Signature of a partnership for the development of innovative medical devices


Curie-Cancer and Vygon sign a partnership agreement for the development of innovative medical devices. Within the framework of this multi-year partnership, Curie-Cancer and Vygon develop catheters and implantable chambers more resistant to nosocomial infections for international marketing.

Curie-Cancerthe structure that conducts the industrial partnership research activities ofInstitut Curieand Vygon, a French family-owned company that develops, manufactures and markets medical devices including catheters and implantable chambers for the administration of chemotherapy, today announced a partnership to develop a new generation of innovative medical devices, mainly used in chemotherapy, for marketing in Europe, the United States and Asia.

Cancer chemotherapies are most often administered intravenously, using implantable chambers (small reservoirs surgically placed under the skin). These chambers allow liquid to be injected or infused through a catheter connected to the chamber at one end and placed in a large thoracic vein near the heart at the other end.
These reservoirs have a thick silicone membrane that is punctured during each chemotherapy course. They can be left in place for several months if required for the duration of treatment. Unfortunately, like any implanted medical device that is regularly accessed, these implantable chambers present a risk of infection, which can have dramatic consequences in patients whose immune defenses have been compromised by chemotherapy.

Even though this type of infection does not occur frequently, the doctors at the Institut Curie would like to have implantable chambers that are less likely to become infected. For its part, Vygon, one of the world leaders in this field, would like to be able to offer its customers an improved range of products on this point compared to those available on this market today.

Curie-Cancer and Vygon then joined forces to design together implantable chambers meeting these needs, using technology developed at the Curie Institute. A first collaboration agreement was signed in 2010, with each of the two entities contributing their know-how and part of the necessary resources.

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"Thanks to a collaborative working method, the members of my team have regularly interacted with Vincent Semetey, Physico-chemist at the Institut Curie, and with Marc Estève, Director of the Department of Anesthesiology at the Institut Curie and specialist in implantable chambers, for the development of these more resistant implantable chambers, which meets a real demand from caregivers," says Jean-Luc Carrez, Vygon's R&D Director.

After 3 years, the outcome of this first collaboration is very positive, and both partners have just committed to an extension to accompany the final stages of the work that should lead to the marketing of this new range of products, not only in France but also abroad given Vygon's international presence.

"As a medium-sized company, accessing academic innovation is not always an easy task. However, it is a necessity to enable us to remain competitive in the face of international competition", explains Stéphane Regnault, Chairman of the Management Board of Vygon. "We have found a reliable partner in Curie-Cancer who, from the beginning, has shared our objectives. This is undoubtedly one of the major reasons why the relationship between our two structures is so warm and productive, and why we are delighted to continue this collaboration. »

A collaboration that is not limited to this first project

This partnership could have been limited to the development of this new range of products using a first type of technology, and could have ended in the months following their launch on the market. However, the two partners decided instead to go further through a new collaboration contract for another type of technology. They will thus explore together totally new approaches, and thus share the risks inherent in this type of exploration, which is much more akin to fundamental research than applied research.

"We are delighted to be able to contribute to the development of a French ETI [mid-size company] such as Vygon, while exploring new approaches in medical devices. This project is characteristic of the very essence of our institute, which aims to bring concrete solutions to manufacturers, and ultimately to patients", adds Damien Salauze, Director of Curie-Cancer. "Once again, I note that the know-how developed at the Curie Institute for fundamental research also meets the needs expressed by our industrial partners, an expertise recognized by our Carnot label obtained in 2011".

About Curie-Cancer

Curie-Cancer is the structure that conducts the partnership research activities of the Institut Curie. It brings together the Institut Curie teams that already have industrial collaborations in progress, as well as teams working on themes likely to be of interest to industrial partners in the long term. These teams bring together the academic skills needed to set up a collaboration with an industrial partner to create and then develop cancer therapeutics.
Curie-Cancer, led by a team experienced in industry practices, can thus rely on the Institut Curie to carry out projects ranging from basic to clinical research. In 2011, Curie-Cancer was awarded the "Institut Carnot" label by the public authorities, which rewards the excellence and involvement of the Institut Curie in partnership research.

About the Institut Curie

The Institut Curie is a private foundation recognised as being of public utility, founded in 1909 by Marie Curie. The Institut Curie, European leader in the fight against cancer, brings together 3,200 researchers, doctors, nurses, technicians and administrative staff in its research centre and hospital complex. The Institut Curie wishes to direct part of its research towards programs conducted in collaboration with industrial partners, the results of which will enable the rapid provision of products or services for patients.

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About Vygon

Vygon is a world leader in the creation of high technology disposable medical devices, marketed worldwide through a network of 25 subsidiaries and 79 exclusive distributors. Vygon is committed to providing healthcare professionals with effective and innovative medical products, tailored to their needs, in order to give them the best chance to treat and care for their patients in the safest possible conditions. Vygon offers a wide range of products adapted to each age, from newborn to adult, in the following clinical specialties: resuscitation, oncology & haematology, emergency, anaesthesia, intravenous therapy, surgery, pain management, home care.

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