Launched in 2016, the adventure is coming to an end after 5 years of work carried out within the RHU CHOPIN (CHOlesterol Personalized INnovation), and with a strong collaboration between HCS Pharma and l’Institut du thorax. This collaborative project of national scope was led by Professor Bertrand Cariou, director of the Thorax Institute at the IRS-UN (8 quai Moncousu, Nantes). It was based on a consortium of scientists and clinicians and on a public-private partnership that brought together 8 institutional partners and 6 private partners.

Familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) is an inherited genetic disease, associated to elevated blood LDL-cholesterol (LDL-c) levels from birth, regardless of lifestyle, diet, or weight. Chronic exposure to elevated LDL-c levels causes early cardiovascular events (women <60 years, men <55 years).

The objective of the CHOPIN medical-scientific project was to implement personalized management of hypercholesterolemia by:

  • Identifying new functions of PCSK9 (major role in cholesterol metabolism)
  • Identifying new cardiovascular protective factors in familial hypercholesterolemia
  • Evaluating the long-term consequences of high LDL levels
  • Identifying new genetic targets in LDL metabolism

This was successfully achieved through:

  • The constitution of cohorts of patients with extremely high levels of LDL-c to identify new genes involved in cholesterol metabolism.
  • The validation of therapeutic targets using an innovative cellular model: human hepatocytes derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs).

In this frame, the collaboration between HCS Pharma and l’institut du Thorax has allowed to highlight a new role of PCSK9 by NODAL regulation signaling pathway and cellular proliferation in hiPSCs (cf. publication: and to develop a protocol of differentiation of hiPSCs into liver organoids in a 3D hydroscaffold of hyaluronic acid called BIOMIMESYS® (produced by HCS Pharma)  

A patent is being submitted and will be followed by another publication on the topic (you can see a poster with preliminary results on the right, please contact us to get a higher quality version)

Grégory MAUBON

Grégory MAUBON is Chief Data Officer and digital coordinator at HCS Pharma, a biotech startup focused in high content screening and complex diseases. He manages IT missions and leads digital usages linked to company needs. He is also a Augmented Reality Evangelist (presenter and lecturer) since 2008, where he created and founded in 2010 RA'pro (the augmented reality promotion association). He helped many companies (in several domains) to define precisely their augmented reality needs and supported them in the implementation.


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