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Interview with Dr Béatrice Perron, Oncology Portfolio Management Director at Servier

October 26, 2018

Dr Perron holds a MSc Engineering and a PhD in biotechnology from Ecole Centrale Paris. She joined Servier in November 2015 as Strategy and Portfolio Director in the Center for Therapeutic Innovation Oncology. She is involved in the management of the 13 oncology products in clinical development and more than 25 research projects from the Servier pipeline, in both solid tumors and hematological malignancies. Previously, she has worked for 20 years in cosmetic, pharmaceutical and biotech companies. Mainly working in R&D, she acquired experience in both CMC and clinical development, but her major expertise is in project and portfolio management as part of R&D strategy.

 

Dr Perron, what is your historical context of work in the Human microbiome and why it is important for your projects and for Servier company?

 

I have not been working much on microbiome until today, but I am really interested in this growing area of research. I attended many presentations on this topic during last international oncology meetings and I am convinced it could bring additional therapeutic solutions for hard to treat diseases, such as cancers. In the company, we are now investigating the best way to integrate studies on microbiome in our R&D projects in oncology: for what products? at what stage? what would be the most accurate methodology?... To illustrate the high interest of Servier in Microbiome, the Institut Servier has organized in November this year in Paris a 2 days Symposium fully dedicated to that topic.

 

According to you, what is the potential for the use of microbiome modulation as an adjuvant in cancer therapy? What are the biggest challenges in this field?

 

We know that unfortunately not all patients will respond to cancer treatments. Even though many efforts are done by scientists and clinicians to find biomarkers that could predict the likelihood of response to a given treatment, many of these research projects failed to define such biomarkers. Maybe microbiome could be part of the answer. We could either select patients who are likely to respond based on their microbiome or modulate microbiome of patients to enhance the chance for response. Servier is investing a lot in Immuno-oncology trying to re-activate or enhance the immune system to fight cancer cells. Recent studies show that microbiome could play a role in the modulation of the immune response. Therefore the effect of adjuvant microbiome therapeutics on the efficacy and safety of immune-modulator agents should be investigated. To me, the biggest challenge today is the harmonization of the methodologies used to assess microbiome among the studies, the centers and the countries. Data from the scientific literature are often difficult to compare due to this lack of standardization and it is difficult to get consistent conclusions from the literature.

 

What is your business strategic positionning in Human Microbiome Therapeutics?

 

We don’t have Human Microbiome Therapeutics in our pipeline today, but we can imagine developing partnerships or collaborations with companies’ experts in this field to enhance the efficacy of our oncology products. Cancer remains one of the main causes of death in the world today and I think it is important to investigate all possible therapeutic solutions that could benefit in patients.

 

 

If you like this topic, don't miss the opportunity to get our Microbiota Newsletter #5:Microbiome & Oncology

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