The Cancer-Bio-Sante (CBS) biotech cluster is located in the regions of Midi-Pyrenees and Limousin, France. CBS is a unique cluster and is only one of a handful of clusters dedicated to one predominant disease area, oncology. CBS has rapidly established itself as one of France’s leading biotech clusters and one with an increasingly impressive global reputation.
CBS is a multidisciplinary biotech cluster dedicated to cancer management, from prevention to follow-up and home care services, going through diagnostics and therapies. The cluster was founded in 2005 during the first wave of labelling clusters in France, making CBS one of the more established biotech clusters in France.
CBS has two main objectives:
- To contribute to the development of innovative products and technologies to improve patient care
- Support value creation in healthcare and act as a catalyst for the local bio-based economy.
The cluster contains a wide range of companies and can boast some of the world’s leading research institutions such as Inserm, CNRS, INRA and PA3S. Inserm, led by Dr Fabien Calvo has been instrumental in advancing the field of oncology with particular expertise in solid tumor oncology. Inserm is now putting considerable effort into advancing the fields of cancer genomics and proteomics.
These world leading institutions have given rise to a number of spin off companies. Companies wishing to spin off are aided by Toulouse Technology Transfer which works with groups across multiple biotechnology sectors. Companies such as B Cell Design and Oncomedics have benefited from the expertise that the Toulouse Technology Transfer centre offers. Alongside these spin off companies there are considerable number of innovative biotechs residing in the area including: Urodelia, Genticel and Lallemand. These companies are ably supported in their development by a network of financial institutions, CROs, CMOs and other service providers to support projects.
Since 2009, the cluster has seen a total in excess of €600m invested into companies and projects within the cluster. In 2012, CBS saw a total of €217m invested into early stage projects in the cluster. 74 projects were funded in total with over 50% looking at molecules of therapeutic interest in cancer. This funding came from a variety of sources with around 30% being contributed by the European Commission. The French Interministerial Fund finances two projects per year in the cluster specifically focussing on projects that have commercial potential. Alongside this a number of other agencies have contributed over E840m to the cluster with a considerable percentage from the National Research Agency of France.
Although CBS has a considerable number of biotechs, a number of global pharma companies have also been attracted to the area. With Pierre Fabre, Sanofi and GSK all present in the cluster there is no shortage of big pharma talent. With the cluster being dedicated to the field of oncology it is no coincidence that companies such as Pierre Fabre have set their global oncology teams within the cluster.
CBS is a not for profit organisation led by Pierre Montoriol. In a recent interview Mr Montoriol stated that his goal was to make CBS an international centre of excellence for clinical research. In an attempt to pursue this goal, CBS has embarked on several key strategic partnerships with other clusters across the globe. For example, CBS has partnerships with Beijing Pharma & Biotech Cluster (China), Kansai Bio Promotion Council (Japan), The Massachusetts Technology Transfer Center (USA) and the Quebec Biotechnology Valuation Center (Canada).
However, the most significant partnership is with the Oslo Cancer Cluster. The partnership created the European Cancer Cluster Partnering Convention. This is an annual event first held in 2009 allowing European companies to pursue partnering opportunities in the field of oncology. The two clusters are also working together to promote a European network of clinical trials in novel cancer therapies across multiple European centres.
The presence of large pharma along with regional political support, regional associations, service providers, and investors in the life sciences have all played a decisive role in the rapid development of the cluster. Liftstream believes the cluster’s unique approach in targeting one specific therapy area will ensure the area rapidly becomes one of the leading global clusters. The collaborative effort from research institutions, technology transfer companies and global pharma in the cluster are ensuring the continued advancement in the global field of oncology.
For more information about the Biosante Cluster please see below: