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On both sides of the Rhine, between Alsace, Baden-Wurtemberg and Basel, a global life sciences cluster has developed over a few decades. This is BioValley, where the Alsace, with its businesses, startups, laboratories and universities, plays a key role. Immersion in a very prolific ecosystem.
The first telesurgical or mini-invasive procedures of the French institute for cancer of the digestive tract (IRCAD), CellProthera’s development of cardiac cell therapy using stem cells from patients falling victim to a myocardial infarction, the bio-artificial pancreas project steered by Defymed to treat type 1 diabetes, Lilly establishing its largest global production site a few kilometres from Strasbourg… Welcome to Alsace in the European BioValley!
Here we are at the heart of a system, created by industrial companies, supported and financed by regional authorities, government-accredited and based on the great trilogy of innovation: businesses, universities and laboratories. But for this ecosystem to function, for scientists and entrepreneurs to come together and forge links to promote business, there has to be an orchestrator. And Alsace BioValley fulfils this role, with the main aim of helping companies to develop and finance their innovations, raise funds or identify new markets.
Another example of international cooperation: that signed in 2013 between Alsace BioValley and Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC). The Alsace is one of four world regions, with Quebec, Wallonia and the Australian state of Victoria, to have been selected by the famous Boston cluster to establish bilateral finance for therapeutic innovation projects. The first Alsace beneficiary of this joint finance, following an international call for projects: Transgene, for the development of its cancer drugs.
The really unique feature of the Alsace, insists the Managing Director of Alsace BioValley, is that “here, at the heart of Europe, we can construct, imagine and innovate in healthcare with high quality Alsace-based, but also Swiss or German, industrial companies or researchers, for which scientific excellence in the medical field no longer needs proving.”