Debiopharm Group™ and Yale University extend and broaden their collaboration for the discovery and development of MIF inhibitors to treat autoimmune and inflammatory diseases

LAUSANNE, Switzerland, May 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Debiopharm Group™ (Debiopharm), a Swiss-based global biopharmaceutical company developing prescription drugs that target unmet medical needs as well as companion diagnostics, announced it has signed a new license and research agreement with Yale University (Yale), a premier university with a long tradition of basic and clinical biomedical research, regarding the discovery of MIF inhibitors for treatment of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.

This joint effort will enable the discovery and development of potential oral first-in-class compounds that inhibit Macrophage Migration Inhibitory Factor (MIF), a key regulatory cytokine that has been linked genetically to the pathogenesis of several autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.

"We are very pleased to announce this new research collaboration with top-ranked Yale University. We are convinced that building a strong relationship with leading, medically-focused academic institutions is a productive way of creating drugs for tomorrow," said Thierry Mauvernay, Delegate of the Board, Debiopharm Group.

Yale researchers Richard Bucala, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology and Pathology, and William L. Jorgensen, PhD, Sterling Professor of Chemistry and Director of the Division of Physical Sciences and Engineering, are leading the Yale scientific team designing small molecule antagonists to block inflammation in patients.

"Debiopharm's reputation for early stage drug development is well known, and this is an exciting new therapeutic approach that may ultimately allow us to tailor treatment to a patient's immunogenetic profile," said Bucala.

"The project is progressing well with great synergies between computer-aided molecular design, synthetic chemistry, crystallography and biology," Jorgensen added. "We are delighted with Debiopharm's participation, which is essential for spearheading the preclinical and clinical efforts."

"This is a great example of how scientists of academia and industry can put their efforts together to bring solutions to pressing medical needs in a more efficient manner," added Andres McAllister, Chief Scientific Officer, Debiopharm International SA.

About Debiopharm Group
Debiopharm Group is a Swiss-based global biopharmaceutical group of 4 companies active in drug development, GMP manufacturing of proprietary drugs, diagnostics, and investments.

Debiopharm International SA is focused on the development of prescription drugs that target unmet medical needs. The company in-licenses, develops and/or co-develops promising biological and small molecule drug candidates for global registration. The products are commercialized through out-licensing to pharmaceutical partners to give access to the largest number of patients worldwide.

For more information about Debiopharm Group™, please visit: www.debiopharm.com

Debiopharm International SA Contact                

Christelle Tur

Communication Coordinator

christelle.tur@debiopharm.com

Tel.: +41 (0)21 321 01 11

Additional Media Contacts

In London

Maitland

Brian Hudspith

bhudspith@maitland.co.uk

Tel.: +44 (0)20 7379 5151




In New York

Russo Partners, LLC

Martina Schwarzkopf, Ph.D.

Account Executive

martina.schwarzkopf@russopartnersllc.com

Tel.: +1 212-845-4292

SOURCE Debiopharm Group



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http://www.debiopharm.com

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