Servier shares its latest research news with the press
Servier presented its R&D strategy and the latest findings of four partnerships during its annual press meeting in Paris on 23 November.
R&D Senior Executive VP Emmanuel Canet at first gave a brief reminder of Servier’s priorities: to develop its R&D in an environment conducive to innovation, both in France, with the forthcoming installation of its research centre in Saclay, and internationally; to focus its research on specific pathologies and biological processes; and to create a network of collaborative partnerships with pharmaceutical companies, biotech companies and universities. In relation to this last priority, Business Development & Licensing VP Eric Falcand added that “if half the partnerships in the pharmaceutical industry fall through today, it is due to inefficient partner relations or governance between partners. Whence the importance of the management alliance, one of Servier’s strong points.”
R&D Manager Claude Bertrand then insisted on Servier’s dynamic drug portfolio, which includes 19 new molecules in the clinical development stage in addition to diversified, innovative approaches, especially in oncology. Not to mention e-health, a “revolution in which Servier has taken the lead by proposing therapeutic solutions in addition to existing medicinal products”, and the company’s international outreach “though a network of hubs in major clusters such as Boston, San Francisco, Tokyo and Melbourne”.
Three of Servier’s researchers also came to share their latest findings developed within the framework of innovative partnerships.
Patricia Belissa-Mathiot, R&D Director for immuno-inflammatory diseases, pointed out that auto-immune diseases which can be defined as an “attack on the body tissues by its own immune system”, are the 3rd cause of mortality after cardio-vascular diseases and cancer. The approach chosen by Servier, in partnership with ILTOO, is based on the clinical development of low dose interleukin 2 (IL2) which restores control over immunity and helps to combat lupus and perhaps, in the long term, many other auto-immune other pathologies.
Hans-Martin Schneble, project manager in the field of neuropsychiatric diseases, spoke about the partnership with GeNeuro and research conducted to effectively treat multiple sclerosis. The approach adopted is to prevent inflammation and neurodegeneration further up the line by addressing the protection of myelin, an essential substance for neurones. The final results of the CHANGE-MS phase 2 study are expected on Q1 2018.
Véronique Blanc, in charge of Servier’s immuno-oncology programme, then presented innovative approaches in cancer treatment. The aim of the therapies, whether they are based on multispecific antibody immune checkpoint modulators, which are the pillars of future cancer treatments developed with Pieris, or allogenic cellular therapy explored with Cellectis and Pfizer, is to “increase the long-term survival rate of patients”. Patients are indeed at the heart of Servier’s R&D strategy, as Emmanuel Canet pointed out, “for whom researchers are continually looking for new therapeutic tools to meet their needs with increasing precision”.