CSM signs finance deal with coral molecule maker

The Monaco Scientific Centre has become the first public establishment in Monaco to take an interest in a private company, signing a financial agreement with local startup Coraliotech, which recreates coral molecules to be used in health products.
The finance deal was signed between the Monaco Scientific Centre (CSM) and Coraliotech on Monday 11th January. It is the culmination of a collaboration that began between the CSM and Dr. Rachid Benchaouir, Founder and CEO of Coraliotech, in 2014.
Dr. Benchaouir had been carrying out joint research with the Departments of Marine Biology and Medical Biology, studying genetic diseases and DNA sequencing of corals. He discovered a coral molecule that can be used in the development of pharmacological and cosmetic products, for both innovative and sustainable purposes. The molecule helps protect skin cells against ultraviolet radiation and particularly toxic chemical agents.
These properties have been patented and the CSM is co-owner.
Mr. Benchaouir created Coraliotech with the support of the CSM, and the Monegasque marine biotechnology startup has been part of the MonacoTech incubator since the end of 2017. Its objective is to produce, promote and market products of interest to human health from these marine organisms, which have been recreated in a laboratory using coral DNA.
“The entry of CSM into the capital of Coraliotech demonstrates that science and the development of new applications are closely linked and makes it possible to capitalise on the benefits of this joint patent through the marketing of patented products or operating licenses,” said the government in a press statement. “With this signature… the CSM becomes the first Monegasque public establishment to enter the capital of a private company.”
Photo of Dr R. Benchaouir and Pr P. Rampal signing the financial agreement, by Michaël Alesi/Government Communication Department