Fighting cancer: HES-SO Valais-Wallis and Debiopharm sign partnership agreement

The Institute of Life Technologies of the School of Engineering of the HES-SO Valais-Wallis has sealed a five-year collaboration deal with Debiopharm Research & Manufacturing in Martigny to pioneer new targeted technologies for vectorizing antibody fragments. Financed with CHF 1.1 million by Debiopharm, with the potential addition of a further CHF 1 million, this joint research project aims to revolutionize the preparation of therapeutic antibody fragment conjugates in the fight against cancer.

The joint research project foresees the development of Antibody Drug Conjugates (ADC), enhancing their efficacy through novel conjugation technologies that combine a targeting agent with a therapeutic molecule. This provides promising targeted and potent therapies in oncology. The new collaboration between HES-SO and Debiopharm extends the successful agreement initiated in 2018, which led to the development of the AbYlink technology. The enhancement of this molecule conjugation technology will be applied to therapeutic and diagnostic applications.

Under the Debiolab 2.0 label, which will also designate the dedicated laboratory of HES-SO Valais-Wallis, this new research project will commence in November 2023 and span over a period of five years. The CHF 1.1 million in funding assured by Debiopharm will cover research costs during this period.

A fruitful public-private partnership

This collaboration between HES-SO and Debiopharm marks a continuation of a fruitful public-private partnership that has endured for almost 25 years. “The scientific collaboration between Debiopharm and the researchers from the HES in Valais is a beautiful example of a successful and long-term public-private partnership, which is manifested not only through research collaboration but also through the regular engagement by Debiopharm of engineers trained at the HES-SO,” stated Cédric Sager, CEO of Debiopharm Research & Manufacturing. Patrick Garrouste, Executive Director of R&D at Debiopharm Research & Manufacturing, adds that HES-SO Valais-Wallis, with its cutting-edge innovative technologies and associated specialized knowledge, will enable them to enter a new dimension of targeted therapies with this partnership.

Origène Nyanguile, leader of the Peptide and Protein Technologies research group at the Institute of Life Technologies, expressed enthusiasm about continuing the collaboration with Debiopharm to refine the therapeutic antibody conjugation tools established since 2018.


Source: HES-SO Valais-Wallis

9 October 2023
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