NEW YORK & CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE:BMY) today announced the establishment of the Immuno-Oncology Rare Population Malignancy (I-O RPM) program in the U.S. The I-O RPM program is a multi-institutional initiative with academic-based cancer centers focused on the clinical investigation of Immuno-Oncology therapeutics as potential treatment options for patients with high risk, poor prognostic cancers, defined as a rare population malignancy. A rare population malignancy is a subpopulation within a higher incident disease population (e.g. BRCA 1 and 2 breast cancer). These patients have aggressive disease with an increased potential for early metastasis to multiple sites and/or are initially refractory or subject to early recurrences with conventional cancer therapies.
As part of the I-O RPM program, Bristol-Myers Squibb, the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University (Lurie Cancer Center) and the Northwestern Medicine Developmental Therapeutics Institute (NMDTI) are pleased to announce that they have entered into a collaboration agreement. The Lurie Cancer Center and NMDTI will conduct a range of early phase clinical studies and Bristol-Myers Squibb will fund positions within the NMDTI Developmental Therapeutics Fellowship program.
“Complementing our broad research and development programs through innovative collaborations with partners such as the Lurie Cancer Center and NMDTI has been a fundamental component to our commitment to leading advances in Immuno-Oncology,” said Laura Bessen, M.D., head of U.S. Medical, Bristol-Myers Squibb. “Cooperation between industry and research partners of this caliber offers a tremendous opportunity to further strengthen our scientific and clinical understanding of the role immunotherapies can play in the treatment of a broad range of cancers.”
“Immunotherapy is rapidly evolving and has an enormous promise for cancer patients. This collaborative effort with Bristol-Myers Squibb will further strengthen our efforts to develop innovative new therapies against a wide variety of malignancies,” said Leonidas C. Platanias, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Lurie Cancer Center.
“The Rare Population Malignancy Program is a very timely and important initiative. The ability to rapidly investigate the clinical utility of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Immuno-Oncology agents, as single agents or in combinations, including with therapies from other sources, is a powerful accelerant to our programs. The focus on malignancies that are otherwise relatively under-investigated in therapeutic terms is particularly important and satisfying for all involved in this collaboration,” said Francis J. Giles, M.D., director of the NMDTI and deputy director of the Lurie Cancer Center.
Immuno-Oncology is an innovative approach to cancer research and treatment that is designed to harness the body’s own immune system to fight cancer. The I-O RPM program will focus on significant areas of high unmet need marked by poor outcomes among patients with these cancers. Existing clinical research, including studies being conducted by the Lurie Cancer Center and NMDTI, provide a strong rationale for further research into the potential of immunotherapies for these cancers.
About Bristol Myers Squibb
The I-O RPM builds on Bristol-Myers Squibb’s formation in 2012 of the International Immuno-Oncology Network (II-ON). II-ON is a global collaboration between Bristol-Myers Squibb and academia focused on facilitating the translation of scientific research findings into clinical trials and, eventually, clinical practice.
Bristol-Myers Squibb is a global biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases. For more information, please visit www.bms.com or follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/bmsnews.
About the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University
The Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University is one of only 45 National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated "Comprehensive" cancer centers in the nation. In addition, the Lurie Cancer Center is a founding member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), an alliance of 25 of the world's leading cancer centers dedicated to improving the quality and effectiveness of care provided to patients with cancer and part of the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium, a network of academic institutions working together on highly translational clinical trials using the expertise of Big Ten universities. The Lurie Cancer Center is affiliated with four leading teaching hospitals in Chicago — Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago , the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, and the Jesse Brown Veteran's Affairs Medical Center, treating more than 10,000 new patients with cancer each year. The Lurie Cancer Center receives a cancer center support grant from the NCI of the National Institutes of Health (P30 CA060553).
About the Northwestern Medicine Developmental Therapeutics Institute
The Northwestern Medicine Developmental Therapeutics Institute (NMDTI) provides infrastructure and expertise to accelerate the developmental therapeutics process. With dedicated patient care facilities, experienced physician-scientists, and specialized advanced practice providers, pharmacists, and allied staff, NMDTI brings a large external pipeline of investigational agents to our patients while accelerating the development of Northwestern University’s internal pipeline of novel therapies. The NMDTI Developmental Therapeutics Fellowship, supported by the Woman’s Board of Northwestern Memorial Hospital, focuses on nurturing physician scientists whose career is dedicated to the development of novel approaches to curing cancer.
Bristol-Myers Squibb Forward-Looking Statement
This press release contains “forward-looking statements” as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 regarding the research, development and commercialization of pharmaceutical products. Such forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and involve inherent risks and uncertainties, including factors that could delay, divert or change any of them, and could cause actual outcomes and results to differ materially from current expectations. No forward-looking statement can be guaranteed. Among other risks, there can be no guarantee that the immunotherapies discussed in this release will be successfully developed or approved. Forward-looking statements in this press release should be evaluated together with the many uncertainties that affect Bristol-Myers Squibb's business, particularly those identified in the cautionary factors discussion in Bristol-Myers Squibb's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2014 in our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and our Current Reports on Form 8-K. Bristol-Myers Squibb undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.