About Us

Guillaume Costecalde, MSc, MBA
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer

Guillaume is the co-founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Univercell-Biosolutions (founded 2010). Guillaume is a biotech professional with over fifteen years of experience in biotech entrepreneurship, regulations, and strategy development. He started his entrepreneurial career at the genopole, France’s leading biotech cluster. In 2003 Guillaume founded Physiogenex, a start-up company focused on preclinical validation and translational technologies dedicated to obesity, diabetes and cardio-vascular disorders. Moreover, Guillaume is stimulating entrepreneurship by mentoring and e.g. being a member of the board of directors of biotech start-ups as Genoskin. As French Embassy Pharmacy and Biotechnology attaché (2000-2002) for North America, Guillaume managed numerous regulatory affairs and was advancing the development of French biotech companies in the U.S.A. Additionally, Guillaume had been publication director of the “flash biotech info” Journal, devoted to the government and key decision makers in France. This journal focuses on strategy development of the biotech and pharmaceutical sector in the United States. Guillaume holds a master in physiology and a second master in genetics and molecular biology from the Paul Sabatier University (Toulouse, France). Furthermore, Guillaume earned an MBA specialized in accounting and finance from the Audencia School of management (Nantes, France).

Bénédicte Prunet, PhD
Production, Chief Operating Officer

Bénédicte joined Univercell-Biosolutions in 2016 as Chief Operating Officer. Bénédicte has a strong track record in industrial process technology related to production scale-up, design of customized solutions and regulatory compliance in the field of preclinical metabolic cell biology. In addition to her excellent technical background, Bénédicte has over ten years of experience in project and team management. During her postdoctoral fellowship (CNRS, Toulouse, France), she collaborated with an industrial partner (Servier) to develop a high throughput screening platform, that identified multiple lead compounds for metabolic diseases. As project and team manager for assay development (at Physiogenex S.A.S.), Bénédicte established customized preclinical pharmacology platforms (in vitro and in vivo) from the ground-up and implemented them to the manufacturing process under consideration of strict regulatory requirements (GLP, radiation protection, animal and human cell ethics). In 2011, Bénédicte had been appointed Head of Diabetes and Obesity department at Physiogenex S.A.S. and was responsible for animal and cell model development to validate pharmacological mechanisms. As a senior consultant (2014 – 2016) Bénédicte was specialized on project management (for e.g. Pierre Fabre Medicament) and operational organization for biotech and pharmaceutical companies.

Bruno Blanchi, PhD,
Scientific Lead, Cardiomyocyte, Neuron and Endothelial cell Programs

Bruno’s contribution to Univercell Biosolutions’s R&D programs lies in his broad expertise of cellular systems and control of cell differentiation and specification, including more than ten years of experience of human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC) derived models. Bruno holds a PhD in Immunology obtained at the Center for Immunology of Marseille-Luminy (CIML) working on genetic control of hematopoiesis and central nervous system development. As a postdoctoral fellow then an assistant researcher at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Bruno developed hPSC-derived models for autism spectrum disorders (ASD) receiving fellowships from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) and Rett Syndrome foundation (IRSF). At UNIVERCELL-BIOSOLUTIONS Bruno is leading the cardiomyocyte, neuron and endothelial cell programs with the aim of providing the industry with physiologically functional and pharmacologically and toxicologically predictive human in vitro models.

Marie José Lecomte, PhD
Scientific Lead β-cell development

Marie José has a strong background in animal and cell model development related to health and disease. She holds a PhD in Neuroscience and Molecular Biology and devoted more than twelve years of her career to basic and applied neurobiology research in academia, publishing her research in several peer-reviewed journals. Before joining Univercell-Biosolutions in 2013, Marie José worked for three years as project manager at NewVectys, a biotech company specialized in gene transfer technologies to develop advanced gene therapies and large animal models. Additionally, Marie José is contributing to the European program, FP7 BIOSID, dedicated to the development of a bioartificial pancreas to treat diabetes type1. At Univercell-Biosolutions Marie José is leading the β -cell program, including the development of different media, aiming to provide both industry and academia with better in vitro models for drug discovery and diseases modelling.

Laurent Caillot, MSc
Engineering Lead Media Development

Laurent was trained as an engineer and is an expert in the development and production of defined cell culture media. Before joining Univercell-Biosolutions, Laurent had been the director of media development at ABcell Bio and Mako Pharma for over ten years. He developed and formulated serum-free media, serving as a reference, for various cell types (e.g. hematopoietic stem cells, endothelial cells and mesenchymal stem cells). Moreover, Laurent the culture-meadia-expert for several national or European projects (Cascade, Genostem) and successfully developed media production processes, meeting GMP requirement for cell therapy applications.