Juno Therapeutics has joined with Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) to create a clinical trials unit focused on developing immuno-oncology treatments.

The new unit is designed to consolidate trial participants’ care into one location, with access to a team of dedicated surgeons, radiologists, pathologists and medical oncologists.” The unit will also provide dedicated space for research teams to handle specimens and collect trial data.

Juno and Fred Hutch said the unit will be available for studies supported by the company and other drug developers once it begins operation—which is expected to occur in mid-2016.

In addition, University of Washington is joining SCCA, Fred Hutch, and Juno in funding the clinical trials unit. Juno will also provide research funds to Fred Hutch toward preclinical and clinical research focused on developing new cancer immunotherapies.

“We are on the precipice of multiple curative therapies, and the investment of Juno and the SCCA in our science will be catalytic in moving our discoveries into patients,” Gary Gilliland, M.D., Ph.D., Fred Hutch president and director, said in a statement.

Last week, Fred Hutch announced encouraging preliminary results from an ongoing Juno-funded Phase I/II trial (NCT01865617) of an experimental T cell immunotherapy: 27 of 29 patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia showed no trace of cancer in their bone marrow following infusion with the therapy, while 19 of 30 non-Hodgkin's lymphoma patients experienced partial or complete responses.

Fred Hutch joined Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Seattle Children’s Research Institute in launching Juno in December 2013. SCCA brings together research teams from Fred Hutch, Seattle Children’s, and UW Medicine.

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