The IMODI Sector


IMODI Challenges

  Oncology treatments are still too frequently ineffective, while in parallel technological advances allow the classification of new cancer subtypes using molecular and cellular analyses.
  The cancer-related mortality is expected to increase by more than 50% between 2002 and 2030, with about 11.5 million deaths in 2030 worldwide
  The costs of cancer worldwide reached nearly $ 80 billion in 2014

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IMODI Objectives

Increase the success rate of the development of effective therapies against cancer working on 3 major R&D areas :

1. Developing models and cellular assays
2. Humanizing the tumor microenvironment in mice
3. Studying microbiota in cancer patients

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Building a sustainable sector and accelerate the discovery of new treatments tailored to each patient.

IMODI is a French industrial initiative to pool the resources allocated to the development and characterization of new experimental models of cancer.
IMODI partners are organized within a consortium owned by both private and public pharmaceutical and medical research labs, creating a unique chain of value and expertises from the patient to the therapeutic target.
In addition to awareness of each partner, this structuring project has received recognition from 5 French competitiveness poles: Medicen, Alsace BioValley, Cancer Bio Santé, Lyon Biopole and Atlanpôle Biotherapy . Moreover, IMODI is granted by the French government with the financial support of the Public Investment Bank as part of the “Avenir Investment Program” .
The founder and coordinator of this consortium is OncoDesign, a French SME company, based in Dijon. OncoDesign has been created in 1995 by its current CEO Dr. Philippe Genne.


The management of cancer treatments greatly increases the pressure on health economic systems, with estimated costs now exceeding one hundred billion dollars in Western countries. Recent economic studies, report that these expenditures will continue to increase every year by 7.5% and 10.5%, and could reach 150 billions in 2020 (IMS Health report, 2015).
In parallel, oncology treatments are too often ineffective, with an average response rate of 20%, and are moving towards more specific therapies with an increased benefit / risk ratio for patients. However, the effectiveness of these new targeted therapies is still limited
In parallel, oncology treatments are too often ineffective, with an average response rate of 20%, and are moving towards more specific therapies with an increased benefit / risk ratio for patients. However, the effectiveness of these new targeted therapies is still limited:

  • Accelerate the discovery of new treatments
  • Increase the effectiveness of new treatments
  • Reduce failures in clinical trials
  • Improve patient stratification for better personalization of treatments


IMODI is an industrial sector of health, answering to the needs of the scientific and medical community, whether private or public. Its construction was initiated in 2013.

IMODI develops predictive preclinical models with a high level of characterization to detect as early as possible in the development process, the most effective and the most appropriated anti-cancer therapies for targeted patient populations.

Experimental models: The center of IMODI strategy
Experimental models constitute a highly strategic step between new drug candidates and patients. In this context there is a need to develop new experimental models of cancer mimicking as close as possible the human pathology. These models represent powerful tools for translation to humans when they are accompanied by a comprehensive characterization, including the patient's clinical history, the tumor histology, as well as the molecular profiles and the pharmacological sensitivity.

As a practical matter, work is organized around 3 major R&D axes:

  • Developing in vivo models and cell-based assays
  • Mimicking the human biology by humanizing the tumor microenvironment in mice
  • Studying the microbiota in cancer patients

The main deliverables expected for this first phase of developments (2013-2019) are:

  • Development of 2D & 3D ex vivo phenotypic assays
  • Development and characterization of mouse models with the humanization of the immune system, hepatic system and tumor stroma
  • Establishment of a centralized biobank for the conservation of tumor samples, blood cells, serum and stools
  • Characterization of the gut microbiota from patients and PDX models
  • Development of a Database combining both preclinical and clinical information associated with models and make them available to the public and private scientific community
  • Development of data mining tools

Strengths and operating rules

T ranslational process
  • Medical and industrial vision of unmet needs in oncology
  • Selection of cancer pathologies based on both clinical and pharmaceutical needs
  • Industrial standards applied to all value creation chain (ethics, quality, technology ...)
  • Unique central storage of biological samples and data
  • Centralized management of intellectual / industrial properties
  • A sustainable economic system based on the activity and development of the operating SMEs knowledge & know-how
  • Freedom to use the IMODI results for internal R&D of the members
  • A strong cross-fertilization between active members