"We hope this type of long-term collaboration will ultimately open up perspectives for new therapeutic options for women with this disease. It will combine the accumulated knowledge on ovarian cancer gathered over many years by oncologists and biologists at the Institut Curie with the expertise of researchers from Sanofi's research and product development teams," said Dr. Debasish Roychowdhury, senior vice president and head of Sanofi Oncology. "Established under the Aviesan partnership, this research agreement is a good example of translational research involving French scientific excellence."
"It is currently hard to tackle ovarian cancer. There are very few drugs available. We are very happy to collaborate with Sanofi to potentially provide our patients with additional therapeutic solutions. Sanofi's expertise in the selection of therapeutic targets is complementary to the know-how and technology platforms developed at the Institut Curie," said Damien Salauze, director of Curie-Cancer.
Using technology platforms developed at the Institut Curie by scientific teams led by Dr. Xavier Sastre-Garau and Dr. Sergio Roman-Roman, this program will make it possible to sequence molecules expressed by the tumor genome, compare the sequences of those obtained with non-tumor tissues from the same patients and then clarify and validate the nature of the molecular alterations that are identified. Sanofi's expertise in the selection of therapeutic targets will then guide an assessment of the tumor's ability to be inhibited or stimulated by drugs.
Ovarian cancer is still difficult to treat, despite recent advances. The main risk factor is advancing age, as well as a known hereditary factor in 5-10 per cent of cases. They are most often diagnosed late. The current therapeutic strategy of combining surgery and chemotherapy is effective, but relapses are frequent and the condition gradually becomes resistant to medical treatment.
Curie-Cancer is the body responsible for developing Institut Curie's industry partnership activities. It oversees the institute's existing industry partnerships as well as areas of high potential interest to industry partners. Institut Curie's 1,200 researchers provide the high level of expertise in oncology required to collaborate with industry partners in creating and subsequently developing cancer therapies. Curie-Cancer management has extensive industry experience and can call upon a vast pool of scientists involved in basic and clinical research. In 2011, Curie-Cancer was awarded the "Institut Carnot" label by the French government, which recognizes excellence and involvement in research partnerships.
About Institut Curie
Institut Curie is a private foundation founded in 1909 by Marie Curie, the first woman Nobel prize-winner and the first double Nobel prize-winner. It is the leading comprehensive cancer center (combining research and patient care) in Europe. Institut Curie's research center and hospital employ some 3,200 scientists, physicians, nurses, technicians and administrative staff. The institute's current objectives include increasing the proportion of research programs carried out in partnership with industry so that research results can lead to faster availability of products and services for the benefit of patients.
About Sanofi Oncology
Sanofi Oncology is a global division of Sanofi based in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Vitry, France. At Sanofi Oncology, the patient is our inspiration. We are dedicated to translating science into effective therapeutics that address unmet medical needs for cancer and organ transplant patients. Through our global organization of talented and passionate employees, we are building a renewed and diversified portfolio, driven by the principles of innovation, personalization and patient access to medicines. We believe that delivering innovative treatment solutions requires collaboration with external experts, which is why we partner our own internal expertise with the best experts in scientific discovery and clinical research around the world.
Sanofi, an integrated global healthcare leader, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions focused on patients' needs. Sanofi has core strengths in the field of healthcare with seven growth platforms: diabetes solutions, human vaccines, innovative drugs, consumer healthcare, emerging markets, animal health and the new Genzyme. Sanofi is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY).