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AbbVie, MD Anderson in Immunotherapy Alliance

January 22, 2016

To evaluate new ideas in the area of immuno-oncology

MD Anderson Cancer Center and AbbVie have entered a three-year immunotherapy collaboration to efficiently select and conduct preclinical and clinical studies evaluating new ideas in the area of immuno-oncology.

AbbVie's research efforts in immunotherapy leverage the company's strengths in biology, protein engineering and chemistry. MD Anderson's immunotherapy platform includes technology for preclinical modeling, clinical trials and immune monitoring before, during and after treatment to better understand drug mechanisms and identify biomarkers to guide treatment. AbbVie and MD Anderson will each assign two scientists to a joint scientific committee to decide on projects to pursue.

The collaboration will initiate with projects driven by AbbVie Biotherapeutics, AbbVie's center of innovation in the biotech hub of the San Francisco Bay Area. Future projects will draw from AbbVie’s portfolio of oncology programs.

"Cancer immunotherapy drugs that remove two types of brakes on immune response are really just the tip of the iceberg for this field," said Jim Allison, Ph.D., executive director of the immunotherapy platform and chair of Immunology at MD Anderson. "Our agreements with companies such as AbbVie allow academic and industry scientists to work efficiently to move the science forward and extend this approach to more patients."

"Pairing MD Anderson's cutting-edge preclinical, translational and clinical capabilities with AbbVie's innovative discovery and development programs accelerates our ability to deliver new therapies that can help transform the lives of people affected by cancer," said Michael Severino, M.D., executive vice president, R&D and chief scientific officer, AbbVie. "AbbVie is pleased to partner with MD Anderson's world-class experts so that together we can advance the science of cancer immunotherapy for the benefit of patients around the world."