The nation’s first Immuno-oncology-focused Contract research organizations (CRO) was launched in Florida as Moffitt Cancer Center announced today that they launched a first-of-its-kind CRO focused on accelerating immunotherapy research. A new subsidiary, it represents a one-stop-shop for industry sponsors (e.g. biopharma companies) to accelerate their immune-oncology and cell therapy research through collaborative clinical trial support and administration.
Immunotherapy is Hot Topic
Immunotherapy, an emerging field in oncology, involves cell therapies such as chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR T) therapy. In 2017, the American Society of Clinical Oncology named CAR T-cell therapy the advance of the year. 80% of lymphoma and leukemia patients who have received CAR T therapy have benefitted from the therapy, and more than half remain in remission. Moffitt was involved in the clinical trials that led to the approval of CAR T therapy and continues to be a leader in cell therapy clinical development.
Moffitt Cancer Center has enrolled more than 3,000 patients in immune-oncology trials over the past half-decade. Thomas Sellers, Ph.D., MPH, center director and executive vice president with Moffitt reported “Moffit saw a unique opportunity; one that furthers our mission to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer. There are currently no immunotherapy clinical research organizations in the United States. We can provide a much-needed service that will bring in new immunotherapy patients more quickly.”
The CRO will offer end-to-end services for biopharma sponsors. This will include not only preclinical study and manufacturing but also clinical trial design and oversight, not to mention data management and regulatory assistance. Moffitt Cancer Center seeks to take the entire immune-oncology drug development lifecycle if the client needs this breadth of service.
Investors and Partners
Moffitt is reaching out to industry sponsors (e.g. pharma and biotech companies) as well as CROs and others for a potential strategic alliance, partnership and investors. The cancer center will appoint a Board of Directors to oversee the operations. The CRO is expected to be operational in 9 to 12 months. Exciting times at Moffit Cancer Center!
Call to Action: Interested in partnering or investing in Moffitt Cancer Center immune-oncology CRO? Check-in with Thomas Sellers’ office.