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Our Story

imgaboutInserm Transfert Initiative (ITI) was created under the initiative of Inserm, the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research. Inserm is a biomedical and public health research institution with nearly 15,000 researchers, engineers, technicians and post-doctoral students as well as over 300 laboratories. It is the number one academic and clinical research organisation dedicated to human health in Europe.

In 2005, Inserm give Inserm Transfert — the Inserm private subsidiary for scientific tech-transfer — responsibility to establish a new fund, ITI, with the aim of creating a complete ecosystem around academic research institutions and addressing the need to finance early-stage life sciences companies. Together with Inserm Transfert, 3 investment funds - BPI France, Sofinnova Partners and Ventech - supported ITI’s inception.

In 2011, ITI raised €35.5 million from Inserm Transfert, BPI France (through the “Fonds National d’Amorçage”) and 10 pharmaceutical companies, making it one of the largest French life sciences seed investment funds.

Since September 2017, Inserm Transfert Initiative is managed by Sofimac Innovation.

ITI has developed a strong ecosystem of close partners, including:

These strong connections with public and private partners will facilitate finding, seeding and growing our portfolio companies.

Investment approach

Inserm Transfert Initiative (ITI) invests in innovative early-stage life science companies and notably spin-offs from top tier French academic research centers.

ITI provides financing to French start-up companies in the fields of biotechnology/biopharmaceuticals, medical devices and diagnostics. We seek out truly innovative opportunities, which target unmet medical needs, combined with strong intellectual property. At ITI, we are attentive to companies that develop new approaches and breakthrough therapeutics with the potential to improve patients’ lives.

ITI presently brings up to €3 million equity financing per company throughout their development.

Investment process

The assessment of investment opportunities starts with a first review of the project to see whether it matches ITI’s investment criteria. Secondly, ITI’s management team interacts with the company’s management to better understand the scientific aspects, the strategy and the financing needs. Next, ITI’s team investigates further the investment possibilities and conducts an in-depth due diligence. Due diligences are supported by experts from academic research, clinical practice and the life sciences industry. Finally, when the due diligence is positive and the structure of the investment is defined, the company presents the opportunity to ITI’s scientific advisory committee who validates the scientific approach of the investment.

In most cases, ITI representatives sit on the board of directors of portfolio companies. We are committed to working hands-on with the management team to develop the company and build value. Through our active involvement, we provide companies with operational, financial and strategic guidance giving each of our investments optimal conditions for success.