Investigating the role of pharmacological inhibitors in kidney cancer
Lugano, Switzerland, January 30, 2018 – Helsinn International Services, Sarl, a Monaco-based affiliate of the Swiss Pharmaceutical Group focused on building quality cancer care products, and the Scientific Centre of Monaco (CSM), today announce that they have signed a collaboration agreement to support a research project aimed at developing pharmacological inhibitors for the most common form of kidney cancer: clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC).
ccRCC is diagnosed in over 200,000 patients worldwide each year and the number of people affected continues to increase. The current five year survival rate for stage IV patients is only 10 to 20%. While the treatment for ccRCC over the past decade has shifted from an immunologic to an anti-angiogenic or targeted therapy approach, the kidney disease remains incurable when metastatic.
Studies investigating neuropilins (NRP) reveal that they are over-expressed in several tumors. However, their inhibition is currently poorly exploited in oncology. This observation provided the rationale for further research into the potential of NRP inhibitors for the treatment of ccRCC. Conducted by PhD candidate Aurore Dumond, under the supervision of Dr Renaud Grépin and Dr Gilles Pagès, the research project is: “Targeting Neuropilin-1 (NRP1) and Neuropilin-2 (NRP-2) and their respective ligands, Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A (VEGF-A) and Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor-C (VEGF-C) in ccRCC.
Under the terms of the agreement, Helsinn is sponsoring Ms. Dumond’s doctoral thesis dissertation over the next three years.
“We are very pleased to have entered into this partnership with Helsinn as it allows us to pursue a novel area of research in what is an increasingly prevalent form of cancer worldwide”, said Professor Rampal, President of the CSM.
Riccardo Braglia, Helsinn Group Vice Chairman and CEO added, “The Principality of Monaco is becoming a hub for technological innovation, including in the life sciences and we are pleased to be supporting this type of project from this region. Clear cell renal cell carcinoma is the most common form of kidney cancer and we are excited by the prospects of this program and the benefit it could yield for patients.”
About the Helsinn Group
Helsinn is a privately owned pharmaceutical group with an extensive portfolio of marketed cancer care products and a robust drug development pipeline. Since 1976, Helsinn has been improving the everyday lives of patients, guided by core family values of respect, integrity and quality. The Group works across pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical devices and nutritional supplements and has expertise in research, development, manufacture and the commercialization of therapeutic and supportive care products for cancer, pain and inflammation and gastroenterology. In 2016, Helsinn created the Helsinn Investment Fund to support early-stage investment opportunities in areas of unmet patient need. The company is headquartered in Lugano, Switzerland, with operating subsidiaries in Switzerland, Ireland, the U.S., Monaco and China, as well as a product presence in approximately 190 countries globally.
About the Scientific Centre of Monaco
The Scientific Centre of Monaco (CSM) was founded in 1960 at the request of Prince Rainier III, Prince of Monaco, to be the Scientific Research Agency of the Principality of Monaco. It initially only conducted research in Marine Biology. Upon his accession to the throne in 2005, Prince Albert II expressed the wish to develop the Institution as a result of which two new research departments were added: Bio-Medicine and Polar Biology. Supported by the Monaco Government, the CSM has scientific partnerships with various International Universities, Research Institutes and International Organisations. It is also a collaborating center of the World Health Organisation.
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