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CRG and Sanofi enter into a master research collaborative agreement


Mié, 07/03/2012 - 16:06

CRG and Sanofi enter into a master research collaborative agreement

Sharing scientific expertise and know-how to explore new ways to evaluate translational medicine from basic research to patient benefits
The Centre for Genomic Regulation (Centre de Regulació Genòmica - CRG), an international biomedical research institute of excellence supported by the Catalan Government and the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation, and Sanofi, a global and diversified healthcare leader, announced today a research collaboration on shared research programmes using state-of-the-art experimental platforms and computational and bioinformatics approaches, in the field of computational biology, medical genetics and epigenetics, with special emphasis in genetic and rare diseases.
Andreu Mas-Colell, Minister of Economy and Knowledge of the Catalan Government, remarked “this is an important agreement for us because it means that we have solid pillars in our country that, despite the current situation, are moving forward”. At the same time, he stated “at this time it is crucial to maintain and continue to build on these pillars. This agreement shows that we are going in the right direction as it reinforces the capacity of Catalonia to integrate into the global economic dynamic”.
This strategic partnership is based on the cross-fertilization of Research & Development know-how from both sides, including scientific resources, structures and information, technical equipment and human talent. 
"Research cannot remain distanced from the needs of society. Biology is getting ever closer to medicine and an institute like the Centre for Genomic Regulation must ensure that its research has a positive impact on human health and national economies. Yet, we cannot do this alone and we need to collaborate with strategic partners for this purpose”, said Dr Luis Serrano, Director of the Centre for Genomic Regulation. “Through this agreement Sanofi will have increased access to globally cutting-edge research and the CRG will be linked to a major company that can ensure the translation of research into real-life solutions for patients." 
Within the framework of the agreement, the CRG and Sanofi have already initiated a first set of projects to discover innovative therapeutic approaches for infectious diseases, develop novel delivery systems using synthetic biology, decipher disease-relevant cellular trans-differentiation pathways, and identify original targets from unexploited genomic transcription mechanisms. 
These four projects will bring added value to basic research by offering a better understanding of disease for pathologies such as tuberculosis and cancer, and also by helping to develop new therapeutic solutions for their treatment.
"We recognise that in order to deliver on our promise to address patients’ needs, we need to tap into and enable innovation inside and outside our walls. Our new relationship with the CRG demonstrates our commitment to work with partners on conditions with unmet and growing medical needs”, said Dr Maya Said, Sanofi R&D, Vice President for Strategy, Science Policy & External Innovation. “This collaboration is a multi-disciplinary approach with our internal Exploratory Unit and a major R&D centre in Europe, aimed at accelerating the pace of translating early disruptive science into validated concepts that will lead to health solutions for patients and create added value to the public investment in basic research”. 
Further highly innovative collaborative projects will be selected and launched within the 3-year period of the agreement.
About the CRG
The CRG is an international biomedical research institute of excellence, whose mission is to discover and advance knowledge for the benefit of society, public health and economic prosperity.
The CRG believes that the medicine of the future depends on innovative science today. This requires an interdisciplinary scientific team focused on understanding the complexity of life, from the genome of the cell, to the entire organism and its interaction with the environment, which offers an integrated view of genetic diseases.
The combination of the know-how of top scientists from around the world and the availability of cutting-edge equipment, make the CRG a unique centre with a high-level of scientific production in an international context with the best scientific and technical services for research.
One of the fundamental themes of the CRG activity is its commitment to technology transfer and the return of knowledge to society. It has a dedicated technology transfer office and a team of professionals with experience in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical businesses. This office manages the intellectual property generated in the institute and facilitates its transfer to the companies within the sector as patents and licenses that enable the development of innovative products and services. The spirit of collaboration inherent in the centre encourages relationships with these companies as well as the medical sector, and boosts economic growth in the biomedical sector in Catalonia.
About Sanofi
Sanofi, a global and diversified healthcare leader, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions focused on patient needs. Sanofi has core strengths in the field of healthcare with seven growth platforms: diabetes solutions, human vaccines, innovative drugs, rare diseases, consumer healthcare, emerging markets and animal health. Sanofi is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY).