Gaithersburg, MD, March 13, 2014 – MedImmune, AstraZeneca’s global biologics research and development arm, today announced it has entered into a three-year translational and clinical research collaboration with The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center to study therapies that unleash patients’ immune systems to attack their cancers through MD Anderson’s Moon Shots Program.
MD Anderson’s Moon Shots Program is an ambitious effort to dramatically reduce cancer deaths by targeting eight cancers with the support of several new research platforms that provide infrastructure, expertise and technology.
MedImmune is conducting clinical trials using a new therapeutic paradigm that targets immune cells to improve their tumor-fighting ability, rather than targeting the tumor cell itself. Through the collaboration, MD Anderson will evaluate several of MedImmune’s immunotherapy molecules in a clinical setting in order to better understand how these molecules elicit immune response in patients.
It is hoped that data collected from these studies will shed light on treatment-related changes to tumors, with the ultimate aim of identifying optimal combination therapies and developing biomarkers to guide and assess the safety and efficacy of MedImmune’s immunotherapy molecules.
“We are excited to work with MD Anderson in the Moon Shots program, pairing their unique immunotherapy platform with our innovative portfolio of immune-mediated cancer therapies,” said Dr. Ed Bradley, Senior Vice President and Head of MedImmune’s Oncology Innovative Medicines Unit. “Our partnership 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 collaboration with MedImmune, a leader in the field of immunotherapy, will draw on the strengths of both institutions to push ahead for more effective treatments for cancer patients,” said Jim Allison, Ph.D., executive director of the moon shots immunotherapy platform and professor and chair of Immunology at MD Anderson.
Financial terms around the collaboration were not disclosed.
NOTES TO EDITORS
MedImmune is the worldwide biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca, a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of small molecule and biologic prescription medicines. MedImmune is pioneering innovative research and exploring novel pathways across key therapeutic areas, including respiratory, inflammation and autoimmunity; cardiovascular and metabolic disease; oncology; neuroscience; and infection and vaccines. The MedImmune headquarters is located in Gaithersburg, Md., one of AstraZeneca’s three global R&D centers. For more information, please visit www.medimmune.com.
Tracy Rossin, MedImmune