PARIS - Two French biotechnology companies, BioProtein Technologies and UroGene SA, joined forces with the Essonne County Development Agency to form the Paris Region BioTeam Consortium with the particular aim of establishing a presence in the United States.

The consortium already has an office in Boston, which will act as a permanent representative for the three partners in North America. It is designed to support development and partnering opportunities for its members with companies and research establishments in the Massachusetts region. The office is headed by Carine Saloff-Coste.

BioProtein Technologies, which is specialized in the production of therapeutic proteins in the milk of transgenic rabbits, is based in Paris, while UroGene, a drug discovery company focusing on prostate cancer and other urological disorders, has its headquarters at the Genopole in Evry. Evry is in the county of Essonne, whose development agency treats the biotechnology sector as a high priority in its promotional activities. Among other things, it runs a scheme called BioTeam Paris Region, which is the French end of an international initiative bringing together biotechnology clusters in four countries, the others being Germany (Berlin), Japan (Osaka-Kansai) and the U.S. (Boston). - James Etheridge