CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Oct. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Sanofi (EURONEXT: SAN and NYSE: SNY) today announced a two-year agreement with Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) aimed at furthering translational medicine research to develop new treatments for various types of hematological malignancies and solid tumors. The project-based collaboration unites scientists from MGH and Sanofi, with the goal of maximizing the strengths of both academic and industry cross-organizational expertise, and will include both pre-clinical and clinical translational research to elucidate questions from proof-of-concept to tolerability, efficacy and effectiveness.
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The Global Oncology Division of Sanofi, based in Cambridge (Massachusetts, USA) and Vitry-sur-Seine (France) will collaborate with Daniel Haber, M.D., Ph.D., Keith Flaherty, M.D., and Jeffrey Engelman, M.D., Ph.D., at the MGH Cancer Center to share scientific expertise, R&D capabilities and resources to execute joint projects. The collaboration will initially involve two early development molecules, both of which are viewed as promising approaches to developing new treatments for various types of advanced tumors.
"This is a unique model of collaboration and exemplifies our open innovation R&D strategy as well as Sanofi's approach to make the best use of world-class institutions and scientists within Greater Boston," said Debasish R. Roychowdhury, M.D., Senior Vice President and Head of Sanofi Oncology. "Our partners at Massachusetts General Hospital are renowned for their basic and translational oncology research accomplishments and we look forward to leveraging our collective strengths to best develop these molecules."
"As we build our R&D presence in the Boston area, Sanofi is becoming part of the region's vibrant biomedical ecosystem, expanding our network beyond our own walls through innovative collaborations with top external research teams," said Elias Zerhouni, M.D., President, Global Research & Development, Sanofi. "This research collaboration with Massachusetts General Hospital exemplifies how we are leveraging these relationships in a translational and experimental medicine approach to drug discovery and clinical development - one that combines and complements our collective understanding of complex disease, expertise in biological science, and deep knowledge of medicines to help accelerate delivery of treatments to patients with unmet medical needs."
Sanofi has embraced a translational and experimental medicine (T&EM) approach to drug discovery and clinical development, combining an expertise in biological science with a deep understanding of the needs of patients with complex diseases. The company has fully integrated T&EM into the drug discovery and development processes, with a dedicated team of basic research and T&EM experts delivering scientific tools and designs around predictive biomarkers, molecular/mechanistic proof-of-concept (mPOC), identification of rational combinations, and elucidation of resistance mechanisms to identify patients most likely to respond to a given therapy.
"Cancer research is at a critical point right now, and we are dedicated to developing new therapeutics that will lead to better treatments and cures," said Dr. Engelman, an MGH oncologist who specializes in lung cancer. "The creativity and innovative thinking that can come from collaborations between academic medical centers and industry will help transform ideas and early drug development studies into the promise of restored health for patients and families."
The initial agreement is for two years with the option to extend for a longer term at the discretion of both partners. Financial details of the collaboration were not disclosed.
About Sanofi Oncology
Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA and Vitry-sur-Seine, France, Sanofi Oncology is dedicated to translating science into effective therapeutics that address unmet medical needs for cancer and organ transplant patients. Starting with a deep understanding of the disease and the patient, Sanofi Oncology employs innovative approaches to drug discovery and clinical development, with the ultimate goal of bringing the right medicines to the right patients to help them live healthier and longer lives. We believe in the value of partnerships that combine our internal scientific expertise with that of industry and academic experts. Our portfolio includes 11 marketed products and more than 15 investigational compounds in clinical development, including small molecules and biological agents.
Sanofi, a global and diversified healthcare leader, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions focused on patients' needs. Sanofi has core strengths in the field of healthcare with seven growth platforms: diabetes solutions, human vaccines, innovative drugs, consumer healthcare, emerging markets, animal health and the new Genzyme. Sanofi is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY).
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