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Innovation Without Borders, at the Heart of Institut Mérieux's Strategy

LYON, France, January 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

Institut Mérieux places innovation at the heart of its development strategy and provides multidisciplinary solutions for the innovative and multifactorial management of certain diseases, including tuberculosis, liver cancer and hepatitis.

Through its three companies - bioMérieux, Mérieux NutriSciences and Transgene - Institut Mérieux's objective is to meet worldwide public health needs, through a global approach that promotes multifactor patients management. It thus provides innovative solutions in the fight against infectious diseases and cancer, as well as for the prevention of health risks.

Its new innovation programs meet two objectives: developing solutions that offer real medical benefits to patients, while contributing to the sustainability of healthcare systems and structures, through cost management and reinforced productivity.

  • Institut Mérieux commits significant and complementary resources to promote innovation:
  • Almost 12% of its sales revenue is dedicated to Research and Development, enabling Institut Mérieux to offer innovative solutions for better patient management and medical care that is both more personalized and more cost effective. This is higher than the average percentage in its industry

-    10% of its employees work in R&D on 17 dedicated sites around the world, including 12 in France,

- In 2011, the Group's companies invested 205 million euros in medicine of the future. Over the last three years, investment reached nearly 600 million euros, representing an increase of almost 16% since 2009, and nearly 30% in France over the same period.

  • This was achieved In particular via:

- Specific Research and Development programs within each one of Institut Mérieux's companies: in the last five years, bioMérieux has launched nearly 100 new products in the fields of infectious diseases, oncology and industrial microbiological safety.  R&D investments by Transgene in recent years have led to the development new therapeutic vaccines, two of which should enter phase III clinical trials in 2014.        

- ABL Inc., an R&D company based in the United States and specializing in virology.    

  • Institut Mérieux's research is international

Institut Mérieux deploys its various tools for innovation in countries where much of today's scientific and medical progress began, and which are the focus of current global R&D efforts: North America, Asia, and Europe.

- The Mérieux Research Grants, an international network of expertise, and the spearhead of Institut Mérieux's research activities. The Mérieux Research Grants have led to the creation of a network of high level international scientific experts located in France, the USA, the UK, China, Canada, Israel, India, Portugal, Italy, Germany and Switzerland. More than 11 million euros have been dedicated to the Mérieux Research Grants since they were created in 2009, for over 50 breakthrough scientific projects, in the fields of diagnostics, vaccines, new therapies and nutrition.

- Its healthcare investment company, Mérieux Development, whose objective is to identify and support highly innovative companies in breakthrough technology projects. Mérieux Development is present in France, the USA and Israel.

- Its R&D partnerships are predominantly located in France and the United States, as well as China, the UK, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Italy and Singapore.

- Joint research units have been established in Franceand China, including, for example, a joint research unit for oncology created with the FudanUniversityShanghaiCancerCenter.

  • Institut Mérieux has excellent ties with French academic research institutions
  • Institut Mérieux fosters public and private partnerships with the French academic research sector through collaboration agreements with institutions such as the CEA (French Atomic Energy Commission) in the field of new technologies, and the Institut Pasteur in infectious diseases.
  • Institut Mérieux coordinates ADNA, a collaborative R&D program in the field of personalized medicine, with French industrial and scientific partners, both public and private, and with public funding from OSEO.
  • Institut Mérieux plays an active role in boosting scientific research and higher education in France, and in their promotion around the world.
  • Institut Mérieux is a founding member of Lyonbiopole, a worldwide competitiveness cluster in the biological field and of the French Institute for Technological Research in infectious diseases, BIOASTER, which was established in 2012 as part of the French government's Investments for the Future program.
  • Alain Mérieux, Chairman of Institut Mérieux, is involved in the Programme d'Avenir Lyon/Saint Étienne, as Chairman of the Foundation for the University of Lyon, with the objective of contributing to the development of an internationally renowned center for scientific higher education and research excellence in the Rhône-Alpes region.
  • The various Institut Mérieux companies take part in multidisciplinary programs aimed at promoting an innovative and multifactorial approach to the management of diseases.

Institut Mérieux is committed to a number of multidisciplinary research programs covering various major healthcare issues, providing comprehensive solutions based on its companies' specific areas of expertise. To this end, it has put all of its R&D expertise to work in the fight against tuberculosis, hepatitis and liver cancer.

  • Tuberculosis: improving diagnosis and vaccination

Tuberculosis is responsible for 2 million deaths per year and medical needs remain unsatisfied. Institut Mérieux, through bioMérieux and Transgene, is working on two areas:

- diagnosis, through the development of tests that are fast, easy to use, reliable and inexpensive, in order to simplify and improve detection of cases of active tuberculosis, ensure effective clinical monitoring, and identify resistance,

- second generation vaccines (BCG boosters, therapeutic vaccines) comprising 14 antigens to cover all stages of the infection.

The effectiveness of the various options will then be assessed in the field with the help, in particular, of the Fondation Mérieux network.

  • Liver cancer and hepatitis

In order to combat hepatocarcinoma, which, with nearly 600,000 deaths per year is the cancer with the sixth highest mortality rate, and hepatitis, which causes this type of cancer, Institut Mérieux is developing multidisciplinary R&D programs aiming to:

  • Identify new biomarkers
  • Develop therapeutic vaccines

About Institut Mérieux

Institut Mérieux devotes its experience in industrial biology to the service of medicine and public health across the globe. In order to combat infectious diseases and cancers, it devises and develops additional solutions in the fields of diagnostics, immunotherapy, food safety and nutrition.

Through its three bio-industrial companies, bioMérieux, Transgene and Mérieux NutriSciences, and working closely with its innovation-focused entities (Mérieux Développement and ABL Inc.), Institut Mérieux offers new solutions to worldwide public health challenges:

bioMérieux  is listed on Euronext, is 59% owned by Institut Mérieux and is based in Marcy l'Étoile (France).  A global player in the area of in vitro diagnostics and industrial microbiological testing, bioMérieux employs 7000 people and generated sales of 1.427 billion euros in 2011. It is present in 150 countries with a network of more than 40 subsidiaries.

Transgene  is listed on Euronext, is 55% owned by Institut Mérieux and is based in Strasbourg (France). This biotechnology company specialized in immunology applied to the treatment of cancers and infectious diseases employs 300 people on its programs.

Mérieux NutriSciences  is 84% owned by Institut Mérieux and is based in Chicago (United States). This services company is dedicated to improving food safety and nutrition. With a staff of 4800, Mérieux NutriSciences is, via its three units, Silliker, Biofortis and Bioagri, now present in 18 countries via 73 accredited laboratories, with sales of more than 450 million US dollars

Advanced BioScience Laboratories Inc. (ABL Inc.):   this company is 100% owned by Institut Mérieux. Based in WashingtonDC (USA), it employs over 150 people on virology R&D programs. 

Mérieux Development: an investment company in the healthcare field, 100% owned by Institut Mérieux and based in Lyon (France). 

Institut Mérieux employs more than 12,000 people committed to worldwide public healthcare and generates sales in excess of 1.7 billion euros.

SOURCE Institut Mérieux

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