Sanofi and MAbImprove LabEx (Tours) Join Forces on Treatment for Rare Lung Disease


Sanofi and MAbImprove LabEx (Tours) Join Forces on Treatment for Rare Lung Disease

Tours, January 24 2014 - Sanofi and MAbImprove "Laboratoire d'Excellence" (LabEx), coordinated by the Université François-Rabelais de Tours, are forming a two-year public-private partnership to develop an aerosol antibody formulation to treat patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, an orphan disease for which there are no effective treatment options.

"This partnership with Sanofi recognizes the expertise of our research teams following the award of the Laboratory Excellence label by the French government," said Professor Loïc Vaillant, President of the université de Tours. "This commitment over a two year period opens the way for major innovations in our field."

The project is focused primarily on developing an optimal formulation for antibody inhalation to the lung. The partnership will leverage the expertise of multidisciplinary teams within the Université François-Rabelais de Tours and teams from the university's Center for the Study of Lung Diseases (CEPR), INSERM -- including Dr. Nathalie Heuzé-Vourc'h -- and Sanofi R&D teams at Chilly-Mazarin/Longjumeau and Vitry-sur-Seine/Alfortville in France and at Genzyme in the United States.

"This alliance with the Labex MabImprove team reflects our open innovation strategy," said Isabelle Thizon-de Gaulle, Vice President, European Strategic Initiatives & Scientific Relations, Sanofi. "Together, our innovative approach in the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis brings hope for patients."

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a progressive, diffuse and fatal chronic lung disease. Its causes are unknown. Its prevalence ranges from 1.25 to 23.4 per 100,000 population in European countries, with average survival of three to five years following diagnosis[1]. The poor prognosis and lack of an effective treatment necessitates development of a new bio-medicine.
Antibody inhalation offers the prospect of greater efficacy and reduced side effects from those reported for systemic administration[2].

About MAbImprove and the université François Rabelais de Tours  
With its multidisciplinary focus, the université François Rabelais de Tours is the leading public research institution in France's Centre region, with more than 32 research laboratories.

The Université de Tours coordinates the MAbImprove, recognized as a "Laboratory of Excellence" by the French government within the "Investment for the Future" project. MAbImprove is dedicated to optimizing the development of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies.

About the Center for the Study of Lung Diseases (CEPR)
CEPR is a laboratory based in Tours and dedicated to respiratory research. CEPR is associated with the université François Rabelais de Tours and Inserm. It consists of three teams (EA6305, Teams 1 and 2 INSERM UMR 1100). Technological and crosscutting research on aerosol medication for respiratory problems is one of CEPR's major focus areas.

About Genzyme, a Sanofi Company
Genzyme has pioneered the development and delivery of transformative therapies for patients affected by rare and debilitating diseases for over 30 years. We accomplish our goals through world-class research and with the compassion and commitment of our employees. With a focus on rare diseases and multiple sclerosis, we are dedicated to making a positive impact on the lives of the patients and families we serve. That goal guides and inspires us every day. Genzyme's portfolio of transformative therapies, which are marketed in countries around the world, represents groundbreaking and life-saving advances in medicine. As a Sanofi company, Genzyme benefits from the reach and resources of one of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies, with a shared commitment to improving the lives of patients. Learn more at Genzyme® is a registered trademark of Genzyme Corporation. All rights reserved.

About Sanofi
Sanofi, a global and diversified healthcare leader, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions focused on patient needs. Sanofi has core strengths in the field of healthcare with seven growth platforms: diabetes solutions, human vaccines, innovative drugs, consumer healthcare, emerging markets, animal health and the new Genzyme. Sanofi is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY).


Sanofi Media Relations        
Flore Larger  
Tel: +33 (0) 1 53 77 41 18  

Université de Tours
Tel: +33 (0) 2 47 36 62 37

[1]« Incidence and prevalence of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis: review of the literature », European respiratory review, issue 126 (2012)
[2]systemic administration: through bloodstream

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Sanofi MabImprove press release pdf version