Debiopharm Encourages Breakthough Cancer Research In Japan Through its Competitive JCA Mauvernay Award

Lausanne, Switzerland – October 4th, 2021 – Debiopharm (, a Swiss-based global biopharmaceutical company, today announced the two winners of the 17th annual JCA Mauvernay Award for breakthrough Japanese oncology research projects in 2 categories: Translational Research – Dr. Hiromichi Ebi and Innovative and/or Disruptive Research – Dr. Shumpei Ishikawa. The winners were honored with trophies and a monetary prize during the hybrid (virtual/live) meeting of the 80th Annual Meeting of the Japanese Cancer Association (JCA) on Saturday, October 2nd in Yokohama, Japan by Prof. Hideyuki Saya President of the JCA and Dr. Takato Noumi, Debiopharm’s representative in Japan along with Thierry Mauvernay, President of Debiopharm, Bertrand Ducrey CEO of Debiopharm who joined virtually.

“Japan and Switzerland share several common values such as commitment to excellence and professional diligence. That’s one of the reasons why I believe Japanese research continues to excel and surpass our expectations,” expressed Thierry Mauvernay, president of Debiopharm. “It is our honor to award these two new JCA Mauvernay Award winners and realize what their early research could mean for patients in the future through further development.”

“We were impressed with the potential implications of Dr.Ishikawa and Dr. Ebi in different cancer types. Cancer remains the leading cause of death worldwide so it deserves the deep exploration by great minds in order to come closer to a cure. Japanese cancer researchers continue to capture the attention of the international community as seen in several of the past Nobel Peace Prizes in Medicine. So, we are very pleased to continue to this important award and hope to spark further collaboration,” explained Bertrand Ducrey, CEO of Debiopharm.

Dr. Shumpei Ishikawa’s disruptive research at the University of Toyko, is offering new insights into an aggressive form of gastric cancer, diffuse-type gastric carcinoma (DGC), by exploring the genomic characterization the cancer’s life cycle. His comprehensive characterization of DGC includes the identification of genes that drive the transformation of cells to cancer cells (oncogenes), the molecular and cellular dissection of the tumor microenvironment and the environmental factors contributing to the disease. This holistic approach has led to several influential discoveries that have been published in top-ranking scientific journals.

Dr. Hiromichi Ebi’s translational research at the Aichi Cancer Center Research Institute is examining the development of targeted therapies against tumor with aberrant MAPK signaling. His work is focusing on the elucidation of the molecular mechanisms underlying the differential clinical activities of drugs targeting mutated oncogenes depending on the cancerous tissue and the tumor microenvironment.

The JCA-Mauvernay Award

Since 2005, the Japanese Cancer Association (JCA) and Debiopharm Group have co-organized the ‘JCA-Mauvernay Award’. This prize illustrates the curiosity that drives researchers as well as the scientific cooperation between Japan and Switzerland. It aims at recognizing outstanding achievements in the field of oncology amongst Japanese researchers, in both the fundamental and the clinical aspects. The award has a total value of CHF 25’000.

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Debiopharm develops innovative therapies that target high unmet medical needs in oncology and infectious diseases. Bridging the gap between disruptive discovery products and real-world patient reach, we identify high-potential compounds and technologies for in-licensing, clinically demonstrate their safety and efficacy and then select large pharmaceutical commercialization partners to maximize patient access globally.

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