Ciloa selected in “Sanofi iTech Awards”

Ciloa’s project among the 11 winners of the “Sanofi iTech Awards”

  •  French biotech company Ciloa wins the 2020 “Sanofi iTech Awards”.
  • The winning project is based on the unique innovation developed by Ciloa, which uses its customized exosomes for therapeutic purposes.
  • The “Sanofi iTech Awards” program funds and supports projects related to the development of innovative technologies in Healthcare that may lead to a subsequent research collaboration between Sanofi and Ciloa.


Montpellier, France, February 15, 2021 Ciloa, a pioneer company specialized in the in vivo customization of exosomes, announced today the selection of its project as part of the “Sanofi iTech Awards” program. It is the first time that this program has selected innovative projects led by biotechnology companies. Consequently, Ciloa will receive a funding and scientific support from Sanofi throughout 2021.

The “Sanofi iTech Awards” program was launched in France in May 2020 for start-ups and SMEs as well as French academic players and public technological institutes. It aims to identify and contribute to the development of new technologies and innovative approaches, in order to significantly improve the discovery, the development and the optimization of treatments in Sanofi’s priority areas. Among the applications reviewed by the Joint Scientific Steering Committee (JSSC)[1], 11 projects from companies and academic laboratories were selected in 4 categories. The project of the biotech Ciloa has been selected in the category « Nanobody explorative Technology ».

Led by Robert MAMOUN, CEO of Ciloa and former Director of Research at INSERM, the project selected by Sanofi relies on Ciloa’s innovative technology, based on exosomes customization. During the advanced phases of this project, Ciloa will study the introduction of therapeutic molecules into these exosomes for various therapeutic applications. The technology developed may have applications in cancerology, rare diseases, neurological diseases, cardiac diseases or diabetes.

With its customized exosomes capable of transporting therapeutic proteins to a targeted organ, Ciloa is paving the way for a new generation of more specific and effective biomedicines with a better tolerance profile. This unique technology is in line with Ciloa’s ambition to develop a new type of vaccines, based on the ability of exosomes to mimic a virus, thus no longer requiring the injection of viral material into patients. Its most recent vaccine candidate against Covid-19 has shown particularly promising results, including immune responses leading to the production of neutralizing antibodies and T cells, responsible for the destruction of pathogens in the body.

To date, Ciloa’s technology is the only one allowing the customization of exosomes in vivo with all types of proteins. Recently, Ciloa has used its expertise in the production and purification of customized exosomes to build a production unit that will allow it to deliver GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) grade exosomes for batches of future clinical trials.

« We are honoured by the final selection of our project in the Sanofi iTech Awards program, which highlights the strong interest of Sanofi in Ciloa’s unique technology of customized exosome. Since the creation of the company, we have been convinced of the huge potential of exosomes as natural vehicles for biomolecules in the body. This partnership, by confirming the added value of exosomes for human health applications, is a strong support for the further development of our new generations of innovative biomedicines and vaccines. This year seems to be very promising and we look forward to moving into the early clinical phases to evaluate the therapeutic potential of this unique technology in humans » said Robert MAMOUN, CEO and co-founder of Ciloa.


About Ciloa:

Ciloa is a French biotech company, spin-off from the CNRS and the University of Montpellier, pioneer in the development of vaccines and exosome-based therapies. Based in Montpellier, it was created in 2011 by Robert MAMOUN and Bernadette TRENTIN. Ciloa has an exclusive patented technology for the in vivo development of recombinant exosomes in therapeutic and preventive applications.

Supported by major actors of Innovation such as the Occitanie Region, the BPI of Montpellier, the Eurobiomed competitiveness cluster, the AD’OCC agency and the CNRS, Ciloa intends today to continue its development on the territory of Occitanie and thus contribute to the reinforcement of strategic industrial sectors in France.

About Sanofi:

 Sanofi is dedicated to supporting people through their health challenges. We are a global biopharmaceutical company focused on human health. We prevent illness with vaccines, provide innovative treatments to fight pain and ease suffering. We stand by the few who suffer from rare diseases and the millions with long-term chronic conditions.

With more than 100,000 people in 100 countries, Sanofi is transforming scientific innovation into healthcare solutions around the globe.

Sanofi, Empowering Life



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[1] Joint Scientific Committee composed of experts from Sanofi and partner institutions of the initiative.