Research: preparing and anticipating advancements in medicine
By implementing an ambitious policy of research, innovation and knowledge dissemination, EFS places the medicine of tomorrow at the heart of its strategy.
The establishment’s research topics are varied and encourage interdisciplinary exchange, since transfusion medicine intersects different domains. It has wide-ranging expertise in epidemiology, infectious diseases, microbiology, diagnostics, immunology, regenerative medicine, immunotherapy, sociology, etc.
In parallel, EFS carries out active scientific surveillance, especially in the domain of emergent or re-emergent diseases, and of new risks associated with transfusion and transplants.
Technology transfer: to supervise and protect our inventions
Technology transfer lies at the heart of the establishment’s research activity, by supervising projects from their emergence to their industrial commercialisation.
The dedicated team provides economic, legal and scientific supervision of inventions, by adopting a protective and promotional approach.
2020 : research and technology transfer in figures
Department of Research and Technology Transfer (DRV)
The DRV (Direction de la Recherche et de la Valorisation) is responsible for the national steering of the research and technology transfer activity. It relies on a network of scientific directors within the regional blood transfusion establishments and on subject-based work groups, which allows important insights into the establishment’s scientific and medical priorities and strengthens inter-team synergies.
Scientific Advisory Board
Set up in 2016, this body was renewed in 2020. This international scientific advisory board establishes recommendations on strategy and steering of the research within EFS.
The Research Orientation Committee (COR)
The mission of the COR (Comité d’Orientation de la Recherche) is to develop a collegial approach when defining the research strategy at EFS and to arbitrate on the portfolio of corresponding projects and budgets.
The COR evaluates the strategy of research teams backed by EFS: the R&D projects are assessed before being submitted to HCERES (Haut Conseil de l'évaluation de la recherche et de l'enseignement supérieur - Office for Research and Higher Education Assessment) for renewal or creation.
The COR does not judge the scientific quality of the teams (that is the job of HCERES), only the alignment with EFS’s strategy and/or its research and development needs.
See the list of committee members
Research in support of the blood transfusion chain
The majority of the research topics and studies conducted by the establishment’s research teams are focused on the blood transfusion chain, and are considered at each step of this process. By improving our knowledge of transfusion-related issues, cell therapy, diagnosis etc., the establishment is able to be more efficient in its core activity, blood transfusion, and can even anticipate developments.
In partnership with some teaching hospitals, EFS is developing clinical transfusion research in particular. The establishment also sponsors clinical research projects.
Our 3 research activities
Academic research is carried out in Joint Research Units (Unités mixtes de recherche - UMR) in partnership with scientific or technological public institutions (Inserm, CNRS), hospitals or universities. Find out more
R&D activities are carried out at Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMP) manufacturing platforms - where manufacturing processes for these “new generation” treatments are developed that are cell-based and that, thanks to cutting-edge technologies, are designed with new functions that enable treatment of diseases considered incurable today – and also at the Innovative Biotechnologies Platform, where monoclonal antibodies are produced. Find out more
So-called “operational” R&D is carried out in the regional blood transfusion establishments, within different departments: HLA laboratories, biobanks, blood screening laboratories, etc. Find out more
Our research topics
In their efforts to continually improve their knowledge and practices in the field of transfusion medicine, the research teams at EFS work along two main lines of research which are further split up into several research topics.
Our research projects
The French Blood Establishment mainly carries out research that is focussed on transfusion activities: laboratory research on blood cells, clinical research on blood transfusion, expertise at the immunological interface between donor and recipient, the development of new technologies for screening and prevention of microbiological risks, etc.
This research is conducted by EFS, sometimes in association with other academic partners (universities, teaching hospitals, large research bodies such as INSERM, the Institut Pasteur, the ANSM (French Health Products Safety Agency), etc.) or industrial partners.
Research projects on COVID-19
Within the context of the coronavirus epidemic, EFS contributes towards research efforts by participating in several studies aimed at a better understanding of the virus.
These projects range from basic research to epidemiological research or therapeutic applications.
How can you participate in this research ?
If you consent to take part in these studies, you can express your agreement to the professional conducting the pre-donation interview, and on paper on the donation consent form, by ticking the following box :
“I authorise EFS to use my blood subject to the conditions outlined on the pre-donation document :
• For research purposes;
• For teaching purposes;
• For the preparation of blood reagents for the purposes of laboratory analysis. (Join us and become a donor)".
What does your participation in this research involve and what are your rights ?
Your participation is subject to your agreement that your personal data and samples (collected during donation) also be used for research purposes, and that you also agree to be contacted by EFS to take part in studies on COVID-19.
Your participation will not involve any additional collection of donations or samples; if this is required, you will be given an information sheet specific to this research.
Your participation will not involve the communication of individual results on this research.
However, the research conducted on the basis of your donations, and the overall results of this research, will be published on the EFS Internet site.
If you do not wish to take part in these studies, all you have to do is leave the box on the consent form unticked. Not participating will have no impact on your care and follow-up within the context of blood donation.
How will my donations be processed ?
Within the framework of the studies presented above, your personal data used for research will be indirectly identifiable (pseudonymised) in order to respect confidentiality.
The staff involved in these studies are subject to a code of professional secrecy, as is the professional doing the pre-donation interview.
To ensure the continuity of European research efforts, your donations are likely to be shipped within the European Union. These donations will be strictly pseudonymised. In addition, to the same end, your donations may equally be shipped to French health authorities, also pseudonymised.
The time that donations analysed in these studies can be kept is 2 years after the final publication of study results. This handling of donations is necessary for public interest reasons within the context of public health (article 9.2.i. of the GDPR) and is based on implementation of the tasks devolved by law to EFS (article 6.1 e. of the GDPR).
How can I exercise my rights on these data ?
In accordance with the provisions of the French Data Protection Act (law of 6 January 1978, as amended) and to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), you have the right to access, correct, erase and object to personal data relating to you.
If you no longer wish that your data be used for research, you have the right to withdraw your consent at any time, without having to justify your decision and without incurring any disadvantage.
If you wish to withdraw your consent, all you have to do is leave the box on the consent form unticked, then all the new data collected after this date will not be used for research. Data collected up until the date of your withdrawal will be analysed confidentially by the health professionals involved in the studies.
To exercise your rights, you can send a letter to the following address: EFS, 20 Avenue du Stade de France 93218, La Plaine Saint-Denis Cedex or send an e-mail to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have any problems, you can also make a complaint to the National Commission for Information Technology and Civil Liberties (CNIL).
Research at the heart of a dynamic partnership
Different types of partnership
Several types of collaboration can be fostered with the EFS research teams.
Examples of partnerships
November 2020. EFS and TreeFrog Therapeutics, in collaboration with the IRSN (Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety), signed a partnership deal for the large-scale production of universal, ready-to-use HSC grafts. More information
January 2018. HORIBA Medical and the laboratory Pathogenics & Control of Chronic Infections (Pathogénie & Contrôle des Infections Chroniques - PCCI – University of Montpellier – EFS – Inserm) launched an innovative and ambitious research programme to improve diagnosis of diseases linked to arboviruses, diseases caused by viruses transmitted by mosquitoes such as zika, dengue, chikungunya, yellow fever, etc. More information
EFS and PDC*line Pharma are collaborating to establish a class of anticancer vaccines. An innovative technology using a low-cost simple manufacturing process that should enable different types of cancer to be treated. More information
Our partnership research projects
The EFS researchers carry out numerous R&D projects which necessitate the input of complementary expertise from other partners.
• What is the project?
EFS, through the group “Immunobiology and immunotherapy of chronic diseases” at the Institut pour l’Avancée des Biosciences (Institute for the Advancement of Biosciences) – U1209 directed by Laurence Chaperot in Grenoble – has developed the Genius Vac vaccine technology based on an allogenic cell line HLA-A*0201 from plasmacytoid dendritic cells irradiated and loaded with specific peptides of the disease of interest. The technology is protected by several patent families and has already given rise to a start-up created in 2014 within the field of oncology (PDC*Line Pharma).
• What kind of partnerships are being sought?
The project is currently looking for partners to:
Co-develop the technology for therapeutic targets outside the field of oncology, in particular infectious diseases
• What is the project?
UMR_S1255 (EFS, UNISTRA, Inserm) has renowned expertise in blood platelets. More specifically, the team has developed an in vitro production process for platelets, protected by several patent families, and has initiated, using the manufacturing platform for advanced therapies at Besançon, the transfer of this technology to ensure its development under Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) conditions.
• What kind of partnerships are being sought?
For its scale-up phase, the project is seeking partners to :
• Create an immortalised MK bank (genetically modified or non-GM)
• Improve the production yield of platelets formed from MEGAKARYOCYTES.
• Permit the scale-up of the bioreactor for large-scale production
• Reduce production costs, particularly of consumables
• Find new therapeutic targets for the platelets produced
Our technology offers
EFS has 66 patent families in its portfolio. The technologies developed by the establishment have diverse fields of application and can be the subject of licences for fields outside the field of exploitation of EFS.
Our technological offers
- An innovative procedure for preserving cells, tissues or organs in hypothermia
- Injectable solution for cell preservation
- Method for the production of human brown and beige adipocytes
- TLR4 as a new target for Multiple Myeloma treatment
- HDL for the treatment and prevention of GvHD and CRS
Our summary expertise sheets
At EFS there are over 110 researchers contributing to the advancement of science, in collaboration with other French academic teams such as Inserm.
Our teams are equipped with leading-edge know-how in fields as varied as haematology, oncology, immunology, diagnostics and biotechnology. Singular expertise that enables them to deliver novel innovative therapies, diagnostic tests and biotechnology procedures for the benefit of patients and scientific research.
Our establishment is open to scientific collaborations that may take different forms, in order to advance the development and commercialisation of its various research and development projects.
Get to know us
The Department of Research and Technology Transfer (Direction de la Recherche et de la Valorisation - DRV) was created in 2010 and is composed of two departments: one dedicated to research, the other to technology transfer.
The main goals of the research department :
• to ensure the strategic steering and coordination of the research;
• to supervise the research projects;
• to manage control of the budgets of the EFS research teams;
• to communicate internally and externally on the research.
The main goals of the technology transfer department :
• to carry out strategic management of the intellectual property originating from the research and developments at EFS;
• to ensure the interests of EFS as far as intellectual property is concerned;
• to promote and supervise the inventions of EFS towards innovations as far as novel therapies, diagnostic tools and innovative tools are concerned.
The two departments work together to ensure the management and follow-up of the establishment’s global research activity and the research workers’ innovations, for the benefit of the medicine of tomorrow.
Contact us !
Department of Research and Technology Transfer (Direction de la recherche et de la valorisation)
20 avenue du Stade de France
93218 La Plaine Saint-Denis Cedex