BOSTON and SAN FRANCISCO, June 3, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Servier and MBC BioLabs today announced that the 2019 Servier Golden Ticket at MBC BioLabs has been awarded to Quartz Therapeutics, a California-based biotech. The award will help Quartz Therapeutics continue its innovative work developing therapies for RAS oncogene-driven cancers. Mutations that activate RAS are found in 20 percent to 30 percent of all human tumors and inhibition of RAS signaling via degradation of downstream effectors is being targeted for the treatment of cancer[i].
"This is exactly the kind of innovative, emerging science that Servier is looking to foster as part of Servier BioInnovation and our strategic goal to drive oncology innovation," said Christian Schubert, Global Head of External Innovation at Servier Research and Development and Director of Servier BioInnovation. "We look forward to seeing the Quartz team develop therapies for patients suffering from RAS-driven cancers."
The coveted prize supports a startup research program that aligns with Servier's ambitious efforts to deliver meaningful improvements in patient care today and into the future. The Golden Ticket award underwrites the cost of a lab bench for a scientist to reside in MBC BioLabs' open lab for one year, allowing a startup company to focus its early efforts on moving the science forward.
Governed by a non-profit foundation, Servier is free to make investments that put patients and science first. Oncology treatment and care are the company's immediate focus in the U.S., although plans for expansion to other therapeutic areas and patient communities are under way. Servier's innovation efforts are bolstered by Servier BioInnovation, a joint initiative between Servier Group R&D and Global Business Development. The initiative is focused on identifying new, early-stage R&D opportunities and expediting business development and licensing activities in the U.S.
Quartz brings together chemical and biological expertise to develop therapies for patients suffering from RAS-driven cancers. The company is targeting key steps in the MAPK pathway by harnessing the body's natural protein disposal pathways to degrade disease-causing proteins. The platform technology is also modular and can be used to target other diseases where traditional drug development approaches have not succeeded.
"Quartz Therapeutics has brought together a dynamic team of young entrepreneurs and was founded by seasoned scientists unafraid to tackle challenging targets with our next-generation targeted-protein degradation technology. We look forward to working with Servier on the development of RAS-driven cancer therapies," said Ryan Henning, co-founder and director of R&D at Quartz.
About Servier in the U.S. Servier Pharmaceuticals LLC., is a commercial-stage pharmaceuticals company with a passion for innovation and improving the lives of patients and their families and caregivers. With 12 additional oncology projects currently in clinical development, Servier is the partner of choice for leading academic institutions and a growing number of pharmaceutical companies. Servier BioInnovation is a joint initiative between Servier Group R&D and Global Business Development for external innovation. The initiative is focused on identifying new early-stage R&D opportunities and expediting business development and licensing activities in the U.S.
About Servier Group Servier is an international pharmaceutical company governed by a non-profit foundation, with its headquarters in France (Suresnes). With a strong international presence in 149 countries and a turnover of 4.2 billion euros in 2018, Servier employs 22,000 people worldwide. Entirely independent, the Group reinvests 25% of its turnover (excluding generics) in research and development and uses all its profits for development. Corporate growth is driven by Servier's constant search for innovation in five areas of excellence: cardiovascular, immune-inflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases, oncology and diabetes, as well as by its activities in high-quality generic drugs. Servier also offers eHealth solutions beyond drug development.
About MBC BioLabs MBC BioLabs is dedicated to helping life-science startups succeed. By renting space as small as a single lab bench and providing entrepreneurial scientists with access to millions of dollars of equipment, we allow companies to be fast, focused, and frugal. We now have two sites: one in San Francisco's Dogpatch neighborhood and an expanding campus in San Carlos. Each site has a complete molecular biology core facility that allows companies to do experiments on day one, not year one. We also have partnerships with AbbVie, Amgen, Celgene, Eli Lilly, GE, J&J/JLABS, Nitto, Toray, and Tosoh, and a built-in VC, Mission Bay Capital. This access provides our entrepreneurs with valuable insights about where to focus their efforts and speeds the pipeline of innovation for our partners. These labs have truly enabled awesome: Since our opening in 2013 we have helped launch 128 companies, and these companies have gone on to raise over $3.2B. For more information, visit www.MBCBioLabs.com.