The booming HealthTech ecosystem is creating highly-skilled jobs (85% of HealthTech firms rely on subcontracting and 84% of those enterprises play to hire in 2021). The sector aims to revolutionize and improve the daily life of patients and healthcare professionals.

As of  2021, France has 2000 HealthTech start-ups. The total turnover generated by the sector was approximately 800 million euros in 2019, which works out to 2.2 million euros in turnover per company.

The pandemic only accentuated the significance of this industry, whose visibility got a big boost from the emergence of Covid-19. The sector is becoming more mature and more economically valuable as it begins to look outward toward Europe and the United States, its key target markets.

Read on to learn about a few promising start-ups to keep an eye on in the French HealthTech ecosystem.


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The HealthTech sector is divided into 3 areas of activity

  • E-health (200 start-ups): tools and technologies to drive the digital transformation in the health industry
  • Biotech (750 companies): where biology meets technology
  • MedTech (1100 enterprises): medical devices and technologies used to save, treat or improve quality of life for patients living with all types of pathologies.

Enyo Pharma

Founded in 2014 by experts from the Centre International de Recherche en Infectiologie and pharmaceutical executives, Enyo Pharma is a biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the clinical stage with a unique drug discovery platform inspired by viruses. The team at Enyo Pharma combine scientific excellence in biology with pharmaceutical industry expertise, as well as medicine development know-how, to push the company forward and drive growth.

The Lyon-based firm develops innovative therapeutic molecules in several therapeutic categories lacking medical coverage.

The unique drug discovery platform makes Enyo Pharma a pioneer, as confirmed by the 76 million euros it has raised to fund its growth.

Enyo Pharma is backed by many investors, including OrbiMed, one of the biggest investment companies focused on healthcare. The enterprise is also financed by Andera Partners, a key private equity player in France and internationally, and by the well-known French business financing and development organization, Bpifrance.

UroMems 

UroMems, which was founded in 2011, produces a medical device that compensates for urinary incontinence by incorporating the latest advances in embedded systems in implantable products. Based in the Alps, the enterprise is working in one of the most dynamic areas of medical technology.

The goal? To provide implantable solutions that are easy to use for patients and easy to insert for healthcare providers and to market products that are more effective and less invasive than any other surgical techniques.

In an age of stringent regulatory requirements, the prevailing trend in the health sector is to further improve existing surgical treatments so that everyone can benefit from them.

To achieve its objective, the start-up has surrounded itself with research labs and experts, not to mention the major investments needed to develop UroMems. The Grenoble firm raised 12 million euros in its first round, then concluded a handsome second round in January 2020 for 16 million euros, adding two new investors. That money will be used to finalise pre-clinical trials and to initiate the first patient trials.

Owkin 

Formed by an oncologist and an artificial intelligence professor in 2016, Owkin is a biotech and e-health start-up that is developing a machine learning AI solution applied to medical research. The solution — based in France, the United States and the United Kingdom — makes it possible to accelerate the discovery of new treatments and thus advance personalised medicine.

Owkin’s algorithms are created in hospitals and harness sensitive data while protecting confidentiality. The groups working with the start-up want to spark a digital transformation and are open to the use of artificial intelligence in health.

After a first fund-raising round netted 18 million dollars in 2018, Owkin secured an additional 25 million dollars in 2020 from Cathay Innovation, Bpifrance and MACSF. It was a very successful round that will enable the start-up to develop new medications thanks to a better technological approach.

Invivox

Invivox is a Bordeaux-based company started in 2015. It is the leading international platform for connecting healthcare professionals around the world through training. It identifies and categorizes practical medical training opportunities with experts across the globe.

Anyone directly associated with medicine (practicians, nurses, physicians, etc.) can join the platform to take online trainings, either through the Invivox Academy or directly in hospitals.

With its training courses taught directly in hospitals, Invivox enables healthcare facilities to become international medical training hubs.

The company’s first round of fund-raising garnered 1.2 million euros in 2016. Then it received assistance from Bpifrance, which loaned it 300,000 euros. But that’s not all! Indeed, after winning over the Patient Autonome fund, Invivox earned 2.8 million euros through a second campaign.

Today, Invivox boasts over 1500 trainers from more than 64 countries working together.

Sensorion

Sensorion is a pioneering, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical start-up in Montpellier. It develops innovative therapies to improve inner ear pathologies (deafness, vertigo, tinnitis, etc.). It features a unique research and development platform to drive a deeper understanding of inner ear diseases.

The enterprise began negotiations with Institut Pasteur in 2018 and is supported by Bpifrance and the Inserm Transfert Initiative. In 2019, it completed its biggest investment round since its inception. It raised 20 million euros from speciality investors.

Even better, Chardan, an American investment bank specializing in health, decided to make the start-up one of its top choices for 2021, deeming it a “hidden gem in gene therapy“. The bank initiated coverage of the young company in June 2020 with a recommendation to buy. What could be better to help it become the leader in developing gene therapies to treat hearing disorders?

 

HealthTech start-ups will continue to surprise us with their innovations in all categories. Many investment organizations and companies have put their trust in them. Thus, it will be especially interesting to monitor their evolution and their potential impact on the health, biology and medicine sectors!

 

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