Curie-Cancer, the body responsible for developing Institut Curie’s industry partnership activities, today announces a strong increase in the number of early stage clinical trials (phase I) from three in 2010 to ten in 2012. The studies are being conducted with industry partners.
The rise in the number of studies is a direct result of the changes in strategic direction put in place by professor Pierre Teillac, director of the Institut Curie Hospital Group and the recent launch of the Clinical Research Department, headed by Veronique Dieras, in response to the needs of industry partners.
These studies aim to evaluate a compound’s safety and pharmacokinetics (absorption rate, elimination rate, maximum blood concentration, etc.) in patients to establish the subsequent dosage of the drug. The studies also research the first signs of efficacy. These studies are becoming increasingly crucial to the pharmaceutical companies, who seek experienced investigation that is reliable, efficient and reduces turnaround.
“The 2012 increase in early stage clinical trials for Curie-Cancer is rather remarkable. Due to contracts signed at the start of 2013, we expect the number to continue to climb significantly,” said Christophe Le Tourneau, the oncologist responsible for the Institut Curie’s early stage clinical studies. “We have many diverse industry partners working on studies of different types of cancer. They range from French SMEs to international groups.”
Dr Patricia Tresca, who has extensive experience within the pharmaceutical industry, now leads the body in charge of managing clinical trials for Curie-Cancer. She was recruited for her working knowledge of the industry partner types Curie-Cancer targets. Curie-cancer has been tasked with improving responsiveness and inclusion rates in patients. It will help industry partners to obtain the reports they need in time to make their decisions faster. Industry partners will also be able to request the necessary authorizations from the monitoring authorities in order to proceed to the next development stages.
Curie-Cancer’s main advantage is achieving the close collaboration between research doctors, who are conducting the trials and the researchers in charge of translational and/or fundamental research. In the age of genomics and proteomics, preliminary studies are often best conducted at the cutting edge of academic research. As researchers are involved in conducting the preclinical studies, they are in a position to best interpret the results. They can therefore make the right decisions quickly. An increasing number of the products studied in “first in man“ trials at the Institut Curie have also been studied previously in preclinical studies commissioned by industry partners with different research laboratories on campus.
Another advantage is Curie-Cancer’s ability to conduct early stage clinical studies for industry partners accustomed to commissioning preclinical studies with them. They know that the partnership will bring benefits from conducting further clinical studies of their products in development.
The opportunity for researchers to participate in these early stage studies, upon which the future of many products is decided, is very interesting. It allows them to link concepts derived in a laboratory, through in vitro or animal test results, to the first observations in patients.
“Clinical research has meaning only if it makes innovative products available to patients. Allowing early stage access to these products in development within pharmaceutical laboratories is an additional opportunity for those whose commercially available products are not efficient enough,” said Damien Salauze, director of Curie-Cancer. “We are pleased that the expertise and knowledge that Curie-Cancer brings to our industry partners can be combined with added hope for patients.”
Curie-Cancer is the body responsible for developing Institut Curie’s industry partnership activities. It oversees the institute’s existing industry partnerships as well as areas of high potential interest to industry partners. Institut Curie’s 1,200 researchers provide the high level of expertise in oncology required to collaborate with industry partners in creating and subsequently developing cancer therapies.
Curie-Cancer management has extensive industry experience and can call upon a vast pool of scientists involved in basic and clinical research. In 2011, Curie-Cancer was awarded the ‘Institut Carnot’ label by the French government, which recognizes excellence and involvement in research partnerships.
About Institut Curie
Institut Curie is a private foundation founded in 1909 by Marie Curie, the first woman Nobel prize-winner and the first Nobel prize double-winner. It is the leading comprehensive cancer center (combining research and patient care) in Europe. Institut Curie’s research center and hospital employ some 3,200 scientists, physicians, nurses, technicians and administrative staff. The institute’s current objectives include increasing the proportion of research programs carried out in partnership with industry so that research results can lead to faster availability of products and services for the benefit of patients.