The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and MedImmune agreed to collaborate through MD Anderson’s Moon Shots Program to develop therapies that boost patients’ immune systems to attack their cancers.
“Our collaboration with MedImmune, a leader in the field of immunotherapy, will draw on the strengths of both institutions to push ahead for more effective treatments for cancer patients,” said Jim Allison, Ph.D., executive director of the moon shots immunotherapy platform and professor and chair of Immunology at MD Anderson.
The Moon Shots Program was designed to reduce cancer deaths through six “moon shots” targeting eight different types of cancer including breast and ovarian cancers, leukemia (AMD/MDS), leukemia (CLL), melanoma, and prostate cancer. The moon shots are supported by several new research platforms that provide infrastructure, expertise, and technology. The three-year agreement with MedImmune covers translational and clinical research.
MedImmune is conducting clinical trials using a new therapeutic paradigm that targets immune cells to improve their tumor-fighting ability, rather than targeting the tumor cell itself. Through the collaboration, MD Anderson will evaluate several of MedImmune’s immunotherapy molecules in a clinical setting in order to better understand how these molecules elicit immune response in patients.
It is hoped that data collected from these studies will shed light on treatment-related changes to tumors, with the ultimate aim of identifying optimal combination therapies and developing biomarkers to guide and assess the safety and efficacy of MedImmune’s immunotherapy molecules.