Their joint aim is to identify new therapeutic targets in ‘triple negative’ breast cancers
Curie-Cancer, the body which leads the Institut Curie's industry partner research activity, and Servier, today announce that they have renewed their partnership with the aim of identifying therapeutic targets for treating ‘triple negative’ breast cancers. The partnership will continue for a further three years.
‘Triple negative’ breast cancers account for around 15 per cent of breast cancer cases. They are particularly aggressive and can be unresponsive to the current chemotherapy regimens; hence the urgent need to find new therapies. Triple negative breast cancers do not express estrogen or progesterone receptors (in which case they could be treated with hormone therapy), or Her-2 receptors (which would allow for targeted therapies that bind to Her-2 receptors).
The partners will share the intellectual property resulting from this work.
Encouraging initial results
As early as 2005, the Institut Curie and Servier decided to pool their expertise to identify potential therapeutic targets specific to triple negative breast cancers, using the Institut Curie's extensive collection of breast cancer samples. The goal of the initial partnership was to identify molecules that act on these targets, in order to develop medicinal products to improve treatment for patients who do not respond to the current therapies available.
The work undertaken over the last few years has involved many doctors and researchers: highly specialised biologists, biochemists, geneticists and bioinformaticians from both the Institut Curie and Servier. They have discovered a number of very promising leads, identifying a therapeutic target, kinase TTK/MPS1, an enzyme involved in cell cycle regulation. A medicinal product that acts on this target is already in preclinical development.
These results reflect a complementary knowledge base between staff at the Institut Curie and at Servier. They could not have been achieved by either partner alone.
Complementary skill sets at Curie-Cancer and Servier
“Cancer is a key focus of research for Servier,” said Emmanuel Canet, president of R&D at Servier, “Servier's research strategy includes developing research partnerships with the leading academic teams. Our long-term partnership with the Institut Curie symbolizes our ability to work effectively and cohesively with the best teams in the world.”