ELPEN is starting a collaboration with a great and award-winning Greek scientist abroad, Dr. Dimitris Iliopoulos, founder of the Center for Systemic Biomedicine at UCLA University School of Medicine, one of the leading high-tech drug development centers. With a prominent scientific career of international prestige and recognition, Dr. Iliopoulos was recently included in Stanford University’s list of the top 2% of scientists with the most literature citations. It is worth noting that the list includes personalities from all walks of life.
This important collaboration became official following the new investment of ELPEN in a Research & Innovation Park in Spata, Attica. Dr. Iliopoulos assumes the position of Chairman of the independent Scientific Board of the Park, responsible for the implementation and sustainable development of its five-year business plan. The Scientific Board will include prominent, highly qualified and internationally renowned scientists, to be announced soon.
With the vision of accelerating the process of drug development for the benefit of patients as his compass, Dr. Iliopoulos moved to the entrepreneurial arena/space to create three companies: In the United States he created the biotechnology company “Athos Therapeutics”, active in the development of new therapies for autoimmune diseases and in Greece, “Dyania Health”, developing software to speed up the process of finding patients for clinical trials, and “Attica Sciences”, utilizing the healing properties of Greek plant and animal raw materials for the treatment of a number of diseases, such as cancer.
With perpetual dedication in the field of research and faith in Greek scientists, ELPEN makes use of the scientific capital of our country to staff the new Research & Innovation Park in Spata, Attica. This new investment of the company is a unique project not only for Greece, but also for the wider European region. The Park will serve as a host for biotechnology start-ups that in addition to the latest technology infrastructure and equipment, will be provided with opportunities to connect with the industry and investment funds as well as valuable mentoring that will help fuel the companies’ growth. At the same time, the Park will provide the opportunity for Greek and foreign researchers to conduct research on various diseases. The Park will also operate a biobank, aiming to collect patient samples in collaboration with university clinics and hospitals and analyze data that will aid future development of treatments for specific diseases.
With regard to his collaboration with ELPEN, Dr. Dimitris Iliopoulos stated “ELPEN is one of the leading Greek pharmaceutical companies with significant know-how in the field of development and production of high quality pharmaceutical products. In this context, I express my sincere joy and gratitude for the beginning of our collaboration. ELPEN’s Research & Innovation Park will provide multiple benefits for the country, the economy and the patients. It signifies an initiative, taking place for the first time in Greece, with the creation of a biotechnology incubator that will allow researchers to host their efforts within Greece, preventing them from fleeing abroad. A decisive step for the success of the project is the company’s decision to set up a Scientific Board, and in fact an independent one, that will oversee the formation and implementation of the Park’s business plan. In the immediate future, the names of the people who will form the committee from Greece and abroad will be announced”.
With regard to the cooperation of ELPEN with Dr. D. Iliopoulos, ELPEN’s Board Member and Project Leader of the Research & Innovation Park, Ms. Eleni Pentafraga stated “ELPEN has a tradition of investing in research and collaboration with the scientific and research community of our country. It consistently invests 10% of its annual turnover in research programs and since 1996 has established the first and largest private Experimental, Educational & Research Center in Greece. With this new investment in Spata, Attica, ELPEN aspires to create a vibrant ecosystem in health and life sciences, where ideas will flow without boundaries between the various activities located in the Park, aiming to
combine academic research, entrepreneurship and education. We want remarkable Greek scientists to find the proper environment and infrastructure to return to Greece, accelerating the growth of our country’s innovation ecosystem. In this context, our collaboration with Dr. Iliopoulos, a great Greek scientist of international acclaim, will actively contribute to the diffusion of knowledge and the transfer of know-how from the academic and business reality abroad “.
Additional Information for Dr. Dimitris Iliopoulos
Dr. Iliopoulos studied Biology at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. He continued his studies in Molecular Oncology at Ohio State University. In 2007 he went on as a postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at Harvard in the laboratory of Kevin Struhl, a world-renowned professor of Molecular Genetics. At the age of 31, he was elected Assistant Professor in the Department of Cancer Immunology and AIDS at the Dana-Farber Institute for Cancer and in the Department of Microbiology and Immunobiology at Harvard Medical School and was subsequently elected Associate Professor of Gastroenterology at UCLA University School of Medicine.