Ipsen has chosen to focus its therapeutic solutions on genito-urinary tumors ; prostate and bladder. The Urology-Oncology franchise is operating in a changing therapeutic market where the development of innovative treatments could transform the approach to some types of cancer.

Three flagship urology-oncology products

Decapeptyl®: a major player in prostate cancer

Decapeptyl®, a pillar of the Urology-Oncology franchise,  is an analog of GnRH (Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone, a hormone secreted by the hypothalamus). It is primarily indicated for hormonal treatment of locally advanced metastatic prostate cancer.  Decapeptyl®is also indicated in gynecology for the treatment of uterine fibroma, endometriosis, precocious puberty and female infertility (in vitro fertilization). Decapeptyl®  is marketed in over 60 countries.

Hexvix®: a major impact on the diagnosis and treatment of bladder cancer

Hexvix is a bladder cancer detection drug. It produces specific fluorescence in tumor cells in the bladder during a cystoscopic procedure (examination of the bladder via the urethra) and thus improves detection and resection of non-invasive tumors.  By sharply outlining the contours of the tumor, the product considerably reduces the risk of an incomplete resection.

Tasquinimod, first molecule in its class

Currently in phase III in partnership with Active Biotech, tasquinimod targets patients with metastatic prostate cancer, which are resistant to chemical or surgical castration, in patients who have not yet received chemotherapy (little or non-symptomatic). As a result of its unique therapeutic approach, tasquinimod has promising potential for the treatment of other malignancies in addition to prostate cancer. Indeed, tasquinimod is the first of a new therapeutic class of molecules, acting on the micro environment of cancers, which are immunoactive  (ie. which restore immune system reactions against tumors)  and antiangiogenic (which inhibit the development of blood vessels that irrigate tumors). A phase II clinical trial evaluating the safety and efficacy of tasquinimod in advanced or metastatic hepato-cellular carcinoma in patients who have progressed after standard therapy is in progress.

Personalized medicine

In urology-oncology, biomarkers and molecular tools now available are crucial for personalized medicine. They enhance our understanding of cancer mechanisms and open the way for an integrated approach to more appropriate diagnosis and treatment of patients using innovative molecules.

Ipsen has entered into a partnership with bioMérieux, recognized for its expertise in the field of biomarkers for oncology applications, to improve patient care, and with the Institut Gustave Roussy to improve cancer diagnosis with circulating tumor cells (CTCs).

Ipsen has also developed the “3i Pathways” (Identify, Individualize, Improve) urology-oncology program in partnership with the European Association of Urology (EAU) and the French Urological Association (AFU). The initiative includes training for healthcare personnel and an IT tool to support therapeutic decisions according to patient profiles.

Updated on 25 February 2013