Debiopharm International SA and the Paul Scherrer Institute announce a licensing agreement for the development of a novel targeted radiotherapeutic product in Oncology

Lausanne, Villigen, Switzerland – October 11, 2018Debiopharm International SA (Debiopharm), a Switzerland based specialty pharmaceutical company and the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), the largest research institute for natural and engineering sciences in Switzerland, today announced a collaboration to pursue the development of a radioconjugated minigastrin analogue (Debio 1124) for cancer patients.

Debio 1124 is a new-generation peptide analogue of minigastrin, coupled to the isotope 177Lutetium. This compound belongs to the emerging class of Peptide Receptor Radionuclide Therapies and has been designed to selectively deliver molecular radiotherapy to tumor cells expressing the Cholecystokinin B Receptor (CCK2R). Importantly, as the compound can also be used as a sensitive diagnostic tool, an initial imaging step allows the selection of patients whose tumor expresses the target receptor and so are expected to benefit from this innovative treatment.
This theragnostic (therapeutic and diagnostic) compound is currently being developed in advanced Medullary Thyroid Cancer (MTC) at the University Hospital Basel and will be further investigated in other tumor types expressing CCK2R.

“Molecular-targeted radiotherapy has proven to be an efficient way to direct the tumoricidal effects of radiation while minimizing the potential damage of healthy tissues. We look forward to exploring the potential of this innovative product in the clinic and to providing new treatment options to well defined patient groups”.
Dr Carlos Chanquia, Medical Director, Debiopharm International

“We are delighted to enter into this collaboration with such a renowned Research Institute and to pursue the outstanding work of the PSI on this promising novel therapeutic strategy. This partnership is a great illustration of the high performing value chain created by the Swiss network of research institutes, clinical centers and pharmaceutical companies”.
Dr. Bertrand Ducrey, CEO of Debiopharm International

“PSI has once more fulfilled its societal mission with the transfer of Debio 1124 into direction of market maturity and which will hopefully contribute to improve treatment outcome of cancer patients in the future. We are proud that we will proceed with this mission in cooperation with a Swiss based pharmaceutical company such as Debiopharm”.
Dr Martin Béhé, Group Head , Center of radiopharmaceutical sciences, PSI

About the Paul Scherrer Institute 

The Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) develops, builds and operates large, complex research facilities and makes them available to the national and international research community. The institute’s own key research priorities are in the fields of matter and materials, energy and environment and human health. PSI is committed to the training of future generations. Therefore about one quarter of our staff are post-docs, post-graduates or apprentices. Altogether PSI employs 2100 people, thus being the largest research institute in Switzerland. The annual budget amounts to approximately CHF 390 million. PSI is part of the ETH Domain, with the other members being the two Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology, ETH Zurich and EPFL Lausanne, as well as Eawag (Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology), Empa (Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology) and WSL (Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research).

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About Debiopharm International SA

Part of Debiopharm Group™, Debiopharm International SA focuses on the development of prescription drugs that target unmet medical needs. The company in-licenses and develops promising drug candidates. The products are commercialized by pharmaceutical out-licensing partners to give access to the largest number of patients worldwide.

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