The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN) Oncology Research Program (ORP) has won a $2 million grant from Infinity Pharmaceuticals to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of duvelisib as a potential treatment for blood cancers.

Duvelisib is a dual inhibitor of phosphoinositide-3-kinase (PI3K)-delta and PI3K-gamma, two proteins known to support the growth and survival of malignant B cells.

Infinity is partnering with AbbVie to develop duvelisib for oncology indications, under an up-to-$805 million collaboration launched in 2014.

According to Infinity, preclinical data suggest that PI3K-delta signaling can lead to the proliferation of malignant B cells, and that both PI3K-gamma and PI3K-delta play a role in the formation and maintenance of the supportive tumor microenvironment. Infinity reasons that the preclinical results, plus data from the company’s Phase I study of duvelisib, offer a strong rationale for studying the drug candidate in a broad range of blood cancers.

Additionally, according to AbbVie, duvelisib is in Phase III study for relapsed and/or refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia and Phase II for relapsed and/or refractory non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

“This targeted therapy has promising applications in hematologic malignancies and is of great interest to the investigators at NCCN Member Institutions,” said Robert C. Young, M.D., interim vp of NCCN ORP, in a statement. NCCN ORP will use the grant to support investigator-initiated clinical and correlative studies for duvelisib at its member institutions and their affiliate community hospitals.

In the collaboration’s first phase, an NCCN duvelisib request for proposals development team will be established to evaluate existing data, then discuss and define the data and types of studies necessary to further characterize the safety and clinical effectiveness of duvelisib.

NCCN is a not-for-profit alliance of 26 top-tier cancer centers worldwide dedicated to improving the quality, effectiveness, and efficiency of cancer care. NCCN ORP facilitates all phases of clinical research, drawing on investigators of the member institutions and their affiliates.