Sanofi, Curie Institute to tackle ovarian cancer

Partners will take a translational research approach in hopes of discovering new targets for treating ovarian cancer

Kelsey Kaustinen
PARIS—A three-year research collaboration has been initiatedbetween Sanofi and the Curie Institute, through its Curie-Cancer partnershipunder the Institut Carnot label. The collaboration will be focused on ovariancancer, and the partners will work toward the identification of new therapeutictargets for novel treatments.
 
"We hope this type of long-term collaboration willultimately open up perspectives for new therapeutic options for women with thisdisease. It will combine the accumulated knowledge on ovarian cancer gatheredover many years by oncologists and biologists at the Institut Curie with theexpertise 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, thisresearch agreement is a good example of translational research involving Frenchscientific excellence."
 
Under this collaboration, Sanofi and Curie-Cancer willreexamine the biology of ovarian cancer through a translational researchapproach, making use of the Institut Curie's collection of cryopreserved tumorsamples to identify biological targets relevant to the treatment of differenttypes of cancer. The partners are hoping to better define the molecularalterations found in many types of ovarian cancer in hopes of opening the doorfor designing new, more effective drugs. By utilizing technology platformsdeveloped at the Institut Curie, Sanofi and Curie-Cancer will be able to sequencemolecule expressed by tumor genomes, compare the tumor sequences with thosefrom non-tumor tissues from the same patients and then determine the nature ofthe identified molecular alterations. Sanofi will bring forth its expertise inselecting therapeutic targets to determine whether a tumor is likely to beinhibited or stimulated by drugs.
 
 
"It is currently hard to tackle ovarian cancer. There arevery few drugs available. We are very happy to collaborate with Sanofi topotentially provide our patients with additional therapeutic solutions.Sanofi's expertise in the selection of therapeutic targets is complementary tothe know-how and technology platforms developed at the Institut Curie," DamienSalauze, director of Curie-Cancer, commented in a statement.
 
Ovarian cancer remains a difficult subtype to treat; whilethe current combination of surgery and chemotherapy is effective, relapses arefrequent. The American Cancer Society estimates that approximately 22,240 womenin the United States will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2013, with about14,230 deaths from the disease. Ovarian cancer is ranked as the ninth mostcommon 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 OvarianCancer Day website notes that there are nearly a quarter of a million diagnosesof ovarian cancer globally each year, leading to roughly 140,000 deathsannually.


Kelsey Kaustinen

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