Firm joins 10 research institutes to advance knowledge on how the immune system fights cancer.

Bristol-Myers Squibb has formed the International Immuno-Oncology Network (II-ON), a global collaboration between industry and academia. Immuno-oncology focuses on the potential of harnessing the body’s own immune system to fight cancer.

In addition to Bristol-Myers Squibb, the II-ON is currently composed of 10 cancer-research institutions: Clinica Universidad Navarra, Pamplona, Spain; Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston; The Earle A. Chiles Research Institute (Providence Health & Services), Portland; Institut Gustave Roussy, Villejuif, France; Istituto Nazionale per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori “Fondazione G. Pascale,” Naples, Italy; Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, Baltimore, MD; Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York; The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust and The Institute of Cancer Research, London; The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam; and The University of Chicago, Chicago.

“The International Immuno-Oncology Network facilitates a public-private partnership that will leverage intellectual capabilities across a global network,” says Elliott Sigal, M.D., Ph.D., evp, CSO, and president, R&D, Bristol-Myers Squibb. “The shared commitment of all those participating in this collaboration is to evolve our understanding of immuno-oncology toward our ultimate goal of improving patient outcomes.”

The role of immuno-oncology in cancer research is growing and in 2011 the concept of “evading immune destruction” was added to the “Hallmarks of Cancer,” a widely referenced peer-reviewed article outlining traits that are believed to be the underlying principles of cancer.

An objective of this collaborative forum is to facilitate the translation of scientific research findings into clinical trials and, eventually, clinical practice. It will also work to further advance innovation in drug discovery and development.

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