The Galien Foundation’s ambition is to be a catalyst for the development of the next generation of innovative treatments and technologies that will have an impact on medical practices and save lives. Launched in 1970 by Roland Mehl in honor of Galien, the father of medical science and modern pharmacology, the Prix Galien is considered around the world as the Nobel Prize of biopharmaceutical research.
For the French health companies that are nominated, this constitutes recognition of their expertise and a fantastic opportunity to showcase their solutions. This year, five French digital health startups were selected.
Abys Medical and surgery 4.0
Abys Medical aims to revolutionize surgical practice, using software and artificial intelligence tools to support physicians from preparation of surgical strategy to the operating room.
Created in 2018, the deep tech firm based in La Rochelle has been introducing an initial veterinary solution to the market since March 2021. In 2023, It will launch another orthopedic surgery and human traumatology system.
“We aim to standardize made-to-measure orthopedic and traumatology surgery and to set a new benchmark,” explains Arnaud Destainville, chairman and co-founder of Abys Medical. “We want to put surgical planning and control back in the hands of surgeons so that they have comprehensive knowledge of the patient.”
Physicians can plan and model operations in detail using a unique collaborative web platform. They can simulate every sequence of an operation in 3D less than 30 minutes after the patient’s scan. The operation is performed completely online, and there is no software to install (100% cloud-based). The firm has also developed an application for use during operations, through dashboard in hologram form. The surgeon can also design customized implants to repair the bones of patients.
To facilitate its growth, Abys raised €3 million in August 2021 by opening its capital to institutional investment fund Océan Participations and private investors with extensive experience in the healthcare industry.
Medexprim, specialist in extracting real data for clinical research
Created in 2015, Medexprim has developed a software suite that can capture all sources of medical data from a network of thirty hospitals in Europe. These data are aggregated in a dedicated and secure clinical research setting. Once curated, they are anonymized and forwarded to specialists for analysis.
“We aggregate clinical data documenting the progression of the disease. We analyze images in detail to predict whether the treatment will progress positively or negatively,” explains Romain Cazavan, CEO of Medexprim. “It is what we call a ‘data lake.’”
Medexprim is distinct from the competition because it is the only company to bring together the four key data types (clinical, biological, pharmacological, and imaging) in one place with the same level of quality and a large number of patients. This approach is used in both academic projects and projects sponsored by industry, mainly pharmaceutical firms.
This innovation was named “Best Real-World Hospital Data Management Platform (Europe)” at the Healthcare & Pharmaceutical Awards in December 2021. Medexprim was also selected to join the Digital Health Scale-Up 2025 program in April 2022. This program was set up by the French Healthcare Association, BpiFrance, EIT Health and AI for Health, and supported by the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs. It aims to accelerate internationalization of French digital health startups in Europe.
SeqOne Genomics makes genomic analysis accessible to all
With its genomic analysis platform, the company’s ambition is to become the world leader in personalized genomic medicine. It was set up in 2014 within the framework of the French Regenerative Medicine and Biotherapy Institute in Montpellier.
SeqOne Genomics’ genomic tools draw on cloud computing, AI and big data, with an exclusive genomics operating system called GeniOS. The analysis platform analyzes next-generation sequencing data effectively, providing a complete list of all genetic variants and classifying them by order of relevance. It uses a proprietary hierarchization engine based on machine learning, designed to identify the variants that are medically relevant for each specific patient. In time, SeqOne Genomics wants to considerably reduce the cost and resources required to issue genetic tests and thus contribute to personalized medicine.
In January 2022, the startup finished raising €20 million to accelerate its expansion internationally and continue its R&D on new products.
“The objective is to ensure better clinical care of patients with cancer and rare and hereditary diseases,” details Nicolas Philippe, co-founder and CEO.
In February, the company announced a partnership signed with Unicancer, coordinator of the FrOG Program, to jointly develop a database of variants using data from the sequencing of patients with a possible genetic predisposition to cancer.
Synsight – quicker, cheaper, and more intelligent discovery of drugs
Synsight specializes in the preclinical development of new therapeutic molecules, specifically targeting RNA protein interactions. It helps customers and partners make targeted decisions on molecules to be produced, significantly reducing the time it takes to discover them. Its service is valuable given a big pharmaceutical company can take up to 25 cycles or more in a single year to discover a candidate drug.
The Synsight integrated proprietary platform combines artificial intelligence, molecular modeling, and an experimental functional screening approach of the High-Content Screening (HCS) type. Founded in 2013, the company is based in the Paris region.
WeFight, the care pathway virtual assistant
Launched in 2017, WeFight created a series of 17 applications for specific chronic conditions (lymphoma, breast cancer, leukemia, multiple sclerosis, depression, etc.), which function as digital personal health assistants.
Its virtual assistant, named Vik, does not replace the caregiver but supports them. This digital companion responds to questions from patients and their relatives, gives personalized advice at each stage of the care pathway, sends the patient scientific literature corresponding to their condition, provides them with follow-up information and gives the user access to a community with which they can share their experience. Vik applications are entirely free of charge and developed by health professionals with the help of patient associations.In March 2022, the startup launched MedFight, a new app intended for outpatient medicine. It is aimed at health professionals and hospitals to enable them to keep in contact with their patients between two appointments.