Next generation virus/viral vector imaging for antiviral screening, gene delivery and oncolytic virotherapies


exemple of autofluorescent Anchor TM Adenovirus infection in living cells

NeoVirTech has developed a breakthrough technology to directly visualize and quantify in real time virus/viral vector infection and replication in living cells. NeoVirTech possesses the exclusive worldwide license for the ANCHORTM technology, a new generation of autofluorescent system allowing the visualization of viral DNA in living cells.

The ANCHOR system is composed of two parts:

  1. The ANCH sequence: short (from 200NT to 1kb) and unique (non repetitive), the sequence contains nucleation seeds for the binding of OR proteins. Insertion of the sequence in the viral genome does not perturb DNA metabolism or virus production.
  2. The OR-fluorescent protein expressing gene which specifically recognizes and spreads on the ANCH sequence, triggering the formation of a fluorescent focus easily detectable and quantifiable by microscopy (either classical or High content). The strong accumulation of OR-FP protein onto its cognate ANCH sequence (up to 500 OR-FP/ANCH) is far enough to detect single DNA molecules. Therefore, fluorescent spot corresponds to the position of a single viral DNA copy.


The ANCH sequence is cloned upstream of the Or-FP expressing gene and inserted directly inside the genome of interest (plasmid, gene, transposon, virus, viral vector used in gene therapy or oncolytic vector). This autonomous ANCHOR cassette will convert target DNA into an autofluorescent molecule . For small viruses, ANCH and OR sequences are used separately. NeoVirTech can use up to four different ANCHOR systems with different length and fused to their corresponding fluorescent proteins that can be used in combinations to detect several class of DNA simultaneously. Using the ANCHORTM technology, fitness studies visualizing co-infection of several viruses in real time are now possible.


Visualize, decipher, understand, compare, communicate ! we show you how your own viruses or viral vectors behave in living cells.
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Our Services

High Content Screening Campaign

Our  models are conceived specifically for high content screening campaign and deep in cell imaging using high resolution microscopy. We offer several screening models for antiviral discovery in human and animal health and propose screening services using your own models (viral or not) and our internal compound libraries (1200 FDA approved compounds). We can rapidly discover active molecules such as antiviral, vaccine adjuvant, oncolytic modulators and describe for example interaction between a specific oncolytic viral vector with FDA approved drugs.

Classical Workflow:
  • Assignment of a dedicated project manager
  • Library collection and formatting if necessary.
  • Compound activity screening on several viral models, MOI, concentration and cell lines in high throughput format (up to 1000 compounds/day). IC50/90 calculation, compound toxicity included. Specific measurements available such as determination of oncolytic potential, viral inactivation,  attachment, penetration, replication, cell to cell spread.
  • Hit sorting/Hit combination according to MOA
  • Writing and transfer of final study report
  • Rapidity: classical turn-around time is one week (months for plaque assay/TCID studies).
  • Multi parametric: each compound data point include estimated toxicity, impact on infection rate and viral DNA replication level, normalized according to control conditions.
  • Precise: help determine the mechanism of action of a compound (MOA)
  • drug discovery in human and animal health
  • viral vector (oncolytic/gene therapy) adaptation to specific cell line
  • interaction of viral vector with existing treatment

High Resolution Imaging of Virus/Viral vectors, including Custom Design

NeoVirTech performs high resolution imaging in living cells of your specific construct to decipher its action. We can develop custom autofluorescent viruses or viral vectors for a specific application such as antiviral discovery, gene transfer studies, viral based vaccine development, oncolytic virotherapies and other broad applications, depending on customer’s interest.

Classical Worflow:
  • Viral vector collection and amplification
  • ANCHORTM tagging of the DNA of interest and validation using vector specific markers
  • Determination of the infection kinetics, replication and propagation of the tagged construct using high resolution live cell imaging, from 2D to 3D.
  • Determination of the impact of a specific compound on the behavior of the construct.
  • Validated models can then shift to either the High content screening part of our services or to the licensing part.
  • We convert your virus/viral vector of interest into an autonomous autofluorescent particles.
  • As viral DNA is autofluorescent, no fixation, no extraction and no reagents are required. You directly image the effect of you construct.
  • Forget about qPCR, plaque assay and TCID50 experiments, expensive and time consuming, no more reagent to buy.
  • understand the behavior of a specific virus/vector in development
  • illustrate and communicate on your vector for investor/media

Licensing for internal use

NeoVirTech offers the ANCHORTM technology for internal use in your R&D centers by licensing.

Classical workflow
  • Access to the ANCHORTM technology and generation of specific construct if needed
  • Transfer of the ANCHORTM technology to the customer's R&D laboratory
  • Technical support and troubleshooting until completion and validation of the specific construct
  • Available both for industries and academic labs, directly contact us for more informations.

What our clients say

Transgene SA is a biopharmaceutical company developing for more than 30 years innovative targeted-immunotherapies to answer unmet medical needs in the oncology and infectious disease fields. We were looking for a rapid and efficient solution to investigate the behavior of our products using high-resolution quantitative microscopy. NeoVirTech’s autofluorescence technology and screening platform allowed us to precisely visualize, understand and compare the behavior of our products directly using live cell microscopy techniques. The beauty and quality of the data they can generate open a new perspective for our activities, boosting up our research and validation processes. Thank you NeoVirTech for this ongoing precious collaboration.

Dr. Philippe Erbs

Dr. Philippe Erbs

Head of Oncolytic Virus Department. Transgene S.A, Illkirch Graffenstaden, France

For almost 40 years, InvivoGen had developed and commercialized several hundreds of compounds for innate immunity field. We are interested in testing the activity of some new proprietary compounds in the anti-infectious domain. NeoVirTech was a ‘local’ choice for this project. The technology they proposed combined quantitative and qualitative results in a high throughput screening format. Their expertise in virology, the speed and quality of the generated data led us to rapidly identify new compounds as antiviral.

Dr Cédric Boularan

Dr Cédric Boularan

InvivoGen, SAS, Toulouse

Neovirtech’s technology platform uniquely allows rapid and accurate screening of compounds against a range of clinically relevant viral pathogens. Dr. Franck Gallardo and his team provide an in-depth knowledge base and an interactive environment for study design, planning and execution. I would highly recommend Neovirtech for antiviral drug screening

Dr Erik De Leeuw

Dr Erik De Leeuw

Institute of Human Virology & Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the University of Maryland Baltimore School of Medicine, USA

Advances in immune suppression allows the grafting of life saving cells and organs between patients. Immune suppression unfortunately also promotes viral infections normally controlled by the immune system making the development of novel antivirals that work under immune suppression an imperative task. The underlying mechanisms causing reactivation or promoting viral replication are often related to dynamic changes in the chromatin status of the viral genome. Working with NeoVirtech gives us the unique opportunity to label viral genomes with the ANCHOR technology and study the dynamic behaviour of individual viral genomes in living cells under different environmental conditions. Understanding how viral genomes respond in living cells is key to understanding and developing novel drug concepts and mechanistic understanding of existing antivirals. Setting up the technology with NeoVirtech was simple, professional and driven by scientific understanding … the start of a great ongoing relationship!

Dr Harald Wodrich

Dr Harald Wodrich

MFP CNRS UMR 5234, University of Bordeaux

Viral diseases cause significant financial loss in animal production systems. Despite the importance of viral pathogens as primary and secondary etiologic agents in cattle, pigs and poultry, no antiviral products are commercially licensed for use in veterinary medicine. Collaboration with NeoVirTech give us unique opportunity to explore the potential of antiviral therapy in the veterinary virology domain. Among viral animal diseases, we are particularly interested in poxviruses induced diseases of rabbit and poultry (myxomatosis, fowlpox), and labelling of DNA viral genomes with the ANCHOR technology will allow us to rapidly screen available compounds for antiviral significative effects.

Dr Stéphane Bertagnoli

Dr Stéphane Bertagnoli

Professor of virology, National Veterinary school of Toulouse

Expertise and outstanding skills that rely on R&D of high scientific level.

This company, a true example of dynamism and inventiveness, is a pride for our institute.

Dr. Bernard Ducommun

Dr. Bernard Ducommun

Head of ITAV lab







Latest news


Live cell imaging of virus infection and replication

People ask me to show dynamics of our autofluorescent viruses in living cells. Here you go. Human epithelial cells were infected with our ANCHOR tagged adenovirus (green dots) and bearing a […]


ANCHOR patent granted in the US

Very proud to announce that our technology has been patented in the US. The patent describing the use of the ANCHOR system to visualize and control DNA expression in living […]


NeoVirTech starts a collaboration with Transgene SA

NeoVirTech SAS, a biotechnology company developing autofluorescent viruses to decipher viral infection in vivo and to detect and measure antiviral activities started a collaboration with Transgene SA, a biopharmaceutical company […]

See all our news

Some facts about us

Validated viruses/viral vectors
Million cells analyzed
Million parameters measured

Our added value

Having the ability to directly and rapidly visualize virus or viral vectors infection and replication in living cells using a breakthrough technology. This is what we propose at NeoVirTech. Our state of the art imaging facility and screening platform provide a powerful tool to understand how viruses replicate and discover compounds that will impact this replication (either increase or decrease). NeoVirTech propose its service in the field of oncolytic virotherapies and infectious diseases, applied for human and veterinary markets. The beauty and quality of the data generated by our platform boost up your research and your communication processes. Stop running gels or doing CPE, unleash the power of imaging in your research programs !
Franck Gallardo, PhD Founder & CEO/CSO

Our Team

Franck Gallardo, PhD

Franck Gallardo, PhD

Founder & CEO/CSO

Franck has over 10 years of experience in the field of cellular biology and microscopy. He holds a PhD in biochemistry from the medicine faculty of the Université de Montréal, Qc, CANADA. In 2012, Franck takes the lead of the ANCHOR team at the Technological Institute for Life Sciences and is responsible for the industrial application of the ANCHOR system.He creates NeoVirTech in 2014, based on several proof of concept made in the ANCHOR team. In 2015, he is awarded alumnus of the year from the Riboclub society, CANADA. Franck won the Innovative Company Award from the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research as well as The French Agency for Innovation (BPI France) in 2013 and in 2016.

Bernard Mariamé, PhD

Bernard Mariamé, PhD

Associate, scientific council

Bernard has over 30 years of experience in immunology and virology. Following his thesis in immunogenetics (1979), he did a post-doc in Francois Rougeon lab at the Institut Pasteur (Paris) followed by a second post doc at the Ludwig Institute in Bruxelles (Belgium). Bernard was recruited as a researcher first class at the CNRS in 1990. Bernard is expert in the virology field, especially herpes viruses biology, he is member and financial officer of the HerPas association. Bernard joined the team in 2012, bringing his virology expertise and his technical skills to the team.

Stéphane Bertagnoli, PhD

Stéphane Bertagnoli, PhD

Scientific counsil, in charge of poxviruses program.

Stéphane obtained a PhD in microbiology/virology and veterinary  from the University Paul Sabatier. Professor of Virology at the National veterinary school of Toulouse, he was in charge of the operational reserve from the french army as a poxvirus expert. Stephane brings his expertise in poxviruses biology to NeoVirTech  and his in charge of the in vivo testing in A2/A3 facilities. Stéphane belongs to the UMR INRA-ENVT 1225, research unit recognized worlwide for its work on poxviruses associated diseases.

Kerstin Bystricky, PhD/Pr

Kerstin Bystricky, PhD/Pr

Associate, scientific council

Kerstin has over 20 years of experience in the field of cellular biology and DNA dynamics. She holds an engineer diploma from AgroParisTech (Paris) and PhD in biochemistry from the PenState university (USA). She is principal investigator of the chromatin and gene expression team at the Eucaryotic molecular biology laboratory (Toulouse). Kerstin co-developped the ANCHOR system with Franck back in 2010. She brings her expertise in DNA dynamics and cell biology to the team and is responsible for developping new application for the ANCHOR system. Visit her research ID page

Bruno Brisson, MSc

Bruno Brisson, MSc

Associate, Business developper, BLS consulting

Bruno held various positions in Business, Sales and Marketing and management (President and CEO of Biospace Lab). Bruno created his company, BLS consulting, in 2011 and accompanied more than fifteen biotech/medtech companies for business and corporate development in preclinical research and dermocosmetics (actives, biomarkers, imaging, in-silico modeling, molecules, predictive toxicology) Bruno is a long-time collaborator of NeoVirTech and bring his business development expertise to the team.

Hicham Saad, PhD

Hicham Saad, PhD

Business developer North America

Hicham is a junior business developer located in Calgary, Alberta (CA). He is in charge of prospecting and developing NeoVirTech customer network in North America. Hicham holds a PhD in Cell biology from the University of Toulouse. His major is on the ANCHORTM technology.

Enter the next generation imaging technologies, let’s talk about it!