Labex IGO « Immunotherapy Graft Oncology » (www.labex-igo.com) is a cluster of excellence (called “Labex” for “Laboratoire d’Excellence”), funded by the program “Investissements d’Avenir” supported by the French Ministry of Research and Education.
Labex IGO fosters transdisciplinary projects between teams with complementary expertise in transplantation and tumor immunology, and in tumor cell survival pathways.
This program runs over a 8-year period starting from March 2012 and gathers about 350 scientists from 16 research teams in immunology, oncology and transplantation, located in 5 academic research units of the French large-western region (Nantes, Angers, Brest and Rennes).
Labex IGO develops integrated research, training and valorization of highest level.
Labex IGO research program is structured around three workpackages which objectives are:
- To identify new immune markers and therapeutic targets for immunomodulating or depleting strategies:the aim of this workpackage is to characterize new immune mechanisms regulating antitumor immunity and allograft rejection, and set up new animal models and immune monitoring methods to accelerate the availability of preclinical and clinical proof of efficacy.
- To design cellular immunotherapies with enhanced efficacy:the aim of this workpackage is to implement clinical grade protocols for sorting, in vitro expansion and functional differentiation of adoptively transferred immune cells, and design cell labelling protocols with enhanced sensitivity and reduced toxicity for better in vivo tracking of transferred cells.
- To develop new immunodepleting and immunomodulating strategies with broader indications and enhanced efficacy, the aim of this workpackage is to evaluate (i) new immune resistance pathways in relation to cell survival, (ii) cross-assess existing or new immunotherapies in tumor, allotransplantation, or autoimmune indications, and (iii) design innovative radioimmunotherapies or combination immunotherapies enhancing the immunodulating or depleting effect of therapeutic antibodies.
Labex IGO educational program consists of specific courses, summer schools and training period focused on immunology in cancer and transplantation, which are dedicated to Master 1, Master 2 and PhD students. The main objectives of this educational program are to attract the best students and to educate them in investigative medical research and prepare them to contribute to immunological research with a full awareness of the potential impact of immunology.
Labex IGO objective is also to convert its findings to available medical solutions (bench-to-bedside approach). Already active in issuing and licensing patents, and in creating biotech companies, Labex IGO teams aim to strengthen existing relationships and to develop new partnerships with biotech industry.