A centre of excellence for healthcare and research

France, land of innovation and health research

France is a land of innovation and scientific progress in healthcare: its scientific and medical networks and the performance of its health system are widely and frequently acclaimed. France is also a major host country for the human, veterinary and biotechnology drug industries.

Research and innovation at the heart health industries

3 French research organisations in the world’s top 10 research organisations in terms of innovation, among the “institutions that contribute the most to advancing science and technology” (Thomson-Reuters rankings – 2016) :

  • 1st: CEA – the Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies Commission
  • 5th: CNRS – National Centre for Scientific Research
  • 10th: INSERM – National Institute for Health and Medical Research

Medicine of excellence 

Renowned for the excellence of its medicine and the creativity of its engineers, France is in the forefront of Nobel Prize winners for physiology/medicine (13 French laureates) and chemistry (9 French laureates) :

Quality training

The French medical degree is recognised as having one of the highest levels of medical training in the world.

Leading clinical research

France is one of the major players in global clinical research with 10% of international studies carried out in the country, according to the public website www.clinicaltrials.gov

France : one of the leaders in the healthcare sector in Europe

The pharmaceutical industry

A very dynamic pharmaceutical industry: the strength of French health exports is mainly down to its pharmaceutical industry (25.8 billion euros in 2016).

The pharmaceutical industry in France :

  • 2nd position on the European market;
  • 5th position on the world market;
  • 271 production sites, of which 75 are for manufacturing(2012);
  • + 100,000 direct jobs;
  • + 290,000 indirect jobs;
  • €53 billion in annual turnover in 2015 (including €25.4 billion of exports).

Research & Development in the French pharmaceutical industry :

  • 1st R&D sector in France;
  • 10% of turnover devoted to R&D in 2014;
  • €1,000 bn invested in R&D from 2005 to 2015;
  • €1,000 bn planned in R&D from 2015 to 2020.

France is the European leader in drug exports :

  • 8 billion boxes of medicines produced in France each year.


…France is the 4th largest biotech industry in Europe and benefits from :

  • a wide range of life science companies (biotech, medtech, biocleantech and e-health) ;
  • quality research ;
  • dynamic companies with international ambitions ;
  • favourable conditions for job creation (start-up funds, Young Innovative Company status and Research Tax Credit).
  • Innovation remains the main driver of growth in the sector.This innovation stems from biotechnology companies.

Veterinary drugs

…France leads the European veterinary drug market :

  • ranked 1st in research and manufacture of veterinary drugs & reagents ;
  • + 6,700 employees ;
  • + large therapeutic arsenal (2,700 AMM) ;
  • + €1.2bn in exports (including €700m intra-EU) ;
  • 4 French companies among the top 10 global veterinary drug laboratories (Merial, Virbac, Ceva, Vetoquinol) ;
  • 833 million euros of turnover in France in 2015.

France : a health cluster at the heart of Europe

With a network of centres dedicated to health, research and training for industry :

  • Pôle NSL : nutrition – health – longevity ;
  • Medicen : innovative health technologies and new therapies ;
  • Alsace Biovalley : life and health sector ;
  • Atlantique Biothérapie : innovative technologies for biotherapies ;
  • Cancer Bio Santé : biotechnologies/health ;
  • Lyon Biopôle : life sciences ;
  • Eurobiomed : life sciences, rare, neglected and emerging diseases.

Valleys” targeted on themes : pharma, marine, silver economy. The largest hospital network in Europe.

Lille and the Hauts-de-France Region, a centre for healthcare excellence

Tools for excellence in the service of research

3,000 researchers and 80 research laboratories operate at the international level. Their main areas of research are :

  • Oncology: SIRIC ONCOLILLE is an integrated research site for cancer, accredited by the National Cancer Institute. It performs translational research in two main fields: tumour dormancy and tumour resistance.
  • Diabetes, obesity and cardio-metabolic diseases: EGID (European Genomic Institute for Diabetes) is one of the world’s leading centres for research into diabetes and its complications.
  • Alzheimer’s disease: LABEX Distalz is a unique laboratory of excellence in France. It focuses on the development of innovative strategies for a transdisciplinary approach to Alzheimer’s disease. It brings together seven of the best research units in the field, five of which are located in Lille.
  • Others LABEX are supported in the region: ParaFrap (on parasitic infections) and ICST (on ion channels of therapeutic interest).

The great medical institutions of Hauts-de-France

Lille’s Regional University Hospital Centre (CHRU)

Among the premier teaching hospitals in northern Europe, it treats more than 1.4 million patients per year and has 15,000 health professionals working in 7 hospitals.The CHRU is also a clinical research centre for the pharmaceutical industry: more than 2,800 patients for clinical trials promoted by the centre and more than 1,300 patients for participatory clinical trials.

The Institut Pasteur de Lille

Founded in Lille in 1894 and internationally renowned, it’s associated with several research teams mainly focused on infectious, inflammatory and parasitic diseases, cancers, metabolic, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases.

Regional actors of international scope suppport the health sector

GIE Eurasanté helps researchers, project managers and companies in the biology-health-nutrition sector with their research, creation and business development projects.

  • The Nutrition Health Longevity Hub is the competitiveness centre which brings together and supports the agri-food and health actors in the design, development and financing of products and processes of the future.
  • The Eurasanté Bioincubator supports innovative business creation projects from the Hauts-de-France health sector. It is classified in the top 15 best incubators in Europe for the emergence of innovative start-ups in the biotechnologies sector (LABIOTECH ranking – 16 May 2017).
  • The Eurasanté Park is a site of excellence of 300 hectares dedicated to the cutting-edge activities of the biology-health-nutrition sector and is located in the heart of the largest university hospital campus in Europe.

Eurasanté, a business park dedicated to the health sector, a hub of excellence and research in the Hauts-de-France Region

On a site of 300 hectares, 30,000 players meet every day :

  • the CHRU of Lille : 15,000 health professionals working in 7 hospitals ;
  • the Oscar Lambret Centre : 900 employees including 582 health professionals dedicated to the treatment of cancers ;
  • industry : 3,000 workers employed in 160 companies ;
  • training : 20,000 students in 4 faculties and 7 paramedical schools ;
  • the sectors of activity represented : medical facilities and hospital engineering, specialised services, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, nutrition, ICT for health ;
  • the sectors particularly conducive to development : the silver economy, connected health, digital and big data.


Lille, the place chosen by numerous internationnaly renowned researchers

The region is an area of expertise in health. The know-how of the research teams is internationally recognised. Research and care infrastructure is of high quality and big names in health have already found an ideal environment here. Lots of researchers, lecturers and clinicians have made a name for themselves in the main therapeutic applications of the EMA’s centralised procedures (cancer, AIDS, neurodegenerative diseases, diabetes, neglected diseases, autoimmune diseases and other immune dysfunctions, viral diseases, drugs derived from biotechnologies), particularly through their work and expertise in drug design, toxicology, preclinical and clinical study methodology and clinical pharmacology.

The Lille metropolis attracts lots of foreign researchers :

  • Prof. Prof. Juergen Siepmann, Director of the “Controlled Release Drugs and Biomaterials” Unit (INSERM U1008).
  • Prof. Bart Staels, Director of the “Nuclear Receptors, Cardiovascular Diseases and Diabetes” Unit (INSERM U1011)
  • Dr. Giulia Chinetti, Director of the “Molecular control of monocyte/macrophage functions in cardiometabolic syndrome” team within INSERM unit U1011
  • Dr Camille Locht, Director of the Centre for Infection and Immunity of Lille (INSERM U1019 – CNRS UMR8204)
  • Dr. Yvan de Launoit, Director of the “Mechanisms of Tumorigenesis and Targeted Therapies” unit (CNRS UMR 8161)
  • Dr. Oleg Melnyk, Director of the “Biology and Chemistry of Cancer” team within the CNRS UMR unit 8161
  • Dr. Natalia Prevarskaya, Director of the “Cellular Physiology” unit (INSERM U1003)
  • Prof. Prof. Yori Gidron, Director of the Academic Chair on Human and Social Sciences Research on Cancer, the only one of its kind in France

A health sector energised by three complementary players

  • GIE Eurasanté: Eurasanté acts for the economic development of the health sector of Hauts-de-France and the development of the region. Eurasanté advises and supports companies and promoters of innovative projects in the region in their activities.
  • The NSL Cluster: The NSL Cluster is the competitive centre of excellence in nutrition and health. It facilitates and brings together at the national level all innovative and collaborative public private initiatives in preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic solutions for ageing-related pathologies.
  • Clubster Santé: Clubster Santé is the healthcare company network of Hauts-de-France, with 250 member companies. It offers its members a collective framework promoting exchange and the pooling of resources and skills.
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