“IN ORDER TO TEST A NEW THERAPEUTIC APPROACH, WE FORMED A PARTNERSHIP WITH THE INSTITUT PAOLI CALMETTES (IPC) IN MARSEILLE AND CREATED OUR FRENCH SUBSIDIARY IN PROVENCE WITH THE HELP OF LOCAL AGENCIES AND OFFICIALS” ABREOS BIOSCIENCES – Biotechnology – United States
A One-of-a-Kind Community of Elite Researchers
Aix-Marseille-Provence is home to a growing network of biotechnology companies that is consolidated around the Eurobiomed biotech cluster, France’s largest regional health services cluster. The territory also benefits from having one of the country’s biggest and most innovative hospital networks, and to further bolster its research-and-development capacity, Aix-Marseille-Provence has supported the creation of platforms for interdisciplinary or translational research and industrial and university research clinics.
Aix-Marseille-Provence is home to world biopharmaceutical giants such as Sanofi, Roche, AstraZeneca, BMS, Merck, and Servier and their investments in the territory have created a vibrant and creative ecosystem. Over the past 20 year, this has fostered a dynamic generation of biotech start-ups that have emerged as global innovation leaders such as Innate Pharma, Trophos, Ipsogen, Vect-Horus, and Neurochlore.
The Provence health services ecosystem boasts several spheres of expertise:
- Immunology with the Marseille Immunopôle competiveness cluster led by Pr. Eric Vivier, which has become Europe’s leading R&D hub for immunology;
- Oncology with a special unit dedicated to cancer research at the Institut Paoli-Calmettes led by Pr. Patrice Viens and Pr. Jean-Paul Borg;
- Infections and Tropical Diseases and Microbiology at the joint hospital-university research unit Méditerranée Infection, which is led by Pr. Didier Raoult;
- Rare and Orphan Diseases with a €73 million research lab, the Institute Giptis, currently in construction, that will be led by the genetics expert Pr Nicolas Levy;
- Neurosciences with the Institute for Neurosciences at the Hôpital de la Timone and the DHUNE program and its work on neurodegenerative disease.
Key Figures from Provence’s Biotech Sector
- 170 000 employees;
- #2 ranking for published scientific research in the health field;
- 2nd largest concentration of neurosciences researchers;
- 113 public research units;
- 6000 people working in public and private R&D;
- More than 1000 PhD candidates annually.
Provence’s Biotech Advantage
- Eurobiomed Cluster: The top regional health research cluster in France, Eurobiomed represents more than 250 companies in the biotech sector.
- Grand Luminy Technopôle: This technology incubator and accelerator was one of the first centers dedicated to biopharmaceuticals in France.
- AP-HM Hospital Network: Representing four separate hospitals with a total budget of €1.3 billion, the local hospital network is a leader in clinical research and drives innovation in the area’s medical technology ecosystem.
- R&D Agencies: The Aix-Marseille-Provence Metropolis is home to the offices or headquarters of some of Europe’s most important public sector research organizations such as CEA, INRA, INSERM, CNRS, INRIA, and IRD.
- Commitment to University Research: The French government is deeply committed to transforming Aix-Marseille University into a world-class research university, allotting €26 million in annual funds via the AmiDEx foundation.
- Technology Transfer: The territory is home to the SATT Sud Est competiveness cluster that aims to bring innovation and research from public research bodies into the private market by granting operating licenses to companies and entrepreneurs.
- Interdisciplinary Communication: The ARS and Interpro Santé Provence projects are dedicated to fostering synergy and communication between the different health services sectors to improve the overall efficiency of the health care system.
- Economic Diversity: With such a broad range of economic ecosystems in Provence including focuses on wellness and food, there are endless opportunities for interdisciplinary projects and the cross-fertilization of ideas for greater innovation.