Stand Up To Cancer Catalyst Launches 10 Clinical Trial Projects

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Stand Up To Cancer has awarded 10 Stand Up To Cancer Catalyst clinical trial projects in which researchers from more than 30 institutions collaborate across academic and corporate borders on clinical trials studying correlated translational research. The inaugural Stand Up To Cancer Catalyst projects will explore new uses for an array of drugs, as provided by several pharmaceutical companies.

Stand Up To Cancer Catalyst projects are aimed at learning how to prime people to respond and/or how to make that response last. Again, not just asking if a combination works, but digging into the why, so that the results, positive or negative, drive breakthroughs for the best patient outcomes for more patients.

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Stand Up To Cancer Catalyst establishes a mechanism through which industry and academic scientists in the cancer community conduct collaborative research projects to deliver benefits for patients and society. In addition to creating these opportunities for innovative collaboration, Stand Up To Cancer Catalyst expedites the process of going from ideas to contracts to trials, compared to traditional investigator-initiated studies. Grants to support the trials, as well as access to medicines, are being provided by three charter supporters of the Catalyst projects: Merck, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, and Genentech. 

The 10 inaugural clinical trials seek to address a wide variety of cancers. The focus of Stand Up To Cancer Catalyst clinical trials is to study treatments in combination with other pharmaceutical company medicines, devices, therapies, as well as other standard-of-care treatments to explain not only how they work, but why. The additional pharmaceutical companies providing either financial support or compounds to be studied in combination include: AbbVie, Astex Pharmaceuticals, Iovance Biotherapeutics, Mirati Therapeutics, Prometheus Laboratories, and Tesaro.

The following titles of each clinical trial, the names of each team leader, the beneficiaries of each study with the amount given, any participating companies, and the agents proposed for study were announced on October 12, 2017:

  • Combined epigenetic therapy and pembrolizumab for advanced non–small cell lung cancer. Stephen B. Baylin, MD, Van Andel Research Institute; $2.5 million. Combinations: Merck: pembrolizumab (Keytruda); Astex Pharmaceuticals: guadecitabine; Mirati Therapeutics: mocetinostat.
  • Targeting VDR to make pancreatic cancer competent for immunotherapy. Daniel D. Von Hoff, MD, Translational Genomics Institute; $2.5 million. Combinations: Merck: pembrolizumab (Keytruda); AbbVie: paricalcitol (Zemplar).
  • DNA repair therapies for ovarian cancer. Alan D. D’Andrea, MD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Elizabeth M. Swisher, MD, University of Washington; $1 million. Combinations: Merck: pembrolizumab; Tesaro: niraparib (Zejula).
  • Pembrolizumab and radiotherapy to improve outcome in high-risk sarcoma.  David G. Kirsch, MD, PhD, Duke University Medical Center; $2.5 million. Combinations: Merck: pembrolizu-mab; radiation therapy.
  • Tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte adoptive T-cell therapy for NSCLC. Scott J. Antonia, MD, PhD, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center; $2.67 million. Combinations: Bristol-Myers Squibb: nivolumab (Opdivo); Iovance Biotherapeutics: financial support for tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes; Prometheus Laboratories, Inc: IL-2.
  • Combined approaches by immune checkpoint inhibition for hypermutant cancers. Uri Tabori, MD, The Hospital for Sick Children (Toronto); $2.99 million. Combinations: Bristol-Myers Squibb: nivolumab, ipilimumab (Yervoy).
  • Reversing primary anti-PD-1 resistance with ipilimumab and nivolumab. Antoni Ribas, MD, PhD, University of California, Los Angeles; $3 million. Combinations: Bristol-Myers Squibb: nivolumab, ipilimumab.
  • Immunotherapy to prevent progression in multiple myeloma. Irene Ghobrial, MD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; $3 million. Combinations: Bristol-Myers Squibb: nivolumab; lenalidomide (Revlimid).
  • Overcoming atezolizumab resistance with epigenetic therapy in urothelial cancer. Peter A. Jones, PhD, DSc, Van Andel Research Institute; $2.99 million. Combinations: Genentech: atezolizumab (Tecentriq); Astex Pharmaceuticals: guadecitabine.
  • Immunotherapy combination strategies in ER-positive metastatic breast cancer. Ingrid Mayer, MD, Vanderbilt University Medical Center; $2.3 million. Combinations: Genentech: atezolizumab, cobimetinib (Cotellic), idasanutlin.

For more information on Stand Up To Cancer Catalyst, please visit ■