The French Government has Embarked on an Ambitious Project to Turn France into Europe’s Health Innovation Magnet by 2030.

Image of Eiffel Tower for article on French biotech.

The Eiffel Tower, Louvre, and Arch d’Triumph attract tourists to Paris from all over the world.  But did you know that Paris, City of Lights, has cultivated some interesting and potentially life changing emerging biotech companies.

For decades, the French biotech scene has been catching up to key strongholds such as the U.S. and U.K. In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, the French government last year bet €7.5 billion on an ambitious project to turn France into Europe’s health innovation magnet by 2030. 

Acticor Biotech, Paris, is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company, a spin-off from INSERM (the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research).  The company are developing innovative drugs for the treatment of cardiovascular emergencies, in particular stroke.  They recently announced that they have received “PRIority Medicines” status from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for its drug candidate, glenzocimab, for the treatment of patients with stroke.

Led by Gilles Avenard, CEO and Sophie Binay, GM and CSO, this strong team is filling an unmet need for promoty treatment of ischemic stroke.

EG 427, Paris, is a French biotechnology company that is pioneering a new approach in gene therapy called pinpoint gene therapy.  By exploiting the natural properties of Herpes Simplex Virus 1 (HSV-1), notably its ability to establish lifelong latency in peripheral neurons, EG 427 ensures highly specific and durable expression of the transgene to treat, in the long run, patients with severe, chronic and localized diseases, starting with peripheral nervous system disorders.  

Scientific Founder Charles Joussain, MD, PhD, Post-doctoral position as visiting researcher at King’s College London, University of Versailles Saint-Quentin, Paris-Saclay, France says, “HSV-1 virus naturally drives infection towards peripheral neurons, one of the many unique characteristics of this virus. We are taking this property to our advantage, using HSV-1-based gene therapy vectors to naturally target diseases that affect the peripheral nervous system, with the first on our list being neurogenic bladder.”

PEP-Therapy, Paris, is a French biotechnology company developing first-in-class peptides as targeted therapies in oncologyPEP-010, first drug candidate, is a pro-apoptotic agent which has demonstrated anti-tumor efficacy in several pre-clinical models and a good safety profile.

PEP-010 is currently evaluated in a Phase Ia/b clinical trial in patients with recurrent and/or metastatic solid tumors. 

PEP-Therapy and Institut Curie are conducting a first-in-human clinical trial of PEP-010 for the treatment of advanced solid tumors and in particular Triple-Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC) and Ovarian Cancer (OC).

Led by CEO Antoine Prestat, the company is open to collaborations and partnerships with pharma and biotech partners, clinical organizations, academic institutions and investors to accelerate the development of PEP-010, as well as its pipeline of peptide-based products through co-development or licensing-in programs.