Damien Dessis


Damien Dessis spent most of his career in the pharmaceutical industry at GlaxoSmithKline global biologicals headquarters. He started in 2004 as a business analyst for external growth opportunities, then moved to strategic marketing in 2006 to lead the product strategy of several early products.

In 2008, he transitioned to the Office of the President where he led various strategic transversal projects and represented GSK in a number of global institutions.

In 2010, he joined the Business Development & Licensing department to negotiate pandemic agreements with governments, research collaborations and licensing agreements of various products and technologies, and evaluate potential acquisitions. He participated to GSK’s volunteer programme in 2013 as a business strategy manager for the Grameen Foundation in Ghana.

In 2014, Damien became the general manager of the newly created Bordeaux comprehensive cancer center. He then joined Budev, a Dutch medical device company, in 2015 as CFO and Head of the America business division.

In 2016, he started advising several life sciences start-up companies on business strategy and business development activities and co-founded Bio4ward, a company specializing in supporting life sciences start-ups and SMEs. He joined in parallel the Aquitaine tech transfer office as Head of markets and innovation. Since 2017, he serves as Head of Business Development at Valneva, a listed biopharmaceutical company, and is responsible for all BD and alliance management activities related to R&D.

Damien holds a master’s degree in Scientific and Technical Innovation in Biology from the Engineer Institute of Angers (ISTIA), France, and a post graduate diploma in International Industrial Project Management from the University Louis Pasteur in Strasbourg, France. He also attended executive education programmes at INSEAD (Finance for executives) and Harvard Business School (Negotiation and competitive decision making). Damien speaks French, English and understands Spanish.

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