Institut Mérieux joins the Venture Centre of Excellence (VCoE) programme committed to health innovation in Europe (Sponsored)

ARCHINARD Philippe: Executive Vice-President, Technological Innovation and Scientific Partnerships of Institut Mérieux

Reflecting a firm commitment to support Europe’s health innovation ecosystem, Institut Mérieux has subscribed to the SDUF Health Compartment, the financial vehicle of the Venture Centre of Excellence (VCoE). Alongside other corporates and 8 venture capital fund members of the programme, Institut Mérieux will be encouraging the emergence and development of companies defining the medicine of tomorrow. 

This commitment strengthens the links between Institut Mérieux and the European Institute for Innovation and Technology in Health (EIT Health), of which bioMérieux  (an Institut Mérieux company) is already a founding partner. 

Philippe Archinard, Executive Vice-President, Technological Innovation and Scientific Partnerships of Institut Mérieux said: “Our membership in the VCoE programme is part of the open innovation strategy that Institut Mérieux is pursuing at an international level to develop new weapons in the fight against infectious diseases and cancers.”

Institut Mérieux is dedicated to the fight against infectious diseases and cancers, taking a global and long-term approach. With support from bioMérieux, Transgene, ABL, Mérieux NutriSciences and Mérieux Equity Partners, the company develops complementary approaches to meet today’s public health challenges, from the prevention of health risks to innovative disease treatment, including the key step of diagnosis. Present in 45 countries, Institut Mérieux has a team of over 21k people around the world. 

Philippe Archinard added: “It is also an opportunity for us to actively monitor scientific and technological opportunities for partnerships, investments, or acquisitions in the fields of in vitro diagnostics, immunotherapy, bioproduction, food safety and nutrition. By becoming a member of the VCoE, Institut Mérieux and all of its subsidiaries – bioMérieux, Transgene, ABL, Mérieux NutriSciences and Mérieux Equity Partners – will be able to strengthen collaborations with an ecosystem of high-level European start-ups.”  

EIT Health is an EU network collaborating across borders to enable European citizens to live longer, healthier lives through innovation in the health sector. There’s no doubt that health is an increasingly complex challenge across Europe, and new innovation is needed to develop solutions that will tackle increasing chronic diseases and multi-morbidity. EIT Health supports technology to move beyond conventional approaches to treatment, prevention and healthy lifestyles, responding to present and future health needs. 

Jean-Marc Bourez, Interim CEO of EIT Health and Head of the VCoE, said: “bioMérieux is an active partner in EIT Health, and has funded two innovation projects – BRAINI and IMPACCT. Thanks to Institut Mérieux becoming a VCoE member, we are adding a new brick to our collaboration with them in the field of open innovation by adding to the existing collaborative R&D initiatives the ability to support start-ups in their equity fundraising rounds.” 

Officially launched in 2020 by the European Investment Fund and EIT Health during the 2nd edition of the HealthTech Innovation Days, the Venture Centre of Excellence responds to Institut Mérieux’s innovation challenges. At full size, it will bring together 15-20 venture capital funds and 15-20 industrial health players, representing an investment capacity of more than €2 billion over 15 years. In doing so, it will enable the support of nearly 200 “promising” SMEs in all sectors of life sciences in Europe by accompanying them in their development from the seed stage onwards. 

Alain Godard, EIF Chief Executive, said: “EIF is pleased to welcome Institut Mérieux as the first European bioindustrial group to join the Sustainable Development Umbrella Fund Health compartment. As envisaged through the Venture Centre of Excellence programme, our team will bring the best possible support to Institut Mérieux in its collaboration with EIF fund managers in order to help European Life Science SMEs to grow.”