Biofortis, a Mérieux NutriSciences company, is playing an important role in IMODI (Innovative Models Initiative), a private-public partnership project, which aims to put in place the first national subsidiary dedicated to personalized medicine in oncology, with a 41 million euro investment budget. IMODI is a response to industry needs for access to an organized and standardized system for developing experimental cancer models for effective new cancer treatments.
For the first time, the key role gut health plays in cancer treatment, including microbiome analysis, stool biobanking and gut biomarkers will be incorporated into a therapeutic cancer study.
“Biofortis has played a pioneering role in developing this uncommon competence over the past seven years. Within the IMODI project, Biofortis will provide expertise in the clinical monitoring of patients, characterising their intestinal microbiome, identifying predictive and prognostic biomarkers. Creating a centralized biobank with more than 40,000 biological samples, using powerful data analysis tools designed to identify tumor and immunological biomarkers coming from the microbiome in order to evaluate chemotherapy efficiency and safety are some of the expected outcomes,” stated Francoise Le Vacon, head of Biofortis Research.
“The IMODI project is a significant milestone in the Biofortis’ strategy and development plan. The project highlights the critical role Biofortis plays alongside important research players in cancer research. Biofortis, located in Nantes, France, is the central gut health platform for Mérieux NutriSciences,” said Jean Francois Billet, senior vice president of corporate development at Mérieux NutriSciences.
The IMODI research project spans seven years, unites 18 partners and follows 800 patients. This project will contribute to the development of anti-cancer therapies, against eight cancer diseases, tailored to each sub-population of patients and consequently, will help to establish a perfect match between treatments and patients. Amongst the partners are pharmaceutical companies such as Sanofi, Servier, Ipsen, Pierre Fabre, Mérieux NutriSciences’ sister company Transgene, and seven French cancer research and treatment institutions. $41M is earmarked for the public-private project, including $13.4M from French public funding.