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Sanofi, Mass. General to Partner on Cancer Treatments

Lung cancer X-ray

(National Cancer Institute)

The global pharmaceutical company Sanofi and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston agreed to collaborate on translational research into treatments for cancer involving blood and solid (organ-related) tumors. The parties did not disclose financial aspects of the two-year deal.

The partnership aims to maximize the strengths of academic and corporate labs; Mass General is a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. The joint projects are expected to include both pre-clinical and clinical translational research to address issues from proof-of-concept to treatment tolerability and effectiveness. The research will first investigate two early development molecules considered promising approaches to new treatments for various types of advanced tumors.

Sanofi’s oncology division, which has offices in nearby Cambridge, plans to work with Mass. General researchers Daniel Haber, Keith Flaherty, and Jeffrey Engelman. Haber is director of the hospital’s cancer center. Flaherty is a specialist in melanoma, while Engelman specializes in thoracic and lung cancers.

In July, Sanofi and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, also affiliated with Harvard Medical School, agreed to jointly conduct basic and applied research on diabetes, as well as develop drug targets and candidates. In January, Sanofi and University of California in San Francisco agreed as well to collaborate on diabetes research. Under that agreement, UC San Francisco and Sanofi will identify new drug targets for type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

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