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MD Anderson, MedImmune join forces to advance cancer immunotherapy
Date:3/13/2014

will provide MedImmune with an invaluable opportunity to evaluate the biological impact of our immune-mediated cancer agents, both as monotherapy and combination therapy."

"Our partnership with MedImmune will provide us with exciting agents to study in novel pre-surgical clinical trials aimed at identifying early clinical signals and mechanistic insights, which will drive future immunotherapy strategies for the benefit of patients," said platform Scientific Director Padmanee Sharma, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of Genitourinary Medical Oncology at MD Anderson.

The agreement is the third of a limited number of immunotherapy collaborations to be reached by MD Anderson with leading-edge industry partners.

"MedImmune has deep expertise in cancer immunotherapy reflected in its powerful drug pipeline," said Ferran Prat, Ph.D., J.D., MD Anderson vice president of strategic industry ventures. "This agreement opens up new possibilities for MD Anderson and MedImmune."

"We have a select group of immunotherapy partners and will soon stop accepting new agreements in order to ensure that we can fully deliver for our existing partners," Prat said.

Allison's basic science research on T cell biology led to an entirely new method of treating cancer called immune checkpoint blockade, which blocks receptors on the surface of T cells that tumors use to turn off immune attack.

Allison created an antibody to the checkpoint CTLA-4 and worked in its development as the drug ipilimumab (Yervoy), the first drug of its kind and also the first to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for late-stage melanoma. More than 20 percent of melanoma patients given the drug develop long-lasting remissions for five years and longer.

Since immune checkpoint blockade treats the immune system, rather than the tumor directly, it will have application to other cancer types as well. "The era of immune system therapies for cancer is rea
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Contact: Scott Merville
smerville@mdanderson.org
713-792-0661
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
Source:Eurekalert

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