Professor Leroux From ETH Receives the Debiopharm Life Sciences Award 2010

September 2, 2010

LAUSANNE, Switzerland, September 2, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — Debiopharm
Group(TM) (Debiopharm), a Swiss-based global biopharmaceutical group of
companies with a focus on the development of innovative prescription drugs
that target unmet medical needs, today announced that the ‘Debiopharm Life
Sciences Award 2010′ went to Professor Jean-Christophe Leroux for his
innovative research on polymer chemistry, nanotechnology and pharmaceutical
sciences to yield novel drug therapies. This year, the theme for the Award
was “Drug Delivery and Pharmaceutical Technology”. Professor Leroux is an
expert in galenic studies from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
(ETH) in Zurich. He and his institute received CHF 100’000. Funded by
Debiopharm, the ceremony took place at the EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Federale
de Lausanne) during the EPFL School of Life Sciences Symposium entitled
“Engineering Life”.

“We congratulate Professor Leroux for his outstanding research,” said
Rolland-Yves Mauvernay, President and founder of Debiopharm Group(TM). “A
panel of experts from Debiopharm and the EPFL examined many high-level and
promising applications from all over Europe; our decision to nominate
Professor Leroux was unanimous. We were seduced by his innovative research,
his general expertise and broad overall knowledge in drug delivery. The
application file submitted by Professor Leroux was very comprehensive, with
an impressive list of publications in high-impact factor pharmaceutical,
materials and biomedical journals. He is a leading figure in an area that is
likely to revolutionise medical therapeutics in the years to come.”

The development of suitable drug formulations and delivery systems
remains a major challenge in the full drug product development and
industrialisation process. In his applied research, Professor Leroux is
interested in the design of new carriers and materials for various
pharmaceutical applications such as drug detoxification and the treatment of
celiac disease (intolerance to gluten). Currently different approaches are
being assessed as a supportive treatment of celiac disease. The polymeric
binder technology which was developed in his laboratory will be further
investigated. In parallel, he will examine another known strategy to study
the stability of enzymes (exogenous propyl endopeptidases) in the gastro
intestinal tract and try to improve it with various new polymers. He will
also elaborate imaging tools to study in real time the enzymatic activity in
vivo. Professor Leroux’s more fundamental research aims to better understand
how antisense oligonucleotides (ONs) and small interfering ribonucleic acids
(siRNAs) are naturally taken up by cells and to discover ways by which he may
enhance this phenomenon. The identification and exploitation of these uptake
mechanisms have the potential to change our way of thinking about delivery of
siRNAs and to provide basis for developing novel strategies for medicines
based on RNA interference.

In 1992, Professor Leroux earned his B.Pharm from Montreal University and
in 1995, his Ph.D. from Geneva University. He has held various positions at
the Faculty of Pharmacy at Montreal University, from Assistant Professor to
Adjunct Professor. Since 2008, Prof. Leroux has headed the laboratory of Drug
Formulation and Delivery at the Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich. He is among the major
experts on liposomes and nanotechnologies in medicine.

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.
Debiopharm is also prepared to consider 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.
Besides drug development, Debiopharm Group has recently embarked 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 of 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:

    Debiopharm S.A. Contact

    Maurice Wagner
    Director Corporate Affairs & Communication
    Tel.: +41(0)21-321-01-11
    Fax: +41(0)21-321-01-69

    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
    Fax: +1-212-845-4260

SOURCE The Debiopharm Group

Source: newswire

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