Carcidiag Biotech, one of the most innovative start-ups in Creuse, risks compulsory liquidation

“Today, we concluded our development phase. Our products are ready to be marketed, they have the CE marking, we have facilities in Guéret that allow us to produce clinical diagnostic kits, we have the product catalog, the commercial brochures, everything is ready”, explains Vincent Carré, with some pride. , founder and president of the company Carcidiag, whose biotechnologies are published in scientific journals.

However, the start-up specializing in cancer screening has come to a sudden halt in its promising development. “We really weren’t lucky to be too honest,” continues, more bitterly, its creator.

A start-up advancing in the fight against cancer created in Creuse with severance pay

Ready-to-market oncology biotechnology products

During the Covid pandemic, the start-up suspended its oncology activities to develop Covid serological tests, as well as Covid tests for animals, at the request of a company based in Lyon.

“We developed products that ended up not finding buyers, we wasted time and money, says Vincent Carré. We didn’t have any more money and therefore we couldn’t launch the commercialization of our products anymore…”

Vincent Carre (founder and president of Carcidiag)

To start this final phase, it would have been necessary to finance participation in congresses, all over the world, “which is very expensive”.

And the situation multiplied the difficulties to be overcome. “We benefit from a portion of the state-guaranteed loan constituted during Covid but it no longer exists and the banks have informed us that they will not finance the second installment that amounts to 300,000, 400,000 euros…”. The Montpellier company, interested in investing in Carcidiag, reaching the letter of intent (LOI) stage to acquire the Gueret company at the end of 2022, was finally cooled down by the implementation of the safeguard procedure for the company. , which took place in July

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In Creuse, Carcidiag company should produce 50,000 Covid diagnostic kits per day until summer

But dry money…

“We found ourselves in a mandatory backup procedure, with a designated administrator, because we really didn’t know how to do it any other way,” explains Vincent Carré. We’ve been rowing for a year to get money, already to cover the expenses of the team, confides the president of Carcidiag that he had to separate from four people of the twelve that make up the company, “to limit expenses as much as possible …” While they were looking, almost desperately, for an investor to support them in this marketing phase or a buyer to buy the entire company.
This Tuesday, the situation was analyzed by the administrative court of Limoges, which must decide, this Thursday, on placement in recovery or liquidation. “If we go into recovery, we would buy ourselves a little time, we would have until October, we could do ‘publicity’, which we couldn’t do before, to say that Carcidiag is looking for a buyer. »

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And Vincent Carré appeals to all potential stakeholders, private and public investors, companies, patrons or communities…

“We are looking for people who can help us market our products. Today, we need one million to 1.5 million euros in two years to structure the company to the market and be autonomous, less if we find an industrial partner… We want to find a peaceful and lasting solution. » Vincent Carre

(founder and president of Carcidiag)

Carcidiag thought it had already taken on its biggest challenge by settling in the heart of Creuse, but it still has a higher tier to climb. “It was a challenge to launch a start-up in this sector in Creuse. As soon as we see investors, they ask us why we’re not in Lyon, Bordeaux. We had to fight to be there, we developed everything we said we were going to do and then it all fell apart, it’s irritating…”

Designed in Creuse, the 1st cancer stem cell detection kit will go on sale in September

A judicial liquidation would mean “we lost everything, the patents, etc. everything falls into oblivion. Ten years of scrapping, a lot of time, personal investment, sacrifices”, recalls Vincent Carré who, despite everything, does not lose faith. “If we had to stop at every kitchen we find, because we found some! Today we are ready, it would be very stupid to stop everything now. »

Which should last until the end of September.

A biotech nugget waiting to grow
Clinical diagnostics, basic research, Carcidiag has developed products that significantly advance cancer screening and treatment.
“Cancer, we talk a lot about it, but nobody invests money in it anymore,” laments Vincent Carré, whose company has developed a range of kits intended for clinical diagnosis for patients.

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“They make it possible to define the aggressiveness of a cancer, which directs the therapy implemented”, explains the founding president of Carcidiag. We also offer products of interest for basic research. A technology has been developed that makes it possible to detect cancer stem cells, those that are at the origin of cancers and that will initiate and spread the cancer in the form of metastases, he continues. Nobody does this today, it’s brand new and it works! “.

The small start-up from Guéré is today at the forefront of biotechnologies dedicated to oncology. A first scientific publication resumed its results this summer, recognized by its peers, and another is to come at the beginning of the year. And yet, it is impossible for her to market her products. “That recognition is one of the things you need to start marketing. We’re right in the middle of what’s being done today on diagnostics, on something that works. I don’t understand why it doesn’t work.”

Vincent Carre

(founder and president of Carcidiag)
And the market that is opening is as promising as Carcidiag’s research, if that can reassure potential investors. “It’s a global market, and we take out patents accordingly. We will no longer have a few thousand euros in turnover”.
Julie Ho Hoa

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