Biopharmaceutical firm AbbVie has signed a five-year collaboration agreement with the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine to advance medical oncology research and discovery.

The agreement seeks to strengthen partnership between the firms and offer opportunities to carry out research on several areas of oncology such as lung, colorectal, breast, prostate and haematological cancer.

Under the agreement, Johns Hopkins Medicine physicians and scientists will have access to research AbbVie's new therapies for use in preclinical research funded by the collaboration.

AbbVie will additionally have an option for an exclusive licence to certain Johns Hopkins Medicine discoveries made under the agreement.

AbbVie oncology clinical development vice-president Gary Gordon said: "As an alumnus and a former faculty member of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, I know from my own experience that we will be able to combine AbbVie's expertise in oncology with some of the most talented academic researchers in the field of medicine today.

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"This collaboration will combine our resources and talent with Johns Hopkins Medicine to help further advance our ability to develop new therapies available for cancer patients in need."

"The importance of cancer research is critical to developing new therapies that could have life-changing implications."

As part of the collaborative agreement, a joint steering committee of representatives from each firm will regulate the research projects that the collaboration will commence.

Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center director William Nelson said: "The importance of cancer research is critical to developing new therapies that could have life-changing implications.

"Opportunities to advance science and further research help move us in a direction to yield positive outcomes."

Formed in 2013, AbbVie has more than 28,000 employees and markets medicines in more than 170 countries.

Image: AbbVie US headquarters. Photo: courtesy of AbbVie.