BioMaryland Center, Medicen Paris Region Announce Partnership to Support Commercialization

Wed, June 25, 2014

The BioMaryland Center today joined with Medicen Paris Region to announce a co-funded international project to support commercialization and collaboration in their two regions. Opticul Diagnostics of Rockville, Md. and Diafir of Rennes, France have been selected as the first two participants of a partnership that was created at BIO International 2012 to promote collaboration on products to improve and speed diagnoses and patient care. The announcement was made at the BIO International Convention 2014 in San Diego.

This is the first jointly funded international project undertaken by the BioMaryland Center, which is part of the Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED) of Maryland. The state of Maryland is the fourth largest biopharma concentration in the United States and Medicen Paris Region represents one of Europe’s largest clusters of life science and health care companies.

“The partnerships we’ve made around the globe have been fruitful for Maryland’s economy and also signify the world-class nature of our innovators in fields like the life sciences,” said Dominick Murray, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development. He was joined at today’s announcement by Judy Britz, Ph.D., executive director of the BioMaryland Center; Jean-Roch Meunier, Délégué Général, Medicen Paris Region; Isabelle Lebo of the French public investment bank Bpifrance, and representatives of the companies.

“We are excited as this funding will help Opticul move to the point of care space and facilitate our connection with Diafir,” said Gallya Gannot, president and founder of Opticul.

“This funding is a great opportunity for Diafir to expand technologically and to penetrate to the medical point of care with a powerful bacterial identification device. Teaming with Opticul Diagnostics will result in a faster development and a superior technology,” said Hugues Tariel, president and chief executive officer of Diafir.

Opticul is involved in bacterial detection without the use of reagents to produce chemical reactions. Diafir produces a complementary product that eliminates the need for culture of the organism prior to detection. Its diagnostic solutions are based on infrared sensors to produce a more rapid, minimally invasive approach to detect infections, track metabolic diseases and identify tumors.

The BioMaryland Center and Medicen Paris Region signed a Memorandum of Understanding during BIO 2012 in Boston to work together to support innovation, commercialization and collaboration in the life sciences industry. The BioMaryland-Medicen Paris Region Funding Initiative was formed to encourage Maryland and French companies to partner on commercialization projects. Matching government funds support the initiative. The Maryland company applies to the BioMaryland Center for up to $200,000 in matching funds while the French partner applies to Bpifrance for up to $3M euros in matching funds.


The BioMaryland Center connects life sciences companies, academic and federal researchers with each other and with potential capital sources, partners, clients, and other resources. Center staff  provide information regarding funding and other resources, business plan feedback, access to market research, advocacy, and other industry support. The BioMaryland Center also promotes the state’s life sciences industry domestically and abroad.


The Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development stimulates private investment and creates jobs by attracting new businesses, encouraging the expansion and retention of existing companies, and providing workforce training and financial assistance to Maryland companies


Medicen Paris Region is one of Europe’s largest clusters in Life Sciences and Healthcare and a gateway to European biotechnologies markets.  With more than 200 members, its goal is to increase the attractiveness of the Paris region, to strengthen the international competitiveness of the health sector and to develop the economic growth of its members in strategic markets through collaborative innovation. Since the cluster was created in 2005, 226 R&D projects have been accredited and funded by the French State and local authorities, for a total project budget of €846 million and €390 million of public subsidies.


Bpifrance brings together the financing activities of OSEO (innovation, guarantee, credit) and those of equity investments led by FSI, FSI Régions et CDC Entreprises. By sharing the risks with its private and public partners, Bpifrance provides a continuum of financing, from short-term credits to equity capital, to meet the needs relating to each stage of businesses life cycle.

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