March, 2016
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Naceur Tounekti

Biotherapies – The Future of Therapies at our Doorstep

The fifth edition of the B4B-Connection Bioproduction “Cell and Gene Biotherapies” in February brought together over 120 people within Genopole, a major hub for the development of biotherapies, gene therapy and regenerative medicine in France.

The event was inaugurated by Naceur Tounekti, Deputy Director of Genopole, who revealed the most recent highlights towards the emergence of biotherapies, in particular the move of the Stem Cell Institute I-Stem into the CRCT, the production by Généthon Bioprod of vector batches for gene therapy clinical trials, and the launch of construction for a major industrial bioproduction center. The meeting revealed that innovative biotherapies have come to a major turning-point: the results from the first clinical trials are promising, scaling up is emerging as a possibility, and pharmaceutical companies are starting to take an interest.
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Genopole is proud to introduce Algama. The original idea behind the company created in 2013 by three childhood friends is the innovative use in processed food of seaweed such as spirulina, a nutritious organism filled with protein, iron and vitamins.
One of Algama’s innovations is Springwave, an antioxidant and revitalizing drink currently distributed in top-of-the-range Accor hotels. The group is also launching egg-free sauces enabling vegetarian, vegan and allergic people to enjoy condiments such as mayonnaise. Algama has its foodlabs on the Genopole campus, stretching over 100 square meters. Among other accomplishments, the startup was selected to present its innovations at Expo Milan in 2015. It is now focused on the development of new ingredients based on microalgae and looking to expand in the USA.
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Imagene Technology at the Musée de l’Homme

From 16 January to 22 February 2016, the Musée de l’Homme exhibited metallic capsules developed and patented on a worldwide scale by Imagene, containing precious DNA samples from the Neanderthal man.
Capsule ADN
This unique DNA preservation technology by encapsulation was set up within the Genopole platform. The Musée de l’Homme is home to one of the richest collections of Neanderthal fossils in the world. The genetics team of the Museum national d’Histoire naturelle extracted DNA on several of these fossils. Thanks to Imagene’s technology, the ancient DNA is protected from all degradation factors (water, oxygen, light…), enabling its storage at room temperature on the long run, all the while being stored in a form compatible with scientific research.
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Genopole Out of Africa

In February, at the invitation of the Ministry of Higher Education and Research (MHER) of Senegal, Genopole participated in a mission led by the Université d’Évry-Val-d’Essonne (UEVE) along with a representative of the Centre National de Séquençage (CNG). Senegal’s MHER is driving a series of initiatives to upgrade the country’s R&D and innovation systems and is promoting the establishment of the City of Knowledge entrepreneurial cluster which is under construction 30 km north of the city of Dakar.

The French delegation met representatives of local universities, hospital research centers, ministries, as well as public agencies that are all involved in the establishment of a national molecular genetics platform that will provide high throughput sequencing and diagnostic services for agfood, biomedical and security purposes. Genopole’s biocluster management, UEVE and CNG are working in collaboration with Senegal’s MHER and local stakeholders to provide development counseling on the physical resources and operational logistics for a national molecular genetics platform, on training of its personnel, as well as on establishing support systems for entrepreneurs in Dakar’s City of Knowledge.

Forum Labo Biotech Lyon

Forum LABO & BIOTECH - 30-31 March

Genopole will be attending the Forum LABO & BIOTECH in Lyon at the end of the month to meet new companies and identify new business opportunities. The exhibition to be held over two days promises to be a success with a full house of 171 companies spread over 2,000 sq. m of stands. Forum LABO & BIOTECH LYON will bring together researchers, engineers and scientists, buyers and deciders… in numerous different fields. More than a simple exhibition, the event is first and foremost the opportunity for fruitful business exchanges with events such as Lab’Meetings.

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Ynsect in Japan

Following the visit of the Japanese delegation from Karatsu (mentioned in our November issue), we are thrilled to announce that, out of 30 French companies, two of the three Genopolian companies they met have made it to their short-list of candidates selected for an exchange program. Though both YNSECT and ALKION impressed the Japanese delegation, due to time constraints, only Ynsect was able to participate in the exchange program organized at the end of February. Let’s hope this marks the beginning of many more alliances in the future!

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Work-Live-Play at Genopole

The Association of University Research Parks (AURP) is holding its 2016 Spring Training in Tempe (Arizona) in April. The meeting in a workshop format will cover a great many themes, including “Building and Sustaining Community” for which Genopole will be a presenter and panelist, along with Centennial Campus (NC State University), Technology Park (Waterloo, Canada), Innovation Place (Saskatoon, Canada), and Research Triangle Park.
Futur Pole de vie de GENOPOLE
Although genomics-derived-and-driven innovation and R&D has been Genopole’s focus from the beginning – to which the biocluster’s management has stuck – real estate developments have not been driven by any specific overall plan, but evolving more in a reactive and opportunistic mode over the years. Genopole’s 100,000 sq.m of floor space for offices and labs are within a 500 square-meter area as well as at close proximity of a recently-opened 1000-bed regional hospital. The provision of services to build the work-live-play spaces on campus has now become a priority with the construction of a so-called Pôle de Vie, of which the first building will be completed by the end of 2017. Among other services, the Pôle de Vie will include residences for students and visiting scientists, a nursery, restaurants, fitness rooms, a hotel, and offices for medical and paramedical services as well as the new head offices of Genopole GIP. Those community developments around Genopole are also now part of new community developments around the recently-founded Paris-Saclay University – located 30 km from Genopole – which will be bringing together a number of teaching and research organizations of Greater Paris, with Genopole as the genomics arm of Paris-Saclay.
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Time to Take Stock

It’s already the time of the year when we look back on the progress Genopole made in 2015.
The departments Genopole Enterprises and Research & Platforms have respectively met with the companies, research labs and shared-access platforms managers located at Genopole and presented the key events and figures of 2015 which will will soon be published. Stay tuned for more on this subject in future newsletters.


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