Paris attracts millions of tourists to see some of the world’s most iconic monuments – the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Notre Dame… But it also attracts a lot of Biotechs. We selected 15 of the most successful and interesting.
It also boasts a large range of Biotech, from drug development and MedTech to SynBio and GreenTech. How to start making sense of Paris’ Biotech landscape? Here are the 15 Biotechs in Paris that you should definitely know.
FYI: The list is in no particular order
Part French part Danish, Onxeo is an innovative company specializing in the development of orphan oncology drugs. With 53 employees, it is listed on the NASDAQ Copenhagen and on the Euronext Paris – with a current market cap of almost €130M.
Onxeo already got a $25M paycheck from its US partner (Spectrum) after licensing its leading product, Beleodaq. This drug is also in trials for other cancers, which has gotten some good results – with an impressive 72% of remissions for non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. And it recently expanded to the US…
A Biotech developing immunotherapies against invasive/metastatic late-stage cancers, OSE Pharma has raised over €21M in its 2015 IPO on the Euronext Paris stock market (read our interview with its CEO, Dominique Costantini, for more insights).
OSE Pharma develops the Memopi technology, based on patented neo-epitopes. These chemically-optimized antigens re-educate the body’s immunological memory so that the immune system can attack tumour cells.
In February, OSE Pharma proposed to merge with Effimune (also from France), to create a ‘significant immunotherapy player‘.
Famous for its universal CAR-T approach, Cellectis has reached market caps of over €1Bn in 2015, after it raised around €212M ($228M) in an IPO on the NASDAQ. It has just over 100 employees, and it is led by André Choulika (which we interviewed in November).
Cellectis is a leader in CAR-T therapies, which might revolutionise cancer treatments. It is working to step away from personalised (autologous) therapies, which are time consuming and expensive, to instead produce an allogenic version available to all.
A Biotech exploring Microbiome-based therapies, Enterome already raised around €17.5M in VC funding. We discussed what gives Enterome an ‘edge’ in the Microbiome hype in an interview with CEO Pierre Belichard.
This biotech has identified bacterial strains, genes and products with immuno-modulatory and anti-inflammatory properties using its advanced proprietary ‘metagenomics tools and screening technologies‘, and joined an interesting collaboration.
Enterome is looking to further develop its platform for inflammatory diseases, including very big markets like Crohn’s disease.
On its way to rid the world of peanut allergies, DBV Technologies was the first French Biotech to be listed on the NASDAQ, raised an impressive €255M, and has a market cap north of €1.3Bn. It employs 120 people, and expects this number to raise to 200 by the end of the year.
The reason for this success? A skin patch that can ‘cure’ peanut allergies. The patch (VIASKIN) is designed to gradually increases the tolerance of the wearer to different allergens (e.g. peanuts and milk) – the first product of its kind and a very attractive alternative to an EpiPen.
Eligo Biosciences wants to use CRISPR to tackle the rise of antibiotic resistance. This big concept has already earned this 10-people startup €2M in VC funding. Eligo is led by Xavier Duportet, whom we interviewed in September.
Eligo is developing eligobiotics, a new generation of highly precise antimicrobials. They consist of phage capsids encapsulating the CRISPR mechanism, which will search out and cut gene sequences unique to pathogenic, resistant or virulent bacteria within the microbiome.
Eligo is also one of the Biotechs competing in our Startup Battle during Labiotech Refresh.
Ynsect is doing insect biotechnology, and has already raised over €7M in funding, as well as received €2M from ADEME (the French environmental agency). The company was selected for the 2015 Global Cleantech 100 List, and its CEO Antoine Hubert was deemed one of MIT’s Technology Review Innovators Under 35 (check out our interview).
Ynsect is developing an insect biorefinery, combining industrial-scale insect farming with transformation into useful molecules for the nutritional and green chemistry markets. Potential applications also include animal feed, human nutrition and nutraceuticals.
Focused on the development of anti-virals, Abivax has carried out its IPO on the Euronext Paris in 2015, raising €57.7M – one of the biggest in French Biotech. It has a market cap of €125M and 27 employees.
Abivax is targetting some of the world’s most important infectious diseases, including chronic Hepatitis B, HIV/AIDS, Ebola and Dengue. It develops a proprietary anti-viral technology platform, that identifies compounds that can ‘kill’ viral RNA by blocking its replication.
A specialist in lentiviral vectors, Theravectys is developing a new generation of therapeutic vaccines. It was founded in 2005 as a spin-out of the Pasteur Institute (and featured in LabiotechTour France). Now, it has 60 employees and raised €35M.
Theravectys’ most advanced clinical program is in HIV, with promising results from its phase I/II trial for its lentivector-based vaccine. But Theravectys is also exploring immunotherapies for infectious diseases and cancer, including a candidate for virus-induced adult T-cell lymphoma-leukemia (ATL) and its own CAR-T platform.
Developing MedTech invented at MIT, Gecko Biomedical has raised €30.5M from private investors since its founding in 2013. Its technology and very accomplished team has gotten a lot of attention, from Forbes’ highlights to covers in Science.
Gecko Biomedical is developing a surgical bio-glue, made with polyglycerol sebacate acrylate and a photosensitive additive. This material can stop bleeding from sutured tissues, solving one of the oldest problems in surgery. In the future, Gecko’s products could replace stitching altogether.
Localising and enhancing radiotherapy – that is Nanobiotix‘s approach to treating cancer. The company has 50 employees and is listed on the Euronext Paris, with a market cap of €260M. We interviewed CEO Laurent Levy one year ago.
Nanobiotix develops NanoXRays, a nanotechnology solution to deliver radiotherapy specifically in the location of the tumour. Thus, it can increase the therapeutic effect without an increase in the dose of radiation (and all the dangerous side effects associated).
It is developing three kinds of products, and the most advanced one (for intra-tumoural injection) is already in clinical trials.
GenSight Biologics is a Biotech focusing on the development of therapies for mitochondrial and neurodegenerative diseases of the eye. The company’s latest fundraising was worth €33M, and the company was pondering an IPO on the NASDAQ.
GenSight develops gene therapies, as well Mitochondrial Targeting Sequence – a technology to shuttle proteins to the mitochondrion, to restore its function. Its most advanced candidate, GS010, contains an intact form of a gene that is mutated in the patients of Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy. This rare mitochondrial disease leads to irreversible sight loss in teens and young adults.
Carmat is a MedTech creating an alternative to heart transplant. It has 45 employees and a market cap of €150M on the Euronext Paris. It also raised €50M in March, and its investors include well-known names like Airbus Group and Truffle Capital.
Carmat’s answer to organ shortage is an artificial heart, which has already seemingly surpassed the challenges of hemolysis or thromboembolism. A total of 4 patients have been implanted with this medical device, and Carmat – with more clinical development to follow in 2016.
Lysogene was founded in 2009 by Karen Aiach, when her daughter was diagnosed with a rare disease of the central nervous system (read her interview here). Since then, the company expanded to 10 employees and raised €16.5M.
Its leading candidate (LYS-SAF-302) is a gene therapy, delivered via injection directly into the brain. It is currently in phase I/II trials, which should end this July, and has already received Rare Paediatric Disease Designation by the FDA.
A leader in biofuels and in the biorefinary concept, Global Bioenergies was founded in 2008, has 61 employees and a market cap of €58M on the Euronext Paris. Despite the gradual dip in stock value (mostly due to cheap oil), the company has had a high profile, including a collaboration with Audi to use isooctane biofuels.
Global Bioenergies focus on converting renewable resources into hydrocarbons through fermentation. It succeeded in producing isobutene, a very sought-after chemical ‘building block’, from wheat-derived glucose – a considerable milestone for industrial biotechnology.
Update note: when it was first published, this article featured MaaT Pharma, a French microbiome startup. As this company is actually based in Lyon, it has since then been removed from this list.
This was a tour of the best Paris has to offer in Biotech. As you can see, Paris is a fertile ground for innovative companies – with some rather crazy inventions and ideas. I hope that these 15 companies give you a better outlook on what’s happening over there.