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Debiopharm and Ascepion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Announce an Exclusive License Agreement for the Development and Commercialisation of the Dual-Targeting Kinase Inhibitor, ASP-08126 (Debio 1144), for the Treatment of Oncology Diseases

LAUSANNE, Switzerland and SUZHOU, China, June 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

Debiopharm Group™ (Debiopharm), a global biopharmaceutical development group that focuses on serious medical conditions and particularly oncology, and Ascepion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Ascepion), a privately-held, biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery and development of breakthrough small molecule drugs for the treatment of oncology and related diseases, have entered into an exclusive worldwide license agreement concerning the development and commercialisation of ASP-08126 (called Debio 1144 by Debiopharm) a multikinase inhibitor currently in pre-clinical development. ASP-08126 is a potent orally available small molecule that binds and inhibits several tyrosine kinase oncogenes implicated in many aspects of cancer development including tumour growth, metastasis, and tumour angiogenesis. ASP-08126 is expected to be effective in the treatment of various solid tumours as a mono-therapeutic agent or in combination with other anti-cancer therapies.

"The potential of Debio 1144 to simultaneously inhibit many aspects of cancer development is making that substance extremely attractive to Debiopharm", said Rolland-Yves Mauvernay, President and founder of Debiopharm, who added "Debio 1144 has the potential of helping patients suffering from several tumour types. Due to its inhibition profile Debio 1144, is expected to lead to high anti-tumour efficacy."

"We are very pleased to collaborate with Debiopharm, a company with track records and expertise in the development of cancer medicines, to develop our innovative cancer therapeutics. The formation of this partnership will facilitate the development of ASP-08126 and benefit cancer patients ultimately", stated Dr. Shan Jiang, President and CEO of Ascepion Pharmaceuticals.

About Debiopharm Group

Debiopharm Group™ (Debiopharm) is a Swiss-based global biopharmaceutical group of companies with a focus on the development of prescription drugs that target unmet medical needs. Debiopharm in-licenses, develops and/or co-develops promising biological and small molecule drug candidates having reached clinical development phases I, II or III as well as earlier stage candidates. It develops its products for global registration and maximum commercial potential. The products are out-licensed to pharmaceutical partners for sales and marketing. Debiopharm is also active in the field of companion diagnostics with a view to progressing in the area of personalised medicine. Debiopharm independently funds the worldwide development of all of its products while providing expertise in pre-clinical and clinical trials, manufacturing, drug delivery and formulation, and regulatory affairs. For more information on Debiopharm, please visit:

About Ascepion Pharmaceuticals

Based in Suzhou, China, Ascepion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a leading biopharmaceutical company in China dedicated to the discovery and development of breakthrough small molecule drugs. Ascepion Pharmaceuticals possesses a fully integrated platform and proprietary technologies for the discovery and development of small molecule therapeutics targeting signal transduction pathways in a systematic and productive manner. The company has developed a pipeline of innovative small molecule drugs for the treatment of oncology and related diseases. For additional information on Ascepion Pharmaceuticals, please visit the company's website at .

    Debiopharm S.A. Contact
    Maurice Wagner
    Director Corporate Affairs & Communication
    Tel.: +41(0)21-321-01-11
    Fax: +41(0)21-321-01-69

    Additional Media Contacts

    In London
    Brian Hudspith
    Tel.: +44(0)20-7379-5151

    In New York
    Russo Partners, LLC
    Martina Schwarzkopf, Ph.D.
    Account Executive
    Tel.: +1-212-845-4292
    Fax: +1-212-845-4260

    Ascepion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Contact
    Haiping Lin, Ph.D.
    Director, Corporate Development
    Tel: +86-512-62956001 ext 8002
    Fax: +86-512-62956001 ext 8004

SOURCE The Debiopharm Group and Ascepion Pharmaceuticals
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