Canadian Company Philomec establishes a Marseille base for modeling the human body


The company forges partnerships on the territory and diversifies

Improve the process of implant design and orthopaedic prosthesis manufacturing: that’s the goal Philomec has set itself. This start-up, founded by biomechanical engineers in Montreal in 2017, makes full use of 3D simulation using finite elements method to model the human body. This technique saves precious time, reduces manufacturing costs and avoids testing on animals. In 2018, the company decided to cross the Atlantic and set up shop in the Mediterranean basin. And for the location of its French subsidiary, it chose Marseille. Provence Promotion worked alongside Philomec’s founder Rohan-Jean Bianco to establish legal procedures and facilitate its integration into the local ecosystem. The company is already working with the research laboratories of Aix-Marseille Université (AMU) and the Hôpital Nord. Furthermore, a partnership with the 3D MedLab is being set up as part of the Henri Fabre team.

Founded in Montreal by biomechanical engineers, Philomec is poised to revolutionize the prosthetics market. “Many companies are using 3D modeling in the aeronautics and mechanical engineering sectors. We’re one of the few companies in the world who comprehensively model the human body. We don’t need to manufacture implants to test new concepts. After the design on computer, we simulate tests of the implant in real conditions on our models, saving time for businesses,” explains Rohan-Jean Bianco.

This 31-year-old biomechanics engineer, from the town of Uzès in France’s Gard département, started his career in New Zealand, where he designed intervertebral prostheses. In 2010, he joined a scoliosis research program in Montreal. This leads him to a joint program in biomechanics with the Doctoral School of Human Movement Science of AMU and Polytechnique Montréal. In 2017, he co-founded Philomec with six other engineers. The same year saw him taking part in the Health Future Show, held at the Centrale Marseille school, where he met the Provence Promotion team. It was a pivotal moment.

A synergy of skills with 3D Med Lab

“After my Ph.D, I returned to France with the goal of creating Philomec France. Provence Promotion helped me reach out to the local ecosystem, the Eurobiomed industry cluster. We’re currently setting up a partnership with 3D MedLab as part of the Henri Fabre team, because we have a complementary skillset”, Rohan-Jean says. The Canadian company is currently plowing all its profits back into R&D in order to further improve its dedicated 3D surgery simulation tools. Philomec’s plan is to recruit modeling engineers and biomechanical specialists in Provence to improve its software.

In parallel with these medical developments, the company is also leveraging its expertise in mechanical engineering modeling, through work such as solar panel mounts. Philomec has recently partnered with Medinnov Biosciences. This Morocco-based company has also chosen Marseille as the location for its electronic component assembly unit. Both firms have received the assistance of Provence Promotion.

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