AbbVie and the University of Chicago will partner to advance research in several areas of oncology—including, initially, breast, lung, prostate, colorectal, and hematological cancers.

The value of the 5-year collaboration agreement was not disclosed, though the partners said AbbVie will provide funding whose purposes may include preclinical research, clinical trials, and possible future programs at the University resulting from the partnership.

In return, AbbVie will gain an option for an exclusive license to unspecified University of Chicago discoveries made under the agreement.

University physicians and scientists will be able to participate in AbbVie-sponsored clinical trials, access new therapies developed by AbbVie for use in preclinical research funded under the collaboration, and work closely with AbbVie's R&D teams to promote scientific knowledge exchange, the partners added.

A joint steering committee, comprised of representatives from AbbVie and the university, will choose research projects to be pursued under the collaboration. Researchers from both partners will participate in an annual symposium to discuss research and evaluate potential new projects.

“University of Chicago researchers and clinicians have worked closely with AbbVie scientists in areas such as immunology and oncology for some time,” Kenneth S. Polonsky, M.D., evp for medical affairs at the University of Chicago and dean of its Biological Sciences Division and Pritzker School of Medicine, said in a statement. “This agreement adds depth to that established and productive collaboration.”

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