Agnès BUZYN, Minister of Solidarity and Health, Frédérique VIDAL, Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, and Louis SCHWEITZER, Commissioner General for Investment, announced at the end of 2017 the allocation of €74.5 million to the 10 winners of this third call for projects "Hospital-University Health Research" (RHU).
The call for projects "University Hospital Research in Health" (RHU) of the future investment programme, operated by the National Research Agency, aims to support innovative and large-scale research projects in the health sector. Focused on translational research, HRU projects combine the academic, hospital and business sectors.
For this third wave, the international jury examined 52 proposals on the basis of scientific quality and innovation criteria, but also on their potential for medical and socio-economic benefits. It proposed 10 projects for funding covering various therapeutic areas and needs. These projects demonstrate that French excellence in certain future technological fields is becoming a central element for biomedical research. Many projects rely on genomic analysis and big data for the development of diagnostics or treatments. Digital technologies are also present in the selected folders (imaging, connected implants etc.).
The collaborative requirement has helped to strengthen links within the university hospital ecosystem (health institutions, research organizations and universities) not only on one site, but also throughout the country, with many projects bringing together expertise from different regions.
LIST OF FUNDED PROJECTS
The KTD-innov project, (€8,794,510) aims to prevent the loss of kidney transplants by improving the diagnosis of rejection, predicting the risk of long-term graft loss and response to anti-rejection treatment. KTD-innov has set itself the goal of being the first integrated solution in kidney transplantation that combines molecular medicine and health information technology to provide a precision immune monitoring and diagnostic system for kidney transplantation. The project is led by Prof. Alexandre Loupy (Paris).
The CiL'LICO project, (€5,976,352) proposes a new approach for the management of a group of rare and serious genetic diseases, ciliopathies that cause deterioration of renal function and lead to end-stage renal failure. The project is led by Professor Stanislas Lyonnet, Director of the Institut Hospitalo-Universitaire Imagine (Paris).
The cirB-RNA project, (€5,910,166) aims to develop a diagnostic test to support the development of curative treatments for hepatitis B, which currently does not exist despite a disease that affects more than 240 million people worldwide. The project is led by Prof. Fabien Zoulim (Lyon).
The EPINOV project, (€5,800,000) aims to improve neurosurgical strategies by introducing an innovative approach to brain modeling. Using epilepsy as a model, the patient's "virtual brain" will allow the epilogenetic zone to be more precisely located, thus guiding an optimal surgical strategy and consequently improving surgical outcomes. The project is led by Prof. Fabrice Bartolomei (Marseille).
The FollowKnee project (€7,900,000) proposes to improve the design, placement and monitoring of implanted prostheses, the number of which has exploded over the past 20 years (+600%), particularly because of their implantation in a younger population often affected by obesity. FollowKnee is led by Prof. Eric Stindel (Brest).
The MyProbe project, (€9,294,317) aims to develop effective tools to identify the high risk of breast cancer relapse and reduce the use of costly and cumbersome additional treatments for patients. MyProbe is led by Professor Fabrice André of the Gustave Roussy Institute (Villejuif).
The PERFUSE project, (€8,000,000) proposes to improve the management of prostate cancer by using high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) ablation to target only the area where the tumour is present. The project is led by Professor Sébastien Crouzier (Lyon).
The PIONeeR project, (€8,502,312) aims to overcome resistance to immunotherapy treatment against the PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor in the treatment of lung carcinoma. The introduction of these new therapies has led to considerable progress, but only 20 to 25% of patients are fully responsive and to date, no predictive factors of efficacy or resistance have been validated. The project is led by Prof. Fabrice Barlesi (Marseille).
The QUID-NASH project, (€8,745,683) aims to revolutionize the management of non-alcoholic hepatic steatosis (NASH) associated with type 2 diabetes by developing a virtual biopsy that will allow patients to be better diagnosed and stratified, but also to facilitate the development of specific NASH treatments. The project is led by Prof. Dominique-Charles Valla (Paris)
The WillAssistHeart project, (€5,600,000) aims to propose new strategies for the diagnosis and treatment of bleeding in patients under mechanical circulatory assistance. The consortium will focus its work on the best-known bleeding risk factor: von Willebrand factor. This factor is sheared when exposed to blood flow disturbances created by the mechanical circulatory support device. The project is led by Professor Sophie Susen (Lille).
To elucidate the mechanisms of success or failure of a kidney transplant, KTD-innov collects, centralizes and analyses clinical, biological and immunological data from thousands of kidney transplant patients in France.