Sanofi-aventis and Oxford University Collaborate to Conduct Oncology Research in India

- Collaboration promotes clinical and translational research to address unmet needs of cancer patients in India -

Dec 17, 2010, 10:02 ET from sanofi-aventis

BRIDGEWATER, N.J., Dec. 17, 2010 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Sanofi-aventis US and Oxford University have entered into an agreement to conduct multi-phase oncology clinical and epidemiological research with INDOX, India's leading academic oncology network. Through this partnership, sanofi-aventis US and its affiliates will have access to the expertise and experience of India's top oncologists and scientists to conduct clinical research.

"The collaboration between sanofi-aventis, Oxford University and the Indian Cancer Centers fosters a model for academic researchers and industry to work together for the benefit of patients," said Debasish Roychowdhury, MD, Senior Vice President, Head of Oncology, sanofi-aventis. "This relationship not only helps to train the next generation of cancer researchers in India, but also allows sanofi-aventis to efficiently develop drugs in the premier cancer centers in India, which also provides access to anticancer drugs to help patients fight their cancer."  

"We are excited about the opportunity to work with sanofi-aventis to advance cancer research and to validate targets more quickly and efficiently to shorten the time it takes to move a molecule from laboratory to clinic," said Professor David Kerr, Professor of Cancer Medicine, University of Oxford & co-chair of the INDOX scientific review board.  

According to the agreement, sanofi-aventis will provide financial support to Oxford University to manage the INDOX network of eight leading cancer-research centers across India. The University will provide training and support to investigators and research coordinators to help ensure that each center has the capacity, expertise and infrastructure to perform early- through late-stage and post-marketing clinical trials according to ICH/GCP standards.

"INDOX was set up to be an equal partnership between Oxford University and leading academic centres in India. The Indian and British researchers both have important strengths and skills, and by sharing these and working together, we believe we can achieve more," said Dr Raghib Ali, Director of INDOX, University of Oxford.

"At sanofi-aventis, we are increasingly focused on new approaches to meet the unmet medical needs of cancer patients. Sanofi-aventis India will actively collaborate with INDOX team to help build clinical research capabilities in the field of Oncology in our country. We are excited by this unique partnership which will eventually benefit the cancer patients in India," said Shailesh Ayyangar, Managing Director India and Vice President (South Asia), Global Operations, sanofi-aventis.

About INDOX

The INDOX Cancer Research Network brings together many of the world's leading oncologists and scientists in a unique global resource to support the advancement of new anti-cancer therapeutics from the laboratory into the clinic. Established in 2005 as a partnership between the Institute of Cancer Medicine at the University of Oxford and India's top eight comprehensive cancer centres, INDOX's aim is to conduct high quality research that will help to reduce death and suffering from cancer in India. INDOX has established itself as India's leading academic oncology network, conducting a number of clinical studies in common cancers in India and providing training and fellowships to Indian clinicians and scientists.

About Oxford University

Oxford University's Medical Sciences Division is one of the largest biomedical research centres in Europe. It represents almost one-third of Oxford University's income and expenditure, and two-thirds of its external research income. Oxford's world-renowned global health programme is a leader in the fight against infectious diseases (such as malaria, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and avian flu) and other prevalent diseases (such as cancer, stroke, heart disease and diabetes). Key to its success is a long-standing network of dedicated Wellcome Trust-funded research units in Asia (Thailand, Laos and Vietnam) and Kenya, and work at the MRC Unit in The Gambia. Long-term studies of patients around the world are supported by basic science at Oxford and have led to many exciting developments, including potential vaccines for tuberculosis, malaria and HIV, which are in clinical trials.

About sanofi-aventis Oncology

Sanofi-aventis Oncology is targeting cancer on several fronts in an effort to address unmet medical needs for a broad range of patients. Starting with a deep understanding of the mechanisms by which cancers develop, grow and spread, as well as translating this deep scientific understanding early in the drug discovery process, the company employs innovative approaches to bring the right medicines to the right patients. There are currently more than 10 investigational compounds in development across a broad scientific platform, including targeted, cytotoxic, and antiangiogenic approaches employing both novel chemical entities and monoclonal antibodies.

About sanofi-aventis

Sanofi-aventis, a leading global pharmaceutical company, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions to improve the lives of everyone. Sanofi-aventis is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY).  For more information, please visit www.sanofi-aventis.us,  www.sanofi-aventis.com.

Media Contact: Elizabeth Baxter sanofi-aventis, US Tel :  +1 (908) 981-5360 E-mail :  elizabeth.baxter@sanofi-aventis.com

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