Biotech Strategy Blog

Commentary on Science, Innovation & New Products with a focus on Oncology, Hematology & Cancer Immunotherapy

Posts tagged ‘Eric Vivier’

The latest addition to the burgeoning list of books on the advent of cancer immunotherapy comes from two French immunologists, Éric Vivier and Marc Daëron.

The timing of the award of the 2018 Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine to Jim Allison and Tasuko Honjo (captured on the last episode of the Novel Targets Podcast), certainly seems to have acted as a catalyst for the publication of several books about the field.

There are a variety of ways to approach the cancer immunotherapy story, ranging from the personal portraits of researchers behind the science to narrative storytelling based on the “Hero’s journey” where the intrepid hero embarks on a quest, overcomes challenges or tests along the way and then finally emerges triumphant. One could certainly fit Jim Allison’s life and accomplishments into that mold.

We don’t normally review books on BSB, but were very curious to see how immunologists themselves would approach their specialist area and tell the cancer immunotherapy story. After all, everyone views the world through the lens of their own experiences and the bias that creates.

L’Immunothérapie des cancers, histoire d’une revolution médicale’ offers the reader a journey through the history of science.

Marc Daëron is a researcher at INSERM, the Institut Pasteur in Paris and Centre d’Immunologie de Marseille-Luminy (CIML). He’s also an associate member of the Institute for History and Philosophy of Science and Technology.

Prof Éric Vivier at 40th Anniversary of Centre d’Immunologie de Marseille-Luminy

BSB readers are already familiar with Éric Vivier (Twitter @EricVivier1) who is a Professor of Immunology at the University of Aix-Marseille and was previously Director of CIML.

An expert on innate lymphoid cells, natural killer cells and innate immunity, he’s also a co-founder of Innate Pharma and is currently the company’s Chief Scientific Officer (CSO).

If you want to hear them in person, the authors discussed their book on a recent France Inter talk show, which also includes a couple of patients doing well on immunotherapy phoning in.

Assuming you have a reasonable level of French, is L’Immunothérapie des cancers, histoire d’une revolution médicale well worth a read? Who is the audience? What did we make of the approach taken by two eminent immunologists?

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Eric Vivier, DVM PhD (@EricVivier1) is a leading French immunologist whose research has focused on understanding the innate immune system, and in particular, the role natural killer (NK) cells and innate lymphoid cells (ILC) play.


He is Director of the Centre d’Immunologie de Marseille-Luminy (CIML) and a Professor of Immunology at Aix-Marseille University.

In addition to his academic work, he also co-founded the biotech company Innate Pharma back in 1999. Through the company, he is actively involved in the translation of basic research into new cancer immunotherapy treatments.

New clinical data is eagerly expected for one of these, a first-in-class monoclonal antibody against KIR (lirilumab). It is in phase 2 clinical trials with Innate Pharma and Bristol Myers Squibb.

At the recent scientific meeting to celebrate 40 years of CIML (#CIML40), Professor Vivier kindly spoke to BSB about his research into innate immunity and the Marseille Immunopôle, for which he is also a co-founder.

It is an immunology cluster that brings together academic/clinical research with innovative biotech companies looking to bring new drugs and diagnostics to market.

This is the second post in our mini-series from the Marseille Immunopôle and CIML40. It also sets the scene for forthcoming posts on targeting the innate immune system, something you can expect to hear a lot more about in cancer immunotherapy.

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