Servier enters into a global collaboration agreement for the development and the commercialization of new drugs candidates targeting apoptosis in oncology


Suresnes (France), May 13, 2014 – Servier today announced it has signed a strategic worldwide collaboration agreement with Novartis to develop and commercialize a series of novel drug candidates issued from Servier research programs in partnership with Vernalis in oncology, targeting apoptosis regulation pathways.

The collaboration covers the worldwide codevelopment of BCL-2 selective inhibitor  candidates now entering into clinical development. Proteins of the BCL-2 family are crucial regulators of apoptosis. Dysregulation of this protein family play a major role in the aberrant survival of tumor cells.

Servier will remain responsible for research activities and will share responsibilities with Novartis to conduct a clinical development program aimed at moving swiftly toward a first indication for the benefit of patients.

Commercialization rights for products arising from the collaboration will be allocated between the parties on a geographic basis. 

Jean-Pierre Abastado, Ph D, Director of the Center of Therapeutic Innovation in Oncology at Servier, said: “Small molecules tailored against specific targets can have very high therapeutic potential. This success was achieved through a comprehensive chemistry and biology research program, in collaboration with Vernalis, with our teams identifying and characterizing this exquisitely specific BCL-2 inhibitor. These new compounds further extend Servier’s portfolio beyond kinase inhibitors, HDAC inhibitors; and immunotherapeutic products.”

Emmanuel Canet, MD, PhD, President of Servier R&D, commented that “this significant partnership is the recognition of Servier’s innovative approach to oncology research. By collaborating with one of the leaders in the field we are restating our commitment to provide innovative therapeutic solutions for unmet needs in patients with severe illnesses.”

About the BCL-2 target:

Proteins of the BCL-2 family are crucial regulators of apoptosis, the programmed cell death. Dysregulations of this protein family play a major role in the aberrant survival of tumor cells. Within this protein family, BCL-2 belongs to the prosurvival members and is often overexpressed in tumor cells. Prosurvival BCL-2 family members have been recognized as attractive therapeutic targets in oncology for more than twenty years; but drug discovery research on this type of target is particularly challenging and requires innovative chemistry supported by structural biology.

About Servier

Founded in 1954, Servier is an independent French pharmaceutical research company. Its development is based on the continuous pursuit of innovation in the therapeutic areas of cardiovascular, metabolic, neurologic, psychiatric, bone and joint diseases as well as cancer.

In 2013, the company recorded a turnover of 4.2 billion euros.

91% of Servier drugs are consumed outside France.

27% of turnover from Servier drugs were reinvested in Research and Development in 2013.

With a strong international presence in 140 countries, Servier employs more than 21 000 people worldwide.

The Servier Group contributed 35% to the 2013 French trade surplus in the pharmaceuticals sector.


More information is available at:
Servier Communication Department
Tel: +33 1 5572 6037