Lausanne, Switzerland – September 24, 2010 – Debiopharm Group™ (Debiopharm), a Swiss-based global biopharmaceutical group of companies with a focus on the development of innovative prescription drugs that target unmet medical needs, today presented the ‘The JCA-Mauvernay Award’ to Doctor Seishi Ogawa from the University of Tokyo, for his research on cancer genome analysis and to Professor Shin Maeda from Yokohama City University of Medicine, for his research on liver carcinogenesis. The ceremony was held during the General Assembly of the 69th Annual Conference of the Japan Cancer Association (JCA) in Japan. Professor Tetsuo Noda, President of the JCA and Dr Rolland-Yves Mauvernay, Founder and President of Debiopharm Group™ presented both scientists with the Award for their outstanding and innovative research.
Seishi Ogawa is the Project Associate Professor of the Cancer Genomics Project at the University of Tokyo. His research work focuses on the “Identification of molecular targets in cancers through comprehensive cancer genome analysis”. The aim of Dr Ogawa’s studies is to identify the genetic changes that lead to malignant disorders. One way to achieve this is by the complete dissection of cancer genomes using genome-wide analysis, with tools such as single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) genotype microarrays. Dr Ogawa and his colleagues developed a robust and efficient system to detect copy number alterations as well as allelic imbalances in cancer genomes. This work allowed the identification of a number of mutations associated with particular forms of neoplasms and their relevance is currently being analysed in a number of clinical studies.
Shin Maeda is Professor of the Department of Gastroenterology at the Yokohama City University Graduate School of Medicine. His research focuses on “Analysis of NF-kappaB/IKK signalling pathways in liver carcinogenesis”. More specifically on the idea that the NF-kappaB/ IKK (inhibitor of nuclear factor kappa-B kinase) signalling pathways play an important role in the regulation of immune responses, inflammation and cancer, and are therefore attractive targets for the development of anti-cancer drugs. His research in mice shows that deletion of IKKβ in hepatocytes enhances the formation of chemically-induced hepatocellular carcinomas (HCC), whereas a full deletion of IKKβ in whole liver cells decreases HCC formation. These findings allowed Prof. Maeda to propose a model whereby chemical carcinogenesis is strongly dependent on inflammatory crosstalk.
We congratulate Professor Maeda and Doctor Ogawa for excellent quality of their research. Their work provides insights, through different angles on the signalling pathways that are responsible for the oncogenic process in different malignancies. This understanding will ultimately lead to the development of new anti-cancer drugs.
– Rolland-Yves Mauvernay, president and founder of Debiopharm Group
About Debiopharm Group™
Debiopharm Group™ (Debiopharm) is a Swiss-based global biopharmaceutical group of companies with a focus on the development of prescription drugs that target unmet medical needs. The group in-licenses, develops and/or co-develops promising biological and small molecule drug candidates having reached clinical development phases I, II or III. Debiopharm is also prepared to consider earlier stage candidates. It develops its products for global registration and maximum commercial potential. The products are out-licensed to pharmaceutical partners for sales and marketing. Besides drug development, Debiopharm Group has recently embarked in the field of companion diagnostics with a view to progressing in the area of personalised medicine.
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.
For more information on Debiopharm Group™, please visit: www.debiopharm.com