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Lurie Cancer Center and NMDTI Announce Collaboration with Bristol-Myers Squibb on Immuno-Oncology Rare Population Malignancy (I-O RPM) Program

Early phase clinical studies to focus on treatment options for
patients with high risk, poor prognostic cancers

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.

(Last updated on August 3, 2015 )