The genetic platform to explore, predict and cure fibrotic diseases

Explore

We are a team of GENOMIC EXPLORERS dedicated to cure fibrosis. We work hand in hand with populations under strong natural selection pressure (e.g. Amerindians from Brazil, Allurs, Bantous from Uganda, Hans from Wuhan…) to identify GENETIC VARIANTS of susceptibility or resistance to fibrotic diseases. To explore the mechanisms of fibrosis in new depth, we rely on a unique genomic strategy based on medical genetic expertise in fibrosis, local networks of fields experts and state-of-the-art AI. In cooperation with local institutions & KOLs, our experts have analyzed 40 years of samples (plasma, blood, saliva, DNA and RNA, medical exams, exogenic factors) and led pioneering genetic research in the fields of infectious, parasitic & metabolic diseases.* Our goal is to build a unique dataset representative of humanity’s diversity to bring disease prevention and cure to all communities.

* We always collect samples and data hand in hand with local authorities and populations. We follow up on our patients and bring healthcare to the populations who need it the most by maintaining local teams and by coordinating with NGOs and local authorities.

Genomic data miners

Our discovery platform is built on omics, phenotypic & exogenic MULTIMODAL DATA* analysis via medical and scientific expertise supported by AI/DL. We integrate multimodal data through a scalable/automated variant discovery platform to guide our data collection and the extraction of the strongest genetic variants linked with their causality. All of our variants are then medically validated through multiple etiology association, confirmation in different genetic pools and low pleiotropy.

* including - Whole Genome Sequencing, Whole Exome Sequencing, Genome-Wide Association Study, Exome-Wide Association Study, transcriptomics, phenotypic data, imaging, medical exams, follow up, family linkage, exogen factors and field notes.

I would always choose to work with a small, homogenous well-defined dataset rather than large & poorly defined genomics pools.
Alain Dessein co-founder and CSO

Predict

BILHI Genetics develops predictive algorithms (polygenic risk scores) capable of identifying patients’s genetic predisposition to fibrosis. Our discussions with liver KOLs are unequivocal – following up on all patients suffering from liver complications (e.g. NASH & liver fibrosis caused by alcohol consumption, HCV, obesity…) is cumbersome. What we need is to PREDICT the 20% that will develop cirrhosis and cancer, focus treatment efforts and avoid liver transplant. Our PRS are designed to help practitioners following patients that need it the most and by our biotech and pharma partners to stratify their cohorts and as companion diagnostic.

CURE

We open new therapeutic pathways with genetically validated targets. Today, we have linked 5 pathways linked with fibrosis and built a portfolio including >150 biomarkers and associated therapeutic targets. We are building long term partnerships that will be the foundation of a pipeline of new therapeutic leads focused on fibrosis and metabolic diseases. We partner with like-minded companies that are aligned with our values and with our research strategy.

Project validation Patients recruited Targets identified Medical validation Lead generated Status
Liver Fibrosis
 
 
 
 
Partnership
VARIANT
Keloids
 
 
 
 
 
 
Proprietary
Liver Cancer
 
 
 
 
 
Proprietary
NASH NAFLD
 
 
 
 
Proprietary
Kidney fibrosis
 
 
Proprietary
Eye fibrosis
 
Proprietary
Fibroids
 
Proprietary

WHY FIBROSIS

Fibrosis is a complex polygenic metabolic disease involved in >40% of all deaths in developed countries. It is the excessive formation of fibrous connective tissues as a result of injury in any organ. Most drug pipelines target the same pro-fibrotic pathways (e.g., TGF-β and CTGF*). This siloed approach has yield limited results because of strong pleiotropic effect of these pathways and because of fibrosis’ high polygenicity leading to very high pipeline attrition rates and lots of patients in need.

PARTNERS

INSERMFIOCRUZ
Academic

Over the past 40 years, our scientific team’s research has lead them to numerous countries in Asia, in Africa, in Europe and in Latin America. Over time, our team have learnt to build a solid international network of researchers and doctors, with whom we continue to work with very closely in order to be able to offer solutions adapted to different population types. Research excellence is the “sine qua non” condition towards the success of our entrepreneurial project. For this reason, we are always interested in collaborating with quality researchers who share our values.

OMSOMS
World health

Developing solutions intended to improve the state of a patient’s health only makes sense if the solutions are accessible. Some of the diseases that BILHI Genetics is working on affect some of the most vulnerable populations on the planet, for which the concept of accessibility goes further than simply the pricing. By intervening on-site in Brazil and Uganda, working closely with public health organisations on-site, and by actively participating in discussions lead by the WHO as part of an Expert Committee or during an international conference, BILHI Genetics is working towards achieving a better state of health for everyone. For this, and because we are convinced that we cannot do this alone, we wish to collaborate with any public or private organisation who shares our ambition.

Biotechs & Pharma
Biotech & pharma

Our portfolio is attracting the interest of key players in the field. We are open to partnering with like minded organizations which thrives to cure fibrotic diseases and understand the value of our data and our genetically validated discoveries. We value partners who understand the emergency to find therapeutic and preventive solution for everyone from the richest to the most neglected.

If you wish to partner with us contact us

We source high quality genomic data from the cradles of humanity to answer Biopharma’s lack of diversity & radically improve fibrosis patients’ quality of life
Pierre Dessein co-founder and CEO

BILHIINSIDE

News, Photos, Press, Vidéos... Want to know more ?

TEAM

Alain
DESSEIN
CSO The Explorer
...
My principal interests have been
  • to understand the mechanisms of infectious diseases and more specifically why infections do not cause the same pathology in all individuals: certain being unaffected and other dying,
  • working for the population of South countries on diseases that are more prevalent there since I felt there was more need for help on these diseases. Thus, my wife and me have been working in Africa, Asia and in South America on schistosomiasis, leishmaniasis and malaria.

My more recent interest in HCV HBV infections and on NASH is the consequences of our work on schistosomiasis because the knowledge we have accumulated on hepatic disease caused by schistosomes can be extended to these other infections or metabolic disorders opening the path to new treatments and to severe disease prediction much before it occurs. My goal is also to make our discoveries affordable by the population of South countries including Africa and the neglected people of Brazil.

My best expertise is immunology, and human genetics applied to infectious and metabolic diseases causing chronic hepatic inflammation, hepatic cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma.

Selected Achievements
  • Recipient of a Career Development Award for Studies in Geographic Medicine, Rockefeller Foundation, New York, USA.

  • All findings listed below were first evidence or demonstrations - SEE PUBLICATIONS

  • IgE protects against Helminth infections in experimental models [1, 2]
  • IGE protects against human schistosomiasis and this role is competed i by IgG4 [3-5]
  • Evidence for the activation of human eosinophils and first identification of the cytokines that activate eosinophils in disease [6-10]
  • Demonstration that infection in schistosome endemic populations is determined by human resistance and susceptibility status . Identification and cloning of several schistosome antigen associated with resistance that were included in a vaccine against schistosomes [11-16]
  • Demonstration and gene localization of a major genetic locus that controls infection by schistosomes. Extension of the role of that locus to the control of Plasmodium Falciparum infections (Malaria) [17-19]
  • Demonstration of a major genetic locus that controls hepatic fibrosis in schistosome infected populations of Africa and Asia, identification of the genes involved [20-22]
  • Demonstration of a major gene in Visceral Leishmaniasis; identification of several mutations that cause visceral disease aggravation [23-25]
  • Identification of several mutations that aggravate Cutaneous Leishmaniasis [26]
  • Demonstration that IL-22 plays a crucial role in hepatic fibrosis [22]
  • Demonstration that IL-17 and IL-22 protect against visceral lethal disease in Leishmania infections [27]
  • Development of a genetic test predictive of cirrhosis in HCV-infected subjects and a test predictive of severe hepatic disease in Schistosome-infected subjects [28]
  • Development of a test predictive of hepatocellular cancer in HCV-infected subjects.
Education and Certifications

1975 PhD., Biochemistry and Bacterial Physiology Pasteur Institute, Paris, France

1972 Teacher training degree (Agrégation), biochemistry and physiology Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris, France

1971 Certificate of Fundamental Immunology and Certificate of General Microbiology Pasteur Institute, Paris, France

Pierre
DESSEIN
CEO The Entrepreneur
...
My principal interests have been

I have a strong interest in building businesses that can balance return on investment for shareholders and fairness for consumers. I put all my motivation and energy in contributing to a better access to medicine for all.

I have been running Bilhi Genetics (ex GenePred Biotechnologies) over the past 7 years and raised up to 7 million euros of equity money and subsidies. I acquired a strong of management of teams in Europe but also in emerging economies in south America and Africa. I got my personal interest for fair business while working alongside Emmanuel Faber (former CEO, DANONE) in several countries of Asia including Bangladesh where Danone set up a joint venture with Grameen from Muhammad Yunus (Nobel Prize).

Deep down inside I am an entrepreneur and optimist with a strong cross-functional team leadership capacity. I know how to make people trust and follow me while always trying to be honest and fair. I feel more comfortable in intellectually challenging environment and I trust team winnings. My experience of executive management has made enable me to learn strategic thinking and to be able to change my company’s business model to better fit the expectation of the market.

Selected Achievements
  • Set-up, organised and contributed to the growth of a genomics company
  • Contributed to the creation and growth of the largest and most precise (high quality) fibrosis cohorts in Brazil and Africa (Uganda, Kenya, Mali, Sudan)
  • Brought two diagnostics products to CE-Mark
  • Multimillion-dollar fund raising and subsidies
  • Multimillion-dollar milestones & royalty deals with biotech (confidential)
Education and Certifications

2012 Entrepreneurship certification HEC, Paris, France

2010 Attorney at Law France Paris, France

2010 Attorney at Law New York New York, United-States of America

2009 LL.M. International Business Law University of California, Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco, United-States of America

2006 J.D International Business Law Aix-en-Provence University, France

2006 Business Lawyer Diploma (DJCE) Aix-en-Provence University, France

2005 Master International Law Edinburgh University, Scotland

Stéphane
LUCCHINI
COO The Suit
...
My principal interests have been

The central focus of my professional mind-set is "Getting to We"

While working 25 years in the pharmaceutical industry, I negotiated and executed multi-hundred million dollar milestones & royalty deals with start-ups, NGOs and multi-national pharmaceutical companies.

I built up a vast experience in developing highly collaborative partnering strategies and managing successful alliances with partners in most developed countries (Europe, North America, Japan) as well as emerging economies (India, Africa).

My defined strengths are entrepreneurial spirit and strategic capabilities. I am regarded as a person highly reliable in implementing strategies and monitoring their execution. I'm able to quickly create an empowering environment of trust and give the team the confidence and opportunity to go beyond the expected and develop individuals to their fullest potential.

In addition colleagues and team members like my way of guiding them as a strategic leader, being approachable, transparent, empathetic and an inspiring mentor.

Selected Achievements
  • Multi-hundred million dollar milestones & royalty deals with Med-Techs (confidential, Alcon)
  • Multi-hundred million dollar milestones & royalty deals with Teva Pharmaceutical (see MedinCell's PR)
  • Several million dollar milestones & profit sharing deal with Sandoz (see MedinCell's PR)
  • Several million grants with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (see MedinCell's PR)
  • Profit sharing deal with AIC (Arthritis Innovation Company, see MedinCell’s website)
  • MedinCell's IPO (2018, EuroNext, MEDCL.PA)
Education and Certifications

2017 Certificate of Achievement - Alliance Management (CA-AM) ASAP, Canton, MA, USA

2015 Certification, Development of Strategic Accounts CEGOS, Paris, France

2015 Certification, Key Account Management CEGOS, Paris, France

2014 Certification, Customer Relationship Management CEGOS, Paris, France

2006 Master degree in Business Development CEGOS, Paris, France

1994 PhD in Neurobiology & Biochemistry CNRS, Marseille, France

Louis-Alexandre
ETEZAD-HEYDARI
Chief AI Officer The Hacker
...
Talk is cheap

I confounded MADBITS, a tech startup that focuses on building new user experiences in the media space. Image understanding is a task of primary importance for a wide range of practical applications. At MADBITS we were primarily focused in the task of image search, and the creation of intelligent dynamic image sets to automatically organize large databases of images.

We were acquired by Twitter. At Twitter I confounded a team called Cortex. Cortex mission was to represent data at twitter (tweets, images, videos, follow graph…. To assist and enable powerful product features. within cortex, I ran a team called Cortex Loop. Thi team focused on leveraging the machine learning/deep learning platform powering every aspect of the Twitter product (recommendation systems, search, timeline, ranking…) created by Cortex Core. The team focused on (1) bootstrapping models of text, images, video, users and (2) adapting these models continuous.

"Garbage in garbage out". With a lot and diverse experience leveraging deep learning,I have learned to go against “big data” and rather focus on “smart data”.Deep learning is “representation learning”, smart data start with representative data.

Audrey
ROMANO
Research Project Director The Equilibrist
...
My principal interests have been
  • to understand the immune response to pathogens;
  • to carry out transversal research. Infectious diseases are complex and multifactorial. They are the results of host-pathogen and sometimes vector interactions. To understand such diseases, you need to study and analyze the interaction of every factors. Leishmaniasis had been a wonderful example of this kind of interaction. I had the opportunity to study sand flies (Leishmania vector), the genetic factors of the parasite involved in the different forms of the disease and to analyze and compare the host immune response in different organs. These experiences allow me to think of a scientific problem from different angle and point of view;
  • To supervise, teach and train students and collaborators to laboratory technics, and scientific concepts.

My more recent interest are on HCC, NASH and ageing skin. I have been involved in translational research by designing clinical trials, recruiting patients as well as designing and supervising research project.

My best expertise rely on cellular immunology, host-pathogen interaction, genetics and clinical research.

Selected Achievements
  • Demonstration that IL-22 plays a crucial role in hepatic fibrosis (Journal of clinical investigation, 2009)
  • Description of the role of regulatory T cells in human schistosomiasis (PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 2016)
  • First demonstration of cross-species genetic exchange between two different strains of Leishmania parasites (PNAS, 2014)
  • Demonstration of the efficiency of leishmanization vaccination against the deadly visceral leishmaniasis (Journal of Immunology, 2015)
  • First description of the dual role of inflammatory monocytes during cutaneous leishmaniasis (Plos Pathogen, 2017)
  • Description of the role of monocytes in different cutaneous leishmaniasis (FASEB, 2018, ell host and microbe, 2020)
Education and Certifications

2005 - 2009 Ph.D. with Honors (Human Pathology) INSERM U906, Department of Immunogenetic of Parasitic Diseases, University of Aix-Marseille, France

2004 - 2005 M. Sc, Department of Genomic and Health University of Aix-Marseille, France

2003 - 2004 M. Sc, Department of Cellular Biology University of Aix-Marseille, France

Annabelle
ARMAND
CTO The Artist
...
My principal interests have been
  • to find solutions for each projects need and match business impediments with quality,
  • to train and motivate teams to learn new skills and autonomy,
  • to enhance quality and minify risks by creating and implementing suitable processes and tools

My more recent interests are on architecture network and data security.

My best expertise rely on project management and best practices evangelization.

Selected Achievements
  • Design and implementation of IT architecture based on legal constraints and security
  • Standardization of best practices processes and policies
  • Secured access on site and via VPN through LDAP authentication
  • Transverse knowledge from Web to IoT
Professional Experience

2017 - Present Director, IT Marseille, France
BILHI Genetics - predicting and preventing fibrosis

2012 - 2016 Director, IT Paris, France
Haiku Corp - Software and Mobile editor

2011 - 2012 Project manager, IT Paris, France
Haiku Corp - Software and Mobile editor

2010 - 2011 Project manager, IT Boulogne-Billancourt, France
Meetic Group - European leader in dating services

2007 - 2009 Project manager, IT Paris, France
Pixmania Group - Retail e-Commerce

2005 - 2007 Software Developer, IT Paris, France
Pixmania Group - Retail e-Commerce

Education and Certifications

2004 Master of Biochemistry University of Paris VI Pierre & Marie Curie, France

Bruno
DESSEIN
Logistics Manager The Organizer
...
My principal interests have been

Curious, I like to discover, understand and enrich myself with everything the world of work has to offer me and thus use these tools to build and share lasting solutions with my coworkers.

What drives me is the need to adapt, to evolve in order to respond to all new challenges.

Completely autonomous, I like to share my experiences and my solutions with the operational teams.

The various projects that I have carried out in France and internationally have given me solid experience in team management. My experiences in Gabon, Congo, Angola, Ghana, Uganda and other African countries have strengthened my ability to know how to adapt my work to the field and to always offer lasting solutions to achieve our objectives.

My ability to transform ideas into a business project allowed me to found Bilhi Genetics. All these projects have strengthened my resilience, my creativity, my ingenuity, my ability to solve complex problems and to have a long-term vision. Time and stress management are also qualities that allow me to manage teams.

Selected Achievements
  • Successfully founded a biotechnology start-up;
  • created and contributed to the growth of a therapeutic department;
  • participated in the development of diagnostic products with CE marking;
  • created, planned, deployed standards, quality policies, in different companies;
  • developed methodologies for the organization, planning and support for industrial projects in France and internationally.
Education and Certifications

2020 Management and soft skills certification Institut La Forbine, Aubagne, France

2012 Entrepreneurship certification HEC, Paris, France

2007 Master in Quality CESI Méditerranée, Aix en provence, France

2006 Master of Human Pathology, specialty Infectious Diseases and Pathologies Tropical Faculty of Medicine, Marseille, France

Nicolas
DUFLOT
Bio-informatics and Genetics The Bio Hacker
...
My principal interests have been

My principal interest has been to search genetics biomarkers to predict and characterize biological observations like disease progression/outcome or speciation events.

My first experiences in genetics were in the field of ecology, studying Chondrostoma species, a typical fish found in south France’s rivers. I used to manage genetics microsatellite data correlated to geographic information system in the aim to create algorithms to predict speciation event impact on the genetic diversity.

In 2014, I joined BILHI Genetics research team supervised by Pr Alain Dessein, already working on diverse fibrosis diseases. Since then, I worked on the discovery of genetic markers (punctual mutations) that could predict pathology outcome and consequences. I manage and analyze millions of genomic mutations extracted from next generation sequencing data like whole genome sequencing, exome sequencing or Genome Wide Association Study genotyping. All the results obtained helps to understand the mechanisms of fibrosis/cancer development: witch is not the same on individuals, certain being unaffected and other dying.

My best expertise is bio-informatics, data management and human genetics.

Professional Experience

2014 - Present Bio-informatics and informatics Marseille, France
BILHI Genetics - predicting and preventing fibrosis

2013 - 2014 Research Engineer Marseille, France
Mediterranean Institute of Biodiversity, Marine and Continental Ecology, Aix Marseille University

Education and Certifications

2017 PhD., Genetics and bio-informatics Faculty of Medicine & Aix Marseille University, France

2013 Master degree, Bioinformatics, Structural Biochemistry and Genomics Aix Marseille University, France

...
Team
UGANDA
...

In order to work closely to the population and contribute to local training and ensure the quality of our work on site we prefer hiring local workers

  • 4 Nurses
  • 2 Radiologists
  • 2 MDs
  • 6 Technical assistants
...
Team
BRAZIL
...

The personal history of the founders is at the origin of the close links with Brazil. Today we have partnerships with more than 6 hospitals in the country, where key opinion leaders and local health workers are recruiting for us