Through this mini-series of articles, we want to present you the talents of each member of the team
Tiffany Le Carff, can you introduce yourself briefly ?
T.LC : I am in charge of Op2Lysis communication. I obtained a bachelor in Sciences of Information and Communication from University Paris 8, and I then pursued my education to obtain a Master from University Paris 13 in Corporate Communication for Companies, Public Institutions and Associations. This background gave me the opportunity of joining various companies in diverse areas with internal communication and external communication tasks. My responsibility as a Communication Officer is to conceive and implement internal and external communication strategies for the company. The purpose is to ensure a consistent company image. I am in charge of promoting company values, projects and teams. I also provide internal support to the diverse professions of the company.
Why did you join Op2Lysis ?
T.LC : I was very enthusiastic about joining Op2Lysis, for multiple reasons but primarily because of the area of expertise of this company. Everybody knows about somebody around with a stroke, and about relatives who must face a heavy burden when dealing with the severe disability that results from a stroke. Giving a meaning to day-to-day work is very important to me.
In addition, I knew that the company was recently created, providing the opportunity to initiate many communication tasks. I like challenges, and my work at Op2Lysis brings me a chance to face many challenges every day.
What do you bring to Op2Lysis ?
T.LC : The experience that I gained from my previous responsibilities in diverse companies allows me to bring many things to Op2Lysis. My primary role is to develop various communication contents according to the target audience that the company wants to address, while ensuring the consistency of this external communication.
Since I joined Op2Lysis, I have worked extensively on company identity and values, as well as on the graphic chart and messages that allow to promote these values. I think that I have also been able to bring a global vision in communication requirements and to identify further steps of this communication. The purpose is to build a smart communication according to current needs, while anticipating longer term communication strategy.
Through this mini-series of articles, we want to present you the talents of each member of the team.
Jérôme, can you introduce yourself briefly ?
J.P.: I am engineer in Agronomy, and I then decided to progress to the Doctorate level with a PhD in Neurosciences. Over the last 10 years, I have worked at Inserm Laboratory U1237, University of Caen, with Prof. Denis Vivien in a program dedicated to innovative therapeutic solutions to fight blood clots. I am the inventor of the product developped by op2Lysis. I benefited from complementary trainings at HEC (Challenge +) and INSEAD (Bootcamp Life Sciences), which provided me with the broad and multidisciplinary entrepreneurship skills that I can dedicate to Op2Lysis.
What are your main contrinutions in neurosciences ?
J.P. : During my research activity, I have developed an expertise about the molecule that we are now developing. My research work has led to performing clinical studies in partnership with stroke units in France (the Ophelie study, coordinated by the stroke unit of Lille). Indeed, I have shown that two forms of tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) which looked similar had very different effects on glutamatergic neurotransmission. I have identified the site which potentializes this tPA signal pathway, a work that was the basis of the O2L-001 invention.
What is the main asset of the technology developed by Op2Lysis ?
J.P. : The therapeutic solution that is proposed by Op2Lysis is based on the observation of molecular and cellular mechanisms of tPA in the brain, and is the result of a research program initiated in 2001. This solution, a new generation thrombolytic agent without neurotoxicity, is fully adapted to the intracerebral administration of a treatment for patients with an acute hemorrhagic stroke.
What did you bring to Op2Lysis ?
J.P. : I am the co-founder of Op2Lysis, a project which I initiated in 2010. After meeting with Christophe in 2014, we have been able, together, to accelerate the progress of this program. I am in charge of the operational activities of the company.
The International Stroke Conference is one of the most important conventions in the area of stroke, with yearly meetings in the US. More than 4000 people attended the 2018 session, including 25% of them from non-US institutions.
One of the hot topics at this session was the presentation of the results of the DEFUSE-3 clinical study. Until then, the state-of-the-art was that the clinical benefit of thrombolysis, which is the only effective medical treatment for the ischemic form of stroke (consecutive to the clotting of an intracerebral blood vessel), was limited beyond 3 to 4.5 hours from symptom onset. The DEFUSE-3 study is based on the progress of the brain imaging technology, combined with the one of the interventional thrombectomy, which allows the mechanical removal of the blood clot through a catheter. Both have been the most promising evolutions over these last years in the area of stroke. The patients who were included in this study had an ischemic stroke with symptom onset between 6 and 16 hours prior to the interventional procedure. However, imaging with MRI or CT-scan in these patients could identify a brain area that was affected by the arterial occlusion but still preventable from irreversible damage. The results of this study, which were presented at the ISC 2018, showed a 50% decrease in the disabling scores in this population of stroke patients who previously had no therapeutic option to favour survival with an acceptable level of disability.
These results were applauded, as they provide a strong hope with new therapeutic options for stroke patients. They show how persistence and synergistic combination of new technologies can offer better chance of healthy survival to ischemic stroke patients. This is in the spirit of what we are doing at Op2Lysis for hemorrhagic stroke patients. During IS, we had the opportunity to meet with many attending experts, including people in charge of the MISTIE study with alteplase in patients with an intracerebral hemorrhage. Collaborative work with these teams in the near futur will help us to maximize our chances of success.
The vast majority of strokes (about 95% of them) are either ischemic or hemorrhagic strokes. Symptoms are identical in both cases, however the hemorrhagic form of stroke is the most severe and devastating one.
Ischemic stroke is consecutive to a blockage inside of a brain blood vessel, due to a clot, following either a rupture of an atheroma* plaque or the migration of an embolic clot that was formed in the heart of a patient with atrial fibrillation. As the blood does not reach brain tissue, neuronal cells are deprived from oxygen and nutrients, then they die.
Hemorrhagic stroke, or intrecerebral hemorrhage, is consecutive to a leakage of blood from a brain artery. Blood vessel rupture is associated with vessel wall stiffness that follows chronic tobacco use, hypercholesterolemia** or hypertension. The blood in the brain induces death of neuronal cells around. Also, the hematoma inside of the crane is compressive, which further deteriorates brain tissue.
*Atheroma : Modification of the blood vessel structure that is consecutive to the deposition of cholesterol, then inducing inflammation and a high risk of plaque rupture. This is a chronic process that develops all along life.
**Hypercholesterolemia : above normal level of cholesterol in the blood
Estelle Louet joined us on last December 4th, as Project Engineer. Her responsibility will be to conduct the scientific experiments to characterize our formulated drug product. She is currently in charge of developping and validating the in vitro tests to evaluate the liquefaction of a blood clot according to time and concentration of O2L-001. The results of these experiments will allow us to accelerate activities with Carlina tehnology to abtain a formulated drug product ready for industrial scale-up.
A request for a CIFRE (Convention Industrielle de Formation par la Recherche) agreement has been submitted to the ANRT (Agence Nationale de la Recherche et de la Technologie), so that Estelle can pursue her studies as a PhD student with Op2Lysis, together with the Inserm research unit U1237, which is based in Caen.
Christophe Gaudin will be at ISC on 24-26 January, 2018. An opportunity for Op2Lysis to discover the latest clinical progress in the stroke area, and to build a strong network of experts to help strengthening our development plan. Christophe will meet with many scientists and physicians attending this convention.
Christophe Gaudin and Jérôme Parcq were invited to present the Op2Lysis project to the ISFEO Committee, which took place in Evreux on Tuesday 16 January at the CCI (Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie) Portes de Normandie.
This meeting was the opportunity to present our project to investors and funding agencies in Normandy. Feedback from the Committee were very encouraging and raised the quality and the value of the project, as well as the complementarity of the management team.
We are proud to inform you that our 250 k€ crowdfunding target with WiSEED has been reached. Our campaign will continue and require your support. Actually, the success of your mobilisation allows us to be more ambitious. The amount that will be collected beyond the original target, together with co-investment funds, which we are also working on, will reinforce our cash-flow dedicated to the acceleration of our development and will help to move forward our industrial project faster.
You posted many encouraging messages, which reflects your positive assessment of our project, as well as your expectations. Your feedbacks are incentive to us to progress further in bringing new treatments to stroke patients.
We rely on you to share our web information with many others, so that they get informed about the Op2Lysis project.
Our WiSEED campaign is here.