French Med start ups continue legacy of innovation at prestigious Galien Foundation event


With famous inventors like Pasteur and Currie highlighting a long history of medical innovation, France has a well-earned reputation as a world class breeding ground for innovation in healthcare, medicine and, more recently,  emerging med tech applications. Inventions and achievements such as the first blood transfusion, the stethoscope, aspirin and the insulin pump all trace their roots to French labs. As technology and medicine continue to merge, La French Tech is seeing a broadening scope of successful companies (unicorns like DBV Technologies and Advanced Accelerator Applications, as well as award winning start ups), initiatives and organizations – such as French e-Health Tech  – that play a vital role in breakthroughs that are improving the quality and safety of our lives and addressing the most pressing health issues of our day.

The Galien Foundation has been a supporter of the French Med startup scene for many years. The Foundation oversees and directs activities in the USA for the Prix Galien, an international award that recognizes outstanding achievements in improving the human condition through the development of innovative therapies. The Prix Galien was created in France in 1970 in honor of Galen, the father of medical science and modern pharmacology. Worldwide, the Prix Galien is regarded as the equivalent of the Nobel Prize in biopharmaceutical and medical technology research.

The Foundation annually sponsors the annual PrixGalien MedStartUp Program, which connects innovators and stakeholders from across the globe to encourage the diffusion of new technologies that improve the state of human health. Each year, the Medstartup Conference invites some of the most prestigious American pharmaceutical companies to meet with 50 of the most innovative French start ups. It’s worth noting that 32% of the program’s alumni are now established in the U.S. and have raised a collective $132M.

The program culminates with an award ceremony to honor the best results from newly formed partnerships that the program enables. This year, the fourth annual Medstartup Awards were held at a ceremony at the Alexandria Life Sciences Center in New York City. In total, 12 projects competed (complete list of nominees here) in one or several of the four categories offered and the following winners were announced:

Best Collaboration with academia leading to a breakthrough solution:

Protescom: recognized for its collaboration with Virginia Commonwealth University and Pharmasystems to

create digit’hal®, a product helping patients manage their inhaled treatment.

Best Innovative trail design leading to a quicker and better therapeutic outcome

Quantum Genomics: Honored for is collaboration with Medpace to elaborate a clinical study with hypertensive overweight patients of multiple ethnic groups in 25 hospitals in United-States.

Best use of patient engagement technologies.

Protecsom: recognized for its collaboration with Assoiation Pulmonaire du Quebec and Pharmasystems to create digit’hal®, a product helping patients manage their inhaled treatment.

Best collaboration or partnership leading to a breakthrough solution dedicated to the developing countries

InteraGen: honored for its collaboration with Solution Lab to develop “ICE” – Interpretation of Clinical Exome. ICE is a collaborative effort led by IntegraGen to develop an advanced scientific software program that will aid in the interpretation of genome sequencing data obtained from cancer patients.   

Chaired by Bernard Poussot, Director, Roche Holding and former President & CEO, of Wyeth, the jury of the Galien Mesdtartup Awards 2017 was composed of respected pharma industry leaders: Roch Doliveux, Honorary CEO, UCB; Mikael Dolsten , Global R&D President, Pfizer; Jean-Pierre Garnier, former CEO, GSK; Franz Humer, former CEO, Roche; François Maisonrouge, Senior Managing Director, Evercore Partners; Paul Stoffels, Chief Scientific Officer, Johnson and Johnson; and Elias Zerhouni, Global R&D President, Sanofi.