Presented by the Japanese Cancer Association and Debiopharm Group™, the ‘JCA-Mauvernay Award 2014’ goes to Doctors Hara and Shibata

Lausanne, Switzerland – September 26, 2014 – Debiopharm Group™ (Debiopharm), a Swiss-based global biopharmaceutical company developing prescription drugs that target unmet medical needs and companion diagnostics for personalized medicine, will be presenting the ‘JCA-Mauvernay Award’ on September 27 to Doctors Eiji Hara from the Japanese Foundation for Cancer Research for his basic research on Cellular senescence and cancer: a gut microbial connection and Tatsuhiro Shibata from the National Cancer Center Research Institute for his applied research on Identification and clinical translation of novel diagnostic and therapeutic targets in intractable solid cancers by cancer genome/transcriptome sequencing.

Doctors Hara and Shibata will receive their Awards during the General Assembly of the 73rd Annual Meeting of the Japanese Cancer Association (JCA) in Yokohama on the following theme: ‘Deeper insights into cancer biology bringing cures for cancer patients’. Dr. Tetsuo Noda, President of the JCA and a Debiopharm Group representative will present the trophies to both scientists.

“The nominees were selected on the basis of the relevance of their work in a rapidly evolving scientific and technological environment, – work marked by a high level of curiosity, creative intelligence, a systematic approach and, surely, forthcoming application possibilities. Debiopharm is honored to be part of this Award with the JCA for the 10th consecutive year and wishes both scientists as well as JCA, every success in their respective future endeavors,” said Rolland-Yves Mauvernay, President and founder of Debiopharm Group™.

Dr. Hara and his group explore the role of the senescence associated secretory phenotype (SASP) in obesity-associated cancer. It is now recognized that obesity is a major risk factor for several types of cancer. However, the mechanisms that underlie obesity associated cancer are poorly understood. Dr. Hara and his group have shown that senescent cells release inflammatory cytokines and proteases as part of the SASP in response to DNA damage, and some SASP factors such as IL-6 and PAI-1 are known to increase the risk of cancer in obese individuals.

Comprehensive characterization of the cancer genome based on tumor pathology is the focus of Dr. Shibata and his group. Dr. Shibata aims to identify novel potential therapeutic agents and biomarkers in order to promote genome-based precision cancer medicine. To achieve this, his group has established a high-performance next-generation sequencing platform and in-house informatics pipelines to decipher the cancer genome and transcriptome.

About Debiopharm Group™
Debiopharm Group™ is a Swiss-based global biopharmaceutical group of four companies active in drug development, GMP manufacturing of proprietary drugs, diagnostics, and investments. Debiopharm International SA is focused on the development of prescription drugs that target unmet medical needs. The company in-licenses, develops and/or co-develops promising biological and small molecule drug candidates for global registration. The products are commercialized through
out-licensing to pharmaceutical partners to give access to the largest number of patients worldwide.
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