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www.vanefist.eu
RESEARCH 2006, January 13
 
BIOalternatives diversifies its markets
 

 
An in vitro testing laboratory known for its activities in cosmetics and pharmaceutics is now turning its focus towards food processing … and North America. The co-director Alain Deguercy offers some explanation of the apparent shift.

BIOalternatives shall soon be feting its ten years of existence in Gencay. Founded in 1996, this human-sized business (PME) with its 25 employees came a long way over the last decade. “Time makes undue haste”, jests Alain Deguercy, who shares the directorship with François-Xavier Bernard. In any event, the transition towards the new millenium has meant success for the in vitro testing laboratory, whose reputation in the field of cosmetics is henceforth undeniable. The most renowned brands send their products to the Vienne department so as to test and assess their toxicity and efficacy.

That said, in a fiercely competitive world a PME such as BIOalternatives works overtime to stay ahead of its rivals; it quite recently invested in four new state-of-the-art machines whose overall cost came to 500,000 euros. “A cell analyzer alone costs 305,000 euros”, states a detail-minded Deguercy. (High) performance comes with a price tag. As for the cell analyzer, which allows for measurement of the physiological activity of in vitro cells, it offers a quality of image close to that achieved by use of a confocal microscope.

“A card to be played”

Such investments have poised BIOalternatives to tackle new sectors of truly high-yield activity. Examples are to be found in nutrition and, more generally speaking, in the food processing field. “It is an infant market as regards scientific demonstration of the products’ effects”, Alain Deguercy admits. This is the case in Europe but more particularly in the United States, where the interested party sojourned no less than five times in 2005. As flabbergasting as this may appear, North America (with the exception of its universities) bets heavily on clinical trials … and hardly at all on in vitro testing.

“In the United States there is no private structure performing in vitro”, reiterates the Poitiers University degree holder. We have a card to play in that country”. A commercial agent has been mandated to preach the good word in the States. In 2005, exports represented 25% of the sales achieved by BIOalternatives (550,000 euros out of 2.2 million), and they are likely to climb to “50% in the two years to come”.

Contact: Alain Deguercy – Tel: 05 49 36 11 37

http://www.bioalternatives.com
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