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Actualité - Partnership

Immuno-oncology and onco-pediatrics: Institut Curie and Bristol-Myers Squibb become partners

The partnership, signed on September 22nd, 2016, is part of a long-term collaborative approach and begins with two clinical trials. A steering committee bringing together the leaders and experts of Institut Curie and Bristol-Myers Squibb will be set up to allow a concerted evolution of these research axes in rapidly evolving scientific and medical fields.

Our partnership with Bristol-Myers Squibb, a leader in the development of immunotherapy molecules, is above all an alliance of know-how. It concerns two major themes of Institut Curie's medical-scientific project, onco-pediatrics and immunotherapy, a key area for which we will open a dedicated center of international scope at the beginning of 2017, explains Professor Thierry Philip, President of Institut Curie, which is the key to access to innovative therapies for our patients and I look forward to a fruitful research collaboration between our two organizations. "

Two research and development programs

In immuno-oncology

The partnership will come to fruition with a first study, "NiCol", dedicated to cervical cancer. "NiCol is an early phase clinical study. The main objective of this study is to evaluate the tolerability and efficacy of a combination of nivolumab and radio-chemotherapy. The particularity of this clinical trial is to associate the three types of therapies. Until now, immunotherapy has generally been tested alone or in combination with other immunomodulatory treatments. This is one of the first trials in Europe with this association and this indication, "explains Dr. Emanuela Romano, medical oncologist, medical director of the Cancer Immunotherapy Program at Institut Curie.

The tolerance to this new treatment as well as the undesirable effects that it could induce will be evaluated in a first time. Its anti-tumor efficacy will then be established. The results of the first evaluation will be obtained within one year.

"This study, which will involve other French hospitals, will be carried out within the Cancer Immunotherapy Center of Institut Curie and will benefit from the unique proximity that this structure will offer from 2017 between the Clinical laboratories, fundamental research laboratories in immunology, translational research in immuno-oncology and the Institute's technological platforms," says Dr. Romano.

In onco-pediatrics

Pediatric cancer is the leading cause of children deaths by illness in industrialized countries, and is a major public health issue, particularly in neuro-oncology.

"The development of new drugs in childhood brain tumors is a key research pathway to improve their management. Among new therapies, immunotherapy is a hope, "says Pr. François Doz, pediatric oncologist, director of research at the hospital group, and professor at the Paris-Descartes University.
For example, a multicenter Phase I / II study, whose protocol is under construction with Bristol-Myers Squibb, will be conducted at Institut Curie and other centers in Europe and in the United States, targeting these pathologies. Nivolumab will be administered alone in the first part of the study and then in combination with ipilimumab in the second part. The latter is a first in France and in Europe.

International scope

"At Bristol-Myers Squibb, we are convinced that joining forces is key to advancing research. Therefor, we have launched a program to develop strategic international partnerships to strengthen our research and development. France is the first country to have brought this Bristol-Myers Squibb group initiative to life and we are very pleased about it. It is a new testimony of the excellence of French research in oncology and of our ability to be ambassadors within the group. This collaboration will enable us to accelerate our research in Immuno-Oncology and to support initiatives already in place in the field of onco-pediatrics," says Jean-Christophe Barland, Managing Director Bristol Myers Squibb France.