Biotechnology in France

Anindita BANERJEE - 08/04/14

 

Even though biotechnologies may be a recent sector of business activity, France has succeeded in developing real know-how that is gaining international recognition.

When it comes to biotechnologies, the French are cutting edge. According to Leeme, the federation of French medical companies, today France numbers 388 biotechs in the health field in France. Biotech France, another French association for biotech companies, indicates that a third of these companies have been in existence for over 10 years. Yet the number of creations in this field is exponential. To get an idea, 50 companies were started in 2012. Unheard of! Proof that there is a real entrepreneurial effervescence when it comes to this research in France.
Young start-ups for the most part, French biotechs are mainly Small Medium sized companies. Only 4% of them have over 100 employees. On average, they employ 22 people. As to the type of activity, most of the French companies specialized in human sciences with therapeutic products are concentrated on cancer treatments. “The French have developed a full-fledged know-how on cardio-vascular devices, infectious diseases, dermatology, blood diseases and for surgery,” explains Yves Germani, Ubifrance’s manager for the health sector in North America.

French enterprises don’t just do research; they discover!
Altogether, the French biotech industry generated 261 Million Euros in turnover in 2011, compared with 186 Million in 2010. As for companies on the stock market, they generate 369 Million Euros in turnover. Concerning the pipeline, the expression used to indicate the number of molecules being developed, France is 4rth, behind the United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland and Israel. Quite a solid ranking, but which should nevertheless be improved.
When their results are examined in detail, we see that depending on the stage of development, French companies create more products in the pre-clinic phase, in other words, all those that have been carried out before the clinical trial with patients, which is completely logical. Between the start of development on a new medicine, a molecule and its release on the market can sometimes take up to 10 years. Unfortunately, the consequence of this is that a number of products fall by the wayside. To be noted, however, is one undeniable fact: since 2008, French companies have sold more and more products. To put it another way, as Yves Germani points out, French companies don’t just do research; they discover!”

An increase of 63% in investment

Even more impressive than all the rest, French biotech companies tend to have smaller R&D budgets than their European and international competitors. Fortunately, the culture of venture capital is developing very quickly in this sector. To give the general picture, the funds raised by French biotechs have increased by 63,1% from 2009 to 2012, reaching 178 Million Euros. Since the year 2000, they have managed to raise 2.920 Billion Euros.
Today, French companies are naturally turning towards international opportunities to find new partners and new financial leverage. The proof is that such Small Medium companies as Affilogic, MedinCell, Interactive Biosoftware, Imabiotech or even O4CP all have one thing in common: they all are reaching out with confidence to mature markets like the United States, Canada and Western Europe.
 

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  Lifestyle, Consumer Goods and Healthcare The Consumer Goods and Healthcare Department assistsFrench companies in their international development strategy and promotes trade between France and India. In order to maximize commercial opportunities between French and Indian companies, the Department organises French Pavilions at a number of key exhibitions in India, as well as offering other B2B networking events and individual partnering services. The Department provides expertise in : • Fashion and Accessories • Home Furnishing and Interior Design • Cosmetics, OTC and Natural products • Healthcare Equipment and Biotechnology Head of Department  : Ms. Brinder RAULT brinder.rault@businessfrance.fr

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