Framework agreement signed between the Toulouse University Cancer Institute and Pierre Fabre Laboratories to fight back against cancer

July 8, 2015

Under the aegis of Toulouse Métropole, leader of the economic development of the Oncopole, Professor André Syrota, President of the Toulouse University Cancer Institute (IUCT) and Bertrand Parmentier, CEO of Pierre Fabre Laboratories and the Pierre Fabre Research Institute (IRPF) signed the first framework agreement between the IUCT and an industrial partner today. The IUCT was established a year ago and represents a new model of coordination in France between cancer treatment, research and teaching.

Pierre Fabre Laboratories has made oncology its top area of research and development in the pharmaceutical field. Thanks to this agreement, the first of its kind for the IUCT, the two structures hope to develop new medical-scientific partnerships and generate new opportunities for cooperation, between a network of regional players and the IRPF, in the field of oncology, in particular translational medicine and the promising field of cancer immunotherapy. 

This coming together will mainly be focused on pooling high-tech platforms, the development of new candidate drugs, clinical research, scientific events in the Toulouse area in the life sciences field, and the pooling of a certain number of scientific services (purchasing and maintenance of scientific equipment in particular).

The Oncopole, a unique project in Europe, is symbolic of the ambitions realized in our region. It is a source of pride for us all. An initiative truly based on solidarity between the public and private sectors, this scientific memorandum of understanding demonstrates the desire of the Oncopole stakeholders to work together towards a common goal: the fight against cancer, declared Jean-Luc Moudenc, Mayor of Toulouse and President of Toulouse Métropole.

All of the stakeholders in cancer treatment (39 establishments) and research in Midi-Pyrénées will be involved in the dynamic.

Some examples of the joint actions to come are:  

  •  The development of exploratory studies carried out by the IRPF on drug candidates in onco-hematology, thanks to the IUCT providing tissue samples taken from patients with this type of tumor, in order to identify new therapies.
  • In addition to the exploratory phases, combining a translational medicine approach, the coordination or undertaking of new phase I, II or III clinical trials in partnership with all the cancer treatment facilities based in the region, to accelerate patient access to new therapies.
  • Together, the IUCT and the IRPF will organize or take part in medical-scientific conferences and training programs focused on the fight against cancer, and will establish scientific events within the Oncopole.

 A steering committee has already been established to research projects that could be carried out together, to study their feasibility and to define the conventions for their implementation.

The continuum of fundamental research to clinical research is essential to the success of innovation in the field of medical research. What is particularly remarkable in Toulouse is the simultaneous presence of players in fundamental and clinical research and practitioners within the IUCT public interest group, and a manufacturer like Pierre Fabre in an R&D partnership. The organization of the IUCT public interest group, with its public and private founding members, is favorable development ground for major phase 1 and 2 clinical trials. The signing of this first memorandum of understanding expresses our desire to work together, said André Syrota, President of the Toulouse Oncopole IUCT public interest group.

The challenge of the collaboration between researchers at the Pierre Fabre Research and Development Institute and the IUCT is to accelerate the development of future cancer treatments. We are delighted by the signing of this framework agreement, which is completely in line with our development strategy and our expertise in translational medicine. Twelve years ago, when the AZF disaster struck the Toulouse area, Mr. Pierre Fabre dreamed of researchers, practitioners and patients being united at one site dedicated to the fight against cancer. Today, the Oncopole, and in particular the partnership between the IUCT and Pierre Fabre, is the achievement of this dream, declared Bertrand Parmentier, CEO of Pierre Fabre Laboratories.