus of his research centered on DNA-binding molecules relevant to biotechnology and gene therapy. Pioneering work from Prof. Behr’s laboratory led to the commercialization of well-known transfection reagents such as Transfectam®, Lipofectamine™ and Polyethylenimine (PEI). J-P’s « proton sponge » paradigm for intracellular delivery of nucleic acid-based drugs (more than 2600 citations for a single paper in PNAS) is recognized as a seminal work in supramolecular galenics.
JP Behr has authored more than 150 scientific publications, generating more than 12.000 citations and has published 13 patents. In a career devoted to nucleic acids for over 20 years, J-P has delivered more than 300 public lectures worldwide and organized 9 scientific symposia. J-P also served as a retained consultant to pharmaceutical companies (7 in the US, 2 in France, 1 in Switzerland). Dr Behr was a founder of two commercial companies, Eurothera (1993-96) and Polyplus-transfection® (2001) where he continues to serve as a scientific adviser and mentor.
Among many awards, JP Behr is a recipient of the CNRS silver medal, the International Pharmaceutical Society FIP Biotech Award and the Therapeutic Society Paul Ehrlich Award. J-P was founding Associate Editor of the Journal of Gene Medicine and continues to work on the boards of many scientific journals. J-P was also a member of the scientific committee of the American Society of Gene Therapy (2001 Chair, Nonviral Section) and of the European Society of Gene Therapy as well as the French Muscular Dystrophy and Cystic Fibrosis Foundations.
Mario Philips – Chairman & CEO
Mario Philips joined Polyplus-transfection® in November 2020 and brings over 20 years of experience in the Life Sciences and Bioprocessing sectors.
Prior to this position, Mario acted as CEO of Polyneuros, Strategic Partner with ArchiMed, Vice President and General Manager of Pall Biotech and Senior Vice President and General Manager of ATMI Life Sciences.
Gabriel Festoc, Ph.D. – Chairman of the Board at PolyGenX
Gabriel Festoc (Ph.D.) joined Polyplus-transfection® as Chairman in February 2009. Previously, Gabriel was the founder (2000), Chairman & CEO of GeneSystems® (now part of the Pall Corporation). In addition, Gabriel has worked as a senior consultant for a number of biotechnology companies and financial investors.
Stéphane Béchot – CFO
Stéphane Béchot is based in Illkirch and joined Polyplus-transfection® in 2019 after serving the last 20+ years several positions in Finance and Operations across Europe in Financial Consulting, Food industry, Engineering and IT Services. He is managing Finance, Administration and IT as well as Human Ressources.
Pascale Belguise, Ph.D. – Business Development Director
Pascale Belguise (Ph.D.) also worked as a postdoctoral research scientist in the Laboratory of Genetic Chemistry at the University of Strasbourg before joining Polyplus-transfection® as it was founded.
Bertrand Coissac – Business Director, Asia
Bertrand Coissac (M.S., MBA) is based in Hong Kong and is part of Polyplus-transfection management team, after serving more than 10 years in a variety of international sales and marketing leadership positions with companies such as Genzyme, GeneSystems and Pall Corporation.
Julien Depollier, Ph.D. – Director Strategic Partnerships
Julien has a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Cellular Biology from University of Montpellier II (France, 2004).
Since 2021, Julien has evolved to a more Strategic role in the company to develop alternative sales strategy and Business Partners across key Life Science market segments (Cell & Gene Therapy and others).
Chantal Devin-Chaloin, Ph.D. – Director Global Operations & Supply Chain
Chantal Devin-Chaloin (Ph.D.) has joined Polyplus-transfection® in March 2020 with a strong expertise in technical operations. Chantal previously worked in operations management more than 15 years in several CDMO (Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization) companies in pharmaceutical industry.
Patrick Erbacher, Ph.D. – CSO
Patrick Erbacher (Ph.D.) worked as a postdoctoral research scientist in the Laboratory of Genetic chemistry of Dr. Jean-Paul Behr and joined Polyplus-transfection as it was founded. Patrick has co-authored 12 patent applications and more than 35 scientific publications.
Géraldine Guérin-Peyrou – CMO
Géraldine Guérin-Peyrou (M.S.) joined Polyplus-transfection® in 2007, after graduating with a Master Degree from Columbia University, New York. She is managing product development, marketing and communication, as well as the highly skilled scientific support team.
Tom Kresge – Vice President of Sales, Americas
Tom Kresge joined Polyplus-transfection in January 2021 and brings over 25 years of sales experience in the North American bioprocessing market. Prior to this position, Tom held numerous sales leadership positions with Pall Biotech, Sartorius Stedim Biotech and STERIS Corporation.
Lionel Montémont – Business Director, EMEA
Lionel Montémont joined Polyplus-tranfection® in 2018 after 15 years’ experience within the chemical industry (Dow®) as European Business Development Manager (including missions for the United Nations (UNIDO)) as well as in pharmaceutical industry in a laboratory certified EU-GMP Part I – EU-GMP Part II and Excipact™ as Business Manager.
Claire Wartel-Weill, Ph.D. – Director of Quality and Compliance
Claire owns a Ph.D. in Molecular Pharmacology and Pharmacochemistry from the University of Strasbourg (France, 1999). After several post-docs in different prestigious universities, Claire joined Polyplus-transfection in 2004 as Cell Biology project leader and participated in the development of our flagship product jetPRIME®. Claire has taken Quality responsibility since 2007, and nowadays manages the department of Quality and Regulatory Affairs.