Sanofi, Curie Institute to tackle ovarian cancer
PARIS—A three-year research collaboration has been initiated between Sanofi and the Curie Institute, through its Curie-Cancer partnership under the Institut Carnot label. The collaboration will be focused on ovarian cancer, and the partners will work toward the identification of new therapeutic targets for novel treatments.
"We hope this type of long-term collaboration will ultimately open up perspectives for new therapeutic options for women with this disease. It will combine the accumulated knowledge on ovarian cancer gathered over many years by oncologists and biologists at the Institut Curie with the expertise of researchers from Sanofi's research and product development teams," Dr. Debasish Roychowdhury, senior vice president and head of Sanofi Oncology, said in a press release. "Established under the Aviesan partnership, this research agreement is a good example of translational research involving French scientific excellence."
Under this collaboration, Sanofi and Curie-Cancer will reexamine the biology of ovarian cancer through a translational research approach, making use of the Institut Curie's collection of cryopreserved tumor samples to identify biological targets relevant to the treatment of different types of cancer. The partners are hoping to better define the molecular alterations found in many types of ovarian cancer in hopes of opening the door for designing new, more effective drugs. By utilizing technology platforms developed at the Institut Curie, Sanofi and Curie-Cancer will be able to sequence molecule expressed by tumor genomes, compare the tumor sequences with those from non-tumor tissues from the same patients and then determine the nature of the identified molecular alterations. Sanofi will bring forth its expertise in selecting therapeutic targets to determine whether a tumor is likely to be inhibited or stimulated by drugs.
"It is currently hard to tackle ovarian cancer. There are very few drugs available. We are very happy to collaborate with Sanofi to potentially provide our patients with additional therapeutic solutions. Sanofi's expertise in the selection of therapeutic targets is complementary to the know-how and technology platforms developed at the Institut Curie," Damien Salauze, director of Curie-Cancer, commented in a statement.
Ovarian cancer remains a difficult subtype to treat; while the current combination of surgery and chemotherapy is effective, relapses are frequent. The American Cancer Society estimates that approximately 22,240 women in the United States will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2013, with about 14,230 deaths from the disease. Ovarian cancer is ranked as the ninth most common cancer among women, accounting for 3 percent of all cancers for women, and is the fifth-leading cause of cancer deaths in women. The World Ovarian Cancer Day website notes that there are nearly a quarter of a million diagnoses of ovarian cancer globally each year, leading to roughly 140,000 deaths annually.