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Japanese Cancer Association and Debiopharm Honour Japanese Research
Date:10/29/2008

Professors Ichijo and Mano Receive 2008 JCA-Mauvernay Award

LAUSANNE, Switzerland, October 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Debiopharm Group (Debiopharm), a global biopharmaceutical development specialist that focuses on serious medical conditions and particularly oncology, presented Professors Hidenori Ichijo and Hiroyuki Mano with the 2008 JCA-Mauvernay Award for their outstanding basic and applied research work in oncology. The Awards were presented during the General Assembly of the 67th Annual Conference of the Japanese Cancer Association (JCA) in Japan, by Professor Setsuo Hirohashi, President of the JCA and Dr Rolland-Yves Mauvernay, Founder and President of Debiopharm Group.

The basic research of Professor Ichijo, from the Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Tokyo, focuses on "Stress Signalling and Cancer" and more specifically on the discovery of a protein tyrosine kinase called the apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1 (ASK1). ASK1 controls cellular responses to stress and therefore plays a key role in cancer, innate immunity and wound-induced inflammation.

The research work conducted by Professor Mano, from the Functional Genomics Division at Jichi Medical University, focuses on "Discovery of a novel fusion oncogene, EML4-ALK present in lung cancer and its clinical implications". EML4-ALK (echinoderm microtubule associated protein like 4 - anaplastic lymphoma kinase) is a fusion protein resulting from a chromosomal translocation present in a relatively large percentage of NSCLCs (non-small cell lung cancers), a disease in which cancer cells form in the tissues of the lung. This novel onco-gene is a potential target for cancer therapy and biomarker development.

"Significant steps in the understanding of major aspects of oncogenesis were rewarded with this Award. The work of Professors Ichijo and Mano will help the scientific community to better understand the mechanisms involved in cancer, immunity and in
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SOURCE Debiopharm Group
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