Prof. Gilles Gasser awarded an ERC Proof of Concept Grant

January 24, 2023
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Congratulations to Prof. Gilles Gasser from the Institute of Chemistry for Life and Health Sciences at Chimie ParisTech, PSL University, who was just awarded an ERC Proof of Concept for his project entitled Ruthenium-containing Polymers against Ovarian Cancers (RuCoPOC).


About a quarter of million women are diagnosed every year with ovarian cancer around the world, resulting in 140,000 deaths. Europe has the highest rates of ovarian cancer in the world with 65,000 cases and approximatively 42,700 deaths. Thus, that effective novel therapies are needed to improve survival rates for patients diagnosed with ovarian cancer. In this context, the group of Prof. Gasser demonstrated that a novel compound developed within his group was more effective in killing ovarian cancer cells than the current standard chemotherapeutic treatment. Another steppingstone was the discovery of a technology to selectively deliver this compound to tumours thanks to a collaboration with Prof. Christophe Thomas from the Institut de Recherche de Chimie Paris at Chimie ParisTech, PSL University and Dr. Didier Decaudin from the Institut Curie. The three teams showed, on a mouse model, that this compound was accumulating much better in ovarian tumours. These very promising results are still in the concept stage and further validation need be obtained before being transferred to human.


Thanks to this ERC Proof of Concept Grant, Prof. Gilles Gasser and his team will be able to investigate the in vivo efficacy of this system in several in ovarian cancer Patient-Derived Xenografts (PDXs) models. This will facilitate the selection of a lead compound that will hopefully be brought to clinical trials in the future.