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Japanese Cancer Association and Debiopharm Honour Professors Minoru Toyota and Keiichi Nakayama With the 2007 JCA-Mauvernay Award

LAUSANNE, Switzerland, October 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Debiopharm Group (Debiopharm), a global independent biopharmaceutical development specialist in oncology and serious medical conditions, presented Professors Minoru Toyota and Keiichi Nakayama with the 2007 JCA-Mauvernay Award for their outstanding oncology research work. The Awards were presented during the General Assembly of the 66th Annual Conference of the JCA in Yokohama, Japan, by Professor Setsuo Hirohashi, President of the Japanese Cancer Association (JCA) and Dr Rolland-Yves Mauvernay, Founder and President of Debiopharm Group.

The work of Professor Toyota from the First Department of Internal Medicine, Sapporo Medical University, focuses on "DNA methylation as a new target for therapy in cancer". His applied research may lead to novel strategies for developing molecular markers and cancer therapies. DNA methylation of genes could be a useful molecular marker to predict response to chemotherapeutic drugs. The basic research work conducted by Professor Nakayama from the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Medical Institute of Bioregulation, Kyushu University, focuses on "Ubiquitin ligases involved in cell-cycle control and cancer". His work shows that deregulation of the proteolytic system might result in uncontrolled proliferation, genomic instability and cancer. A better understanding of the ubiquitylation machinery will provide new insights into the regulatory biology of cell-cycle transitions and the development of anti-cancer drugs.

"Our goal with this Award is to recognise and reward excellent research conducted by Japanese scientists and to give them the opportunity to show their work to fellow researchers," said Kamel Besseghir, CEO of Debiopharm S.A. "This may increase the chances of their discoveries leading to the development of new medicines."

In its third year, the JCA-Mauvernay Award is organised jointly by the JCA and Debiopharm to honour innovative fundamental and clinical oncology research and to encourage Japanese scientists to make their work available outside Japan.

In August, with the Ecole Polytechnique Federale of Lausanne, Debiopharm presented the "Debiopharm Life Sciences Award" designed to mentor and motivate young innovative European researchers in the field of life sciences. Next month, the Company will reward a Chinese scientist with the "Debiopharm-CCRF China Award".

About Debiopharm Group

Debiopharm Group is a global biopharmaceutical development specialist that in-licenses promising biologics and small molecule drug candidates. Debiopharm develops its products for global registration and maximum commercial potential for out-licensing to pharmaceutical partners for sales and marketing.

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.

Founded in 1979 and headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland, Debiopharm has developed three products with global combined sales in excess of US$2.6 billion in 2006.

For more information on Debiopharm Group, please visit:

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