PHILADELPHIA – May 16, 2017 -- Stand Up To Cancer announced today a second SU2C Catalyst™ collaboration with Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, aimed at accelerating the development of new cancer treatments and combination therapies through clinical trials using Genentech medicines, including both commercial and pre-commercial treatments. The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), SU2C’s Scientific Partner, issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to the scientific community, with responses due June 27, 2017.
The collaboration with Genentech is expected to fund one or more proposals, each in the range of $1 million to $3 million. Clinical trials must be at the heart of each proposal. Genentech also collaborated in an initial round of SU2C Catalyst projects launched last year.
“We are grateful for Genentech’s continuing support of SU2C research and for the extraordinary role the company has played in developing immunotherapy and targeted treatments for many different types of cancer,” said Raymond N. DuBois, MD, PhD, dean of the College of Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, and chair of the SU2C Catalyst Genentech Steering Subcommittee. “Immunotherapy and targeted therapies have made great inroads in treating cancer, but much more work must be done to expand their reach and effectiveness.”
Proposals for SU2C Catalyst Research Grant: Genentech-Supported Projects must be submitted by noon U.S. Eastern Time June 27, 2017. Read the program guidelines. Proposals must be submitted through the proposalCentral website.
SU2C Catalyst is a collaborative program managed for SU2C by the AACR that is intended to leverage all facets of the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, diagnostic, and devices industries to bring new treatments to patients as rapidly as possible through early-phase clinical trials or translational research.
The Genentech-supported projects will support clinical trials focusing on new uses for 14 approved or investigational medicines, including:
- Atezolizumab (TECENTRIQ®)
- Bevacizumab (Avastin®) (with atezolizumab or other immune modulating agents)
- Alectinib (Alecensa®)
- Cobimetinib (Cotellic®)
- Vemurafenib (Zelboraf®)
- Vismodegib (Erivedge®)
- Trastuzumab (Herceptin®) plus pertuzumab (Perjeta®) (must be in this combination only)
- Obinutuzumab (Gazyva®)
- Anti-OX40 (alone or combination with atezolizumab only)
- CEA-CD3 T-cell bispecific antibody (TCB) (contingent upon ongoing developments from the Genentech/Roche clinical development program)
Each of these can be investigated alone or in combination with other compounds, biologics, diagnostics, or devices intended as therapeutic interventions, and/or methods for biomarker identification in the following thematic areas of research:
- Role of negative or positive regulatory molecules (biomarkers) as predictors of response to immune therapies in the setting of preoperative versus metastatic clinical settings.
- Neoantigen identification and predictability of clinical effects of immune therapies (checkpoints, TCB antibodies, adjuvants, endogenous versus exogenous vaccines).
- Duration of immune therapies, including after response or disease progression, and impact on immune biomarkers.
- Mechanisms of acquired resistance to checkpoint inhibitors or post-progression relapse after checkpoint inhibitors.
- Investigate the immune-modulatory and anti-tumor effects of combinations of: immunotherapeutic agents (with atezolizumab as the backbone of the combination), targeted agents, or conventional cancer therapies, where the combination reflects a clear mechanistic hypothesis.
“Cancer is a complicated and challenging disease, and it’s important that our medicines are accessible to the research community through programs like Catalyst to help drive progress forward,” said Edith Perez, MD, vice president and head of U.S. Medical Affairs, BioOncology for Genentech. “It is through collaboration that we can collectively advance treatments to improve outcomes for people with cancer.”
Each SU2C Catalyst project is carried out by a collaborative team of expert investigators. The project must be designed to accelerate the clinical use of therapeutic agents or methods leading to patient involvement within the three-year term of the grant, and to deliver near-term patient benefit, according to the program’s guidelines. Merck and Bristol-Myers Squibb Company are also sponsoring SU2C Catalyst programs.
Proposals for SU2C Catalyst research projects must be based on perceived opportunities for success, as well as high-priority areas with a critical need for rapid progress beyond current medical care.
SU2C Catalyst is overseen by an Executive Committee chaired by Nobel Laureate Phillip A. Sharp, PhD, chair of the SU2C Scientific Advisory Committee and institute professor at the Koch Institute for Integrated Cancer Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The SU2C Catalyst–Genentech Steering Subcommittee chaired by DuBois will also include three additional academic scientists named by SU2C in consultation with the AACR, and three pharmaceutical industry members named by Genentech. The subcommittee will review submitted grant proposals and make recommendations to the SU2C Catalyst Executive Committee.