SU2C announces researcher-industry collaboration on immunotherapy


Stand Up To Cancer is calling for proposals to investigate additional uses for nivolumab, ipilimumab, elotuzumab, and urelumab, as part of a new researcher-industry collaborative program.

As many as four projects will be funded by Bristol-Myers Squibb, maker of the four agents, in the range of $1 million to $3 million each, according to a written statement from the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR).

The company will provide access to the three drugs already approved for the treatement of various cancers –nivolumab, ipilimumab, and elotuzumab– and to urelumab, an investigational agent that is currently in early clinical trials.

Proposals can include the study of one or more of the products, alone or in combination with other treatments, and may include products from other companies, as well as explore potential new uses for the drug(s), AACR said in the statement.

Nivolumab (Opdivo) is currently approved to treat advanced melanoma, non-small cell lung cancer, renal cell carcinoma, and classical Hodgkin lymphoma; Ipilimumab (Yervoy) is approved to treat melanoma; and elotuzumab (Empliciti) is approved to treat multiple myeloma, in conjunction with other drugs. Urelumab is being evaluated as a treatment for a range of cancers, including some hematological cancers, advanced colorectal cancer, and head and neck cancers.

The Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) Catalyst program was launched in April to “use funding and materials from the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, diagnostic, and medical devices industries to accelerate research on cancer prevention, detection, and treatment,” according to a written statement from SU2C. Founding collaborators in addition to Bristol-Myers Squibb include Merck and Genentech.

The Catalyst projects must follow the SU2C model be carried out by a collaborative team, and be designed to accelerate the clinical use of therapeutic agents within the 3-year term of the grant, and to deliver near-term patient benefit.

The Request for Proposal for the Bristol-Myers Squibb agents is available at proposalCENTRAL, with proposals due by noon ET Monday, Aug. 15.

On Twitter @NikolaidesLaura

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