Institut Mérieux joins EIT Health and EIF's health innovation programme

25 Mar 2022 | Network Updates | Update from EIT Health
These updates are republished press releases and communications from members of the Science|Business Network

  • By subscribing to the SDUF (Sustainable Development Umbrella Fund) Health Compartment, Institut Mérieux commits itself as a Corporate members alongside the other Corporates and 8 venture capital funds to date to support the European life sciences start-ups that will shape the medicine of tomorrow.
  • The VCoE, with more than €1.7 billion of investment capabilities represented as of today, is the first open innovation programme of its kind in the life sciences sector in Europe. It aims to foster collaboration between Life Science venture capital funds and corporates, with the ultimate objective of stimulating investments in European start-ups and SMEs in medtech, biotech and digital health.
  • This unique pan-European co-investment programme in health innovation is operated by EIT Health (European Institute of Innovation and Technology for Health) and the European Investment Fund (EIF).

By subscribing to the SDUF Health Compartment, the financial vehicle of the Venture Centre of Excellence (VCoE), alongside the other Corporates and 8 venture capital fund members of the programme, Institut Mérieux has made a commitment to support the health innovation ecosystem to encourage the emergence and development of the companies that will define 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.

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 is a programme that 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.

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. 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.”

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.”

Jean-Marc Bourez, Interim CEO of EIT Health and Head of the VCoE, welcomed the announcement saying: "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.”

Never miss an update from Science|Business:   Newsletter sign-up