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Latest developments and evolutions

Fighting cancer: health issues and economic driving force.

Public health issue

The Labex Toucan aims at improving the efficiency of hematopoietic cancer treatments what means cancers identified in blood producing organs. The Labex received five million euros to finance five year long projects. Its researches are a real social and economic issue in France.

In fact, 21 000 new leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma cancers were observed in France in 2013. 18 000 of them immediately received a reference treatment from the French public health service. Each treatment costs 31 450€ in average. This represents a global cost of almost 570 million euros.

However, these cancers and their relapses caused 11 000 deaths the very same year. A specific research on this point is then crucial.

A challenge for innovation

The Labex Toucan is not cut off from the world. Professors and researchers involved in the project also work near patients, especially in the new hospital of Toulouse, entirely dedicated to cancer treatments, the University Institute of Cancer Oncopole. Through its supports and partnerships, the Labex Toucan closely work with health agencies but also industrial partners.

The scientific connection of the Toucan project with the regional and national industrial operators is extremely strong thanks to the implication of the R&D team of the French company Innate Pharma, based in Marseille. This pharmaceutical company accommodates 100 employees and develops innovative medicines in anti-cancer immunotherapies, more especially malignant Hemopathy.

A competitiveness cluster

The group Cancer Bio-Santé, whose project is to develop the biotechnologies and health fields in the Midi-Pyrénées area, is part of the official supports of the project Toucan. Moreover, it represents a high profile support to identify and set up regional industrial partners. The group CBS will interface with private structures in order to develop new chemical inhibitors from the researches of the project Toucan. Once these inhibitors labeled, CBS will participate in structuring R&D projects so public financings could be claimed for.

In the heart of Toulouse Cancer Excellence Laboratory

The research program of the Labex Toucan mainly takes place in the CRCT Inserm premises, at the University Institute of Cancer (UIC), based on the Oncopole site.

The research project Toucan as well as most of its teams leads its programs together with other projects and research teams involved in the large domain of oncology research as, for instance, the university-hospital program for cancer (PHUC – Future Investment Program) CAPTOR. For the pre-clinic researches, it can access to the CREFRE (regional center for functional exploration and experimental resources, Inserm/University Toulouse III-Paul Sabatier) situated in the same building as the CRCT. It also leans on technological platforms. In Toulouse, DIS GENOTOUL deals with coordinating these platforms and developing their networks.

It unites all the public structures and local territorial governments interested in research and innovation in the area.

The interactions of this project linger in cross-disciplinary research programs which imply physician teams from the LAAS-CNRS (Laboratory of analysis and architecture of systems) based on the research site of Toulouse. These latest scientific collaborations aim at developing new technologies dedicated to early diagnosis in cancer research.


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ILSG - 23rd annual meeting
2014, 2nd-4th of June
Inserm CNRS Université Toulouse 3 - Paul Sabatier Université Joseph Fourier - Grenoble Agence Nationale de la Recherche Fondation RITC