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

    Date: 25 March 2022
  • 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[1]

and IMPACCT[2]. 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.”

Background information

About Institut Mérieux

As an independent family-owned company, Institut Mérieux is dedicated to the fight against infectious diseases and cancers, with a global and long-term vision.

Thanks to five companies - bioMérieux, Transgene, ABL, Mérieux NutriSciences and Mérieux Equity Partners - Institut Mérieux develops complementary approaches to meet today's public health challenges: from prevention of health risks to innovative disease treatment, including the key step of diagnosis.

Present in 45 countries, Institut Mérieux employs more than 21,000 people around the world and achieves a turnover of 3,9 billion euros.


About the EIF

The EIF is a financial institution within the European Investment Bank (EIB) Group. Its primary mission is to support Europe's micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by improving their access to credit. The EIF designs and develops equity, guarantee and microcredit instruments that are tailored to the needs of this category of businesses. In this role, the EIF pursues the European Union's objectives of supporting innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth, and employment.

About EIT Health

EIT Health is a network of best-in-class health innovators backed by the EU. We collaborate across borders to deliver new solutions that can enable European citizens to live longer, healthier lives. As Europeans tackle the challenge of increasing chronic diseases and multi-morbidity and seek to realise the opportunities that technology offers to move beyond conventional approaches to treatment, prevention and healthy lifestyles, we need thought leaders, innovators and efficient ways to bring innovative healthcare solutions to market. EIT Health addresses these needs. We connect all relevant healthcare players across European borders – making sure to include all sides of the “knowledge triangle”, so that innovation can happen at the intersection of research, education and business for the benefit of citizens.

EIT Health: Together for healthy lives in Europe. For more information visit: http://www.eithealth.eu/

Press contacts

David Yormesor, d.yormesor@eif.org, tel.: +352 43 79 81346 / Mobile:  +352 621 554 578
Website: www.eif.org - Press Office: +352 4379 21000 – press@eib.org - Follow us on Twitter@eif_eu

[1] BRAINI (Blood biomarkers to improve management of mild traumatic BRAIN Injury) will assess the performance of an automated blood test that can be used to prevent unnecessary CT brain scans for patients with a mild traumatic brain injury.

[2] IMPACCT (IMmune Profiling of ICU Patients to address Chronic Critical illness and ensure healThy ageing) aims at validating an innovative diagnostic tool to assess immune status, creating a new care pathway, to reduce healthcare costs and the human costs of chronic critical illness caused by sepsis.


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