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Jean-Pierre Bizzari, President
Great pioneer in the creation of synergy between entrepreneurial ideas, scientific expertise and innovative concepts supporting health services for each and everyone, Jean-Pierre Bizzari is the director of the Synergie Lyon Cancer Foundation, since March 2012.
At the end of the 70’s, Jean-Pierre Bizzari was a young scientist working in the domain of oncology at the teaching hospital (“centre hospitalier universitaire”) in Nice and at the Pitié-Salpêtrière in Paris. At the bedside of patients, he became fully aware of the unmet medical needs of that time: “Doctors could only administer 4 or 5 different drugs to all of their patients”, Jean-Pierre Bizzari remembers. Therefore, after having taught oncology and having worked as an assistant oncologist in a hospital, he rapidly joined the pharmaceutical industry: “Applying fundamental research principles in a clinical context, finding novel molecules and measuring their effects on disease control, were my main objectives. By joining a research and development team within an industry appeared to me to be the best way of contributing to the improvement of treatments and to the fight against cancer.”
“ Luck only favours the prepared mind, Pasteur said…”
Between the years of 1993 and 2008, Jean-Pierre Bizzari was initially vice-president of the clinical development in oncology at Rhône-Poulenc, and subsequently held the same position at Aventis. He was then “lucky” to be given the opportunity to supervise the design of molecules, such as docetaxel (Taxotere*), irinotecan (CPT-11), or oxaliplatin (Eloxatin*), which were later at the forefront of modern anti-cancer therapies. “I happened to work for the right companies, in the right teams and on the right molecules”, he concludes with humility. But there is no getting away from the facts: Jean-Pierre Bizzari can take pride in the fact that 90% of the phase III (to evaluate drug efficacy) clinical trials were completed successfully and that 17 indications were targeted with 9 molecules being approved for use in the case of major oncology indications: breast, lung, prostate, bone marrow cancers… Jean-Pierre Bizzari currently conducts the same work for an American biopharmaceutical company, Celgene, which is highly responsive, and this constitutes “an essential quality when working in oncology”, according to him.
Dynamism and innovation are the groundwork for improving human health.
Jean-Pierre Bizzari establishes development plans for the drugs designed by his multidisciplinary teams and follows all of the scientific, methodological, financial and regulatory aspects related to these lengthy and thoroughly codified procedures.
Committed to “investing as much of his time as possible in the research on oncology” and “proud of the internationally envied quality of French medicine and research”, Jean-Pierre Bizzari remains scientifically active in France, in spite of his attachment to the United States. Director of the Synergie Lyon Cancer Foundation, since 2012, the “remarkably intelligent approach” of which he underlines, he also remains a scientific member of the French National Cancer Institute (“Institut National du Cancer” or INCa) and attends the board of directors of Transgene, a biopharmaceutical company.