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NIH and non-profits sign research and development agreement
Date:5/25/2011

The National Institutes of Health today announced an agreement with two non-profit organizations to accelerate the development of potential clinical therapies for rare blood cancers.

The cooperative research and development agreement has been established as a shared commitment to move therapies for rare blood cancers into clinical proof-of-concept studies so that promising treatments can eventually be commercialized. The agreement is among the University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), the NIH Therapeutics for Rare and Neglected Diseases (TRND) program and the Hematology Branch within the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

"The goal of this collaboration, called The Learning Collaborative (TLC) is to bridge the gap in time and resources that often exists between basic research and human testing of potential new treatments and accelerate and make more efficient the delivery of improved therapies to patients with rare blood cancers," said Christopher P. Austin, M.D., director of the TRND program, currently administered by the National Human Genome Research Institute, a part of NIH. "As a result of our work, as the TLC name implies, we plan to learn more about and improve the drug development process for all diseases."

"This agreement recognizes that academic, philanthropic and patient organizations have a role and a responsibility to be active leaders in the drug discovery process," added Roy A. Jensen, M.D., director, The University of Kansas Cancer Center, Kansas City. "I hope this agreement can serve as a model to other academic and patient communities."

The collaboration's first project is a pilot effort under the TRND program that focuses on further development of an existing small molecule drug used to treat arthritis called auranofin. Auranofin will be evaluated as a treatment for relapsed chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) one of the four major types of leukemia
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Contact: Geoff Spencer
spencerg@mail.nih.gov
301-451-8325
NIH/National Human Genome Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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