Lausanne, Switzerland, February 27, 2008 – Debiopharm Group (Debiopharm), a global independent biopharmaceutical development specialist focusing on serious medical conditions and particularly oncology, today announced the establishment of a Debiopharm oncology chair at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), focusing on Signal Transduction in Oncogenesis. Funded through a CHF 2.5 million endowment, the objective of the chair is to leverage the wide scope of ideas and inventions discovered by EPFL scientists and the global drug development expertise of Debiopharm. The synergy expected through this partnership will maximise the chances of bringing innovative drugs to patients.
The Debiopharm oncology chair will support the research work of Assistant Professor Dr Joerg Huelsken, of the EPFL Faculty of Life Sciences, which focuses on the role of the WNT signalling pathway in tumorigenesis and stem cell maintenance. Under the terms of the agreement, Debiopharm will also finance other potential collaborative research projects of mutual interest to both parties and will have the option to endow a second chair in Drug Design.
“The creation of this oncology chair will reinforce our involvement in local research,” said Kamel Besseghir, CEO of Debiopharm S.A. “We are in close vicinity to the EPFL and have been collaborating on various projects over the past years. Our recently established office at the EPFL will contribute to build a critical mass in biomedical research in the Lake Geneva region, help us identify new projects and blend our ideas.”
“The timing of our oncology chair at the EPFL could not have been better. The move of ISREC (Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research) to the EPFL this year will increase their concentration of oncology expertise,” added Rolland-Yves Mauvernay, President and Founder of Debiopharm Group.”
“This partnership with Debiopharm is an example of how academic research and pharmaceutical industries can collaborate to develop promising therapies for the benefit of patients,” said Didier Trono, Dean of the Life Science Faculty at the EPFL.
About Debiopharm Group
Debiopharm Group is a global biopharmaceutical development specialist that in-licenses promising biologics and small molecule drug candidates. Debiopharm develops its products for global registration and maximum commercial potential for out-licensing to pharmaceutical partners for sales and marketing.
Debiopharm independently funds the worldwide development of all of its products while providing expertise in pre-clinical and clinical trials, manufacturing, drug delivery and formulation, and regulatory affairs.
Founded in 1979 and headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland, Debiopharm has developed three products with global combined sales in excess of $2.6 billion in 2006.