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Merieux Alliance Becomes Institut Merieux

PARIS, December 7 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Merieux Alliance, the Merieux family holding company, announces today that it changes its name to take on the historic name of Institut Merieux. At a press conference held in Paris, Alain Merieux reviewed the important role played by industrial biology in the face of major public health challenges including infectious diseases, cancer, personalized medicine, theranostics and nutrition. Along with Alexandre Merieux and the management teams, he outlined the many strengths that Institut Merieux and its companies-bioMerieux, Transgene, ABL and Silliker- will rely upon to meet these challenges in three strategic areas:

    - in vitro diagnostics,
    - immunotherapy ,
    - food safety and nutrition.

"Today we are returning to a name with historic value: the name Institut Merieux, created in 1897 by Marcel Merieux. We are especially attached to the symbol this name represents, but above all it is a flag for our commitment to serving the medicine of tomorrow," said Alain Merieux. "Now more than ever, we intend to serve public health globally. This flag stands for longstanding values that are as relevant today as they were yesterday: the long-term vision that is essential for our bio-industrial activities, a resolutely global approach, and growth driven by scientific innovation, upholding the family and Pasteurian tradition."

Institut Merieux plans to mobilize all the scientific, industrial and financial resources necessary to carry out its missions to serve medicine and public health worldwide. Following the sale last August of the ShanH holding, which controlled the Indian vaccine company Shantha Biotechnics, the Institute has concentrated on the development of three key areas of activity, with an emphasis on scientific innovation and an international presence.

Institut Merieux, through its companies, pursues an original, innovation-based strategy focusing on:

    - multidisciplinary partnerships combining public and private research,
      such as the partnership forged recently by the CEA and the Institut

    - cross-disciplinary research programs involving the group's companies
      and, in certain cases, Fondation Merieux:

      - ADNA (Advanced Diagnostics and New Therapeutics Approaches): This
        personalized medicine and theranostics program brings together
        bioMerieux, Transgene, Genethon and GenoSafe and is supported by OSEO
       (French Agency for innovation aid).

      - A three-fold approach to fighting tuberculosis: With 8 million new
        cases each year, this disease represents a major public health
        concern. It will be the focus of a diagnostics approach (with
        bioMerieux), a vaccine approach (with Transgene), and an
        epidemiological approach with studies conducted by Fondation Merieux
        in India and China.

      - Food safety /nutrition /health: New areas of scientific and medical
        investigations are being explored in connection with metagenomics, at
        the frontier of nutrition and health.

    - Merieux Research Grants are awarded for particularly innovative
      research projects that will enable the creation of international
      scientific investigator networks.

Within the scope of its strategy to promote innovation, Institut Merieux has created Merieux Developpement, a new, 100% controlled investment firm devoted to healthcare. This firm aims to identify and accompany particularly innovative businesses and projects in the fields of diagnostics, prevention and therapeutics, medical devices and health-related services. As a minority shareholder and pro-active partner, Merieux Developpement intends to apply a long-term vision to its investment strategy and plans to accompany the firms in which it invests, enabling them to benefit from Institut Merieux's bio-industrial experience and providing access to its international network. Merieux Developpement could invest up to 70 million Euros over the next five years in high-potential firms in Europe, Canada, India and China.

Institut Merieux strengthens its international presence, particularly in Asia, with the creation of a base in China.

For 22 years Institut Merieux has been operating in China, where it will create a center combining R&D, bio-industrial and commercial activities. Following Europe and the United States, China will represent the third advanced base for Institut Merieux and its companies worldwide, in a region that has high-level potential in biology and substantial public health needs. Discussions are currently underway to finalize the necessary investments.

About Institut Merieux

With extensive experience in industrial microbiology, Institut Merieux contributes to serving medicine and public health across the globe. For the fight against infectious diseases and cancer, it imagines and develops new approaches in the fields of diagnostics, immunotherapy, and food safety and nutrition.

With its three business activities- bioMerieux, Transgene and Silliker-Institut Merieux has the potential to provide answers to the new challenges of public health globally: personalized medicine and new therapies, infectious diseases and cancer, food safety and nutrition.

bioMerieux, listed on the Euronext Paris market and 59% owned, is based in Marcy l'Etoile (France). World leader of in vitro diagnostics and industrial microbiological controls, bioMerieux employs 6,400 people. With a global presence in 150 countries, the group has a network of 39 subsidiaries and generates revenues amounting to 1,111 billion Euros.

Transgene: Based in Strasburg (France), this biotech company is 55% controlled and is listed on the Paris stock exchange Euronext. It develops immunotherapy products for the treatment of cancer and infectious diseases.

Silliker is a privately-owned company, 89% controlled, based in Chicago (United States). Encompassing a network of nearly 50 laboratories dedicated to improving food safety and nutrition, with 3,000 employees, Silliker operates in 16 countries today.

ABL Inc (Advanced BioScience Laboratories),is a privately-owned company 100% controlled, based in Washington D.C. (US). ABL employs 100 people specialized in virological research.

Institut Merieux employs nearly 10,000 people in the service of public health worldwide and generates net sales of over 1.3 billion Euros.

SOURCE institut merieux

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