Press releases

Creation of a patient-centered biocluster in oncology

30 Jun 2021 | By Inserm (Newsroom) | Cancer | Institutional and special event



Sanofi, Gustave Roussy, Inserm, Institut Polytechnique de Paris and the University of Paris-Saclay are committed to developing personalized medicine in France through a patient-centered oncology cluster – the Paris Saclay Cancer Cluster.

Following the announcements made by French President Emmanuel Macron at the Strategic Council for Health Industries, Sanofi, Gustave Roussy, Inserm, Institut Polytechnique de Paris and the University of Paris-Saclay have announced plans to create the Paris Saclay Cancer Cluster, a center bringing together key players in oncology innovation. This project, which is unique in Europe, will bring together the best scientific, human and technological expertise to shape the future of personalized medicine and accelerate the discovery of new customized cancer treatments. Within ten years, the objective is to be able to offer rapid diagnosis at the patient’s bedside, including disease modeling and the construction of an individualized and personalized therapy.

Oncology is a field where the medical needs of patients remain largely unmet and where innovations must lead to improved diagnosis, treatment and survival.  Ensuring that France and Europe are leaders in oncology innovation in 2030 is a key challenge. France has world-renowned strengths in oncology (quality of academic research with a number of publications that ranks France 2nd in the world, hospitals, industrial companies, venture capital funds, incubators); these assets must lead to the emergence of therapeutic and diagnostic solutions that will transform the lives of patients and enable the emergence of a truly global innovation ecosystem.

The Paris Saclay Cancer Cluster project aims to build on this high-potential ecosystem by bringing together the key players in oncology innovation (patients, hospitals, universities, pharma companies, investors, national research organizations, patient associations and public authorities) to develop the most effective synergies. With strong political support, the project will lead to the creation of a Prospective Oncology Center in the Paris region.

The Paris Saclay Cancer Cluster would stand out with:

  • The co-location and multi-disciplinary nature of the five founding players, which will promote the conversion of fundamental research into concrete and transforming applications for the benefit of patients,
  • Its ability to generate massive economic impact (creation of several thousand direct jobs, patents, several billion euros in fundraising, etc.),
  • The choice to support the most ambitious projects, and the proposal of a “unique, facilitating place” with secure access to the anonymized data of over 100,000 patients,
  • The mobilization of skills, services and infrastructures to develop the future of personalized medicine and the emergence of leading companies in oncology in the region. These research projects would be conducted by new joint public-private teams, in addition to existing units, for example those of Inserm/UP-Saclay at Gustave Roussy,
  • A solid foundation for the re-emergence of European therapeutic sovereignty by locating R&D and production capacities for new cancer therapies and diagnostics in Europe (with the ambition of five French unicorns in oncology),
  • The will to open up and attract many players in the world of oncology, beyond the founding members, very quickly.


The Paris Saclay Cancer Cluster intends to be both unique and complementary to existing facilities through its research strategy, which integrates all dimensions – clinical, fundamental, academic, industrial, transdisciplinary, etc. – on a single theme, located in a single location, as close as possible to patients. The ambition of this major project is to enable France and Europe to become world leaders in cancer research,” said Professor Jean-Charles Soria, CEO of Gustave Roussy.

“Improving the care of cancer patients is fundamental for Sanofi. Facing an opponent as challenging as cancer, I am delighted that public and private players bringing together the best medical, academic, and scientific expertise, join forces to advance research and create a European dynamic. The convergence of biology and medicine with data science and artificial intelligence offer major opportunities to accelerate therapeutic innovation and create future leading companies in oncology, positioning France at the forefront of innovation in Europe and the world,” said Paul Hudson, Chief Executive Officer of Sanofi.

I am delighted with this strong impetus that will combine the best of academic research with ambitious industrial development and will fully contribute to scientific advances in the fight against cancer,” said Dr. Gilles Bloch, President and CEO of Inserm.

The University of Paris-Saclay is very pleased to be a founding member of the Paris Saclay Cancer Cluster, which is part of a will to respond with our industrial partners to one of the major challenges of our time. This common trajectory with our faculties of medicine and pharmacy irrigates training, research and innovation in cancerology. The University’s high disciplinary level in this field is enriched by interfaces in AI, data sciences, applied mathematics and engineering, also at the highest world level,” said Sylvie Retailleau, President of Université Paris-Saclay.

By participating in the creation of the Paris Saclay Cancer Cluster, Institut Polytechnique de Paris affirms its strong commitment to a major challenge facing our society, cancer research, by contributing its skills in AI, data science and engineering. This union of all the public and private players around a great ambition, allowing us to bring innovations in this field to scale, will help our country achieve its therapeutic sovereignty,” said Eric Labaye, President of Institut Polytechnique de Paris.

Next steps

After a preparation and scoping phase, the first projects of the cluster should start by the end of 2021. They will focus on identifying new therapeutic targets based on a large collection of patient samples. Beforehand, a legal structure that will host the Paris Saclay Cancer Cluster will be created and its first employees, including its Managing Director, will be recruited, while the technological platforms, data and first training courses will be accessible (via the Cluster) from 2021/2022. The founders are already meeting with various players in the fields of oncology, data and AI, who could join the cluster in the near future.

From 2023/2024, the opening of the Prospective Oncology Center on a site close to Gustave Roussy will mark a real acceleration for the cluster: the objective will be to select at least ten new projects per year.

After 2025, the cluster will enter a phase of sustainability and expansion, notably through the emergence of projects focused on the creation and optimization of new treatments and drugs and their development (accelerated and facilitated by artificial intelligence), on the invention of new administration systems to provide patients with personalized treatment, and on the deployment of innovative treatment methods directly at their bedside, while disseminating these models so that they benefit all patients regardless of where they are treated in the territories.

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