History of PorphyChem Company

Roger Guilard took the initiative of the PorphyChem SAS project which was founded in June 2013 by Dr. Benoit Habermeyer and Dr. Jean-Michel Barbe with the will to promote porphyrin derivatives and technology in both research and industrial applications. Research is increasingly demanding in saving its resources and time. In this regard, PorphyChem was created to offer its skills in the design and the synthesis of porphyrins, phthalocyanines and related compounds. PorphyChem is a spin-off from the Institute of Molecular Chemistry of the University of Burgundy, which holds more than 35 years of experience in porphyrin chemistry and related compounds.

Initially, the laboratory synthesized iron and cobalt metalloporphyrins as biomimetic models of enzymes. At the same time, the group worked on the extraction of porphyrins from crude oil in collaboration with industry (Total former Elf company). Then, they developed conductive materials based on porphyrins and porphycene. Following the synthesis of biomimetic models for cytochrome P450, they explained the binding mode of oxygen to hemoglobin. In the 90s, much of the research was dedicated to the synthesis of Pacman systems as functional models of the cytochrome c-oxidase for the reduction of dioxygen to water (applications in fuel cells). During this period, some corrole sensors for CO detection were also developed in collaboration with an industrial partner (Air Liquide).

PorphyChem is the culmination of a maturing project that was supported by the Premice regional incubator in 2011. The following year, the project was awarded by the Ministry of Research as part of the "Innovative Technology Company Contest”. Since its inception, the company is also labeled "Young Innovative Company". Very quickly, PorphyChem expanded its distributors network and positioned itself as a key player in the porphyrin and phthalocyanine manufacture. In April 2014, the company attended the International Congress of Porphyrins and Phthalocyanines thanks to the support of the Regional Council of Burgundy. As a major sponsor, PorphyChem was proud to help with the registration fees of more than 100 young researchers to take part in the conference. In June 2015, the company established its international stature by expanding the Scientific Council with the arrival of famous porphyrin researchers. Today, PorphyChem works in close collaboration with academic and industrial partners for the development of new products in the fields of photodynamic therapy, antimicrobial photodynamic inactivation, sensors and photocatalysis.