28 partners federated around the “super institute” MI-FHU
In 2015, MI won the DHU call for tender launched by A*MIDEX. Labelled by the Alliance for Life Sciences and Health (AVIESAN), this “super institute”, involving 13 hospital departments, 4 academic research centres, 6 innovation centres,4 industrials and Eurobiomed, leads the cluster’s collaborative R&D projects and education programmes.
Formally established in 2015, the MI-FHU University-Hospital Federation targets 5 priorities:
With the Centre for Immunophenomics CIPHE, the MI-mAbs Immuno-technology Centre and the systems biology platform of the TACG laboratory, MI and its academic and industrial partners are able to accelerate targets discovery as well as the generation and validation of antibodies derived from these targets. With the AP-HM cell therapy laboratory, MI also benefits from an advanced tool to perfect the design of these new treatments and the production of clinical batches. MI now intends to actively support the rise of these strategic platforms.
Biological samples and associated data are now an integral part of the “basic kit” of fundamental and applied research (better understanding of the physiopathology, identification and validation of diagnostic and therapeutic targets, support for preclinical studies, etc.). MI is working with the various collection owners in Marseille to create a centralised and integrated structure within the AP-HM. The latter should help to standardise and optimize the resource and create custom-made catalogues dedicated to inflammatory and autoimmune diseases and cancer indications treated by immunotherapy antibodies or cell therapies.
With biomarkers developed by researchers from the AP-HM and cytometry platforms of its immunology and haematology laboratories, clinicians now have routine tests to measure the multiple facets of the immune response and the disruption of vascular homeostasis. The goal is to expand the potential of these platforms by monitoring new immune cell populations such as Innate Lymphoid Cells and by diagnosing and monitoring cardiovascular complications that sometimes occur with the waning of immunotherapy treatments.
Marseille is now a stronghold of clinical research in the areas of oncology, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. AP-HM and IPC clinicians have contributed to the development of the first generation of immunotherapy antibodies and implemented units specifically dedicated to the conduct of Phase I and II clinical trials. Conducted in close collaboration with academic researchers and developers of the biopharmaceutical industry, these assays are very demanding in terms of patient care, follow-up and safety. By combining the expertise and the support of patient associations, MI intends to further strengthen the Marseille offer in exploratory clinical trials.
Education and training
In this area, MI pursues two complementary objectives: the first is to coordinate education in fundamental and applied immunology for science, medicine and pharmacy students ; the second is to implement an ongoing training programme in immunotherapy and immune-technology coordinated with industry.