The Japanese Cancer Association and Debiopharm Announce Winners of the 2019 JCA-Mauvernay Award

For its fifteenth edition, the JCA-Mauvernay Award is awarded to Doctors Ryohei Katayama and Shinichi Yachida

Lausanne, Switzerland – September 30, 2019Debiopharm, a Swiss- global biopharmaceutical company, presented the ‘JCA-Mauvernay Award’ on September 28th to Doctors Ryohei Katayama from the Japanese Foundation for Cancer Research for his research on Identification of the resistance mechanisms to molecular targeted therapies and immune checkpoint inhibitor in lung cancer and Shinichi Yachida from Osaka University for his work on Cancer clonal evolution and involvement of the microbiota in cancer development.

Doctors Katayama and Yachida received their Awards during the 78th Annual Meeting of the Japanese Cancer Association (JCA) that was held in Kyoto on the following theme: ‘Converging all sciences to cancer therapies’. Dr. Hitoshi Nakagama President of the JCA and Thierry Mauvernay, President & Delegate of the Board of Debiopharm, presented the trophies to both scientists.

Dr. Katayama has been working to unveil the resistance mechanisms to the molecular targeted drugs mainly in ALK rearranged lung cancer. Besides ALK, he has identified resistance mechanisms and therapeutic strategies in ROS1-rearranged lung cancer, EGFR mutated lung cancer or NTRK-rearranged cancer. More recently, Dr. Katayama has identified a new resistance mechanism to immune checkpoint inhibitor.

The work of Dr. Yachida focuses on the heterogeneity and clonal evolution of human cancer cells. He found that clonal populations giving rise to distant metastases are already present in the primary carcinoma, but these clones are genetically evolved from the original parental, non-metastatic clone. In addition, Dr Yachida also analyzed colorectal cancer-promoting microbiomes with the aim to develop preemptive cancer therapies using microbiome-based precision medicine.

“Throughout the years, the JCA-Mauvernay Award has become one of the most prestigious scientific distinction in Japan. All the award winners share the same vision and desire to drive science forward for the benefit of patients. I congratulate Doctors Katayama and Yachida for their work. What matters is not today but the long-term vision and the hope that the next fifteen years will lead to major progresses in cancer therapies moving from treatment to cure.”
-Thierry Mauvernay, President and Delegate of the Board of Debiopharm.

About 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.

Debiopharm’s commitment to cancer patients

Debiopharm aims to develop innovative therapies that target high unmet medical needs in oncology. 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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