Experimental Therapeutics Centre and Debiopharm Group™ to Collaborate for the Development of an Epigenetic Innovative Oncology Target

SINGAPORE and LAUSANNE, Switzerland, October 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)'s Experimental Therapeutics Centre (ETC), a center of excellence to advance and accelerate drug discovery in Singapore, and Debiopharm Group™ (Debiopharm), the Swiss-based global biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the development of prescription drugs that target unmet medical needs including oncology as well as companion diagnostics, today announced the signature of an exclusive research collaboration to develop oral small molecules targeting new class of epigenetic modulators.

Under the terms of the agreement, Debiopharm and ETC will co-finance the discovery phase of the project, whilst Debiopharm will be in charge of development.

"This partnership aims to target tumors with genetic lesions. The use of epigenetic targets is emerging as an effective and valuable approach for personalized medicine strategies for cancer treatment," said Andres McAllister, Chief Scientific Officer Research & Evaluation, Debiopharm International SA, "ETC represents the perfect partner to develop this project as they are experts in the field of oncology and possess the full range of drug discovery capabilities. Their situation within the Biopolis campus is a major asset for the development of new products."

ETC is directed by Prof. Alex Matter who has a highly successful track record within the pharmaceutical industry. He was the Global Head of Oncology Research for Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation and he played an important role in the success of several anticancer drugs, including Gleevec/Glivec® and more recently, Tasigna®.

Prof Matter was joined at ETC by a panel of seasoned industry colleagues and has put together a team of experts dedicated to the discovery and development of new medicines. According to Prof Alex Matter, CEO, Experimental Therapeutics Centre, A*STAR: "This joint research collaboration will give both partners the opportunity to leverage on each other's strengths, with the objective of creating new and more effective treatments against cancer."

Rolland-Yves Mauvernay, President and founder of Debiopharm Group™ added: "We are very excited to be collaborating with ETC, top oncology and drug discovery experts. This partnership strengthens our presence in Asia in a highly dynamic area for innovation when it comes to the development of new drugs. Furthermore, this collaboration is in line with our strategy focusing on patients outcomes by offering more targeted oncology therapies."

ETPL, the technology transfer arm of A*STAR, fosters strategic collaborations and deals between academia and industry. ETPL bridged the interests of ETC and Debiopharm, and accelerated the research agreement and licensing deal between both parties in an effort to encourage more of such public-private partnerships.

About Experimental Therapeutics Centre (ETC)

ETC was set up in 2006 to play an increasingly important role in translating early stage scientific discoveries into practical applications. From engaging in early stage drug discovery and development to developing innovative research tools for clinical analysis, as well as setting up public-private partnerships to facilitate the advancement of drug candidates, ETC augments Singapore's capabilities and resources in the drug discovery process. ETC's capabilities and resources are currently focused on oncology and infectious diseases. It also incubates new technologies for commercialization and mentors young scientists for careers in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry.

For more information about ETC, please visit http://www.etc.a-star.edu.sg.

About Debiopharm Group™

Debiopharm Group™ (Debiopharm) is a Swiss-based global biopharmaceutical group of companies with a focus on the development of prescription drugs that target unmet medical needs. The group in-licenses, develops and/or co-develops promising biological and small molecule drug candidates having reached clinical development phases I, II or III, as well as earlier stage candidates. It develops its products for global registration and access to the largest number of patients worldwide. The products are out-licensed to pharmaceutical partners for sales and marketing. Debiopharm is also active in the field of companion diagnostics with a view to progressing in the area of personalized medicine. Debiopharm independently funds the worldwide development of all of its products while providing expertise in pre-clinical and clinical trials, manufacturing, drug delivery and formulation, and regulatory affairs.

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

About ETPL

ETPL is the technology transfer arm of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore's lead agency for fostering world-class scientific research and talent. A*STAR oversees 14 biomedical sciences, physical sciences and engineering research institutes, and six consortia and centers. As a one-stop resource, ETPL supports A*STAR in transforming the economy through driving innovation and commercializing its research outcomes.

Also known as Exploit Technologies Pte Ltd, ETPL enhances the research output of A*STAR scientists by translating their inventions into marketable products or processes. Through shaping and facilitating licensing deals and spin-offs, ETPL actively engages industry leaders and players to commercialize A*STAR's technologies and apply them to building ecosystems that benefit business, industry and economy.

For more information, please visit http://etpl.sg

About Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)

Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore's lead agency for scientific research and development, is our major tenant with significant presence in Biopolis. It occupies five buildings (Centros, Genome, Matrix, Nanos and Proteos) with a total area of about 120,000 sqm in Biopolis[1]. A*STAR actively nurtures public sector research and development in Biomedical Sciences, and Physical Sciences & Engineering, and spurs growth in Singapore's key economic clusters by providing human, intellectual and industrial capital to our partners in industry and the healthcare sector. A*STAR currently oversees 14 research institutes and seven consortia & centers located in Biopolis, Fusionopolis and their vicinity. For more information about A*STAR, please visit http://www.a-star.edu.sg

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1. 100,000sqm and 20,000 sqm of space in both Biopolis Phases 1 and 2 respectively

Debiopharm International SA Contact    
Beatrice Hirt
Communication Coordinator
beatrice.hirt@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

Experimental Therapeutics Centre Contact
31 Biopolis Way
Nanos Level 3
Singapore 138669

Marvin Ng
mng@etc.a-star.edu.sg
Tel: +65-9684-2133


Lucia Santoso
lsantoso@etc.a-star.edu.sg
Tel: +65-6407-0389

SOURCE The Debiopharm Group



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