Scientific Centre of Monaco receives support from Helsinn to finance PhD in cancer research

Professeur Rampal and Riccardo Braglia with Aurore Dumond PhD candidate standing in the behind with Helsinn and CSM teams. Photo: Claudia Albuquerque
Professeur Rampal and Riccardo Braglia with Aurore Dumond PhD candidate standing in the behind with Helsinn and CSM teams. Photo: Claudia Albuquerque

Helsinn International Services, a subsidiary in Monaco of the Swiss pharmaceutical group specialising in the manufacture of products for the treatment of cancer, and the Monaco Scientific Centre (MSC) have signed a collaborative agreement to support a research project to develop pharmacological inhibitors of the most common form of kidney cancer: renal clear cell carcinoma (ccRCC).

The project aims to develop new treatments for metastatic kidney cancer that remains incurable despite remarkable advances of recent years.

Every year around the world, ccRCC is diagnosed in more than 200,000 patients and the number of affected patients continues to increase. The current survival rate for stage IV patients at five years is only 10 to 20 percent. Although the treatment of ccRCC in the last decade has shifted from an immunological approach to a tumour blood vessel-destroying approach (anti-angiogenic) or targeted therapeutic approach, renal disease remains incurable as long as it is metastatic.

This project will be developed by a doctoral student, Aurore Dumond, under the supervision of Dr Renaud Grépin and Dr Gilles Pagès. The title of the project is: “Relevance of targeting Neuropilin-1 (NRP1) and Neuropilin-2 (NRP-2) and their respective ligands, the Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors (VEGF-A) and the Lymphatic endothelium (VEGF-C) in the metastatic ccRCC.”

Helsinn will sponsor Ms Dumond’s thesis over the next three years.

“We are very pleased to have concluded this partnership with Helsinn, as this allows us to develop new research on this increasingly common form of cancer worldwide,” said Professor Rampal, CSM President.

Riccardo Braglia, Vice Chairman and CEO of the Helsinn Group, a privately owned pharmaceutical group with a broad portfolio of marketed cancer care products as well as others under development, added: “The Principality of Monaco is becoming a hub in technological innovations, including the life sciences, and we are happy to support this view.

“Clear cells is the most common form of kidney cancer and we are excited about the prospects this project could bring to patients. ”

At the end of March Helsinn will be sponsoring a Patient Entrepreneur in Oncology award. The event will take place at the Monte-Carlo Bay hotel and 10 cancer patient entrepreneurs will compete for the monetary award to help grow their business.


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