About us

Our team

The Aplantex team

Aplantex grew out of the innovative work of a multidisciplinary team determined to simplify and expand access to bioactive plant molecules that are beneficial to health and wellness.

Our C-Suite

Patrick Charest, B.Sc., P. Eng.

Patrick has been contributing to the growth of leading companies for over 25 years. A dynamic and inspiring leader, he has a talent for designing and executing successful growth strategies. He is an engineer who has dedicated his career to business development and growth initiatives. In 2020, drawing on his wealth of business experience, Patrick took part in the startup of a Calgary company specializing in artificial intelligence and data analysis. After that highly positive experience, which left him newly inspired by the unparallelled enthusiasm of the startup world, what could be more natural than taking the helm of another promising company, this time in biotechnology? Today, Aplantex is in full expansion. Patrick has degrees in biotechnology and chemical engineering from Université de Sherbrooke. He is enrolled in a mini-MBA program at McGill University and is a member in good standing of the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec.

Mourad Sabri, PhD

Mourad studied pharmacology and microbiology before completing his PhD in molecular biology at the INRS Institut Armand Frappier, followed by a postdoctoral internship in microbiology/molecular virology at Université Laval. Mourad founded his first business in 2015. SyntBioLab Inc., specializing in the development of phage alternatives for chemical antibiotics, now produces and markets veterinary preparations based on bacteriophages. After taking on a science investment advisory role with the management team at Groupe Méridien, he became a science director for Navaya Inc., a cannabis production and processing firm. Since 2020, Mourad has devoted himself entirely to the development of Aplantex. Mourad is the founding shareholder responsible for scientific development, including the company’s private-public partnerships with academic, college and university partners.

André LeBlanc, PhD

Andre is an expert in mass spectrometry and lab management, with extensive experience analyzing small and large molecules for clinical and pharmaceutical research. His background in industry and research includes laboratory management, project management, client relations, regulatory monitoring, and teaching and training. André has held many research and management positions since earning his degrees in 2016, starting with the management of the mass spectrometry facilities at the Lady Davis Institute of the Jewish General Hospital in Montréal, followed by positions at RMR Proteomics, Navaya and Altasciences. He has a doctorate in analytical chemistry/mass spectrometry from Université du Québec à Montréal (UQÀM) and has completed two postdoctoral internships. His practical experience and reputation in the industry will be valuable assets for Aplantex.

Patricia Houle, CMA, CPA, MBA

Patricia is a born entrepreneur. Her involvement in multiple family businesses, her career trajectory and her more than 20 years of experience in the management and financing of small businesses in several different industries make her an outstanding strategic resource. Patricia is the president of Himalaya Conseil Inc., a business that has been offering outsourced CFO services since 2015. This unique position has exposed her to a broad range of experiences and contacts, a clear advantage for Aplantex in its strategic financial management. Patricia has a Bachelor’s of Business Administration and a Master’s of Administration from Université de Sherbrooke, and she is a member of the Ordre des Comptables agréés.

Marc-André Ménard, CAAP

An experienced communications and marketing expert, Marc-André has a unique combination of skills thanks to a rich and varied career in the most prestigious national and international advertising firms. Marc-André has also climbed up through the ranks to become a B2C and B2B marketing director. He has been a key player in managing the marketing mix of the following brands: B2C: Knorr, Molson, Coors, Mazda, L’Oréal, Nutrience, Magic Bag and Vachon; B2B: Marcotte, Termaco, Gelpac. Marc-André studied at HEC Montréal and holds the title of CAAP (Communications and Advertising Accredited Professional).

Aplantex Advisory Board

Véronique Bougie, MSc

COO, Sema Thera Inc. – Strategic Development Advisor and Chairwoman of Aplantex’s Advisory Board
Enthusiastic and dedicated to promoting leading-edge innovations by creating the best possible environment for their development, Véronique was involved in the creation and management of four biotech startups supported by AmorChem, a risk capital fund in Montréal. Trained in microbiology, virology and immunology, she excels at managing teams, developing partnerships, negotiating and closing deals. Dedicated and exacting, Véronique is a member of the executive board of BIOQuébec, the largest network of biotechnology and life sciences companies in Québec. She serves as marketing advisor for Aplantex.

Philippe Trudeau

Strategic Development Expert – Key Markets Advisor
Consultant in organizational leadership, strategic planning and optimization of the manufacturing process.

Entrepreneur with more than 30 years of experience in the field of consumer goods, Philippe’s main accomplishment is the transformation of the family business, Trudeau Corporation, from a local distributor to an internationally recognized leader in kitchen accessories. He was instrumental in the creation of the Trudeau trademark and the creation of sub-brands to meet various market segments. Most recently, he orchestrated a major upgrade of the Adrien Gagnon brand, a leader in the natural supplements industry, rejuvenating its brand image while propelling it to new markets nationally and internationally. His areas of expertise are particularly focused on business development, operations, and product development. Philippe sits on various boards of directors, is a coach for start-ups and is a regular guest speaker at various MBA classes at universities in Quebec. He acts as a strategic market development advisor for Aplantex.

Marie-Christine Locas, M. App. Sc.

General Manager at Nexelis Laval – Strategic Advisor for Industrialization and Manufacturing Operations
Marie-Christine is a skilled manager with advanced expertise in managing technology investment projects and improving the quality and performance of manufacturing operations. Known for her exceptional ability to solve complex multidisciplinary problems and manage highly effective teams, she has a real passion for helping her team members develop into extraordinary professionals. Over the past twenty years, she has held a series of key positions in R&D and industrial affairs – first as a process engineer and pilot plant manager for Biogen (California), then with the Sanofi Group (Toronto) where she worked in a variety of roles, culminating in her appointment as director of industrial manufacturing technology. She also served as Senior Director of Manufacturing Sciences and Technology at Medicago (Quebec City). Marie-Christine graduated from the École Polytechnique de Montréal with a master's degree in Applied Sciences (biotechnology process control). Her technical expertise, sensitivity to quality control, and understanding of the regulatory framework for injectable biopharmaceutical products give her a holistic view of industrial operations in this business sector. Marie-Christine Locas serves as Strategic Advisor for Industrialization and Manufacturing Operations for Aplantex.

Jean-Sébastien Crépeau

Portfolio management expert – Financial strategy advisor
Jean-Sébastien’s career has focused on the functions of investment advisor and portfolio manager. He practised for nearly 20 years with Scotia McLeod and then RBC. At the age of 33, Jean-Sébastien became the youngest person to earn a discretionary portfolio manager licence at RBC Dominion Securities. He also holds the Fellow of CSI title (Canadian Securities Institute). Today, in addition to his personal investment projects, he is devoted to assisting the people around him, sharing his knowledge and helping people to achieve their personal and professional goals. Jean-Sébastien serves as financial strategist for Aplantex.

Me Maxime Bernatchez

Lawyer and partner, Hackett Campbell Bouchard – Legal advisor
Admitted to the bar in 1998, Maxime Bernatchez has been a partner and team member at Hackett Campbell Bouchard since 2019. Maxime is an experienced lawyer who pleads regularly before all the Québec courts. He has been teaching law at Cégep de Sherbrooke and evidence and procedure at the École du Barreau du Québec for many years. Maxime is well known for his social and professional involvement, having served as bâtonnier in the Saint-François district and as president of the Association des avocats et avocates de province (AAP). He heads the civil litigation department at HCB and is an accredited civil and commercial mediator. Maxime serves as legal advisor for Aplantex.

Normand Flageole

President, Faste Communication – Communications advisor
With his in-depth experience in the world of electronic and print media, Normand Flageole is known as a talented and remarkably energetic idea man. He achieved a lifelong dream when he became co-shareholder and then principal shareholder of FASTE Communication. He knows the web, social media, radio, television, and newspaper and print like the back of his hand, having spent more than a quarter century generating passionate communications campaigns dedicated to the success of entrepreneurs. Normand serves as communications advisor for Aplantex.

Patrick Beck, eng. MScA

Vice-President, Natural Resources, Industry and Environment, SGS Canada Inc. – Operations management advisor
Polytechnique Montréal graduate Patrick Beck has over 25 years of experience managing multidisciplinary groups in the field of technical services across Canada, in the US and in Europe. Recognized for his operational rigour and his ability to collaborate and build trusting relationships with both employees and clients, he has trained and guided experienced teams throughout his career to create profitable and lasting growth. More recently, he has been managing the complete integration process for a strategic acquisition within SGS, where he also chairs the Board of Directors. Patrick serves as management advisor for Aplantex.

George Elvira, PhD,

Partner and Patent Agent, Gowling WLG – Intellectual property advisor
Based in Gowling WLG's Montréal office, George Elvira is a partner and registered patent agent in Canada and the United States. With close to two decades of experience in the intellectual property field, George helps innovative organizations in Canada and abroad customize, develop and implement intellectual property management programs and strategies that align with their business and strategic objectives – resulting in tangible and measurable business value for senior management. His combination of intellectual property advisory work and extensive scientific knowledge enables him to effectively advise clients in building and leveraging intellectual property assets such as patents, trade-secrets and trademarks, as well as in several key global sectors, including biotechnology, clean technology, cannabis, pharmaceuticals, animal health and advanced materials. He serves as intellectual property advisor for Aplantex.
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