The CNRS, the Universities of Montpellier 1 and 2, and SERVIER launch a research collaboration on ischemic myocardial protection


Suresnes, May 23, 2014: SERVIER, the CNRS, and the Universities of Montpellier 1 and 2 signed a research collaboration contract to develop a treatment that would reduce the size of myocardial infarction, thus limiting cardiac cell death by apoptosis during the phase of myocardial reperfusion1.

This agreement follows the signature on May 23, 2013, of an exclusive option for an exclusive license on a patented invention2 entitled "Inhibitors of apoptosis3 and uses thereof" in the field of myocardial protection during infarction. This invention originated from a collaboration established between the Functional Genomics Institute (CNRS/Inserm/Universities of Montpellier 1 and 2) and the Normal and Pathological Membrane Interaction Dynamics Laboratory (CNRS/Universities of Montpellier 1 and 2).

"We have demonstrated, along with the cardiology specialists in my team (Christophe Piot and Joël Nargeot), one of the molecular mechanisms involved in the apoptotic process that leads to irreversible myocardial lesions. Thanks to the biochemistry expertise of Prisca Boisguérin, CNRS researcher, and Bernard Lebleu, Professor at the University of Montpellier 2, we have selected compounds that act on this target, which, in an experimental in vivo model and when administered during myocardial reperfusion1, considerably reduce the size of infarction” indicated Stéphanie Barrère-Lemaire, Research Director at the Functional Genomics Institute.

"The size of the myocardial infarction is a major determinant of cardiac functional recovery as well as of short and long-term mortality. This therapeutic strategy would improve the prognosis of patients suffering from a myocardial infarction by reducing the size of myocardial injury following reperfusion, thus reducing mortality and limiting the development of heart failure, which remains a major medical need" stated Jean-Paul Vilaine, Director of the Cardiovascular Research Unit at Servier Research Institute.

As emphasized by Emmanuel Canet, Servier’s President of Research and Development:

“Continuing our research efforts in cardiology and opening up new avenues for the prevention and treatment of myocardial ischaemia remains a Research priority. We are pleased to unite our research forces with the academic teams from the University of Montpellier and the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) in order to achieve this objective.”

1 reperfusion: restoration of blood flow in a tissue

2 International patent published on May 24, 2012 (WO2012/066103) ; co-ownership : CNRS, Universities of Montpellier 1 and 2; co-inventors: Stéphanie Barrère-Lemaire (CNRS research director, Functional Genomics Institute), Prisca Boisguérin (CNRS researcher, Normal and Pathological Membrane Interaction Dynamics Laboratory), Bernard Lebleu (Professor at the University of Montpellier 2, Normal and Pathological Membrane Interaction Dynamics Laboratory), Christophe Piot (Professor University of Montpellier 1, Functional Genomics Institute) and Joël Nargeot (CNRS Research Director, Functional Genomics Institute)

3 apoptosis: self-destruction process triggered by cells in response to a signal


Founded in 1954, Servier is an independent French pharmaceutical research company. Its development is based on the continuous pursuit of innovation in the therapeutic areas of cardiovascular, metabolic, neurologic, psychiatric, bone and joint diseases as well as cancer. 

In 2013, the company recorded a turnover of 4.2 billion euros. 

91% of Servier drugs are consumed internationally.

27% of turnover from Servier drugs were reinvested in Research and Development in 2013.

With a strong international presence in 140 countries, Servier employs more than 21 000 people worldwide.

The Servier Group contributed 35% to the 2013 French trade surplus in the pharmaceuticals sector.

More information is available at: 
Servier Communication Department
Tel: +33 1 5572 6037

About the CNRS:

The National Centre of Scientific Research (CNRS) is a public research body, under the administrative authority of the Ministry of Education, Higher Education, and Research. It produces knowledge and makes this knowledge available to society.

With more than 33 000 individuals (including 24 955 statutory members - 11 204 researchers and 13 751 engineers, technicians and administrators), a basic budget of 3.4 billion euros for 2013 including 802 million euros of its own resources, a number of offices across the whole of French territory, the CNRS carries out its activities in all areas of knowledge and depends on more than 1100 research and departmental units. 

With a portfolio of more than 4535 patent families, 1237 active licences, 25 framework agreements with companies listed in the CAC 40, 376 industrial joint ownership agreements, 851 institutional joint ownership agreements, more than 700 established start-ups, 126 laboratories involved in the  Carnot Institutes and 433 in centers of competitiveness, a yearly average of 29,000 publications, 19 Nobel prize winners and 11 Fields Medal prize winners, the CNRS has a long tradition of excellence, innovation, and transfer of knowledge to the economic fabric.

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