About us

The company

CHEMFORASE is a french innovative start-up that manufactures and commercializes affinity resins. The lead product, Hupresin® , makes it possible to purify efficiently butyrylcholinesterase, which should facilitate its large scale production.

  • Mission

    Develop the medical applications of cholinesterases in humans by improving their production process.
  • Ambition

    Make Hupresin® a leading technology for the large scale optimal purification of butyrylcholinesterase.
Logo Université de Rouen

Executive management

  • President Dr. Émilie David
    Ph.D. in organic chemistry

    CHEMFORASE is headed by Emilie David who received her PhD in organic chemistry from the University of Lyon (France). She then moved for post-doctoral studies first at Dartmouth College (New Hampshire, USA) then at Queen’s University (Ontario, Canada). Back in France at the laboratory COBRA in Rouen, she launches into business and starts our own company CHEMFORASE in 2016.  She published numerous papers and holds 3 patents.
  • Associate Antoine Potié
    Financial management support

    Antoine POTIE advises and helps CHEMFORASE to handle its financial and project management. He worked as a human ressources director in a pharmaceutical industry in France for more than 10 years and was then promoted to general manager of a production site in the same company in Ireland for 5 years. Back in France, he took a second step and started its own business. He then directed “ Réseau Entreprendre Seine et Eure” which mission is to support entrepreneurs and corporate buyers. Today, Antoine leverages its expertise to advise local SMEs in recruitment, organization and project management.


  • Project leader Benoît Roubinet
    Ph.D. in organic chemistry

  • Benoît obtained its PhD in Organic Chemistry in 2015 from the University of Rouen (France). Its thesis research project topic was devoted to the development of a novel fluorogenic reporter system for illuminating the DNA replication process. He also worked on the synthesis of new water-soluble long-wavelength organic fluorophores and the design and bioanalytical validations of "smart" optical probes for the detection of various bio-analytes.  He then worked two months as a research assistant for patent drafting at Janssen before moving as a post-doctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institüt for Biophysical Chemistry (Göttingen) in the group of Pr. Hell (Nobel Price 2014) where he developped a new family of photoswitchable molecules usable in super-resolution microscopy. Benoît joined CHEMFORASE as a project leader in 2017.

Key dates

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  1. 2011

    International patent disclosure
  2. 2014

    First sell of Hupresin®
  3. 2016

    CHEMFORASE emergence
  4. 2017

    Start of the R&D program


CHEMFORASE has received awards and support from numerous organizations and partners.

  • Universtiy of Rouen
  • BPI France
  • Seinari
  • Cobra
  • Réseau entreprendre
  • Normandie University
  • Irba

Scientific board

CHEMFORASE is surrounded by international experts in biochemistry, organic chemistry, molecular, structural and chemical biology.


  • Pr Oksana Lockridge
    PhD, biochemistry and structural biology

    Oksana Lockridge is Professor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. She has been studying the human enzyme called butyrylcholinesterase for 40 years and is the world’s leading expert on the subject. Human butyrylcholinesterase can be used to protect people from nerve agent exposure. Human butyrylcholinesterase in blood makes stable adducts with nerve agents and organophosphorus pesticides, making it useful for diagnosing exposure. Her research group has published more than 200 papers.


  • Pr Pierre-Yves Renard
    PhD, organic chemistry

    Pierre-Yves Renard is Professor of organic chemistry and Head of the Bioorganic Chemistry Team of the COBRA Laboratory at the University of Rouen. His main research interests are dealing with the design and synthesis of easy to use and biocompatible chemical tools for the study of biomolecules (organic fluorophores chemistry, chemiluminescence, molecular imaging probes (optics, PET) and bioconjugation). In the past, he worked as a researcher for the French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) and the French DoD Procurement Agency (DGA). He published more than hundred papers and is co-inventor of 12 patents, among which the one on the huprine derivatives and their use for the purification of cholinesterases.

    Dr Florian Nachon
    PhD, biochemistry and structural biology

    Florian Nachon is the Head of Neurotoxics Research Unit at the Armed Forces Biomedical Research Institute in Brétigny-sur-Orge in France. Its research program focuses on the physiopathology, the pretreatment and treatment of organophosphate nerve agents intoxication (design of new reactivators of nerve agents-inhibited cholinesterases and new butyrylcholinesterase-based nerve agents bioscavengers. He published more than hundred papers and is one of the co-inventor of the patent related to the huprine derivatives and their use for the purification of cholinesterases.



Chemforase is located in the laboratory COBRA in Rouen, Normandy (France).
Contact informations


Thursday 30/08/2018
Organophosphorus nerve agents (OP) are highly toxic for human and are used as pesticides, but unfortunately also as chemical warfare agents. Considering the serious threat that they represent to the worldwide security and health, much efforts have been devoted to the development of sensitive and selective devices for their detection. Nowadays, none of the developed strategies have led to a detection system that is at the same time sensitive, rapid, wearable, robust, reliable, universal and visual. The DetectOP-BChE project aims at developing such a system by designing a warning detection system towards OP and an advanced tool to identify the nature of OP responsible for the alert. The PhD position will aim at developing the first tool, in close relationship with a local start-up (CHEMFORASE; www.chemforase.com/en). The strategy is based on the highly sensitive, visual and simply operational fluorescent/colorimetric detection approach associated with the characteristics of cholinesterases as excellent, rapid and selective biomarkers of OP exposure. This novel OP-detection approach will dramatically decrease the false positive alerts, thus enhancing the reliability of the system, and should allow to reach low detection limits in limited time course. The DetectOP-BChE devices will be suitable to the French and International Armed Forces for the protection of their military troops as well as for the protection of first rescuers and surrounding civilians in the context of the perverted use of OP in armed conflicts and terrorist attacks. OP being also used as pesticides, the DetectOP-BChE devices will be applicable for the protection of researchers and staff of the chemical industry as well as farmers.


(Bio)-organic chemist with strong interest for chemistry-biology interface, and involvement in a start-up development. Three years’ contract (“contrat doctoral”) starting on January 1rst 2019 (gross salary 1758€ / month ; net salary ca. 1450 € / month). How to apply : - Vitae, master degree results, recommendation letters or e-mails of two former supervisors. - Before Sept 15th 2018 by e-mail to : pierre-yves.renard@univ-rouen.fr and ludovic.jean@univ-rouen.fr. - Selection process will begin as from sept. 15th 2018.

Required experience

Highly desirable experience