Sanofi, Oxford ally on new cancer research alliance in India

Demonstrating its love of alliances and emerging markets, Sanofi-Aventis ($SNY) is teaming up with investigators at Oxford University and an Indian oncology network to pursue new research efforts in the subcontinent.

In the deal, which was reported by the Indian news service PTI, Sanofi will fund Oxford University's work managing the INDOX network of eight cancer-research centers across India. "This relationship not only helps to train the next generation of cancer researchers in India, but also allows Sanofi-Aventis to efficiently develop drugs in the premier cancer centers in India," said Sanofi Senior Vice President and Head of Oncology Debasish Roychowdhury. "The collaboration between Sanofi-Aventis, Oxford University and the Indian Cancer Centers fosters a model for academic researchers and industry to work together for the benefit of patients."

Indeed, Sanofi has been one of the trailblazers in forging R&D agreements with university investigators. Earlier this year it struck an R&D agreement with Harvard. UC San Francisco and other universities have also been eager to join up with deep-pocket research organizations.

"We are excited about the opportunity to work with Sanofi-Aventis to advance cancer research and to validate targets more quickly and efficiently to shorten the time it takes to move a molecule from laboratory to clinic," noted David Kerr, professor of cancer medicine and the University of Oxford co-chair of the INDOX scientific review board.

- here's the report from PTI