11 September 2001. We all remember where we were on that tragic day. Nadine Godfroid more than anyone else, because that week she was sent to New York on a mission for her employer SANOFI to train her colleagues in various projects. There are times when the big story meets the little one.. this event was a trauma that prompted her to revisit her priorities, and question the future of her personal and professional life. Her employer then went from merger to merger. She had the feeling that she was being tossed about and losing the meaning of her professional commitment. Between September 2001 and September 2002, Nadine Godfroid changed everything.
THE NANTES INTUITION
She decided to set up a company providing services to the pharmaceutical industry. She already had extensive experience of management and working with service providers. At the time, Aventis (SANOFI) was implementing an industrial spin-off policy that would benefit her project. Sanofi offered her support in setting up a company and a possible way out if the project did not take off. She was supported by 4 partners. All are from Brittany. Nadine Godfroid had observed that people from the West of France often wanted to return to their region. Nantes was to be her home base. In the 2000s, the city already had a fine reputation for its dynamism and attractiveness in the health and biotech sectors. She, a lifelong Parisian, moved her whole family here.
ATLANPOLE AND THE BUZZ OF BIOTECH COMPANIES
As soon as she arrived, she got in touch with Atlanpole, aware that she needed to discover the local ecosystem and establish herself there. For 9 months, incubated by Atlanpole, Nadine Godfroid and her team occupied the basement of the Château de la Chantrerie before moving to the Bio Ouest site in Saint-Herblain, where biotech companies were grouped together. Atlanpole helped her to develop her skills as a company director. Nadine, a biostatistician who had originally set up the company, trained at the IAE in Nantes.
Atlanstat benefited from the momentum of the 2000s, which saw the emergence of promising biotech companies. Promising companies such as Vivalis (which later became Valneva), Biofortis and Biomatlante. Atlanpole, which became a public research incubator following the introduction of the 1999 law on research and innovation, supported them all.
Nadine Godfroid is one of those people who sees things clearly and is always one step ahead. Atlanstat’s growth benefits from her rigour and determination. “I don’t have an over-inflated ego and I’m not afraid of failure. In fact, I’ve always set out to succeed, but without ignoring the possibility of failure. For her, the secret of success lies in the ability to unite a team. Nadine Godfroid is a manager at heart. The contract of trust that binds her to her team is essential to ensure a pleasant working environment and the continued growth of Atlanstat’s business. Atlanstat is a member of Atlanpole Biotherapies, which enables Nadine Godfroid to benefit from invaluable exchanges between peers in order to develop her skills and avoid the pitfall of the famous solitude of the manager.
ATLANSTAT, GROWTH AND PROSPECTS
With 20% annual growth over the last few years, Atlanstat is now developing a new business, clinical operations, and entering the medical device market. European regulations have recently changed, and medical device companies are now obliged to carry out clinical studies in order to obtain their CE mark. But the company’s mindset remains the same: grow, yes! but remain a united team.
Nadine Godfroid observes that “clinical research is changing a lot. We’re wondering how AI is going to fit into our business. We have more and more databases on patients’ health, IOTs and personalised medicine is clearly the future… We are listening to these potential changes but the regulatory context remains the same and is not evolving as quickly. I trained as a biostatistician; today, this profession is called data scientist… So yes, our profession will undoubtedly evolve, but we’ll always need people who can interpret the data!
Atlanstat is also developing its export business, particularly in the United States, Belgium and Germany. This represents between 15 and 20% of its business. Today, the company’s main customers are biotechnology companies and medtechs, which have replaced pharmaceutical companies. “Our expertise is very useful to them because we draw up clinical study protocols. We have a real role to play as statistical methodologists. Our contribution is essential in helping them to make decisions,” smiles Nadine Godfroid.
Source : Atlanpole Biotherapies – 4 December 2023