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France launches 100 million euros biotech fund

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By Reuters
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PARIS (Reuters) – The French government has agreed to launch a 100 million euros (88.49 million pounds)fund aimed at promoting early-stage biotechnology companies, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on Tuesday.

French state bank BpiFrance will contribute 50 million euros to the venture with drugmaker Sanofi <SASY.PA> committing to another 50 million, the government said, adding the size of the fund could then reach some 250 million euros depending on interest expressed by other potential investors.

The government also said it would aim to speed up the market access of reimbursed medicines by 2022, targeting 180 days compared to a current average of up to 275 days, to comply with European Union regulation.

Philippe was speaking after a meeting with industry executives.

($1 = 0.8532 euros)

(Reporting by Jean-Baptiste Vey; Writing by Matthias Blamont; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)