Owkin appoints Sanofi’s Global Head of Partnering Alban de La Sablière as Chief Business Officer

Duration:5 mins

Tags: Culture


Date:October 4th, 2022


Owkin appoints Sanofi’s Global Head of Partnering Alban de La Sablière as Chief Business Officer

AI biotech company Owkin has appointed ​​Alban de La Sablière, formerly SVP Global Head of Partnering at Sanofi, as Chief Business Officer.

At Owkin, Alban will lead the scaling of the company’s commercial and corporate development efforts with biopharmaceutical partners, while actively participating in the company’s platform and pipeline creation strategies. He will be responsible for all revenue, IP and corporate development growth, including M&A opportunities, such as the licensing of molecules, divestitures, and strategic partnerships.

For six years, Alban led Sanofi's global partnering, business development, licensing and M&A efforts, reporting to the company’s CEO Paul Hudson. In his new role at Owkin, Alban will work closely with Owkin’s Co-founder and CEO, Thomas Clozel, to play a crucial role in helping the company achieve its mission of finding the right treatment for every patient.

Alban de La Sablière, Chief Business Officer at Owkin, said:

Owkin’s approach to medical research is revolutionizing the way we develop new treatments. Having enjoyed years leading commercial and partnership development at the top of the biopharma industry, I am now excited to join the most disruptive AI biotech company in the world in its journey towards unlocking a whole new generation of treatments for patients and contribute to making Owkin the industry leader in the AI drug discovery and development space.

Thomas Clozel, Co-founder and CEO at Owkin, said:

Alban’s experience at the top of the biopharmaceutical industry is unparalleled. He will play a crucial role in translating Owkin’s expertise in artificial intelligence and biology into innovative new treatments for patients. I am excited to work closely with him to revolutionize the way we treat and diagnose patients. Alban’s sense of urgency and drive match the pace of Owkin’s development and our ambition.

As SVP Global Head of Partnering at Sanofi, including Sanofi Ventures, Alban repositioned Sanofi’s business development efforts towards innovative medicines, including significant partnership deals with Denali, Kiadis, Kymera, Biond, Mab Discovery, Nurix, IGM, Seagen, Innovent and Translate Bio. He also led Sanofi’s ambitious digital health efforts with major partnerships with Owkin, Exscientia and Atomwise. Under Alban’s leadership, Sanofi Ventures significantly increased its activity, including leading multiple venture investments in both the US and Europe. Alban led $30bn of acquisitions of companies at various development stages, including the acquisition of Principia, Synthorx, Translate Bio, Kadmon, Bioverativ, Ablynx and Protein Sciences, and numerous portfolio-reshaping divestments, including the sale of Zentiva. Prior to joining Sanofi in 2016, Alban led Morgan Stanley’s French M&A practice. Alban holds an MBA from HEC Paris, is a father of two teenagers and is an avid swimmer and runner.

About Owkin

Owkin is a French-American startup that specializes in AI and federated learning for medical research. It was co-founded in 2016 by Dr Thomas Clozel M.D., a clinical research doctor and former assistant professor in clinical hematology, and Dr Gilles Wainrib, Ph.D., a pioneer in the field of artificial intelligence in biology.

Using federated learning and breakthrough collaborative AI technology, Owkin enables its partners to unlock siloed datasets while protecting patient privacy and securing proprietary data. Through sharing high-value insights, the company powers unprecedented collaboration to improve patient outcomes. 

Owkin works with the most prominent cancer centers and pharmaceutical companies in Europe and the US. In November, Owkin became a ‘unicorn’ – a startup valued at more than $1 billion – through a new $180 million investment from French pharmaceutical company Sanofi.