Volta Medical is the French standout of the 2023 Prix Galien. This year, they shared the Best Startup Award with GrayMatters Health (offering digital self-neuromodulation therapies for mental disorders, Israel) and Tessera Therapeutics (therapeutic messages integrated into the genome to treat diseases at their source, United States). Set up in Marseille in 2016, Volta Medical develops AI-based solutions for cardiac electrophysiology, which won over the jury. Their software helps surgeons identify and treat cardiac arrhythmias. The CEO, Théophile Mohr Durdez, expressed his joy at the “great visibility” and the “recognition of six years of hard work from all [his] teams.”
In 2022, the startup Quantum Surgical was recognized for its robotic technology platform Epione, dedicated to the curative and early treatment of abdominal cancer, especially in the liver.
The very appearance on the shortlist of start-ups is already an exceptional recognition. And this year, a third of the companies competing in the “Best Startup” category were French.
The Prix Galien Awards are some of the highest honors in the world in the field of life sciences and biopharmaceuticals, considered the equivalent of the Nobel Prize in healthcare. They acknowledge and reward “the efforts of scientists, researchers, and companies committed to advancing medical innovation with the power to change the human condition,” according to the organizers.
This 16th edition is the second consecutive year to include a separate category for promising startups in addition to the other six categories focusing on more advanced companies (Best Pharmaceutical Product/ Best Biotechnology Product/ Best Medical Technology/ Best Digital Health Solution/ Best Incubator, Accelerator, Equity/ Best Startup/ Best Product for Rare, Orphan Diseases).
“The Prix Galien is a testament to the extraordinary contributions of the healthcare industry that redefine the standards of care. In France, where healthcare excellence is ingrained in our culture, the Prix Galien and Business France collaboration provides an opportunity for French startups to increase visibility for their innovations,” Jérôme Revole, Director of Healthcare & Life Sciences at Business France North America.
Since 2013, Business France and the Galien Foundation have worked in close collaboration to support innovative French healthcare startups and give them visibility on the American stage by connecting them with major players in the industry in the United States and Canada. This partnership has borne fruit, as this year, France had 22 biotech, medtech, and digital health companies in the “Best Startup” category, out of a total of 65 nominees from around the world. “They are nominated for the Prix Galien based on one essential criterion: their solutions must be innovative and in development, with a real benefit for the patient,” explains Roxane Valfort, Health Development Manager at Business France.
“By associating the Galien Foundation with Business France, we place collective experience at the heart of our mission to improve human well-being. The Best Startup Award provides high-potential companies with an opportunity to engage and collaborate with healthcare leaders in the United States while showcasing innovative technologies and positioning themselves for global business opportunities,” Bruno Cohen, President of the Galien Foundation.
Business France teams based in America provided support to French companies throughout the process, from pre-selection to the award ceremony. “Our goal is to offer unique visibility to French startups through the publicity generated around the Prix Galien, an exceptional token of recognition from the world’s top experts,” says Jérôme Revole, Director of the North American Healthcare sector at Business France.
The day before the awards ceremony, on October 25th, masterclasses on the specifics of the American market were offered to French nominees (market access, regulations, etc.) at the MEETH Hospital, which is part of Northwell Health, the largest hospital network in the New York metropolitan area. His Excellency the Ambassador of France to the United States, Laurent Bili, met with the 22 French nominees to personally congratulate them.
With the assistance of the Business France team and a dedicated partnership platform, French startups were also able to establish valuable contacts with potential collaborators and investors. A networking event brought together over 120 guests at the Cure incubator.