More than 8 million euros raised for research into genetic diseases at an exceptional charity auction

Last night, an exceptional auction of contemporary art and unique experiences was held at Institut Imagine (AP-HP, Inserm, Université Paris Cité), the world's leading research, care and teaching center for genetic diseases located at Hôpital Necker-Enfants malades AP-HP. The fourth edition of this Heroes for Imagine gala, created on the initiative of the gallery owner Kamel Mennour and supported by the Galerie kreo, the auction house Christie's and the comedian Gad Elmaleh, raised more than 8 million euros. This event, which brought together artists, galleries, collectors, benefactors and friends of the Imagine Institute, aims to accelerate research on genetic diseases.

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Imagine Institute

"To date, 8,000 genetic diseases are listed, affecting 35 million patients in Europe and 3 million in France. Today, one child out of two still leaves without a diagnosis and 90% of diseases have no specific treatment. Research is therefore fundamental and all support is precious in this fight for life. Heroes embodies the breath, inspiration, agility and spirit that allow the Imagine Institute to remain a world leader and to change the lives of children and families affected by genetic diseases," said Professor Stanislas Lyonnet, Director of the Institute.

Heroes for Imagine, a unique auction

A loyal supporter of Institut Imagine, Gad Elmaleh served as master of ceremonies for the fourth edition of this gala, which brought together more than 300 guests or "Heroes". 38 unique lots, including 24 works of art and 14 exceptional moments made up this prestigious sale of contemporary art and design as well as unique experiences. Many partners, collectors and personalities were mobilized for the event*. Find all the works and moments in the sale catalog.

Art and generosity united around the same cause: understanding and curing genetic diseases

Since the first edition launched by Kamel Mennour in 2015, Heroes for Imagine has raised more than €22 million. This event is a tremendous gas pedal for research on genetic diseases and is fundamental for the Imagine Institute. It enables the financing of major strategic projects, such as the recruitment of new research teams, the financing of state-of-the-art technological platforms that support the work of its 28 research laboratories, and the financing of equipment.

The first three editions had brought together numerous donors and raised nearly €3 million in 2015, €4.3 million in 2016, and €7 million in 2018. The last edition in 2018 enabled the purchase of a high-throughput DNA sequencer that has boosted the rate of diagnosis of children from 20% to 50%; the recruitment of new research teams, including two specialized in neurodevelopmental disorders that affect half of the children received at the Institute; investment in personalized medicine and in particular in gene therapy and Single-Cell analysis; or investment in research on non-coding DNA, which makes up 98% of the human genome.

Investing in research and the medicine of tomorrow

Thanks to the commitment of all partners, celebrities, major companies, and generous supporters and buyers involved in this gala, the results have reached a new record with more than 8 million euros. These funds will allow the Imagine Institute to invest in research and development of new treatments, to carry out the projects included in its strategic and scientific roadmap, and to reach its objectives: to double its diagnostic performance and double the number of clinical trials in the next five years.

The funds raised will be donated to the Imagine Institute to meet its new needs and challenges related to the development of artificial intelligence, data modeling, and data mining in genetic disease research. The hosting of these cutting-edge teams and technologies will require expansion and the creation of a new space for this Data Modeling Center. Data is a scientific treasure to be explored, bringing immense hope to patients and their families.