In 2021, seven Institut Curie spin-off companies raised a total of €140.6 million. These include Egle Therapeutics, which raised €40 million to develop “First-In-Class” immunotherapies, and Mnemo Therapeutics, a biotech dedicated to advanced CAR-T therapies, which raised a record €75 million for a young company.
These exceptional amounts highlight the excellence of the innovative projects developed by Institut Curie’s teams, the relevance of our strategy and the support provided by our legal and development teams. If we include companies listed on the stock market, we have raised more than 235 million euros, an absolute record! Beyond the figures, these are very concrete means for our companies to develop their projects in the best possible conditions, hire staff and accelerate the transition from research to concrete applications for patients.
said Amaury Martin, deputy director of headquarters and director of Carnot Curie Cancer.
Fundraising, a crucial lever for company creation
The creation of a company involves several key steps: the definition of a value proposition that states how the company responds to a specific need, the definition of its business model, the constitution of the team, and the search for financing. This last step is essential because it provides the necessary means to accelerate the company’s development, by giving credibility to the hypotheses and allowing the project to become a reality.
A distinction is made between non-dilutive financing – grants, loans, public subsidies – which generally occurs at the beginning of the company’s life cycle, and dilutive financing – fundraising from investors (Business Angels or Venture Capital Funds) – which increases the company’s equity, leading to a modification of the company’s capital.
Fundraising is a crucial step for the growth of a start-up, especially in the healthcare sector. It is what will allow the company to strengthen its project by supporting R&D, in particular to reach clinical phases more quickly, and ultimately to be able to market therapeutic solutions or innovative products for patients. Having recognized investors with expertise in the field and significant financial capacity at our side is an asset for the future development of our products. It’s important to remember that bringing a new drug to market can be worth more than a billion dollars.
explains Jérémie Weber, deputy director of the Institut Curie’s Technology Transfer Office, head of the Start-up division.
TYPES OF FUNDRAISING
Pre-seed (seed capital)
Amount: a few hundred thousand euros
Objective: consolidation of the project (R&D, prototyping, etc.)
Seed (first round of financing)
Amount: from a few hundred thousand to a few million euros
Objective: launch of the activity, recruitment, proof of concept
Amount: several tens of millions of euros
Objective: accelerate the company’s growth
Amount: several tens of millions of euros
Objective: international development, acquisition of competitors
Amount: more than 100 million euros
Objective: continued growth, increase in market share
28 start-ups born from Institut Curie
Institut Curie has already created 28 start-ups since 2002, including 11 in the last five years that have benefited from a key element of its development strategy: an original and integrated incubation program. Its objective? To encourage the transfer of technologies developed at Institut Curie through the creation of companies. It enables innovative projects to mature through the provision of services focused on the first stages of structuring the future company: from detection to the creation of the company and its follow-up. Thanks to a dedicated start-up center, founders have access to personalized support, enabling them to launch their projects under the best possible conditions and avoid the main reasons for start-up failure.
Biotechnology, pharmaceutical development, services, instrumentation, digital health and MedTech : the incubator’s portfolio is varied, reflecting the wide range of expertise and scientific excellence for which Institut Curie is renowned.
In the coming years, we want to strengthen our support for entrepreneurship, particularly in terms of assistance – including financial assistance – in the maturation phases of technologies before creating a company and raising funds.
concludes Jérémie Weber.
 Business angels are individuals, possibly grouped together in the form of private structures, investing amounts ranging from ten to a hundred thousand euros.
 Venture capital funds invest between a few hundred thousand and a few million euros over time. They are able to provide the entrepreneur with a substantial network of experts, a detailed analysis of the market and an international dimension to the project.