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Cedric Francois to share Apellis Pharmaceuticals success story at Feb. 6 Venture Connectors lunch

Venture Connectors will feature Cedric Francois, M.D., Ph.D., president and CEO of Crestwood, Ky.-based Apellis Pharmaceuticals Inc., on Feb. 6 in Louisville.

Dr. Francois will share the story behind taking the pharmaceutical company public, as well as challenges the company has faced in finding/attracting talent and securing funding. He will also share his perspective on changes in the local entrepreneurial climate during the past decade.

Cedric Francois

Apellis is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of novel therapeutic compounds for the treatment of a broad range of life-threatening or debilitating autoimmune diseases. Dr. Francois co-founded the company in September 2009, and it now has clinical and manufacturing operations all over the world. He also co-founded Potentia Pharmaceuticals Inc., a private biotechnology company that operates as a subsidiary of Apellis, and has served as its President and CEO since 2001.

Dr. Francois earned his medical degree from the University of Leuven in Belgium and his Ph.D. in physiology from the University of Louisville. Following postgraduate training in pediatric and transplant surgery, Dr. Francois served on the research team that performed the first successful hand transplant.

Venture Connectors’ monthly luncheons are held at the Muhammad Ali Center, 144 N. Sixth St., on the first Wednesday of the month. Doors open at 11:45 a.m. and the meeting runs from noon-1 p.m. Networking will take place after lunch.

Each meeting features:

• 30-second open mic announcements about upcoming new companies, events and programs.

• The featured startup, a five-minute presentation by an entrepreneur interested in obtaining capital to start up or support growth and expansion of his or her business.

• A guest speaker or a panel discussion featuring entrepreneurial success stories or trends affecting today’s entrepreneurial climate.

Registration is required at: www.ventureconnectors.org. Members attend free; associate members pay $30. Guests who register online by noon the day before the lunch pay only $40.

From Venture Connectors

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