GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is teaming up with the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in a research alliance that aims to speed up the development of cancer immunotherapies. As part of MD Anderson’s Moon Shots Program, GSK and the cancer center will look for new potential therapeutic approaches, evaluate patient responses in clinical trials, and use insights gained from the collaboration to develop immunotherapy drugs.

MD Anderson says this is the fourth and final collaboration with large companies it has made via the Moon Shots Program, the goal of which is to reduce cancer deaths through six “moon shots” targeting eight different types of cancer including leukemia and breast cancer. Last month, MedImmune also entered an alliance with MD Anderson as part of the program; Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson each did the same back in January.

“This collaboration brings together MD Anderson’s basic science capabilities with GSK’s drug discovery and development expertise, and our growing immuno-oncology portfolio,” said Axel Hoos, M.D., Ph.D., GSK's vp, oncology R&D, in a statement. “The alliance will build on the strengths of both organizations to innovate in translational research, which will enhance drug development programs in this fast-growing area.”

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