« Very rare woman to have obtained this distinction, Frédérique Girard-Ory, founder of Dermscan Group, received the regional Price of the Entrepreneur in Auvergne Rhône-Alpes (France) on September 27th 2017.” Explained the French media Lyon-Entreprise.

Find out their portrait video – The entrepreneur of the year Auvergne Rhône-Alpes is a… woman – in which the laureate says: “I am very happy about this price, but I owe it primarily to my teams, because without them I would not have done anything!”

This 25th edition of the Price of the Entrepreneur of the Year, organized by the audit office Ernst & Young “allows to highlight women and men, driving force of our economy, creator of wealth and employment in our country”, confirms Marc-André Audisio, EY Auvergne Rhône-Alpes Director.

24 candidates competed for the Entrepreneur of the Year’s title and 29 for the Start-Up of the Year’s title.

Bref Eco, that also highlight Dermscan CEO and Frédéric Dupont, CEO of Exegan company, for his price of the Start-Up of the Year, details in its article the categories the other laureates have been rewarded:

  • ·         The price of the strategic vision went to Jean-Pierre Brunet, Groupe Brunet (Ain);
  • ·         The price of the global company to Pierre Chabert, Airstar (Isère);
  • ·         The price of the family company Julien and Olivier Nicollin, Nicomatic (Haute-Savoie);
  • ·         The price of the societal involvement to Jean-Frédéric Geolier, 1001 repas (Rhône).
  • ·         On the start-up side, the price of the disruptive strategy was attributed to Acil Jabou, La fraîcherie (Rhône); the price “born global” to Jean-Luc Vallajo, ISKN (Isère). 
  • ·         Finally, the price of the public went to Jacques Husser, Remedee Labs (Isère).

The Progrès.fr journal reveals:

“Her company created in 1990 works for big cosmetic groups to perform clinical studies dedicated to the assessment of the tolerance and the efficacy of cosmetic products. The Group also includes the brand Pharmascan specialized in the clinical trials of pharmaceutical products. In 2016, the turnover was 11 million euros including 38% carried out internationally. 169 employees work at Dermscan Group including 100 outside France.



Frédérique Girard-Ory, Dermscan Group CEO will represent Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region during the national ceremony occurring on October 17th 2017 in Paris.”


We keep our fingers crossed again for her!

You want some more? Discover the article of Les Echos journal of September 28th about: “Frédérique Girard-Ory (Dermscan), business is in her skin”.

Few images and words about the laureate and Dermscan adventure

Her career

In April 1989, Frédérique Girard-Ory successfully defends her Human Biology thesis on the development of artificial skin for the badly burned. Simultaneously, she passes the CAAE (Companies Management Ability Certificate) from Lyon’s IAE. With her diplomas in hand, she starts looking for her future market, obtains her first contracts and early 1990 founds Dermscan, a clinical studies company dedicated to the evaluation of the tolerance and efficiency of cosmetic products.

Several months later, she is joined by Philippe Girard (her husband) who advised her from the beginning. The company makes her marks, develops, structures itself and adapts to the regulations.


In 2000, her husband and partner suddenly dies. In the same time, the French regulation changes (35 hours). Frédérique however manages to make the company change and, in order to broaden her market, founds Pharmascan, specializing in the study of drugs and medical devices.

In 2002, she takes shares (34%) in a laboratory specializing in in vivo, clinical tries in Bangkok (Thailand) which will become Dermscan Asia.

In 2006, in order to speed-up the pharmaceutical branch development, she purchases a CRO (Contract Research Organization) in Paris. But Frédérique meets many difficulties and in 2008, the latter is forced into bankruptcy. This experience, even if very harsh financially and humanly, helped strengthen her will and position as a leader. Supported by her team, she restructures the company and goes abroad which will significantly boost the development.

Several internal and external growth are made in: Poland (2008 and 2014), Tunisia (2010) and Mauritius (2017). The international gamble is profitable and allows for a sharp increase of the Group’s sales and profitability.


Today, Dermscan is renowned for the quality of its services, its dynamism, its sense of innovation and its reactivity. This image was built in time, at the price of 10 years’ huge efforts and of a quality approach meeting the company’s ambitions. It’s also the result of an internal culture favoring a pleasant social environment as opposed to a growth at all costs. This demonstrates the quality of management. The Dermscan’s employee average seniority is of 11 years.

In 2016, national gold winner of « Woman at the international level » award of the « Business Women », Frédérique Girard-Ory is involved in the development of entrepreneurship and more specifically in that of women entrepreneurs. She fights for a change of mentality in France and « boost women’s ambition ».

Frédérique, during her free time, is also a novelist who published several novels and detective stories.


Her keys to success

  • The ability to be surrounded by the right persons either by external hiring or by internal skill valorization
  • The international development that allowed the group to meet its clients’ needs in terms of climate diversity and test volunteers in particular, while improving the margins
  • The concern of well-being at work and the employee development.


Key figures

  • Innovating clinical tries were achieved by two brands: Dermscan laboratory: Products and cosmetic ingredients tests and Pharmascan: Clinical tries of pharmaceutical / health products – Phase I to IV.
  • In 2016, 11 million euros turnover, staff of 169 people of which 100 abroad
  • 5 affiliates and 38% of the turnover achieved abroad.