In December 2009, France issued a loan to fund the "Investments in the Future" programme with a €35bn commitment to sustain its future growth, out of which €22 Bn are devoted to research and higher education. In 2011, a first call for proposals led to the selection of 100 projects identified as "Laboratories of Excellence".
The Laboratory of Excellence in Research on Medication and Innovative Therapeutics (LERMIT) is one of these 100 projects funded, and one of the 24 selected projects in Life Sciences. LERMIT has received a €19 Mn budget for the period 2011-2020.
LERMIT is an interdisciplinary laboratory composed of high-profile biologists, chemists and physico-chemists joining their forces to collectively explore new therapeutic avenues. Our common goal is to combat three major classes of diseases presenting a continuous threat to the society: cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and infectious and immune diseases. To achieve this goal, our joined effort will be directed towards :
- a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms causing these diseases ;
- the discovery of new therapeutic targets ;
- the design and development of new medications to treat - or block the progression of - these diseases ;
- the development of new strategies for improved targeting and delivery of the medications at the disease site ;
- an improved efficacy of current therapeutics.
Graduate students and young employees from biotech companies and pharmaceutical industries will be exposed within LERMIT to cutting-edge research developments in drug discovery and therapeutic innovation through unique interdisciplinary training courses. Besides maintaining the highest standards of academic research, LERMIT will generate intellectual property (IP) and value its IP by providing sufficient support for technological maturation and development to generate profit. Effort towards any given new therapeutic strategy will be supported within LERMIT until the preclinical or phase I/II clinical stage. Spin-off biotech companies from LERMIT partners or big-pharma companies will take over at this stage.