Created at the initiative of MATWIN, the OncoSTART consortium brings together 12 key national players in research and innovation in the fight against cancer, pooling their specific expertise, know-how and networks. This new group aims to drive the creation of high added-value start-ups in the oncology sector and support the development of a network with a more visible international presence to better cater to patients’ needs.

The OncoSTART steering committee currently has 12 members:

  • Cancer research clusters (Canceropoles): CLARA (Lyon Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes), PACA (Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur), Grand-Ouest (Brittany, Centre, Pays de la Loire) and Nord-Ouest (Normandy, Hauts de France)
  • The Carnot Institutes specifically targeting cancer: Curie Cancer (linked to Institut Curie), CALYM for lymphomas and OPALE for leukemia and related diseases
  • The Cancer Campus biocluster
  • The Gustave Roussy Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • The MATWIN innovation accelerator (the consortium’s coordinator)
  • LS LEAD training center (Life Science Leadership School)
  • The Unicancer hospital network

The Covid health crisis demonstrated that many biotechnology companies spun off from academic research have the ability to offer disruptive innovations (vaccines, tests, etc.). Oncology is a good example of this trend, with recent developments by early-stage businesses in the areas of immunotherapy, CAR-T cells, e-health and artificial intelligence. Given that start-up creation is a key marker of the ecosystem’s capacity for innovation, the OncoSTART consortium has chosen to promote and support these ventures to accelerate and strengthen the development of innovations for the benefit of patients.

OncoSTART is open to all types of project owners (postgraduates, early-career researchers, aspiring and experienced entrepreneurs). Its cross-functional approach provides access to a continuum of activities intended to raise awareness, deliver training and accelerate entrepreneurial projects in the field. The scheme operates as a toolbox, enabling tailored responses that cater for the specific needs of each project owner. It also capitalizes on the link-up between a number of existing support programs.

Find out more about OncoSTART on its dedicated website: https://oncostart.fr/en/home/