Editorial, FranceFrance

Biotechnology for sustainable growth


The present crisis marks a major breaking point in the growth model and the financial fundamentals upon which mature economies are based. It has raised important issues concerning value creation, innovation and – above all – the sustainability of European national economies. Is our growth and development model nothing more than a mirage? Will we be able to achieve sustainable growth someday? How can we build strong competitive advantages, while at the same time dealing with demographic and environmental pressures?

Biotechnology represents the largest reservoir of scientific business innovation for the French economy, as well as for Europe’s economy as a whole. Our industry now has a unique opportunity to play a key role in the definition of new, post-crisis economic and social paradigms. Ultimately, biotech is a source of sustainable, responsible growth. First of all because sustainability is an inherent part of our sector’s growth models; many discoveries still lie ahead. These new discoveries are the key link in the chain of competitive advantages European economies must grab on the global level. Secondly, our companies are working towards socially responsible and environmentally friendly economic growth. Bio­logy is “sustainable growth” by definition, as it is recyclable and not based on commodities and imports. It delivers genuine solutions for human well-being and progress in a context marked by the growth of the global population, and provides solutions for major challenges in both energy sources and use.
France Biotech is pursuing three objectives in its contributions to the development of bio­technology. The French state’s strategic investment fund (FSI) and France Biotech have just entered into an agreement aimed at creating a lead investor for breakthrough technologies, putting tens of millions of euros into three or four cutting-edge projects that can be turned into strategic technology and business advantages. This is also a possible model for a European initiative.
The second target is France’s National Research Agency (ANR), which needs to double its present budget if it is to match proportionally the scope of the NIH. We have very good researchers and we need solid, validated innovations. When a research group succeeds in identifying a new “seam”, we need to give them enough resources to fully exploit it, and recruit additional research staff by offering excellent facilities and internationally competitive salaries.
The third key objective is to maintain the “Young Innovative Company” (YIC) fiscal status, which must stay focused on true innovation. “Innovation” must remain the preserve of breakthroughs capable of generating a commercial monopoly.
Modern biotechnology is a very young field that needs time to mature. Results can take many years to achieve. At other critical junctures, France and Europe were smart enough to set early priorities in trains, aerospace and nuclear energy – so why not in the life sciences as well?



Minneapolis/Banzancourt – Bioamber Inc. is one step closer to the environmental summit. The company's goal is to establish sustainable, "green" chemistry on an industrial scale. The French/US enterprise has now scaled up its...



Sophia Antipolis/ Madison – French NicOx S.A. and the global eye health specialist Bausch & Lomb have announced positive top-line results from their phase 2b dose finding study with BOL-303259-X, a nitric oxide-donating version...



Paris/Barcelona – French pharma company Sanofi strengthens its ties with the Spanish research institution CGR (Center for Genomic Regulation) in Barcelona. CGR stated on 12 March that the two partners agreed upon three years of...



Lyon – The sale of 1.6 million shares brought in €25.3m for French Adocia SAS during its IPO on the Euronext Paris. The price of €15.88 values the diabetes specialist at €96.1m at the upper end of the bookbuilding range. Late...



Pointing to a new study on Syngenta’s GM maize Bt11, France’s Environment Ministry has asked the European Commission to suspend authorisation for the use of the MON810 maize sold by US agri­biotech giant Monsanto as well. The...



Cambridge - Genzyme will shut the doors at its Cambridge R&D site by the end of the year, with up to 60 employees expected to lose their jobs. The move is part of an ongoing global restructuring of R&D by Sanofi, who purchased...



Lille – Shares of the French diabetes specialist Genfit S.A. almost doubled when the company published results of its Phase II study with the PPAR alpha and delta modulator GFT505. The compound has met the co-primary and...



Shares of the French diabetes specialist almost doubled when the companypublished results of its Phase II study with the PPAR alpha and deltamodulator GFT505. The compound has met the co-primary and secondaryendpoints while...



Bagneux - DBV Technologies is planning an IPO on Euronext Paris. The French pharmaceutical group specialising in the treatment of allergies was founded in 2002. DBV's proprietary technology Viaskin is used to administer an...



Berlin/Paris – Sanofi Pasteur has licensed a yeast strain from German Organobalance to produce vaccines. With the deal, the vaccines division of the French drugmaker will gain exclusive access to a modified strain of...

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