Last updated on April 20, 2014 at 8:28 EDT

The Japanese Cancer Association and Debiopharm Group Present Doctors Oshima and Tanaka with the 2012 ‘JCA-Mauvernay Award’ for their Innovative and Outstanding Cancer Research

September 20, 2012

LAUSANNE, Switzerland, September 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ –

Debiopharm Group(TM) (Debiopharm), a Swiss-based global biopharmaceutical group of
companies with a focus on the development of prescription drugs that target unmet medical
needs and companion diagnostics, today presented the ‘JCA-Mauvernay Award’ to Doctor
Masanobu Oshima from Kanazawa University for his research on ‘The Role of Inflammatory
Responses in Gastric Cancer Development’ and Doctor Shinji Tanaka from the Tokyo Medical
and Dental University, for his research on the ‘Surgical Oncology to Develop Novel
Targeted Therapies for Advanced Digestive Cancer’.

The ceremony was held during the General Assembly of the 71st Annual Conference of the
Japan Cancer Association (JCA) in Sapporo, Japan on the following theme: ‘Towards a new
era and liaison of cancer research and life science’. Professor Tetsuo Noda, President of
the JCA, and Dr Rolland-Yves Mauvernay, Founder and President of Debiopharm Group(TM)
presented both recipients with the 2012 Award for their outstanding and innovative
research in oncology.

‘We congratulate both scientists for their hard work and accomplishments’, said
Rolland-Yves Mauvernay. ‘They have set the standard for innovation in the field of gastric
and digestive cancer. We hope their work will lead to major and more targeted medical
discoveries leading to effective treatments in the years to come’.

Dr Masanobu Oshima works in the Division of Genetics at the Cancer Research Institute
of Kanazawa University.

His research focuses on the construction of a unique transgenic mouse model system to
investigate the role of inflammatory responses in gastric tumorigenesis. In most cancer
tissues, the prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) pathway is induced, however how PGE2 itself induces
tumorigenesis in cooperation with an activated oncogenic pathway such as wingless-type
(Wnt) signalling activation remains unknown.

His studies indicate that cooperation of Wnt activation and PGE2 associated
inflammation is essential for gastric cancer development. He has shown the role of both
inflammation and Wnt pathway separately in gastric cancer by using his mouse model. These
findings will contribute significantly to understanding the biological in vivo mechanism
of gastric cancer development.

Dr Shinji Tanaka is an associate professor in the Department of
Hepato-Biliary-Pancreatic Surgery at the Tokyo Medical and Dental University.

His work focuses on using clinical tissue samples to analyse refractory digestive
cancers including hepato-biliary, pancreatic, oesophageal, and scirrhous gastric
carcinomas, which have a poor outcome even after curative surgical resection.

His lab has analysed over 1000 clinical samples from surgically resected tissue and
isolated 28 novel cancer related genes. This has allowed them to clarify several oncogenic

Dr Tanaka isolated a novel angiogenic switch gene called angiopoietin-2. Angiogenic
switch is a hallmark of cancer progression in-vivo. Recent clinical trials of the
anti-angiopoietin-2 peptide revealed it as a promising agent to treat advanced cancers
that are resistant to VEGF inhibitors.

His studies have demonstrated that oxidative stress in the host tissues is the only
predictive factor of the recurrence after curative resection in hepatocellular carcinoma.
And more recently he identified one type of agent specifically targeting cancer stem cell.
This discovery should lead to a promising approach for radical cure of pancreatic cancer.

About Debiopharm Group(TM)

Debiopharm Group(TM) (Debiopharm) is a Swiss-based global biopharmaceutical group of
companies with a focus on the development of prescription drugs that target unmet medical
needs. The group in-licenses, develops and/or co-develops promising biological and small
molecule drug candidates having reached clinical development phases I, II or III, as well
as earlier stage candidates. It develops its products for global registration and maximum
commercial potential. The products are out-licensed to pharmaceutical partners for sales
and marketing. Debiopharm is also active in the field of companion diagnostics with a view
to progressing in the area of personalised medicine. Debiopharm independently funds the
worldwide development of all its products while providing expertise in pre-clinical and
clinical trials, manufacturing, drug delivery and formulation, and regulatory affairs.

For more information on Debiopharm Group(TM), please visit:


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SOURCE The Debiopharm Group

Source: PR Newswire