• Oslo and Toulouse Cancer Clusters Join Forces to Drive European Cancer Research Forward

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Oslo and Toulouse Cancer Clusters Join Forces to Drive European Cancer Research Forward

Mar 10 2009

Oslo Cancer Cluster has signed a groundbreaking strategic agreement with the Toulouse Cancéropole and Cancer-Bio-Santé Cluster which will lead to an integrated effort to become the leading cancer centres in Europe for developing new cancer therapies.

The signatories were Philippe Douste-Blazy, President of Cancéropole Toulouse Association, former Mayor of Toulouse and former French Foreign Minister, Jean-Pierre Saintouil, CEO of
Toulouse Cancer-Bio-Santé Cluster and Bjarte Reve, CEO of Oslo Cancer Cluster NCE. It also contained an initial series of key initiatives to be implemented over the next two years, including a joint response to the next cancer calls of the EU - Innovative Medicines Initiative. According to Bjarte Reve, the agreement stems from growing recognition that combined research and industry based clusters focusing on a particular therapeutic area are the way forward: “Oslo and Toulouse are pioneers in this area”.

Through partnership between the life science industry, research institutions, university hospitals, government and the Norwegian Cancer Society, we have been able to rapidly develop the Oslo Cancer Cluster. Having developed links with like-minded centres in the US, such as MD Anderson, when we turned to Europe, Toulouse stood out as a potential partner. We are therefore delighted to have signed this agreement and to share our vision of ensuring that patients have access to the latest cancer diagnostics and therapeutics as quickly and cost-effectively as possible.

” Philippe Douste-Blazy, initiator of the Toulouse project congratulated the actors of this collaboration and insisted on the similarities between Oslo and Toulouse especially in their ethical approach that cannot be summed up by a purely economic approach but places the patient at the heart of the concept. Jean-Pierre Saintouil, also welcomed the agreement: “Our experience in Toulouse has paralleled that of Oslo. The Cancéropôle and the Cancer-Bio-Santé Cluster have drawn strength by bringing together a hospital, universities, research institutes and companies and integrating the academic fields and technologies necessary to fight cancer such as biology, chemistry, nanotechnologies, information technologies, mathematics etc., Similar to Oslo, the primary objective is to improve prevention, treatment and diagnostics and thereby the lives of cancer patients.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Oslo Cancer Cluster NCE with Cancer-Bio-Santé Cluster and Toulouse Canceropole commit to cooperate in the fight against cancer, to create new business and industries and to stimulate exchanges and investments, through good practice and effective joint research activities. This will be achieved with the cooperation of industry, academia, training, finance & venture capital and government in the respective regions. Both parties are also committed to putting physical resources in place – Oslo recently announced a Euro 150 million investment in a Cancer Innovation Park to be completed by august 2012, while Toulouse is building the Cancéropole and numerous other dedicated facilities at a cost of Euros I billion.

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