On Tuesday July 4, the awards ceremony for the 25th i-Lab competition was held at the Théâtre du Châtelet at Paris. Genopole, a biocluster dedicated to innovation in biotechnology, builds on the success of the 2022 edition: five of the 79 prize- winners selected from 400 applications are Genopole-labelled start-ups, two of which won one of the 10 national Grand Prizes!
Each receives a grant of up to €600,000.
Gilles Trystram, CEO of Genopole : “We’re very proud of this result, and delighted for these 5 startups who, in addition to receiving financial support from the French government, will benefit from very high visibility among corporate groups and investors, which will necessarily support their business and scientific development. These distinctions awarded by the French government confirm Genopole’s own achievements. 4 companies have taken part in our Shaker and Gene.iO acceleration programs, which each year select and support the most innovative biotech projects in the fields of healthcare and sustainable development“.
Presentation of the winners
2 Grands Prix
In the health sector
🏆 STH BIOTECH wins an award in the Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnologies category for BIOCAP, an innovative project in plant biotechnology for the medical sector.
The aim of the BIOCAP project is to unlock the therapeutic potential of the cannabis plant, particularly in the treatment of chronic pain, depression and neurodegenerative diseases – all major public health issues! Cannabis is unique in that it contains a wide range of molecules of interest to the medical field, but these are still not widely available due to
production methods that are unsuitable for pharmaceutical development. To address this issue, STH BIOTECH has been developing a technology at Genopole for the past two years, combining targeted metabolic engineering of the plant and plant bioproduction processes in bioreactors. This unique technology enables the repeated, high-quality, sustainable and low- cost bioproduction of compounds of interest to researchers and manufacturers involved in the search for new drugs that meet real market needs and improve the medical service rendered.
In the Foodtech sector
🏆 Nutropy is rewarded for its NTPiLab2023 project, focused on optimizing dairy protein production processes through precision fermentation.
Nutropy develops dairy ingredients, caseins and fatty acids identical to those produced by cows, thanks to its precision fermentation technology. This innovation is aimed at dairy companies wishing to offer alternatives to conventional cheeses, whose production has a heavy environmental impact. Current plant-based alternatives, while more sustainable, do not sufficiently meet consumer expectations in terms of taste, texture and nutrition. To meet these demands, the NTPiLab2023 project aims to optimize Nutropy’s process to enable a new range of sustainable, tasty and healthier cheese alternatives, while reducing production costs.
In the health sector
🏆 Kyron.bio wins I-lab innovation award for its unique therapeutic protein bioproduction technology.
Kyron.bio uses glycobiology to increase the production of treatments for life-threatening diseases such as cancer and autoimmune disorders. By optimizing the glycosylation of therapeutics, its proprietary technology results in 20 times greater stability, 3 times greater production yield and improved biological performance compared with current production methods. Thanks to this innovative technology, it will be possible to deliver treatments to patients. In addition, Kyron.bio’s technology is scalable to several cell types used for bioproduction, including CHO and HEK cell lines, as well as other organisms such as Pichia pastoris, which have acquired strong commercial traction.
🏆 Floating Genes wins award for its highly sensitive liquid biopsy technology for early cancer diagnosis.
Floating Genes is developing a technology for the early diagnosis and monitoring of cancers based on
a simple blood test. In the early stages of disease, the tumor DNA present in the cellular debris circulating in the blood is small compared with the total amount of healthy DNA. Floating Genes’proprietary technology specifically amplifies tumor DNA mutations, thereby increasing the signal for highly sensitive detection by Next Generation Sequencing (NGS).It is also proving useful for early identification of relapses and making better therapeutic choices by identifying mutations present in the tumor. The company is currently focusing on metastatic pancreatic cancer and is working with three partner hospitals to test and validate its technology.
In the Foodtech sector
🏆 Amatera Biosciences wins award for its biotechnological process for the accelerated creation of climate-resistant coffee varieties.
By 2050, 50% of the arable land used to grow the Arabica variety will have disappeared, threatening 70% of the world coffee market. At present, breeding programs take more than 20 years to create a variety that is adapted and resistant to its environment. Amatera Biosciences is developing a biotechnological process capable of reducing research time to 4 years, thanks to a non-GMO genetic improvement approach in vitro cell culture. The start- up creates:
- the first naturally caffeine-free coffee variety, eliminating chemical and polluting decaffeination processes.
- Robustica, a variety resistant to climate change, with a reduced need for agricultural inputs and an environmental impact divided by 3, compared with a classic Arabica.