A group of French biotechcompanies working in diabetes, cancer and other fields went onthe hunt this week for funding and market share in the UnitedStates, the world's biggest drugs market.

About 20 biotech firms were meeting specialised NorthAmerican investment funds, banks and financial analysts in NewYork on Wednesday and Thursday. bit.ly/1MIjZty

France had the second-highest number of biotech firms afterthe United States, according to a 2012 OECD study.

The industry is fed by research teams recruited from ascience-focused university system. Analysts say listed Frenchsector companies can be a cheaper investment than comparableU.S. peers.

Among those showing their wares this week was Lyon-basedAdocia, which has recently teamed up with U.S EliLilly to develop and distribute a new "ultra-rapid"insulin called BioChaperone Lispro.

It will seek to list its shares on the Nasdaq this year inorder to attract commercial partners, its chief executive GerardSoula told Reuters in an interview.

"A Nasdaq listing would allow us to get a fair view over thevalue of our assets and products", he said, adding Adociaplanned to make fresh partnerships announcements within twoyears with groups like Eli Lilly, Merck, Mylan or France's Sanofi.

The insulin market, valued by analysts at over $23 billion,is dominated by Sanofi, Eli Lilly, and Denmark's Novo Nordisk.

In oncology, OSE Pharma told Reuters it wasconfident a new immunotherapy treatment for advanced lungcancer, Tedopi, could reach annual global sales of around $2billion in the medium term.

"Our sales forecasts have been confirmed by allimmunotherapy professionals", OSE Pharma CEO DominiqueCostantini said.

Tedopi has been tested in a phase 2 study in patients withnon-small cell lung cancer - the most common form of thedisease.

OSE Pharma is gearing up for a phase 3 study of Tedopi dueto start in the second half of 2015. If approved, the drug couldbe on the market from 2019.

The firm will also seek to seal partnerships withestablished pharmaceutical firms in BRICS developing economiesafter a deal signed with Israel's Rafa Laboratories in May.

Bristol-Myers Squibb was the first pharmaceuticalgroup to develop a cancer drug based on immunotherapy, a therapywhich uses the immune system to fight cancer cells, calledYervoy.

Analysts predict the immunotherapy market could reach annualsales of over $30 billion by next decade.

(Writing by Matthias Blamont; Editing by Andrew Callus)