Open Innovation is now everywhere, even Pharma. So, just today in France, the opening of the Pierre Fabre Fund for Innovation for biotech startups has been announced.
Most Big Pharma have their own program. Boehringer-Ingelheim for example is partnering with BioMedX to run a new program with researchers from Heidelberg. Now the 3rd largest Pharma company in France, Pierre Fabre, has also made a move into the field.
Pierre Fabre will accompany its biotech and research laboratories specialized in oncology and dermatology, primarily in France and Europe. This program aims to speed up the development process of new molecules from preclinical to clinical phases, and will last between 12 and 24 months. The support provided will consist of sharing expertise or funding, primarily targeted at young European biotechs.
Pierre Fabre’s official goal is to help French and European innovative Biotech companies to develop their innovation faster. But the ultimate vision is even larger, as for every Pharma, to get in on the development of the drug and be able to in-license it more easily (instead of paying the bubbly partnership fees).
Pierre Fabre was historically more conservative, illustrating well the ‘Silo model’. Most of its employees are based in the south-west of France (Castres and Toulouse), so the HQ tries to do the bulk of the work on its own. Pierre Fabre moved into the partnership race last November with the €427M deal it announced with Array Biopharma. It has since moved one step further by making his innovation process more open.
The main question remaining though, is will this new strategy be more effective?