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Sanofi Announces Funding of 19 Innovative Research Projects through its New European Academic Awards Program

Institut Curie
07/09/2018
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The Sanofi innovation Awards program in Europe is helping to establish new early stage research approaches that can quickly translate innovative academic research into clinical testing, with the potential to have a significant impact on patients
A three-year program to invest a total of up to 6 million euros in funding innovative research projects across academic centers in France and Germany
This year, nineteen academic projects selected by an Academic and Sanofi Joint Steering Committee, among 190 dossiers submitted
Dr F. Bourdeaut from Institut Curie is one of the 19 awardees.
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Sanofi announces today that it has recognized 19 innovative research projects as part of the new Sanofi Innovation Awards Europe program (Sanofi iAwards Europe). This first of its kind, stepping-stone initiative brings together multiple academic research institutions as partners at the earliest stages of drug discovery and expertise sharing, to prepare for possible multi-year research collaboration for the most promising projects.
The program’s academic partners initially include leading research institutions in France and in Germany, with academic centers from other European countries expected to join in future years.
The Sanofi iAwards program seeks to promote potential scientific breakthroughs, especially through the exchange of knowledge between Sanofi and top academic scientific teams. It will fund and nurture selected academic projects for one year, with the potential to lead to further collaborations. The aim is to accelerate the research and development process and address patients’ needs more quickly. These efforts combine new learnings from academic institutions on the biological mechanisms of diseases, and Sanofi’s drug discovery and development capabilities. Sanofi launched this annual program in Europe for a period of three years.
A Sanofi iAwards Europe ceremony will be held today in Paris, with participating French and German academic centers, recognized project leaders and Sanofi Research & Development (R&D) teams.

Current trends predict significant increases in chronic disease burden on global healthcare systems, making it crucial to discover more effective therapies,” says Jacques Volckmann, Head of R&D France Hub, Sanofi. “This requires a much closer and earlier collaboration between pharmaceutical companies and academic institutions than ever before for the discovery of novel approaches, which we want to stimulate through these awards.

We are very excited with the iAwards initiative launched in Europe, a unique industry–academic partnership designed to enable a new type of healthcare innovation,” said Jochen Maas, Head of R&D Germany Hub and acting Head of Diabetes Research Therapeutic Area, Sanofi. “Europe is a core region in the Sanofi R&D organization and represents almost 50 percent of our global operations. The academic institutes in France and Germany have a critical place in the worldwide scientific community as well. Through deep and networked collaboration, we aim to ensure that the best knowledge and creativity is gathered to develop novel solutions and improve people’s lives.

A joint steering committee composed of scientific representatives from Sanofi and participating academic centers was created to review and select the proposals from all participating institutions in this program. For this first year, selected projects include innovative projects focused on new diseases targets or new mechanisms of action, or even based on mathematical models in five different therapeutic areas: Oncology/immune-oncology, Neurosciences, Immunology, Diabetes & Cardiometabolic diseases and Cardiovascular diseases.

In Oncology/immune-oncology therapeutic area, Dr. F. Bourdeaut from Institut Cuire was awarded for a project on Pediatric Cancers.