Philippe VILLAIN-GUILLOT

Director and founder of a biotechnology company

My career

I was always attracted by the health sector, and during high-school I saw the importance of chemistry in this area. I then started my higher education in physics and chemistry (PC) preparatory classes. After the admission tests for engineering school, I had the choice between telecommunications and chemistry. My interest in healthcare was stronger, and I enrolled in the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Montpellier which had a Chemistry-Biology-Health programme. During my studies, I had the opportunity to go for one year to Mexico, in a biotechnology centre for the use of agricultural resources. Back in Montpellier, I completed my graduation project in a start-up dedicated to anti-infection therapeutic innovation. This area was of particular interest to me. I then got my first job in England with Evotec, to do pharmaceutical chemistry. After a 2-year experience, I went back to Montpellier for a PhD in anti-bacterial pharmaceutical chemistry. In parallel with my research work, I was interested in setting up an innovative company. After my PhD, I started this adventure and along with an associate created, the biotechnology company, Nosopharm.

My job

Today, I am the head of the young innovative company, Nosopharm. Nosopharm develops a biotechnological platform for discovering new antibiotic molecules, in particular against multidrug-resistant nosocomial infections, from microbial biodiversity. At the moment, I am wearing several hats: human resources, commercial development, accounting, financing, communication, research and development, and the most interesting: defining and applying a company development strategy. It seems a lot, but it is team work which above all, requires being surrounded by good employees.

In brief

After high-school, I chose chemistry to work in the health sector. I then specialised in anti-infectious pharmaceutical chemistry (or therapeutic chemistry). My ambition today is to discover a new antibiotic which would bring a true medical benefit against multidrug-resistant nosocomial infections. This is what pushed me to have an interest in all aspects, including economic and strategic, of pharmaceutical research. With the strength of a profound scientific education, and understanding of the ecosystem of the pharmaceutical industry, I started this exciting adventure of setting up an innovative company in the health/biotechnology sector.