Meditect : A (almost!) Monegasque start-up, great winner of the BFM Academy 2020 !

Romain Renard and Arnaud Pourredon, co-founded and co-developed Meditect, a solution for the traceability of medicines to fight their counterfeiting throughout the world. On the occasion of their victory at the 15th edition of the BFM Academy, we look back over the recent life of this start-up with regional origins, which could well revolutionise the pharmaceutical industry.

Deep-rooted links with the Principality

Having studied in the Principality from CP to the baccalaureate at the Institution François d’Assise – Nicolas Barré, Romain Renard, co-founder of Meditect, has kept very close links with Monaco. At the time, Romain Renard was heavily involved in Monegasque associations (Yacht Club, 4L Trophy, sailing team). In addition, the co-founder has been able to maintain business links with his native region. Do not forget that some of the early Business Angels of the start-up came from Monaco ! Proud to see some of the region’s jewels blooming, we warmly congratulate Meditect for its track record since its creation !

The field, an awareness

Following the 2015 earthquake in Nepal, Arnaud Pourredon, who was studying medicine and pharmacy at the time, decided to go on a humanitarian mission with UNICEF to provide aid. It was during this mission to distribute medicines, that during an inventory, the young medical student realised that they were in fact distributing… counterfeit medicines !

A year later, another humanitarian mission in sub-Saharan Africa confirmed his fears : counterfeit medicines are a global scourge, no solution seemed to be available for the moment. On the strength of these humanitarian experiences, Arnaud Pourredon returns to France, convinced that it was high time to act.

A strong friendship, an innovative idea

In 2017, Arnaud contacts a childhood friend : Romain Renard. The latter, who grew up in Beaulieu-Sur-Mer and did his early schooling in Monaco, is graduate of the Master in Finance & Strategy from Sciences-Po Paris. Both of them were motivated by the cause of global health and are thinking about creating a new solution to fight against the falsification of medicines around the world.

After a conclusive feasibility study in Sub-Saharan Africa, the project is launched. From the outset, the co-founders wanted to develop “a scalable, simple, fast, effective and less expensive solution”, expressed Arnaud Pourredon during his TEDxAbidjan last January. To go faster and stronger, the two partners will therefore use technology, through an application designed as a solution.

A public utility service

So it is in Bordeaux, in 2018, that the Meditect project is born, and the ambition is gigantic. The goal : the eradication of counterfeit medicines in the world. According to Arnaud Pourredon, there would be more than “one million deaths per year, due to counterfeit medicines”. This is an international public health issue, particularly important in sub-Saharan Africa, South-East Asia and Latin America.

The application is free of charge for pharmacists and patients, the laboratories pay for the service. First, the application geolocates the patient and indicates the nearest certified pharmacy. Once the product has been chosen, the patient, via his smartphone, can scan the QR code on the medicine’s box, which tells him the authenticity of the medicine.

For the tech part, the use of the blockchain technology to ensure the traceability of medicines is one of the major innovations. Moreover, as the project was born out of an observation in the field, the start-up deploys a reactive team, attentive to the needs of patients and pharmacists.

Immediate take-off !

As soon as it was launched in 2018, the Bordeaux-based start-up became a real craze. Sanofi, PwC, the e-health World Monaco and the famous M.I.T. will reward it with prestigious prizes that year. In 2019, Arnaud Pourredon would even appear in the inevitable Forbes “30 under 30” ranking in the “Science & Healthcare” category. In the same year, Meditect would win Columbia University’s prestigious Blockchain Innovation Challenge. In 2019, after numerous participations in international trade fairs, Meditect will received the support of the New Aquitaine Region and BPI France to accelerate its research work, which had been very present alongside the two creators since the beginning of the project.

After a first round of early stage financing with Business Angels, BPI New-Aquitaine and the New-Aquitaine Region in 2019, the Bordeaux start-up would complete its first institutional fund raising in May 2020. 1.5 million euros have been raised from LBO France through its Digital Health 2 fund (Sources: Meditect).

Efficient deployment

Today, Meditect has 20 employees working between France (Bordeaux and Paris) and the Ivory Coast (Abidjan), where Arnaud Pourredon works full-time. In a few figures, Meditect has more than 1,000 partner pharmacies, 3 million secure medicines and optimised distribution in 50% of pharmacies in the Ivory Coast. With $200 billion in deadweight losses for the pharmaceutical industry, everything still remains to be done in this battle for health. Thanks to their victory of the BFM Academy, the national start-up competition, Meditect won 150,000 euros of advertising space on the channel, and above all a big boost for their notoriety !

The start-up continues its rapid development, even if Romain Renard likes to keep his feet on the ground. On Tuesday, October 13, on the set of BFM Business, he assured that they had to take “everything in its time, we are already very happy with what we have accomplished in a very short time in Ivory Coast”. After this first success in Ivory Coast, the business model seems to have proved its worth for further development.

And even if the start-up has only one major customer for the moment (the pharmaceutical laboratory UPSA), the ambition remains intact : the eradication of counterfeit medicines in the world. Speed of execution and the company’s development are therefore at the heart of the project’s issues ; such is the magnitude of the task.

With plans to expand into Senegal and Cameroon in early 2021, Meditect is stepping up its development strategy in sub-Saharan Africa. The fight cannot be fought alone, but strong action on the part of political decision-makers is also expected. The adventure continues, and it is Meditect, the young flagship of French Tech, which seems to be the best ambassador of the fight to protect world health.

 

By Mathieu Pimort

Photos:
“Meditect BFM Academy win”, source : BFM
“Meditect Logo” , source : Meditect
“Médicaments”, source AFD

AAACS obtains the “Monaco Safe” Label !

We are proud to announce that your AAACS business center has been awarded the “Monaco Safe” label this week. This label attests to the efficiency of the protection work of the Park Palace center, with a reinforced upgrading of the sanitary standards to actively fight against the spread of the virus. Rest assured, the entire team is mobilized to ensure the best possible health protection.

This label attests to several key measures implemented, including :

  • More frequent cleaning of offices, coworking areas and common areas
  • Respect for distances in the coworking area
  • Mandatory mask installation in the common areas
  • A mirror installed at the reception desk to avoid close contacts
  • An empowering communication policy in our center

State authorities, residents, businesses : we all have our role to play in this epidemic fight. As mentioned in the blog previously, we are convinced that the Principality of Monaco will be able to bounce back. So all together, let’s maintain our efforts, the finish line is not far away! We remain at the disposal of all to explain our approach, do not forget to keep up to date with the latest updates from the Government of Monaco.

By Pimort Mathieu

Business Center in Monaco – The Covid19 and the Monegasque economy

Since its independence in 1861, the Principality of Monaco has always been innovative in its management and development. More than a strategic financial and commercial area, Monaco is a place where its companies and residents can flourish. On the strength of its social-liberal model, the city-state knows how to be pragmatic : it anticipates the needs of the future by drawing on its past experiences.
AAACS is inspired by this model in order to remain as close as possible to your daily needs. Flexibility is our team’s watchword. Always available for you, we support you throughout your business project. From the creation of your legal structure to your installation in our business center, we are available for your needs.

The global Covid 19 crisis could have called into question the efficiency of the Monegasque system ; in reality, this is not the case. The Monegasque government, its residents and businesses have shown a rare resilience during this health crisis. The government has supported economic activity, putting in place exceptional support plans. Despite the isolation, residents have shown solidarity through the implementation of common actions and activities. Finally, businesses have fought to maintain the sustainability of their activities, despite a difficult macroeconomic context.

It is for these different reasons that we, at AAACS, are convinced that economic activity will rebound. With certain needs brought to light, many business opportunities are appearing, it is up to us to know how to seize them ! Monaco is, and will remain, an international place of reference for business. Entrepreneurship has never been so well supported, and certain organisations such as the FEDEM or the MEB are fully committed to this approach.

Our objective is simple : to make your life easier for the development and the sustainability of your business.

For the future, we will have to learn valuable lessons from this crisis. Firstly, we can improve our work organisation. The flexibility that telework offers us is a real opportunity for many companies, it translates into time saving and increased productivity. Secondly, the need to use digital tools can no longer be disputed. We must therefore continue the development of these digital tools in order to gain in efficiency (with, for example, the digitisation of administrative procedures). At the ecological level, new technologies are also a great opportunity to fully enter into the ecological transition. Finally, we will remember that the entire Monegasque system has managed to stay afloat, while many other states were faltering or even stumbling.

We strongly reaffirm our optimism about the future, Monaco will bounce back as its businesses will rebound. All our team remains at your entire disposal for any request, do not hesitate to contact us for further information.

By PIMORT Mathieu
The AAACS team