Call for applications – “MUSE label: KIM Biomarkers & Therapy” for emerging projects

FACILITATING THE EMERGENCE AND VALIDATION OF NEW PROJECTS IN THE FIELD OF BIOMARKERS, DIAGNOSTICS, AND TARGETED THERAPIES

The KIM Biomarkers and Therapy is launching a call for applications to obtain the MUSE label for emerging projects concerning biomarkers, diagnostics and targeted therapy in the context of personalized medicine.

This call for applications is not intended to fund the projects themselves, but rather to facilitate the emergence of new projects and new leads by proposing the MUSE labeling system, recognized by valorization/promotion structures, SATT AxLR, and the Occitanie Region. The MUSE label enables project leaders to benefit from specific support for their project and to obtain easier access to technological and clinical facilities as well as regional biobanks.

Eligibility
To be eligible, projects must have a low technological maturity level on the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) scale, that is, before any industrial validation steps (i.e., not yet any industry partnerships…). Projects must involve a MUSE team, laboratory, or partner.

How to apply
To apply for the label, please fill in the “Label application” form document and send it to brigitte.couette@umontpellier.fr with an email subject indicating “Application for MUSE label”.

There is no specific deadline for application and projects can be submitted at any moment. MUSE Support Committee members will evaluate the application with absolute confidentiality and provide their answer as quickly as possible.

Project evaluation
Projects are evaluated in two steps: pre-selection of the label application, followed by an interview with the project leader.

a) Selection of the label application

Label applications will be evaluated by MUSE Support Committee members (list of members at the end of the document), comprising representatives of the entire regional value chain for biomarkers, diagnostics, and therapeutic molecules, all of whom having signed a confidentiality agreement concerning project analysis. This agreement is overseen by University of Montpellier.

The initial selection is based on the following criteria:

  • Projects concerning biomarkers or targeted therapies
  • Potential application in response to a clinical or technological need in the field of diagnostics or targeted therapies
  • Interest with respect to existing knowledge or solutions
  • Low technological maturity level on the TRL scale

b) Interview with project leader

After project selection, the project leader is interviewed by a committee of experts who are either KIM Support Committee members or other experts designated ad hoc (and who must also sign the confidentiality agreement).

There are two possible scenarios:

  • The project presents recognized valorization/promotion potential and will receive the MUSE KIM label for 1 year (renewable).
  • The project is potentially ready for the label, but requires additional investigations (analytical development, tests using in vivo models…) to confirm its relevance in terms of future valorization. The KIM offers the possibility of support.

KIM support is defined by the following elements:

  • Experts will support the project leader with absolute confidentiality by providing assistance in various forms: methodological (analytical advice on biomarker detection, on additional pharmacokinetic/ pharmacodynamic studies…); advice concerning applicable regulations (intellectual property, in vitro diagnostics, ANSM, etc.); facilitating contact with clinicians and industry stakeholders; consulting regarding important points for project valorization.
  • The project will benefit from specific attention by staff at technological and clinical facilities, including priority meetings with the facility experts, priority treatment of their experiments at the facilities, and more. Project leaders are invoiced according to the facility’s current pricing structure.
  • Support will be provided for one year. At the end of the year, the project will be re-evaluated by the Committee for possible renewal of the MUSE KIM

Results

The MUSE KIM label

Projects displaying potential interest and strong potential to create value in the biomarker field will receive the “MUSE label: KIM Biomarkers & Therapy”, formalized by a label letter with:

  • Scientific validation recognized by valorization/promotion structures, SATT AxLR, and the Occitanie Region. This validation will facilitate all future approaches for finding partnerships and funding, such as via ERDF, hospital clinical research programs (PHRC), Exploratory Projects/Preliminary Support (PEPS0), and internal funding calls by University Hospital Centers (AOI, etc.)
  • Methodological support by a biostatistician hired by University of Montpellier
  • Access to specific support and methodological help by tutors
  • Priority access to technological/clinical facilities and biobanks

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KIM BIOMARKERS & THERAPY SUPPORT COMMITTEE

The committee’s role is to:

  • Preselect projects for the MUSE KIM label and interview project leaders
  • Provide their expertise to support awarded projects along their path towards a maturity level that allows them to transition towards regional valorization/promotion structures
  • Award the MUSE KIM label to projects

It is comprised of experts in biomarkers, diagnostics, targeted therapy (research, clinics, facilities, valorization, industry, institutions). Representatives cover the entire value chain in the field of biomarkers, diagnostics, and targeted therapies.

  • ·  Jean-Pierre Bleuse (Institut régional du Cancer de Montpellier)
    ·  Joël Bockaert (Institut de Génomique Fonctionnelle)
    ·  Armelle Bonet-Kerrache (Inserm)
    ·  Édouard Bosvert (BB-LRO)
    ·  Jean-Paul Brouillet (CHU de Nîmes)
    ·  Karine Chorro (PHOST’IN)
    ·  Virginie Coste (Business Developer MUSE)
    ·  Brigitte Couette (KIM B&T)
    ·  Nathalie Coux (Plateformes de recherche cliniques)
    ·  John De Vos (CHU de Montpellier)
    ·  Jeannette Fareh (ex-Bio-Rad)
    ·  Bénédicte Fauvel (SATT AxLR)
    ·  Chantal Fournier-Wirth (Etablissement Français du sang)
    ·  Laurent Garnier (Eurobiomed/Euromediag)
    ·  Bénédicte Jardin-Watelet (Thermo Fisher Scientific)
    ·  Laurent Journot (UMS BioCampus Montpellier)
    ·  Géraldine Karbouch (SATT AxLR)
    ·  Daniel Laune (KYomed INNOV)
    ·  Emmanuel Le Bouder (Eurobiomed)
    ·  Sylvain Lehmann (KIM B&T)
    ·  Sophie Marchal (Région Occitanie)
    ·  Gérard Mathis (ex-CisBio)
    ·  Léa Mazel (Université de Montpellier)
    ·  Franck Molina (Sys2diag)
    ·  Marjorie Monleau (Agence Régionale AD’OCC)
    ·  André Pelegrin (Institut de Recherche en Cancérologie de Montpellier)
    ·  Guillaume Rochet (CNRS)
    ·  Philippe Rondard (Institut de Génomique Fonctionnelle)
    ·  Gilles Subra (Pôle chimie Balard)
    ·  Jamal Tazi (ABIVAX, Institut de Génétique Moléculaire de Montpellier)