France: Human epigenome consortium takes first steps


Paris – A global effort set to map epigenetic profiles of all 250 human cell types has been kickstarted by international researchers. Top biologists gathered in Paris at the end of January to launch the International Human Epigenome Consortium (IHEC), which will seek to map 1,000 reference epi­genomes as part of its initial development activities. Epigenomes represent the pattern of chemical modifications to DNA and histone proteins in a cell that determine gene expression. Similar to the Human Genome Organisation or the International Cancer Genomics Consortiums (ICGC), the project is recruiting members among national funding agencies and other organisations to raise EUR95m in its first phase. Executive committee members must chip in at least EUR7.4m over five years, and participants must agree to make their data freely available.

1000 reference profiles of healthy human cell types

Faced with a rapidly-growing number of publications in the complex field of epi­genomics, participants at the Paris meeting underlined the need for high-quality reference data. “We urgently need standardised data to be able to interpret the results of our experiments,” said German researcher Jörn Walter, who took part in the meeting. Researchers agreed to focus on epigenome mapping of healthy human cell types. Funding agency representatives from the US, Canada, France and Germany expressed interest in joining the IHEC. The steering commitee now plans to publish a final policy document by June, when it will have nominated both executive and scientific boards. The consortium will then decide on each nation’s contribution.



Minneapolis/Banzancourt – Bioamber Inc. is one step closer to the environmental summit. The company's goal is to establish sustainable, "green" chemistry on an industrial scale. The French/US enterprise has now scaled up its...



Sophia Antipolis/ Madison – French NicOx S.A. and the global eye health specialist Bausch & Lomb have announced positive top-line results from their phase 2b dose finding study with BOL-303259-X, a nitric oxide-donating version...



Paris/Barcelona – French pharma company Sanofi strengthens its ties with the Spanish research institution CGR (Center for Genomic Regulation) in Barcelona. CGR stated on 12 March that the two partners agreed upon three years of...



Lyon – The sale of 1.6 million shares brought in €25.3m for French Adocia SAS during its IPO on the Euronext Paris. The price of €15.88 values the diabetes specialist at €96.1m at the upper end of the bookbuilding range. Late...



Pointing to a new study on Syngenta’s GM maize Bt11, France’s Environment Ministry has asked the European Commission to suspend authorisation for the use of the MON810 maize sold by US agri­biotech giant Monsanto as well. The...



Cambridge - Genzyme will shut the doors at its Cambridge R&D site by the end of the year, with up to 60 employees expected to lose their jobs. The move is part of an ongoing global restructuring of R&D by Sanofi, who purchased...



Lille – Shares of the French diabetes specialist Genfit S.A. almost doubled when the company published results of its Phase II study with the PPAR alpha and delta modulator GFT505. The compound has met the co-primary and...



Shares of the French diabetes specialist almost doubled when the companypublished results of its Phase II study with the PPAR alpha and deltamodulator GFT505. The compound has met the co-primary and secondaryendpoints while...



Bagneux - DBV Technologies is planning an IPO on Euronext Paris. The French pharmaceutical group specialising in the treatment of allergies was founded in 2002. DBV's proprietary technology Viaskin is used to administer an...



Berlin/Paris – Sanofi Pasteur has licensed a yeast strain from German Organobalance to produce vaccines. With the deal, the vaccines division of the French drugmaker will gain exclusive access to a modified strain of...

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