Last updated on April 16, 2014 at 5:21 EDT

Experimental Therapeutics Centre and Debiopharm Group(TM) to Collaborate for the Development of an Epigenetic Innovative Oncology Target

October 7, 2013

SINGAPORE and LAUSANNE, Switzerland, October 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ –

The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)’s Experimental Therapeutics
Centre (ETC), a center of excellence to advance and accelerate drug discovery in
Singapore, and Debiopharm Group(TM) (Debiopharm), the Swiss-based global biopharmaceutical
company that focuses on the development of prescription drugs that target unmet medical
needs including oncology as well as companion diagnostics, today announced the signature
of an exclusive research collaboration to develop oral small molecules targeting new class
of epigenetic modulators.

Under the terms of the agreement, Debiopharm and ETC will co-finance the discovery
phase of the project, whilst Debiopharm will be in charge of development.

“This partnership aims to target tumors with genetic lesions. The use of epigenetic
targets is emerging as an effective and valuable approach for personalized medicine
strategies for cancer treatment,” said Andres McAllister, Chief Scientific Officer
Research & Evaluation, Debiopharm International SA, “ETC represents the perfect partner to
develop this project as they are experts in the field of oncology and possess the full
range of drug discovery capabilities. Their situation within the Biopolis campus is a
major asset for the development of new products.”

ETC is directed by Prof. Alex Matter who has a highly successful track record within
the pharmaceutical industry. He was the Global Head of Oncology Research for Novartis
Pharmaceuticals Corporation and he played an important role in the success of several
anticancer drugs, including Gleevec/Glivec(R) and more recently, Tasigna(R).

Prof Matter was joined at ETC by a panel of seasoned industry colleagues and has put
together a team of experts dedicated to the discovery and development of new medicines.
According to Prof Alex Matter, CEO, Experimental Therapeutics Centre, A*STAR: “This joint
research collaboration will give both partners the opportunity to leverage on each other’s
strengths, with the objective of creating new and more effective treatments against

Rolland-Yves Mauvernay, President and founder of Debiopharm Group(TM) added: “We are
very excited to be collaborating with ETC, top oncology and drug discovery experts. This
partnership strengthens our presence in Asia in a highly dynamic area for innovation when
it comes to the development of new drugs. Furthermore, this collaboration is in line with
our strategy focusing on patients outcomes by offering more targeted oncology therapies.”

ETPL, the technology transfer arm of A*STAR, fosters strategic collaborations and
deals between academia and industry. ETPL bridged the interests of ETC and Debiopharm, and
accelerated the research agreement and licensing deal between both parties in an effort to
encourage more of such public-private partnerships.

About Experimental Therapeutics Centre (ETC)

ETC was set up in 2006 to play an increasingly important role in translating early
stage scientific discoveries into practical applications. From engaging in early stage
drug discovery and development to developing innovative research tools for clinical
analysis, as well as setting up public-private partnerships to facilitate the advancement
of drug candidates, ETC augments Singapore’s capabilities and resources in the drug
discovery process. ETC’s capabilities and resources are currently focused on oncology and
infectious diseases. It also incubates new technologies for commercialization and mentors
young scientists for careers in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry.

For more information about ETC, please visit http://www.etc.a-star.edu.sg.

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 access
to the largest number of patients worldwide. 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 personalized medicine.
Debiopharm independently funds the worldwide development of all of its products while
providing expertise in pre-clinical and clinical trials, manufacturing, drug delivery and
formulation, and regulatory affairs.

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


About ETPL

ETPL is the technology transfer arm of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research
(A*STAR), Singapore’s lead agency for fostering world-class scientific research and
talent. A*STAR oversees 14 biomedical sciences, physical sciences and engineering research
institutes, and six consortia and centers. As a one-stop resource, ETPL supports A*STAR in
transforming the economy through driving innovation and commercializing its research

Also known as Exploit Technologies Pte Ltd, ETPL enhances the research output of
A*STAR scientists by translating their inventions into marketable products or processes.
Through shaping and facilitating licensing deals and spin-offs, ETPL actively engages
industry leaders and players to commercialize A*STAR’s technologies and apply them to
building ecosystems that benefit business, industry and economy.

For more information, please visit http://etpl.sg

About Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)

Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore’s lead agency for
scientific research and development, is our major tenant with significant presence in
Biopolis. It occupies five buildings (Centros, Genome, Matrix, Nanos and Proteos) with a
total area of about 120,000 sqm in Biopolis[1]. A*STAR actively nurtures public sector
research and development in Biomedical Sciences, and Physical Sciences & Engineering, and
spurs growth in Singapore’s key economic clusters by providing human, intellectual and
industrial capital to our partners in industry and the healthcare sector. A*STAR currently
oversees 14 research institutes and seven consortia & centers located in Biopolis,
Fusionopolis and their vicinity. For more information about A*STAR, please visit



1. 100,000sqm and 20,000 sqm of space in both Biopolis Phases 1 and 2 respectively

        Debiopharm International SA Contact
        Beatrice Hirt
        Communication Coordinator
        Tel.: +41-(0)21-321-01-11

        Additional Media Contacts
        In London
        Brian Hudspith
        Tel: +44-(0)20-7379-5151

        In New York
        Russo Partners, LLC
        Martina Schwarzkopf, Ph.D.
        Account Executive
        Tel: +1-212-845-4292

        Experimental Therapeutics Centre Contact
        31 Biopolis Way
        Nanos Level 3
        Singapore 138669

        Marvin Ng
        Tel: +65-9684-2133

        Lucia Santoso
        Tel: +65-6407-0389

SOURCE The Debiopharm Group

Source: PR Newswire