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Debiopharm and Aurigene sign licensing agreement for the development and commercialisation of Debio 0617, a novel inhibitor of an undisclosed oncology pathway

Lausanne, Switzerland, and Bangalore, India, November 20, 2008 - Debiopharm Group (Debiopharm), a global biopharmaceutical development specialist that focuses on serious medical conditions and particularly oncology, and Aurigene Discovery Technologies Ltd (Aurigene), a Bangalore-based fully integrated, global biotech focused on small molecule and peptide drug discovery and development from target identification and validation to pre-IND drug candidates, signed an exclusive worldwide license agreement, excluding the territories of Japan and the rest of Asia, to develop and commercialise Debio 0617, a novel inhibitor of an undisclosed oncology pathway. Utilising its know-how and fragment-based drug delivery technology platform, Aurigene has generated potent leads against the target. Under the terms of the agreement, Debiopharm will pay Aurigene an upfront fee, as well as further  payments according to predefined discovery, development and sales milestones.

“We are very excited to continue our collaboration with Aurigene. Their business model offers a one stop solution for structure guided drug design, lead optimization and preclinical work. The Debio 0617 project aims at developing inhibitors targeting a key oncology pathway, which plays essential roles in various solid tumors and haematological malignancies,” said Rolland-Yves Mauvernay, President & Founder of Debiopharm Group.

“Partnering with Debiopharm, a highly focused and successful drug development company, is highly synergistic for Aurigene, a drug discovery biotech. Aurigene has been collaborating with Debiopharm on two other programs for three years now, and the current licensing agreement with Debiopharm serves to reiterate the high quality of science and competence at Aurigene. This further strengthens the relationship between the companies,” added CSN Murthy, CEO of Aurigene.

About Debiopharm Group
Debiopharm Group is a global biopharmaceutical development specialist that in-licenses promising biologics and small molecule drug candidates. It 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 $2.65 billion in 2007.
For more information on Debiopharm Group, please visit: www.debiopharm.com.

About Aurigene
Established in Bangalore, India, in 2002, Aurigene Discovery Technologies Ltd., is a drug discovery biotech focused on small molecule and peptide drug discovery and development from target identification and validation to pre-IND drug candidates in oncology, metabolic disorders and autoimmune diseases, with a proven track record of successful partnerships with big and medium-sized pharma and biotech companies globally. Aurigene has 10 drug discovery collaborations and a pipeline of 15 discovery programs at various stages, from Hit Generation to late-stage Pre-Clinical Optimization, and has filed 14 patents across 6 programs over the last 12 months.
With proprietary Structural Biology and Fragment-based Drug Design technology platforms, and experienced scientific leadership, Aurigene is a fully integrated operation with expertise in Hit Generation to Drug Development Candidates for IND nomination. 

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Debiopharm S.A. Contacts 
Maurice Wagner
Director Corporate Affairs & Communications
Tel.: +41 (0)21 321 01 11
Fax: +41 (0)21 321 01 69
Jo-Anne Lütjens
Communications Manager
Tel.: +41 (0)79 370 27 15
Fax: +41 (0)21 321 01 69
Aurigene Contacts
Sonita Chada
Manager, Corporate Communications
Tel: +91 80 2852 1314
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