National Access Project for Cancer Testing Gains Momentum

April 21, 2015 – Contextual Genomics

Sanofi is the newest partner in Consortium offering Canadian patients testing for cancer tumor mutations

Vancouver, BC – April 21, 2015 – Contextual Genomics, a molecular diagnostics company developing genomic based cancer tests, and the Personalized Medicine Initiative (PMI), an organization bringing molecular-based medicine to Canadians, are pleased to announce that Sanofi (EURONEXT: SAN and NYSE: SNY) is the latest partner to join their National Access Project for Cancer Testing consortium. As part of its commitment to the project, Sanofi will provide a grant and technical expertise.

The project, launched in February, aims to match the genetic mutation that led to cancer tumors for 2,000 patients across the country with therapy options that are either currently available or in Phase 3 investigation. The goal is to equip oncologists with information on their patients’ specific tumor types and the associated treatment options, so they can make informed decisions leading to optimal health outcomes.

“In a complex and evolving healthcare environment, the support of industry partners such as Sanofi is important to helping advance the unique work of the National Access Project for Cancer Testing and the shift towards personalized medicine,” said Chris Wagner, President and CEO, Contextual Genomics. “Our project aims to offer Canadians access to high quality genomic cancer testing, regardless of where patients’ live, to improve their cancer diagnosis, enhance health outcomes and bring value to health systems.”

“Sanofi believes that it is vital to better understand the causes of diseases in order to establish appropriate targets for prevention and treatment,” claims Franca Mancino, Vice-President, Medical and Regulatory Affairs, Sanofi Canada. “By investing in the National Access Project for Cancer Testing, we can play an important role in fostering disruptive and innovative solutions that ultimately offer faster access to better care and help improve the management of patients’ health and their wellbeing.”

The first Phase of the project is currently underway and is retrospectively mapping tumors to identify the mutations for approximately 500 patients. The results of the genetic mapping and corresponding therapies will be shared with oncologists.

It is expected that Phase II of the National Access Project for Cancer Testing will begin in the upcoming months. This second phase will involve broadening the patient base to approximately 1,500 patients across the country to prospectively evaluate and match specific tumor types with approximately 40 therapy options. It is hoped that by understanding a patient’s personal genomic profile, both healthcare professional and patients will be better equipped to diagnose and treat disease. The goal of personalized medicine is to improve patient outcomes and reduce healthcare costs and adverse drug reactions.

About Contextual Genomics:
Contextual Genomics is a privately-held company developing a novel suite of genomics-based cancer tests to identify a patient’s tumour profile. This precision in cancer diagnosis allows healthcare professionals to more accurately determine the most effective treatment options for the patient. The company’s first products are actionable molecular tests that guide diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

Led by global leaders in molecular diagnostics, genomics and bioinformatics who have unparalleled expertise in genomic assay development, Contextual Genomics aims to bring patients a gold standard in molecular diagnostics that will lead to advanced services in personalized cancer care.

About Personalized Medicine Initiative
The PMI is an inclusive organization representing stakeholders in BC and Canada that has the objective of bringing personalized, molecularly-based medicine to Canadians with the aim of improving healthcare outcomes and efficiency as well as enabling more effective preventive health delivery. The PMI is based at the Life Sciences Institute at UBC; Canada’s leading Life Sciences Institute.

About Sanofi Canada:  
Sanofi, a global healthcare leader, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions focused on patients’ needs. Sanofi has core strengths in the field of healthcare with seven growth platforms: diabetes solutions, human vaccines, innovative drugs, consumer healthcare, emerging markets, animal health and the new Genzyme. Sanofi is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY).

Sanofi entities in Canada include Sanofi Canada (pharmaceuticals), Sanofi Pasteur (vaccines), Sanofi Consumer Health (cosmeceuticals, over-the-counter products and specialty care), Genzyme (rare diseases) and Merial (animal health). Together they employ close to 1,700 people across the country. In 2014, Sanofi companies invested $130.5 million in R&D in Canada, creating jobs, business and opportunity throughout the country.

Follow Sanofi Canada on Twitter @SanofiCanada and on YouTube

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For further information:

Contextual Genomics
Chris Wagner
President and CEO

Personalized Medicine Initiative
Rob Fraser, PhD
COO, Personalized Medicine Initiative

Sanofi Canada
Catherine Rose Cunningham
Manager, Corporate and Brand Communications