Sanofi and Institut Pasteur Honor Innovation in Biomedical Research with the Sanofi-Institut Pasteur 2012 Awards

PR Newswire/Les Echos/ 
PRESS RELEASE 
Sanofi and Institut Pasteur Honor Innovation in Biomedical Research with the 
                   Sanofi-Institut Pasteur 2012 Awards 
Paris, France - November 13, 2012 - Sanofi (EURONEXT: SAN and NYSE: SNY) and
Institut Pasteur have bestowed today the first 2012 Sanofi-Institut Pasteur
Awards to four internationally renowned researchers for their innovative
research in life sciences. Each of the four winners will receive a prize of
120,000 euros. 
During the Ceremony, the 2012 Sanofi-Institut Pasteur Awards were presented by
Professor Peter C. Agre, 2003 Nobel Prize in Chemistry to the four
prize-winners: 
-    Professor James J. Collins, in the field of drug resistance, 
-    Professor John Mekalanos, in the field of neglected tropical diseases, 
-    Professor Peter Palese, in the field of vaccine innovation, 
-    Professor Jeffrey V. Ravetch, in the field of vaccine innovation. 
"The Institut Pasteur is pleased to join forces with Sanofi to recognize and
reward these highly talented scientists," said Alice Dautry, President of the
Institut Pasteur. "Each of them has made remarkable progress in their research
topics. I would like to thank the members of the international jury and its
President, Prof. Peter Agre. The Sanofi-Institut Pasteur Awards encourage
scientists and their students to pursue their work and spotlight scientific
research in general." 
"Healthcare needs are continuously evolving and ongoing innovation is vital"
said Christopher A. Viehbacher, Chief Executive Officer, Sanofi. "Through these
awards, we look forward to supporting ongoing research and discovery that one
day, may ultimately prevent disease or provide better treatment for those in
need. These awards are a natural extension of the historic collaboration we 
have with Institut Pasteur, and we are proud to continue our partnership for
innovation with them." 
Sanofi and Institut Pasteur are also honoring two young biomedical researchers
for their outstanding research works: Stéphanie Blandin, INSERM and the
Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology in Strasbourg, and Philippe Bousso,
INSERM and the Institut Pasteur. 
The jury for the four awards was composed of seven prestigious members: 
-    Pr. Peter C. Agre, John Hopkins University, Baltimore, Nobel Prize for 
    Chemistry 2003, 
-    Pr. Elizabeth H. Blackburn, University of California, San Francisco, 
    Nobel Prize for Medicine 2009, 
-    Pr. Pascale Cossart, Head of the Bacteria-Cell Interactions Unit, 
    Institut Pasteur, 
-    Pr. Alice Dautry, President of the Institut Pasteur, 
-    Pr. Depei Liu, Vice President of the Academy of Engineering of China  
    and President of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and the Peking 
    Union Medical College,  
-    Dr. Robert Sebbag, Vice President, Access to Medicines, Sanofi, 
-    Dr. Elias Zerhouni, President, Global R&D, Sanofi. 
Profiles of the four 2012 Sanofi-Institut Pasteur Awards winners 
*   Drug Resistance 
James J. Collins is Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at
Boston University, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, and a Core
Founding Faculty member of the Wyss Institute at Harvard University. He is
honored for his discoveries of unsuspected mechanisms of action of antibiotics
and the way they generate resistant strains of bacteria. 
Prof. Collins discovered that major classes of bactericidal antibiotics,
regardless of their drug-target interaction, induce a common oxidative damage
cellular death pathway. He showed that targeting bacterial systems that
remediate oxidative damage is a viable means of potentiating bactericidal drugs
and limiting the emergence of antibiotic resistance. He found that antibiotics
can act as active, reactive mutagens, leading to multidrug resistance, a
discovery with implications for the widespread use and misuse of antibiotics. 
He recently developed an inexpensive, clinically useful means for eradicating
bacterial persisters, which are a sub-population of quasi-dormant cells that 
are resistant to antibiotic treatment. Prof. Collins' work has important
implications for reducing antibiotic resistance and establishing innovative new
treatments for bacterial infections. 
*   Neglected Tropical Diseases 
John Mekalanos is Professor and Chairman of the Department of Microbiology and
Immunobiology of Harvard Medical School. He is honored for his numerous
discoveries on the complex mechanisms of cholera pathogenesis. 
Through his work on Vibrio cholerae and other bacterial pathogens, and his
training of a new generation of scientists, Prof. Mekalanos has had a major
impact on the field of bacterial pathogenesis. He has invented creative genetic
and molecular approaches to identify the virulence factors and the complex
mechanisms evolved by pathogens to regulate them. His research on cholera 
during the past 30 years has allowed us to understand how Vibrio cholerae 
causes this disease and how this organism has evolved. Moreover, his 
fundamental research has been effectively coupled with practical applications, 
leading to the development of both safe, effective vaccines and a novel 
small-molecule inhibitor of V. cholerae virulence, major advances for the 
prevention and treatment of this disease. 
 *  Vaccine Innovation 
Peter Palese is Professor and Chairman of the Department of Microbiology of the
Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. He is honored for his
fundamental work on the genetics of influenza viruses. 
Prof. Palese has made a major contribution to our understanding of the 
influenza virus. He established the first genetic maps for the influenza A, B, 
and C viruses, identified the function of several genes of this virus, and 
defined the mechanism of neuraminidase inhibitors, which are now antiviral 
medicines approved by the Food and Drug Administration. He also pioneered the 
field of reverse genetics for negative strand RNA viruses, which allows the 
introduction of site-specific mutations into the genomes of these viruses. This
revolutionary technique was crucial for the study of the functions of the viral
genes and of viral pathogenesis, and facilitated the development of vaccines 
against the influenza virus. Reverse genetics also allowed Palese and 
colleagues to reconstruct and study the virus that caused the 1918 flu 
pandemic. Recently, Palese's group in collaboration with Adolfo García-Sastre 
has developed approaches that should lead to a long-lasting universal influenza
virus vaccine. 
Jeffrey V. Ravetch is Professor and Head of the Leonard Wagner Laboratory of
Molecular Genetics and Immunology at the Rockefeller University. He is honored
for discovering the mechanisms by which antibodies carry out their diverse
biological functions. 
The studies carried out by Prof. Ravetch revealed the essential mechanisms by
which antibodies mediate and regulate their diverse in vivo biological
activities. His findings overturned dogma and revealed how antibodies can
trigger inflammation, on the one hand, while suppressing inflammatory responses
on the other, thereby resolving longstanding paradoxes on the contradictory
nature of antibody function. These studies have fundamentally altered our
understanding of this central class of immune mediators and have provided
molecular explanations for their roles in host defense and vaccine design. New
classes of therapeutic molecules for the treatment of infectious diseases have
been developed as a result. 
For further information: www.sanofi-institutpasteur-awards.com 
                                  *** 
Profiles of the two young researchers honored for their outstanding research
works 
Stéphanie Blandin, Inserm and Molecular and Cellular Biology Institute in
Strasbourg, is selected for her important research on how mosquitoes resist
malaria. 
Stéphanie Blandin is a 2010 prize-winner from the ERC (European Research 
Council) to study the "Genetics of Resistance to Malaria Parasites in the
Mosquito Anopheles gambiae". She is investigating the genetic factors that 
allow certain mosquitoes to naturally resist malaria parasites. These factors 
are potentially very important, as they render mosquitoes unable to transmit 
the disease to humans. The author of some 23 scientific articles, her work on 
the genetics of mosquito resistance was published in Science and other leading
journals. 
Philippe Bousso, Inserm and Institut Pasteur, is selected for his outstanding
work on the dynamics of the immune system. 
Philippe Bousso is a 2010 prize-winner from the ERC (European Research Council)
for its research on the "Regulation and outcome of immune cell interactions in
vivo". He employs powerful imaging technology to visualize host pathogen
interactions and immune responses to tumors and is making important
contributions to our understanding of the dynamics of the immune system. His
discoveries are published in the leading scientific journals and his work was
recognized with the J.M. Le Goff Prize from the French Academy of Sciences. 
About the Institut Pasteur
An internationally renowned center of biomedical research, the Institut 
Pasteur, created in 1887 by Louis Pasteur, is a recognized private non-profit 
foundation. Its mission is to contribute to preventing and fighting disease in 
France and around the world, through scientific and medical research, 
education, and public health activities. About 2600 individuals work on its 
campus in Paris. In addition to research in the field of life sciences, a 
significant part of its work is dedicated to the study of infectious, genetic 
and neuro-degenerative diseases as well as certain cancers. The Institut 
Pasteur is at the heart of an international network comprising 32 institutes on
5 continents. Since its creation, 10 researchers have received the Nobel Prize 
in Medicine. www.pasteur.fr 
About Sanofi
Sanofi, a global and diversified healthcare leader, discovers, develops and
distributes therapeutic solutions focused on patients' needs. Sanofi has core
strengths in the field of healthcare with seven growth platforms: diabetes
solutions, human vaccines, innovative drugs, consumer healthcare, emerging
markets, animal health and the new Genzyme. Sanofi is listed in Paris 
(EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY). 
Contacts 
Sanofi Media Relations         Institut Pasteur Communications
Frederic Lemonde-San           Sylvain Coudon
Tel: +33 (0) 1 53 77 91 55     Tel: +33 (0)1 44 38 94 81
E-mail : mr@sanofi.com         E-mail : sylvain.coudon@pasteur.fr 
                  
The content and accuracy of news releases published on this site and/or 
distributed by PR Newswire or its partners are the sole responsibility of the 
originating company or organisation. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the 
accuracy of our services, such releases are not actively monitored or reviewed 
by PR Newswire or its partners and under no circumstances shall PR Newswire or 
its partners be liable for any loss or damage resulting from the use of such 
information. All information should be checked prior to publication. 
-0- Nov/14/2012 11:49 GMT
 
 
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.