March 24, 2023

Smart Immune is selected for the first cohort of the French Tech Health20 program

This unique program has selected 20 French start-ups that offer disruptive healthcare innovations

PARIS, France, 27 March, 2023 – Smart Immune SAS, a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing ProTcell, a thymus-empowered T-cell therapy platform to fully and rapidly re-arm the immune system, announced today that it has been selected for the new French Tech Health20 program, initiated this year.

The French Tech Health20 program has been set up by Mission French Tech as part of its strategy to support French startups developing disruptive innovations to tackle major societal health issues. This is in line with the government's Health Innovation 2030 plan and in partnership with the Agence de l'Innovation en Santé (AIS) as part of its mission to support health technology.

Smart Immune’s patented ProTcell technology is in the Biotherapies and the Bioproduction of Innovative Therapies fields mentioned by the Health Innovation 2030 plan.

The selection criteria for the 2023 cohort were demanding, with an independent selecting the winners from almost 400 health companies. The 20 winners are developing innovations with significant differentiation compared to existing solutions and have the potential for large-scale deployment.

Rearming the immune system in 100 days rather than the 18 months in normal physiology

Smart Immune has developed a unique technology to grow a new type of white blood cell ex vivo – T-cell progenitors. This therapeutic innovation is designed to expedite T-cell reconstitution for patients affected by severe immune failure, returning to them the capacity to fight tumors and infections. By reducing the period of vulnerability of patients treated with allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation from 18 months to 100 days, Smart immune aims to improve overall survival for thousands of patients.

While the body of a normal individual takes nearly 15 months to transform blood stem cells into progenitors of T-cells (white blood cells), Smart Immune’s technology, through its a patented ex vivo lymphoid niche cell culture process, accelerates this natural process of differentiation and maturation to 7 days. Once administered to the patient, these ProTcells migrate into the thymus and complete their maturation in 3 months to restore the full capacity of the patient's immune system.

These cells form the basis of ProTcell, a universal cell therapy platform developed by Smart Immune to rearm a patient’s failed immune system to fight cancer and infection, and pave the way for innovative medicine for all.

Karine Rossignol, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Smart Immune: "We are happy to be a winner of this first cohort of the Health20 program. This selection is a recognition of the disruptive nature of our technology in the field of cancer and infectious diseases. Since 2014, Mission French Tech has demonstrated its ability to raise the voice of innovative start-ups in France. Winning here will help us to gain visibility and credibility on the international scene as well as to advocate for a stronger commitment from public authorities to support, in France, the cell and gene therapy sector, and to invest in bioproduction, for the benefit of patients."

About the Health20 program

Health20 is a support program dedicated to start-ups in the health sector. After Green20, Agri20 and DeepNum20, this is the 4th program launched by the French Tech Mission within the framework of its strategy of supporting start-ups offering disruptive innovations for the key challenges facing society. In line with the Health Innovation 2030 governmental plan, it will help the selected start-ups to develop their innovations in the fields of digital health, infectious and emerging diseases, biotherapies and the bioproduction of innovative therapies, biomedicines and innovative medical devices in France.

About the Mission French Tech

The Mission French Tech is the French administration responsible for helping the ecosystem of French start-ups form and flourish, in France and abroad. Part of the Directorate General for Enterprise within the Ministry of Economy, Finance and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty, the Mission coordinates and oversees the French Tech ecosystem with its network of 16 Capitals and 99 Communities, in France and abroad. It also supports start-ups by making it easier for them to interact with the administration via a network of more than 60 French Tech contacts. The Mission French Tech supports the most mature start-ups through the French Tech Next40/120 programme, as well as start-ups operating in sectors identified as strategic as part of the France 2030 plan with its first sector dedicated programmes: Green20, Agri20, Health20 and DeepNum20. Finally, through the French Tech Tremplin program, the French Tech Mission enables people without an entrepreneurial background to create their own start-up anywhere in France.

About Smart Immune

Smart Immune is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing ProTcell a thymus-empowered T-cell therapy platform to fully and rapidly re-arm the immune system, enabling next-generation allogeneic T-cell therapies for all. The company was founded in 2017 to help patients with life-threatening diseases such as high-risk blood cancers and primary immunodeficiencies.

Smart Immune’s ProTcell platform, which is already in Phase I/II clinical trials, enables the recovery of a complete immune repertoire in patients fighting cancer and infection. ProTcell introduces potent, allogeneic T-cell progenitors which are then differentiated by the thymus into fully functional T-cells.

Smart Immune’s partners include Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York and Greater Paris University Hospitals (AP-HP). The company is located at Paris Biotech Santé, 29 rue du Faubourg St Jacques, France.


Smart Immune est sélectionnée pour la première promotion du programme French Tech Health20

PARIS, France, 24 mars, 2023 – Smart Immune, société de biotechnologie au stade clinique qui développe la plateforme de thérapie cellulaire ProTcell, conçue pour réarmer le système immunitaire contre les cancers et les infections, annonce aujourd’hui être sélectionnée parmi les 20 start-ups françaises de la première promotion du programme French Tech Health20.

Le Health20 est le 4e programme lancé par la Mission French Tech dans le cadre de sa stratégie d’accompagnement des startups proposant des innovations de rupture sur les grands enjeux de société. Il est destiné à accompagner des start-ups proposant des innovations de rupture dans le domaine de la santé, en cohérence avec le plan gouvernemental Innovation Santé 2030 et en partenariat avec l’Agence de l’Innovation en Santé (AIS) dans le cadre de sa mission d’accompagnement des HealthTech.

La technologie brevetée ProTcell développée par Smart Immune, s’inscrit dans les domaines Biothérapies et Bioproduction de thérapies innovantes mentionnées par le plan Innovation Santé 2030.

Ramener de 15 mois à 7 jours le temps nécessaire à la restauration des capacités du système immunitaire des patients greffés

Smart Immune a mis au point une technologie unique permettant de cultiver ex vivo un nouveau type de globules blancs : les progéniteurs de lymphocytes T. Cette innovation thérapeutique réduit la période de grande vulnérabilité des patients traités par greffe de cellules souches hématopoïétiques de donneur sain.

Alors que l’organisme d’un individu normal met près de 15 mois pour transformer les cellules souches sanguines en progéniteurs de lymphocytes T (ou globules blancs), la technologie de Smart Immune, grâce à un procédé de culture cellulaire breveté de « niche lymphoïde ex vivo », permet d’accélérer ce processus naturel de différenciation et de maturation pour le ramener à 7 jours. Une fois administrées au patient, ces ProTcells migrent dans le thymus où ils achèvent leur maturation en 3 mois pour restaurer les pleines capacités du système immunitaire du patient.

Ces cellules constituent la base de ProTcell, plateforme de thérapies cellulaires universelles développée par Smart Immune et destinée à réarmer les systèmes immunitaires défaillants des patients pour lutter contre les cancers et les infections, et à ouvrir la voie à une médecine innovante pour tous.

Karine Rossignol, directrice générale et co-fondatrice de Smart Immune : “Nous sommes heureux d’être lauréats de cette première promotion des Health 20. Cette sélection est une reconnaissance du caractère disruptif de notre technologie, dans le domaine du cancer et des maladies infectieuses. Depuis 2014, la Mission French Tech a démontré sa capacité à porter haut la voix des start-ups innovantes en France. Cette sélection nous aidera à gagner en visibilité et en crédibilité sur la scène internationale ainsi qu’à plaider pour un engagement plus fort des pouvoirs publics à soutenir, en France, la filière des thérapies cellulaires et géniques, et à investir dans la bioproduction, au profit des patients. ”

A propos de Smart Immune

Smart Immune est une société de biotechnologie au stade clinique qui développe ProTcell, une plateforme de thérapie cellulaire universelle par lymphocytes T allogéniques, conçue pour réarmer rapidement le système immunitaire et permettre au patient de lutter contre cancers et infections.

Smart Immune est une spin-off de l'Institut des maladies génétiques Imagine, fondée en 2017 par Karine Rossignol, PharmD-HEC, Marina Cavazzana, MD-PhD et Isabelle André, PhD.

La plateforme ProTcell de Smart Immune, qui fait actuellement l'objet de 3 essais cliniques de phase I/II, permet la récupération d'un répertoire immunitaire complet chez les patients atteints de leucémies aiguës ou d'immunodéficiences sévères par l’injection de progéniteurs de cellules T allogéniques qui sont ensuite différenciés par le thymus du patient en lymphocytes T pleinement fonctionnels.

Les partenaires de Smart Immune sont le Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center à New York et les Hôpitaux Universitaires du Grand Paris (AP-HP).