Provence's flair for biotech gets a boost from new American interests

 Provence's flair for biotech gets a boost from new American interests
19 September 2016 - 22 September 2016 / Vous revenez en france, Créez votre entreprise , Implantez, Générale, Technologies Médicales, Biotechnologie
In Marseille, the delegation is focusing on immunology and oncology

From September 19 to 22, 2016, an American delegation from California will visit Provence to explore business opportunities in the biotechnology sector. They will travel to Marseille, Nice and Toulon as part of a tailor-made agenda packed with lab tours, presentations on innovative projects and B-to-B meetings. Guided by the South Bio Alliance*, a consortium of partners spearheaded by ARII, the program will be carried out with Provence Promotion to offer great hospitality and to ensure all the skills available in the region are highlighted to best effect. There will be a particular emphasis on immunology and oncology in Marseille. The delegation's visit will also afford an opportunity to deepen relations between Provence and Biocom, the second-largest health cluster in the United States, which has been working with the Eurobiomed competitiveness cluster under a cooperation agreement since 2014.

There have been a series of exchanges between Provence and California over the last few years. These efforts have made it possible to demonstrate the robust dynamics at work in Provence in biotech and other sectors to scientists, entrepreneurs and investors.
The objective of this itinerary with stops in Marseille, Toulon and Nice is to put the delegation in touch with as many regional interlocutors as possible working in their areas of interest.

The Marseille schedule will begin with a sneak peak at the Kedge Business School accelerator, which aims to support companies with their open innovation processes. On the Marseille campus, a 2.0 workspace  that sprawls over 27,000 sq. ft. and is equipped with the latest digital tools is already fostering cross-pollination with the ability to prototype objects at the Innovation Lab in Toulon.
In the realm of immunotherapy, the Marseille Immunopôle will present its platforms and the aspirations of the cluster, which convenes 2,000 health players and has received €5.4 million in financial support from the Merck & Co. MSD lab.

There will also be appointments with specialists: Dr. Jean-Frédéric Saunière and Professor Daniel Olive from Institut Paoli-Calmettes-Marseille Oncology Research Center, as well as Professor Fabrice Barlesi from the Oncology Department at AP-HM.

Playing up innovation and attractiveness

A few recent examples prove the region is capable of nurturing start-ups in the biotechnology sector: Coral Biome, which identified a molecule in coral that is effective against various cancers; Neurochlore, which raised €9 million from the Simons Foundation (an American foundation for autism); Genepred, a pioneer in preventive medicine linked to cancers with plans to go global in the United States; and LpDClick, which is currently engaged in crowdfunding to develop an innovative solution for Legionella risk management.
There are hosting facilities dedicated to research (laboratories and technological platforms) and quality scientific partnerships to promote the emergence of innovations, which are then leveraged for market success.

SATT Southeast, a technology transfer accelerator, will meet with the delegation to highlight the opportunities offered by public research. With regard to creating companies and R&D partnerships, this organization holds a portfolio of patents that could yield opportunities for American entrepreneurs.

In 2015, 47% of the projects that received assistance from Provence Promotion in the Bouches du Rhône area were of foreign origin and 13% were in the fields of health and well-being. The 2016 crop of new arrivals will soon add Abreos Biosciences of San Diego to the ranks of the "Invest in Provence" community. This company that works in personalized diagnostics for immunotherapy dosing is about to open a research subsidiary in Marseille.

* Regional Agency for Innovation and Internationalization of Companies Provence-Alpes-Côtes d'Azur, the Mer Méditerranée and Eurobiomed clusters, the economic development agencies Provence Promotion, Team Côte d’Azur and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Var Economic Development Agency, PACA International Chamber of Commerce and Industry and SATT Southeast