Cancer remains one of the most serious diseases worldwide. Despite decades of medical advances, cancer is the second leading cause of death globally, and was responsible for 8.8 million deaths in 2015. Globally, nearly 1 in 6 deaths is due to cancer. With the number of cases expected to grow dramatically over the next two decades, more effective treatments for cancer remain one of the most significant unmet needs in medicine.
One of the most promising advances in the fight against the disease is multi-targeted therapies. This approach allows a single therapy to attack tumors in multiple ways, enhancing the body’s immune response to fight the cancer. Multi-targeting addresses one of the major challenges in dealing with the disease: the complex nature of cancer.
“Tumors utilize a number of mechanisms to evade normal immune surveillance,” said Dmitri Wiederschain, Head of Immuno-Oncology Research at Sanofi. “What we believe strongly is that through a multi-targeted immune approach, through attacking several different nodes within this tumor immune evasion mechanism, we can achieve the most success.”
The Heart of Sanofi’s Pipeline
Multi-targeting is one of the central approaches in Sanofi’s oncology research strategy, which was presented in June at the company’s headquarters in Paris, shortly after the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting. Sanofi is actively working on a number of technological platforms to develop multi-targeted therapies. The goal is to marry the right platform and combination of therapies to create more effective treatments for a wide range of cancers, including genetically defined and hormone-dependent cancers.
Sanofi’s oncology Research and Development (R&D) program is starting to deliver, with promising results in cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma, a kind of skin cancer; multiple myeloma; lung cancer, and breast cancer.
“We understand and have expertise in the biology across these different areas of focus, and we have assets that are emerging in our pipeline,” said Jorge Insuasty, Global Head of Development at Sanofi. “We find ourselves with an array of molecules that can be combined to potentially treat different types of cancer.”