NIH Announces Partnership for Accelerating Cancer Therapies

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) joined with 11 biopharmaceutical companies to launch the Partnership for Accelerating Cancer Therapies (PACT), a five-year, public-private research collaboration, as part of the Cancer Moonshot Initiative. PACT will initially focus on identifying, developing, and validating biomarkers to advance immunotherapy options. PACT will also facilitate information-sharing among all stakeholders to better coordinate clinical efforts, align investigative approaches, reduce duplication, and enable more high-quality trials to be conducted.

The 11 partner organizations will contribute up to $1 million per year for five years for a total private-sector contribution of up to $55 million; NIH will contribute $160 million during the five-year partnership – pending availability of funds – for a total of $215 million in funding.

“We have seen dramatic responses from immunotherapy, often eradicating cancer completely for some patients,” said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD. “We need to bring that kind of success – and hope – for more people and more types of cancers, and we need to do it quickly. A systematic approach like PACT will help us to achieve success faster.”

The Foundation for the NIH will manage the program, and the FDA will provide an advisory role. PACT partners are AbbVie, Amgen, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Celgene, Genentech, Gilead Sciences, GlaxoSmithKline, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Novartis, and Pfizer. Additional support has been provided by Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.

In addition, the National Cancer Institute awarded cooperative agreements – totaling $53.6 million in funding over five years – to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Stanford Cancer Institute, Precision Immunology Institute, and Tisch Cancer Institute to support the creation of four Cancer Immune Monitoring and Analysis Centers and a Cancer Immunologic Data Commons. The institutions will provide a network of laboratory centers to support adult and pediatric immunotherapy trials.

Source: National Institutes of Health press release, October 12, 2017.