Landmark cancer research consortium announced

Posted: 22 June 2016 | Victoria White, Digital Content Producer | No comments yet

Four cancer centres in the US are coming together in a new consortium to accelerate the discovery and development of novel cancer therapeutics…

Four cancer centres in the US are coming together in a new consortium to accelerate the discovery and development of novel cancer therapeutics and diagnostics.

The four centres –The Abramson Cancer Centre at the University of Pennsylvania, The Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Centre at Columbia University Medical Centre, the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Centre at Johns Hopkins, and The Tisch Cancer Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai – are teaming up with Celgene who will support the rapid delivery of disease-altering programmes to the clinic.

Subsequent to establishing the consortium, Celgene entered into four public-private collaboration agreements in which it paid a total of $50 million, $12.5 million to each institution, for the option to enter into future agreements to develop and commercialise novel cancer therapeutics arising from the consortium’s efforts. Over the next ten years the institutions intend to present multiple high-impact research programmes to Celgene with the goal of developing new life-saving therapeutics. Subject to Celgene’s decision to opt-in and license the resulting technologies, each program has the potential to be valued at hundreds of millions of dollars.

Accelerating the delivery of next-generation cancer therapies

The four cancer centre directors, Steven Burakoff, M.D., of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Stephen G. Emerson, M.D., Ph.D., of Columbia University, William Nelson, M.D., Ph.D., of Johns Hopkins University and Chi Van Dang, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Pennsylvania, said in a shared statement, “The active and coordinated engagement, creative thinking and unique perspectives and expertise of each institution have made this collaboration a reality. Our shared vision and unified approach to biomedical research, discovery and development, combined with Celgene’s vast research, development and global commercial expertise, will enable us to accelerate the development and delivery of next-generation cancer therapies to patients worldwide.”

In addition to the benefits of long-standing professional relationships among the four cancer centre directors, the depth and breadth of the institutions’ combined research and clinical infrastructures provide an exceptional foundation upon which to build this transformative collaboration. The four institutions collectively care for more than 30,000 new cancer patients each year, and have nearly 800 faculty members who are active in basic and clinical research, and clinical care.

“This is a paradigm-shifting collaboration that further strengthens our innovative ecosystem,” said Bob Hugin, Executive Chairman of Celgene Corporation. “We remain firmly committed to driving critical advances in cancer and believe the tremendous expertise of our collaboration partner institutions will be invaluable in identifying new therapies for cancer patients.”