3 French Bioentrepreneurs are Awarded for Being Stubborn

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Building a company is extremely difficult and obstination is sometimes needed to reach success. The organisation, France Biotech, has given a price to the founder of Innate-Pharma, OSE Pharma and Effimune for their respective success. Why?

From left to right, Hervé Brailly, CEO & Founder of Innate-Pharma, Denis Lucquin, Managing Director of Sofinnova Partners, Maryvonne Hiance, Founder & CEO Effimune, and Dominique Costantini, Founder & CEO OSE Pharma. Here’s a short profile for each of these French biotech companies, which have vast expertise in Immunotherapies for a range of indications.

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Hervé Brailly – Innate Pharma

Innate-Pharma is a successful immune-oncology Biotech company based in Marseille, in the South of France. It counts 112 employees and is developing the next generation of monoclonal antibodies against cancer. It has signed massive deals with BMS, Novo-Nordisk and more recently, AstraZeneca.

I visited the company in 2012 during our first documentary in France and I was impressed by its campus in the middle of the “calanques” (the magnificent national coast park). Just last month they dosed their first patient in a phase I immuno-oncology trial for a rare form of skin cancer. Brailly explained was a big deal for the biotech, seeing as this candidate is their first cytotoxic antibody platform in action.


Maryvonne Hiance – Effimune

Effimune is a specialist of the immune regulation for transplants, auto-immune disease and immunotherapies. The company was founded in 2007 and is based in Nantes, west of France.

Their biggest achievement so far is the signature of a huge deal in 2013 with Janssen for over €100m upfront to bring its lead candidate into clinical trials (now in Phase I) for rheumatoid arthritis and transplant applications.


Dominique Costantini – OSE Pharma

Costantini is famous for having founded Bioalliance Pharma (now Onxeo) where she successfully brought a molecule on the market. Now she is the founder & CEO of OSE Pharma, a Paris-based immuno-oncology Biotech.

OSE Pharma held an IPO last year and announced today it is starting its Phase III in Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with its potential blockbuster, Tedopi. I had the chance to talk with her last months and was impressed (click here to read her interview done by our blogger Romain before). I think she deserves this prize in particular.

These three biotech entrepreneurs definitely deserve the recognition, which could potentially break the bit of a cloudy reputation France has had in entrepreneurship. After all, entrepreneur is a French word :p


Feature Image Credit: France Biotech
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