Scientific expertise

The development of a pharmaceutical drug is a long and complex process, which on average takes between 10 and 15 years, requiring 10,000 synthesized molecules to finally market one drug. Today, Pierre Fabre R&D focuses on 5 main areas of expertise.

Natural substances

Plants and water are a major source of multidisciplinary scientific investigations aimed at developing original active ingredients used in the fields of pharmaceuticals, family health care and dermo-cosmetics.

New chemical entities

Technological advances in molecular and cellular biology, structural biology, molecular modeling and medicinal chemistry help us to discover innovative therapeutic principles. These therapeutic principles are approved through the implementation of pharmacological models similar to clinical cases implemented during studies on patients, and are therefore highly predictive. Today, this expertise is an essential line of research, particularly in oncology.


Research into biotechnologies (biotherapies based on monoclonal antibodies and recombinant proteins) also make up the cutting-edge expertise of Pierre Fabre research. The interest in monoclonal antibodies lies in their highly targeted mode of action, their efficacy and their greater tolerance in relation to chemotherapy treatments.


At the crossroads of chemistry and biotechnologies, they are currently a booming class of pharmaceuticals for cancer treatment because they allow the active components to be delivered to the very core of a cancerous cell without affecting the healthy cells. Our research teams have complementary know-how for designing, producing and assessing such molecules, by combining the expertise of targeted biotherapies developed in Saint-Julien-en-Genevois, that of cytotoxic agents studied at Toulouse-Oncopole and the chemistry know-how of the teams in Toulouse.

Translational medicine

Somewhere in between laboratory research and clinical research, translational medicine endeavors to expedite innovative therapies based on fundamental discoveries and scientific hypotheses developed in laboratories to ensure patients benefit as quickly as possible. The main challenge of this emerging discipline is to develop technical tools that can be used to best exploit the copious amounts of data generated by fundamental research, pre-clinical and clinical studies, and medical imaging. This discipline in particular uses biomarkers to guide early clinical development and to select 'responder' patients in order to improve the predictive nature of trials.