Bernard Gilly joins Sofinnova Partners

Bernard Gilly, former President and Chief Executive Officer of Transgene, is joining Denis Lucquin and Antoine Papiernik as partner in the Life Sciences team of Sofinnova Partners.


Sofinnova Partners, a venture capital pioneer in France, is a European leader in the areas of life sciences and communication technologies.


Bernard Gilly, aged 44, is an agronomist, a Doctor of Economics and holds a MBA from INSEAD. He began his career in 1980 at Inra and Ifremer before joining Pasteur Mérieux as Associate Director of Research in 1988. Appointed Managing Director of Transgene in 1992, he completely overhauled the company and rapidly made it a world leader in gene therapy, before successfully launching it simultaneously onto the Nouveau Marché of the Paris Stock Exchange and the New York NASDAQ in March 1998. Simultaneously, from 1994 to July 1997, Bernard Gilly was VP Research and Development of BioMérieux, the major stockholder of Transgene. He left Transgene at the end of November 2000 to join Sofinnova Partners. He is also a member of the Governing Boards of INSERM (French National Medical Research Institute) and the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon. Co-founder of France-Biotech, Bernard Gilly has been extensively involved in the emergence and development in France of new companies using advanced technologies: member of the Steering Committee of Croissance Plus, he participates in the Boards of Wavecom (a French company quoted on the Nouveau Marché, specializing in telecom integrated modules) and HighDeal (start-up created in February 2000, specializing in the management of value-added chain on the Internet). He is also President and co-founder of WebSurg, a start-up specializing in education and e-training of surgeons and para-surgical professions on the Internet.


“I am very happy today to be joining a skilled team esteemed and respected for its professionalism and involvement with start up companies” said Bernard Gilly. “I will focus my efforts on the early discovery of innovative companies, so as to help them establish their position and quickly develop as leaders in their own field”.


Jean-Bernard Schmidt, President of Sofinnova Partners, stated:”The arrival of Bernard Gilly in our team will considerably strengthen our position on a European level. His experience as a researcher, then manager and developer of one of the finest European biotechnology companies, will be of great value to us in enhancing our ability to identify and facilitate the germination of the best company projects in the Life Sciences sector”.


Based in Paris, the Sofinnova Partners team now consists of 7 partners, managing close to 3 billion French francs. Regarding Life Sciences, Sofinnova Partners is an early stage investor in biopharmaceutical and medical devices. Sofinnova Partners has been in particular a founding investor in companies such as GENSET, CEREP, NICOX, ACTELION and NOVUSPHARMA. Its investments in Information Technologies have essentially concerned Internet and telecoms, application software and micro-electronics. Since 1996, Sofinnova Partners has made 50 investments, including 31 as lead investor. It currently sits on the boards of 27 of them and hence continues to provide active support. Sofinnova Partners evaluates each year between 1000 and 2000 new investment proposals.