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What Value can Accelerators bring to Start-Up Creation

Jun 15 2021

“OncoSTART provides an opportunity to build bridges between players, creating a more efficient oncology innovation ecosystem for everyone, starting with project owners and developers and over time extending this to patients.” -Lucia Robert

French oncology accelerator MATWIN has brought together 12 national research partners to drive entrepreneurial innovation in the fight against cancer. By pooling expertise, the OncoSTART consortium aims to drive the creation of high added-value start-ups in the oncology sector, building on a more visible international presence that better supports patients’ needs.

Including cancer research clusters, institutes and the Unicancer hospital network, the accelerator, which is open to all types of project owners (postgraduates, early-career researchers, aspiring and experienced entrepreneurs), the accelerator will provide support and training to academic spin-offs and early stage businesses progressing capability in disruptive technologies, resulting in vaccines and tests as demonstrated during the Covid health crisis.

MATWIN chief executive officer Lucia Robert said: “France offers some real advantages when it comes to cancer research: excellent academic research, a burgeoning network and a high level of activity in innovation, all largely thanks to more than 20 years of substantial public sector support; though it is still difficult to convert these results into practical applications for patients.”  “OncoSTART provides an opportunity to build bridges between players, creating a more efficient oncology innovation ecosystem for everyone, starting with project owners and developers and over time extending this to patients.”

With more than 19M patients diagnosed in 2020 and close to 10M deaths, cancer is still a major global health issue. In France, cancer is the third largest health expense and represents 10% of public health insurance expenditure(1) with an increase of 48% since 2004, mainly due to a rising incidence(2).

“We need to support entrepreneurial culture. OncoSTART’s vision is to show that we will be there for anyone who takes up the challenge,” said Jean-Yves Blay, president of Unicancer. “Unicancer is proud to be part of this collective, coordinated by its MATWIN subsidiary. This will provide a boost for a sector where players share common values around innovation in oncology.”

(1) Etude Institut Viavoice 2017

(2)  Etude économique ASTERES, Février 2020

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