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Debiopharm, Yale University Extend Collaboration

Published: Wednesday, May 07, 2014
Last Updated: Wednesday, May 07, 2014
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New license and research agreement regarding the discovery of MIF inhibitors.

Debiopharm Group™ (Debiopharm) has announced that it has signed a new license and research agreement with Yale University (Yale), a premier university with a long tradition of basic and clinical biomedical research, regarding the discovery of MIF inhibitors for treatment of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.

This joint effort will enable the discovery and development of potential oral first-in-class compounds that inhibit Macrophage Migration Inhibitory Factor (MIF), a key regulatory cytokine that has been linked genetically to the pathogenesis of several autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.

“We are very pleased to announce this new research collaboration with top-ranked Yale University. We are convinced that building a strong relationship with leading, medically-focused academic institutions is a productive way of creating drugs for tomorrow” said Thierry Mauvernay, Delegate of the Board, Debiopharm Group.

Yale researchers Richard Bucala, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology and Pathology, and William L. Jorgensen, PhD, Sterling Professor of Chemistry and Director of the Division of Physical Sciences and Engineering, are leading the Yale scientific team designing small molecule antagonists to block inflammation in patients.

“Debiopharm’s reputation for early stage drug development is well known, and this is an exciting new therapeutic approach that may ultimately allow us to tailor treatment to a patient’s immunogenetic profile,” said Bucala.

“The project is progressing well with great synergies between computer-aided molecular design, synthetic chemistry, crystallography and biology,” Jorgensen added. “We are delighted with Debiopharm's participation, which is essential for spearheading the preclinical and clinical efforts.”

"This is a great example of how scientists of academia and industry can put their efforts together to bring solutions to pressing medical needs in a more efficient manner" added Andrés McAllister, Chief Scientific Officer, Debiopharm International SA.

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