Safran partners AFM-Téléthon

Safran is organizing a concert to raise funds for therapeutical innovation, as part of its partnership with AFM-Téléthon, on October 16 in Paris. This partnership is geared towards promoting this association’s efforts and providing financial support for research to combat rare genetic disorders. AFM-Téléthon President Laurence Tiennot-Herment told us more about the issues.

Besides the concert to raise funds for your association, Safran multihull skipper Marc Guillemot will be sporting AFM-Téléthon livery when he sails around the world on the Vendée Globe 2012 race. What does that sort of support mean to your association?

We need that sort of partner support. It is one of the things that keep the French Telethon alive. I am delighted and proud to have Safran fighting by our side because we believe in the same things: in innovation and guts. That is what everything we do is about. Being part of the Vendée Globe will give us a lot of exposure – and, like Marc Guillemot, we weather storms to push further and faster, ultimately to benefit everyone.

The AFM Téléthon raises funds to find new ways to treat rare disorders. What major breakthroughs has your association financed?

Over the past 25 years, Telethon donations and everyone's involvement have revolutionized biomedical research. We made things happen even though they were unimaginable two decades earlier. This includes identifying the genes responsible for hundreds of diseases and developing groundbreaking therapeutic strategies for rare disorders. Early therapeutic breakthroughs on blood and brain diseases, and on immune deficiencies, show we're close. Dutch researchers recently disclosed encouraging results treating Duchenne muscular dystrophy. This is the first time in our association's history that we are talking about reversing this disease – even though it's incipient. These results are taking us to the next step: fine-tuning treatments for humans, to cure diseases that seemed incurable yesterday. The ball is in motion and it just can't stop now.

How are you planning to use the funds from the partnership with Safran?

AFM-Téléthon has been driving innovative therapies – such as gene therapy, cell therapy and pharmacogenetic therapy – since the first Telethon back in 1987. Thanks to all that, more than 60 children who were sentenced to irrevocable medical verdicts yesterday are leading normal lives today. We are pushing ahead in that direction, especially with 36 therapeutic trials in humans, spanning about 30 different diseases. The funds from our partnership will fine-tune these innovative therapies faster, and help us to reach our ultimate goal – to heal people – faster.

The concert for AFM-Téléthon to further therapeutic innovation
Tuesday October 16, 2012 – Salle Gaveau - Paris
Revenue from all tickets for the October 16 concert will be donated to AFM-Téléthon to support therapeutic innovation.