The Japanese Cancer Association and Debiopharm Group Announce Winners of the 2016 JCA-Mauvernay Award

The ‘JCA-Mauvernay Award 2016’ is awarded to Doctors Hidewaki Nakagawa and Hiroyuki Seimiya

Lausanne, Switzerland – October 7, 2016 –Debiopharm Group™(, a Swiss-based global biopharmaceutical company, will be presenting the ‘JCA-Mauvernay Award’ on October 8 to Doctors Hidewaki Nakagawa from the RIKEN Center for Integrated Medical Sciences for his basic research on Molecular Diagnosis and Treatment of Cancers Using Genome Sequencing and Genome-wide Association Study and Hiroyuki Seimiya from the Division of Molecular Biotherapy, Cancer Chemotherapy Center of the Japanese Foundation for Cancer Research for his applied research on Telomere Maintenance System as an Anticancer Therapeutic Target.

Doctors Nakagawa and Seimiya will receive their Awards during the General Assembly of the 75th Annual Meeting of the Japanese Cancer Association (JCA) in Yokohama on the following theme: ‘Breakthroughs in Cancer Treatment: Collaboration of Basic, Translational and Clinical Research’. Dr. Kohei Miyazono, President of the JCA and Thierry Mauvernay, Co-President & Delegate of the Board of Debiopharm Group, will present the trophies to both scientists.

Dr. Nakagawa has been working on cancer genomics for many years. He has analyzed gene expression profiles of pancreatic and prostate cancer cells to identify target genes for molecular diagnosis and therapies. He has elucidated their biological functions and demonstrated that they could serve as targets of antibody, small interfering RNA (siRNA) or immune-mediated therapies. Dr. Nakagawa has also analyzed the mutational landscape of Japanese liver cancers by whole genome sequencing and using next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology and has identified several oncogenic mutations.

Telomeres maintenance system could be a promising anticancer strategy as cancer cells often activate telomere-lengthening enzymes to counteract the natural telomere-shortening process ensuing from repeated cell cycles and leading to normal cell senescence and death. Dr.Seimiya and his group have conducted studies on telomeres and telomere-related factors. They have reported that long telomeres increase the levels of the telomeric non-coding RNA, which in turn suppresses the innate immune genes expression in cancer.

“For more than 10 years, our goal has been to reward outstanding achievements in the field of oncology amongst Japanese researchers. We are pleased to see that they are still very committed. We congratulate Doctors Nakagawa and Seimiya for the high quality of their research and hope their work will lead to effective treatments in the years to come”, said Thierry Mauvernay, Co-President & Delegate of the Board of Debiopharm Group.

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.

About Debiopharm Group
Debiopharm Group™ is a Swiss-based global biopharmaceutical group of five companies active in the development and manufacture of drugs and diagnostics tools. Debiopharm focuses on developing prescription drugs that target unmet medical needs. The group 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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