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Belfer Institute, Sanofi-Aventis Partner on Oncology Targets

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Dana-Farber Cancer Institute's Belfer Institute of Applied Cancer Science and Sanofi-Aventis have entered into a collaboration and license option agreement to identify and validate oncology targets.

Sanofi-Aventis will then do further work to develop novel therapeutic agents against such targets and related biomarkers. Belfer and Sanofi-Aventis' researchers will work together to discover new oncology drugs targeted at specific patient populations, Dana-Farber said in a statement.

Under the terms of the deal, Dana-Farber will receive $33 million upfront as well as research funding for at least three years. It also is entitled to preclinical, clinical, and commercial milestone payments and royalties based on the sale of commercial products.

Sanofi-Aventis receives exclusive access to "certain components of a transformative cancer target identification and validation platform" developed in the laboratory of Lynda Chin, the scientific director of the Belfer Institute.

The institute's research is directed at translating findings in cancer genomics and biology for drug development work. It consists of three multidisciplinary teams with platforms in oncogenomics, computational science, and engineered model systems, according to its website.

"By combining our expertise in cancer genetics and translational medicine with Sanofi-Aventis' excellent drug discovery and development track record, this alliance has great potential to change the practice of cancer medicine," said Ronald DePinho, director of Belfer Institute, and professor of medicine and genetics at Harvard Medical School.

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