Partner Emeritus, Sofinnova Partners Industrial Biotech Strategy
Denis has been a key member of the team since he joined Sofinnova Partners in 1991. He's currently a partner and senior advisor, and was Chairman until 2017 and Managing Partner until 2021. As a life sciences investor, he specializes in industrial biotechnology.
Denis’ recent industrial biotechnology investments include BioAmber, Avantium and Biotalys (which went public respectively on NYSE, Euronext Amsterdam and Euronext Brussels) as well as Green Biologics, Microphyt and Micropep. He acts or has acted as a board member for all these companies.
His advice for managers? “You need to hire people who are better than you are.”
Denis began his career in academic research. For five years, he was in charge of the technology transfer department at the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA), France’s agricultural research institute. In 1997, he founded the French biotech entrepreneurs' association, France Biotech.
During his first 17 years at Sofinnova Partners, Denis carried out many investments in health care such as Nicox, Oxford Glycosciences, Oxford Molecular, PPL Therapeutics, Conjuchem, Exonhit, IDM, Innate Pharma, Ablynx, Cerenis, and Noxxon (all of which successfully went public) as well as Novexel (sold to AstraZeneca), and Crop Design (sold to BASF Crop Sciences). He joined the venture capital industry as director of investments at Innolion (Crédit Lyonnais) in 1989.
Denis is a graduate in engineering from Ecole Polytechnique and the École du Génie Rural des Eaux et Forêts. He has a degree in Innovation Management from the Université de Paris-Dauphine.
“You need to hire people who are better than you are.”