Ana Paula Blower (Fiocruz News Agency)
On November 23rd, Fiocruz and Servier Institute signed a memorandum of understanding that establishes the foundations for technical cooperation in order to hold the second edition of the International Fiocruz/Servier Award, the first of its kind in the field of oncology. Overall, €150,000 will be going to three innovative research projects that focus on cancer treatment. The announcement is expected to be launched by the end of January 2023.
Representants of Fiocruz and Servier sign the memorandum of understanding in order to hold the second edition of the International Award (photo: Peter Ilicciev)
The award, which is yet another partnership between the Foundation and the French institute, has the goal of promoting and incentivizing research, stimulating works that focus on the development of therapies to benefit cancer patients. The amount will be sent to the selected projects to collaborate with their development over two years. The Brazilian Oncology Society (SBOC) and the Brazilian Cancer Institute (Inca) will be part of the process to select the winners.
The memorandum was signed by Marco Krieger, Fiocruz’s vice-president of Production and Innovation in Health, and by the global vice-president of Research and Development of the Servier Institute, Claude Bertrand. A delegation from the Foundation and the French institution followed the signing ceremony, with the participation of the director general of Servier do Brasil, Mathieu Fitoussi, and of research professionals.
Strengthening of partnerships
At the occasion, Krieger made a presentation of Fiocruz, exposing the complexity of the Foundation’s operations and actions in the Brazilian public health system, ranging from basic research to the production of drugs and vaccines, and hospital care provided to patients. He also emphasized the history of cooperation between Servier and Fiocruz and the perspectives of progress in strategic partnerships, such as the expansion of the collaboration with the Institute of Drug Technology (Farmanguinhos/Fiocruz) for the production of the drug Vastarel 80 and for new drugs developed as micro-pellets. Another partnership expansion regards the Open Innovation/TT, by Pegaspargase, with the Institute of Technology on Immunobiologicals (Bio-Manguinhos/Fiocruz). This is a technology transfer through Open Innovation, which means Fiocruz will have access to Servier’s portfolio of innovation and will be able to participate in the initiatives.
“With this award we are about to launch, we will be able to support initial projects not just at Fiocruz, but in the entire field of oncology, including the entire Brazilian system of science, technology and innovation”, stated Krieger during the ceremony, emphasizing the partnership with Servier, which has been in place for over ten years. “With yet another project, we form a very important umbrella of actions for Fiocruz and for the Brazilian society with Servier.
Director General of Servier do Brasil, Mathieu Fitoussi also emphasized the ongoing partnerships with the Foundation and the perspectives of Servier do Brasil for the cooperation, highlighting the importance of keeping expanding and deepening the projects. “The cooperation between Fiocruz and Servier is special. Several points connect the institutions. They are both foundations committed to the improvement of medical care and to excellence in research. The presence of this delegation is a display of the importance of our partnership with Fiocruz”, said the director.
In his speech, Claude Bertrand gave a brief institutional overview of Servier’s research activities and partnerships around the world and emphasized that the beneficiaries of the institution are the patients. “We are always searching for excellence in research, which is why we are here. It is important to build a long-term relationship and we have been working with Fiocruz for many years, with high-level parameters of trust and competence on both sides”, he highlighted. “We’ll be expanding our efforts in the field of oncology and this is why we have come up with this award, which is part of our mission of promoting education”.
Bertrand also thanked for “what has been done in the past, for the progress built today, and for future collaborations” between Servier and Fiocruz in favor of “patients all over the world, who are awaiting better therapy solutions”.
First edition of the Fiocruz/Servier Award
The first edition of the Fiocruz Servier Award took place in 2018 and was focused on neuroscience research. The winners were Stevens Rehen, from the D’Or Institute and the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), in the category Neuroscience and infection by the zika virus, and Flávia Gomes, from the UFRJ, in the category Neuroinflammation and neurodevelopmental disorders.