As a physician, what is your assessment of the medical component of the Oncopole?
The Oncopole will provide Toulouse with a university hospital, unique in France with its scientific and industrial environment, and this will greatly enhance our visibility in oncology. It is a large 300-bed hospital entirely dedicated to cancer research with all the necessary platforms to develop a modern oncology unit (diagnosis, imaging, radiotherapy, etc.) as well as a health organization centered around the patient (treatment, assessment, detection and management of side effects, etc.).
You were one of the architects of the Captor project that allowed Toulouse to be the award winner of a national level competition; was the Oncopole a crucial element in this?
Yes. This collective success is emblematic of the added value created by this network between researchers, physicians and companies. Our project was centered on the drug and based on what is known as the “patient to patient” approach: through tumor samples, we identify a target to treat and then a molecule and then finally a drug to cure the patient. The originality and legitimacy of our bid therefore was also based on our close ties with industrial partners; it must be borne in mind that the inventiveness of researchers and biotechnology companies, needs major pharmaceutical companies to face development constraints. Everyone is a key player and serves a vital role.
What are some of the impacts of the actions led by the Toulouse Cancer Health Foundation?
The Foundation finances discovery research work; it also helps to finance horizontal projects, for example CAPTOR which it had initiated. Given the tremendous potential of the Oncopole in clinical research as well as early assessment, the Foundation provides us with the necessary financial resources for this task and therefore plays a key role in the overall system.