Roche and AREVA Med join forces in the fight against cancer and create a novel radio-immunotherapy
Basel, Switzerland; Paris, France; Bethesda, MD, USA, 27 July 2012
Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) and AREVA Med, a subsidiary of AREVA, announced today that they have entered into a strategic collaboration to create a novel, advanced alpha radio-immunotherapy platform to target and kill cancer cells. The agreement will focus on malignant disease with a high unmet medical need.
Under this exclusive agreement, Roche’s Pharma Research and Early Development (pRED) organization and AREVA Med will assess the efficacy of combining Roche-engineered antibodies with AREVA Med’s radionuclide, Lead-212, a compound that shows promise in treating some types of cancer. Roche retains exclusive rights to commercialise the cancer radio-immunotherapy after clinical development. The alliance combines Roche’s expertise in engineered antibodies with AREVA Med’s proficiency in developing radioactive isotopes.
“As a global leader in the development of innovative cancer treatments, our primary goal is to improve the standard of care for cancer patients around the world. By using new approaches, such as alpha radio-immunotherapy, we hope to be able to efficiently target and kill cancer cells while sparing the surrounding tissue, which is critical in the treatment process,” said Mike Burgess, Acting Global Head, Pharma Research and Early Development at Roche. “AREVA Med’s unique technology, paired with our advanced cancer-targeting biologics, puts us in an excellent position to achieve this goal and bring hope to many cancer patients suffering from this devastating disease.”
Alpha radio-immunotherapy is a novel cancer treatment with several advantages over conventional radiotherapy. Compared to other types of radiation, alpha radiation travels only short distances in human tissue, so its energy is absorbed in a smaller area for improved cell death while minimizing damage to healthy tissue. Therefore, by targeting cancer cells with highly specific antibodies combined with Lead-212, there is an opportunity to more precisely irradiate and kill cancerous cells.
“This major agreement with Roche is a remarkable milestone for nuclear medicine and radio- immunotherapy,” said Patrick Bourdet, President and CEO of AREVA Med. “Joining the core competencies of two global leaders in their respective fields will allow for the accelerated development of personalized, powerful and targeted treatments using Lead-212.”
About AREVA and AREVA Med
AREVA supplies solutions for power generation with less carbon. Ranked first in the global nuclear power industry, AREVA’s unique integrated offering to utilities covers every stage of the fuel cycle, nuclear reactor design and construction, and related services. The group is also expanding its operations to renewable energies – wind, solar, bioenergies, hydrogen and storage – to be one of the leaders in this sector worldwide. With these two major offers, AREVA’s 48,000 employees are helping to supply ever safer, cleaner and more economical energy to the greatest number of people. For more information: www.areva.com
AREVA Med is an AREVA subsidiary specializing in the development of innovative therapies to fight cancer. AREVA Med has developed new processes for producing high purity ²¹²Pb, a rare radioactive isotope that is currently at the heart of promising nuclear medicine research to develop new treatments against some of the most aggressive forms of cancer. In 2011, AREVA Med acquired Macrocyclics, the global leader for metal chelators, who will also participate in the collaboration with Roche. AREVA Med is also associated with world-class scientific partners, such as the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the University of Alabama at Birmingha (UAB), and the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm). For more information: www.arevamed.com
Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is a leader in research-focused healthcare with combined strengths in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Roche is the world’s largest biotech company with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, virology, inflammation, metabolism and CNS. Roche is also the world leader in in-vitro diagnostics, tissue-based cancer diagnostics and a pioneer in diabetes management. Roche’s personalised healthcare strategy aims at providing medicines and diagnostic tools that enable tangible improvements in the health, quality of life and survival of patients. In 2011, Roche had over 80,000 employees worldwide and invested over 9 billion Swiss francs in R&D. The Group posted sales of 42.5 billion Swiss francs. Genentech, United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche has a majority stake in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For more information:www.roche.com
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