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Servier and Institut Curie extend duration and scope of partnership in fight against cancer

Servier and Institut Curie have decided to prolong their partnership in the fight against cancer by three years, extending its scope to include new research areas such as immuno-oncology, haematology and cardiology.
The main goals of this partnership are to identify new therapeutic combinations (the use of two complementary treatments to increase efficacy while reducing adverse effects), including molecules from Servier’s development portfolio, and to better characterise patients who might benefit from certain molecules (targeted therapies).
The joint research programmes, covered by this partnership launched in 2005, have already resulted in the identification of several therapeutic targets, for example TTK/MPS1 kinase, an enzyme involved in the cell cycle. The deregulation of this enzyme leads to abnormal cell proliferation, which in turn facilitates the development of tumours. Inhibiting its activity therefore has potential for curbing tumour growth. A further common research programme will focus on supporting the development of a Servier drug candidate targeting this kinase.
The new programmes, which will also study how various solid tumours resist treatments, will benefit from large data bases and tens of thousands of tumour samples from Institut Curie.
“Over the past twelve years, we have been able to appreciate not only the advantages of this public-private partnership for research and innovation that benefits patients, but also the excellence of Institut Curie teams in both fundamental and clinical research,” said Mike Burbridge, Director of Translational and Clinical Research in Oncology at Servier.
“The collaboration between Institut Curie and Servier is the most ambitious project our institute has ever has with an industrial partner. The longevity of this historic partnership bears witness to our mutual trust, which is reinforced by the major progress that has been made in breast cancer research,” said Amaury Martin, Technology Transfer & Industrial Partnerships Office Director at Institut Curie.
Indeed, private-public partnerships are an asset when it comes to developing therapies that meet significant medical needs, as they accelerate the development of innovative treatments. They also increase the research potential of academic research centres. For example, since its launch, this partnership has led to the creation of three permanent positions at institute Curie, and to the recruitment of 25 technicians, engineers, students and young researchers on a temporary basis.