Debiopharm Launches the “IDEAL” Initiative to Strengthen the Lemanic Region as a Hub for Life Science Innvovation

  • The “Innovation DEbiopharm Academia Léman” (IDEAL) initiative was designed to reinforce Debiopharm’s collaboration with centers of excellence in oncology and bacterial infections in the lemanic region (Greater Lake Geneva region)
  • The first IDEAL agreement was signed with the University of Geneva to support the advancement of early-stage innovation into clinical development
  • Debiopharm is aiming to expand collaboration with multiple academic and start-up research centers to establish an inter-connected healthcare innovation ecosystem in Switzerland

Lausanne, Switzerland – March 31, 2021Debiopharm (, a Swiss biopharmaceutical company based in Lausanne, today announced the launch of the IDEAL initiative with its first agreement signed with the University of Geneva (UNIGE). Through IDEAL, Debiopharm will accelerate the maturation of academic research projects by offering expert advice and by financially supporting projects meeting specific criteria in order to evaluate the innovation for entry into the company’s expanding pipeline. The program, having established pre-agreed legal aspects, aims to facilitate and accelerate the pathway from early scientific innovation to clinical development in order to bring new therapeutic solutions to fight cancer and drug-resistant bacterial infections.

The IDEAL initiative aligns with Debiopharm’s business model employed over the last 40 years of seeking out novel treatment innovation from universities and biotech companies worldwide in order to bring new medicines to patients through the company’s expert clinical development and proven capacity to establish new standard-of-care therapies. The company’s strategy has already proved to be successful with 2 marketed blockbuster cancer therapies in colorectal and prostate cancers, oxaliplatin and triptorelin. Through IDEAL this unique way of moving discovery stage compounds faster towards new medicines for patients will be applied locally, further unlocking the rich potential already present in the region.

“In Switzerland, we have a flourishing ecosystem of public institutions, universities, hospitals, and pharmaceutical companies. In spite of this abundance, over 60% of the innovation that we evaluate comes from North America. The launch of IDEAL, through this first partnership in the Lemanic region, will strengthen the ties within our thriving local environment to accelerate the development of novel therapeutic solutions for patients. We are thrilled about this initial collaboration with the University of Geneva and know that this is only the beginning of solidifying the multiple academic-industry relationships within this regional hub of global impact.”
– Bertrand Ducrey, CEO of Debiopharm.

The School of Pharmaceutical Sciences is delighted to be the first academic partner in this exciting new project which builds upon our longstanding relationship with Debiopharm. Our goal is to demonstrate how innovative public-private partnerships can leverage our combined expertise and knowledge and lead to the development of innovative therapies that address unmet patient needs.”
– Prof. Jean-Luc Veuthey, President of the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Geneva.

About the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences at UNIGE

The School of Pharmaceutical Sciences at UNIGE conducts research to discover new therapeutic agents, to elucidate structure-activity relationships and to develop novel formulation and delivery strategies. The research encompasses small molecules and biotechnology-derived therapeutics including vaccines and involves the development of innovative patient-friendly therapies and patient-care approaches to address unmet needs in the treatment of local and systemic diseases. The School’s modern facilities in Geneva provide access to several preclinical models, and have state-of-the-art capabilities in drug delivery & formulation, and imaging and analytical techniques.

About Debiopharm

Debiopharm, winner of the 2020 Swiss Biotech Success Story Award, aims to develop innovative therapies that target high unmet medical needs in oncology and bacterial infections. Bridging the gap between disruptive discovery products and real-world patient reach, we identify high-potential compounds 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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