Research at Meristem

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Bertrand MEROT

President and managing director, Meristem

Seminar Management of Innovation | Wednesday May 15, 2002

Meristem Therapeutics' project is to treat genetic diseases using tobacco and maize. Meristem Therapeutics, a spin-off from the Limagrain company, has become the world leader in the production of recombining proteins derived from plants which are the active substances in certain medicines, notably those used for the treatment of cystic fibrosis. Bertrand Merot, president of the Meristem board of directors, demonstrates that it is all very well for the Meristem Molecular Pharming programme to create a future solution which is revolutionary in terms of science and technology , but it is still not easy to command attention when the organisation is a new French biotechnology start-up. The problems range from finding European partners, convincing investors, replying to experts, reassuring public opinion, and protecting one's fields against José Bové to maintaining one's position on the ground while at the same time carrying out innovative research. It is a gamble which is very unlikely to succeed unless one has a united team and an unshakeable confidence in this medicine of the future.

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