Inserm Transfert Initiative (ITI) is a French investment firm, based in Paris, investing in early-stage life sciences companies. We focus on companies working on breakthrough innovations with the potential to become therapeutic solutions that will benefit society



Key facts



  • €40m under management
  • Focusing on French seed investment opportunities
  • Fully dedicated to healthcare including therapeutics, medical devices and diagnostics
  • Investment range: €1m - €3m
  • Team of experienced investor professionals
  • Invested in over 25 companies since 2005
  • Strong connections with French public research institutes
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About us

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:

  • Academic institutions: Inserm, CNRS, Pasteur Institute and other members of Aviesan, the French National Alliance for Life Sciences and Health,
  • Pharmaceutical and biotech companies,
  • Leading venture capital firms.

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


Management Team


Current portfolio


AAV-based gene therapy for genetic diseases including Friedreich’s Ataxia (cardiomyopathy)

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Cannabinoid receptor antagonist therapies for central nervous system disorders


Robotized systems for Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)


Super-resolution modules for optical microscopes


Modulation of DNA repair to sensitize tumors to chemo- and radio-therapy

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Monoclonal antibody acting on co-stimulation of T cells for autoimmunity and transplantation


Treatments targeting intracellular targets to control viral replication


Non-viral gene therapy for ocular diseases


Genomic services


Development of oxygen-carriers from a marine organism


New drug targets for the treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease


Therapies for acute inflammatory processes in critical care setting


Monoclonal antibodies for cancer


Small molecule for inner ear disorders (vestibular and/or cochlear disorders)


Detection and analysis of circulating tumor cells


Second generation vaccines to prevent meningitis


New class of inhibitors for the treatment of autoimmune diseases


Treatment for rare forms of dwarfism such as achondroplasia


Vaccines based on an improved peptide technology focusing on cancer indications



Inserm Transfert Initiative (ITI) raised €35,5 million in 2011 and was supported by public and private organizations as well as pharmaceutical companies. In 2005, investment funds also participated in ITI’s inception alongside Inserm Transfert.



President & Managing Partner

François Thomas has more than 25 years of experience in the life sciences sector. Before becoming Manager Partner Inserm Transfert Initiative

in 2014, he held management positions at Ipsen (VP Clinical Development and CMO) and Genset (VP Licensing and Pharmacogenomics).

In 2002, François became Partner at Atlas Venture and in 2006 he was responsible for healthcare corporate finance at the bank Bryan Garnier. Most recently, he was CEO of Cytheris, a private biotech company.

François has been a board member of several biotech companies such as Eurogentec YMB and Gamamabs, as well as representative of Atlas and ITI in over 20 boards. In addition, in 1995 François founded a consultancy company called Bioserve Ltd.

François is medical oncologist, a former assistant professor at the Gustave Roussy Institute, and holds a Ph. D in molecular oncology and an MBA from MIT (Boston).



c/o SOFIMAC Innovation

41 rue Boissy d'Anglas
75008 PARIS

Tel : +33 1 45 01 46 46

 Feel free to email us details of your project!


  • By Metro, Lines 8, 12, 14 - Station Madeleine
  • By Metro Line 1 - Station Concorde