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LAUSANNE, Switzerland, and BANGALORE, India, Sept. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Debiopharm Group™ (Debiopharm), a Swiss-based global biopharmaceutical group of companies with a focus on the development of innovative prescription drugs that target unmet medical needs, and Aurigene Discovery Technologies Ltd. (Aurigene), a Bangalore-based fully integrated, global biotech focused on small molecule and peptide drug discovery and development from target identification and validation to pre-IND drug candidates, today announced the successful nomination of a development candidate, Debio 0617, a novel inhibitor of an undisclosed oncology pathway. Debio 0617 has started IND enabling studies and is expected to enter clinical development in 2012.

Debiopharm and Aurigene have been collaborating for five years. In November 2008, Aurigene's fragment-based drug delivery technology platform had generated potent leads against the target. Both companies signed an exclusive worldwide license agreement, excluding the territories of Japan and the rest of Asia, to develop and commercialise Debio 0617. They defined a target molecular profile at the beginning of the program. Now, 20 months later, both teams have successfully identified the development candidate which better fits the initial target molecular profile.

"What exciting news! As we expected, this program has delivered a development candidate molecule as well as several potential follow-on compounds," said Rolland-Yves Mauvernay, president and founder of Debiopharm Group™. "Once again, Aurigene has demonstrated its dedication and professionalism."

"This represents an important success not just for this scientific program, but also for the strategic path that was established through this agreement between Debiopharm and Aurigene. This is a truly synergistic relationship that takes advantage of the proven experience, expertise and processes at Debiopharm, coupled with the speed, flexibility and high-qualit

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