INSERM is the main French national public research institution dedicated to Public Health and Medical Research and composed of several hundred units within the entire territory. Its main objective is to develop knowledge and innovation throughout the spectrum of biomedical research (basic, translational, clinical, therapeutic and public health). Founded in 1964, the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM) is a public scientific and technological institute whose research  is entirely focused on human health. It is made of 318 Units that belong to one of the 10 INSERM thematic institutes. INSERM also hosts the coordination of ECRIN (European Clinical Research Infrastructures Network ( which is the pan-European ESFRI-roadmap infrastructure for clinical research.
INSERM has a long and successful history of participating in EU-funded projects at both coordination level and participant level. Since 2004, Inserm co-ordinates ECRIN ( funded by the FP6, then FP7. ECRIN started in 2009 the support to clinical projects with the development of European correspondents’ network, the regulatory knowledge and the set-up of tools for the support of clinical trials projects (10 multinational projects have been currently accepted by the ECRIN scientific board and are supported by ECRIN). ECRIN is designed to integrate academic clinical research in Europe through the interconnection of national networks of clinical research centres (CRC) and clinical trials units (CTU) and to provide support in the conduct of multinational clinical trials in Europe
The INSERM Unit UMRS 945 is focused on the study of the role of chemokines involved in inflammatory pathologies. They have 10 years expertise in the field of chemokines and more precisely in their roles in the control of immune responses. Alexandre Boissonnas is leading his projects on the study of leukocytes dynamic in inflammatory and cancer models using real time in vivo imaging by 2-photon microscopy.
The group “Polarity, development and cancer” is one the 13 teams belonging to the Institute Albert Bonniot  (IAB) ( Research Center U 823 affiliated to INSERM and to Joseph Fourier University, Grenoble) and is well-positioned to carry out this project because of a long standing expertise in high-throughput screening and chemical genetic approaches. The IAB shares state-of-the-art technological core facilities for photonic microscopy, flow cytometry, small animal imaging and proteomics. This team (16 persons) develops research projects on the molecular bases of cell polarity and cell migration with emphasis on the identification of drugs blocking the metastasic properties of cancer cells. They have a strong expertise in protein kinases and related signalling pathways involved in cancer and in developing cell-based assays and HTS of small molecules via a high-throughput screening facility, dedicated to cell-based assays.


Role within the project

ECRIN INSERM will be responsible to provide the infrastructure necessary for the monitoring of the clinical study and to ensure that the trial is performed efficiently with highest quality and according to national and international standards. Each national branch of ECRIN will provide local services in its respective country and in particular for organising the interaction with ethics committees, the monitoring of the study.
The INSERM team UMRS 945 will be responsible of investigating the implication of chemokines and receptors in preclinical murine model of cervical cancer.
The INSERM team of U 823 will determine new drug combinations that exert synergistic anti-tumor activity on cervix cancer. For this purpose, a systematic evaluation of drug responsiveness will be performed using pharmacological profiling of a series of highly defined cervix cancer cell lines established from patients treated at Curie, IGR and Erasmus. This team is planning to develop a SME that aims at bringing patented anti-tumor compounds identified in our previous screening campaigns in clinical phase 1.



Description of key people involved in the project

  • Jacques Demotes-Mainard, MD-PhD-MBA, Professor of Cell Biology, clinical neurologist, research curriculum in basic neuroscience, then as Director of a Clinical Investigation Centre.
  • Alexandre Boissonnas, Ph.D, Recruited as a CR2-INSERM in October 2009. He is an immunologist with wide expertise in the behavior of T lymphocytes in the course of adaptive immune response. These last years he focused particularly his field of investigations in Cancer pathology. He characterized several mouse experimental models to study the fields of macrophages implication in antigen-presentation, anti-tumor responses and mechanism of cancer immuno-suppression.
  • Marc Billaud, Research Director at CNRS (DR1), Head of the team “polarity, development and cancer”. Has been during 10 years (2000-2010) the Head of the laboratory “Molecular Genetics, signalling and cancer” (UMR 5201 CNRS) in Lyon.
  • Laurence Lafanechère, DR2 CNRS, coordinator of the GDR 3056 “ChemBioScreen “. Representing the French screening component of the ESFRI EU-OPENSCREEN.
  • Christine Kubiak, Pharm D, PhD Ecrin Executive Manager, European Clinical Research Infrastructures Network