Biopharmaceutical company AbbVie has collaborated with the University of Chicago to advance cancer research over the next five years.
The collaboration agreement is aimed at improving the pace of discovery and advance medical research in oncology at both organisations.
As per the agreed terms, AbbVie will fund preclinical research, clinical trials and possible future programmes at the university resulting from this partnership.
The company will also have an exclusive option to license some of the discoveries at the university.
The partners will jointly work to advance research in several areas of oncology such as breast, lung, prostate, colorectal and hematological cancer.
University of Chicago medical affairs executive vice-president, Kenneth S. Polonsky, said: “University of Chicago researchers and clinicians have worked closely with AbbVie scientists in areas such as immunology and oncology for some time.
“This agreement adds depth to that established and productive collaboration. The increased level of interaction should speed progress in medical care, beginning with cancer patients.”
Scientists and physicians at the university will have access to new therapies developed by AbbVie, for use in preclinical research funded under the collaboration.
AbbVie researchers will in turn have access to data commons technology developed by the Centre for Data Intensive Science at the university and the core technical team that is developing the technology.
Researchers from the university and AbbVie will also take part in an annual symposium, where scientists from both institutions come together to discuss research and evaluate potential new projects.
Meanwhile, the company is to enter into a partnership with clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company argenx to develop and commercialise ARGX-115.
ARGX-115 is argenx’s preclinical-stage human antibody programme targeting the novel immuno-oncology target GARP, a protein that is believed to contribute to immuno-suppressive effects of T-cells.
AbbVie will pay $40m in upfront payment to argenx for the exclusive option to license ARGX-115 and near-term preclinical milestones of $20m.
Image: Researchers work in a laboratory at the University of Chicago. Photo: courtesy of Jean Lachat.