Lausanne, Switzerland, October 2, 2006 – The Debiopharm Group (Debiopharm), a global independent biopharmaceutical development company specialising in oncology and serious medical conditions, today announced that the 2006 JCA-Mauvernay Award has been presented to Professors Masanori Hatakeyama and Johji Inazawa for their outstanding oncology research work. The award was presented by Professor Setsuo Hirohashi, President of the Japanese Cancer Association (JCA) and Dr Rolland-Yves Mauvernay, President and CEO of Debiopharm, at the General Assembly of the 65th Annual Conference of the JCA, in Yokohama, Japan. Organised jointly by the JCA and Debiopharm, the objective of the Award is to recognise innovative fundamental and clinical oncology research and to encourage Japanese scientists to make their work available outside Japan.
The work of Professor Hatakeyama, from the Division of Molecular Oncology, Institute for Genetic Medecine, Hokkaido University, focuses on “The role of Helicobacter pylori CagA in gastric carcinogenesis”. This research contributed to the understanding of the molecular mechanism of gastric cancer induced by Helicobacter pylori by demonstrating the key role played by the interaction between the bacterial protein CagA and the host tyrosine phosphatase SHP-2. His work may potentially lead to therapeutic applications, and is particularly important to the Asian population. The work of Professor Inazawa, from the Department of Molecular Cytogenetics, Medical Research Institute, Tokyo Medical & Dental University, focuses on “exploring cancer associated genes by molecular cytogenetic approach” and on the development of innovative molecular cytogenetic techniques to identify amplified genes in tumour samples. Both scientists are members of the JCA.
“With this Award, Debiopharm is honored to offer Japanese scientists the possibility to transfer their innovative research to the clinic,” said Dr Mauvernay. “We are impressed by the quality of research taking place in Japan and look forward to working with the JCA again next year.”
Debiopharm supports research worldwide. Since 1994, the Company has been co-organising the “Debio China Prize” to support and facilitate research of new therapeutic drugs to improve human health. Debiopharm also co-organises the “Debiopharm Life Sciences Award” with the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) to mentor and motivate young innovative European researchers in the field of life sciences and the “Mauvernay Research Excellence Award” with Tulane University in the United States.
About The Debiopharm Group
The Debiopharm Group is a global biopharmaceutical development company that in-licenses promising biologics and small molecule drug candidates. Debiopharm 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 $2.3 billion in 2005.
For more information on the Debiopharm Group, please visit: www.debiopharm.com