Bristol-Myers Squibb Company announced that Yale Cancer Center has joined the International Immuno-Oncology Network (II-ON), a global peer-to-peer collaboration between Bristol-Myers Squibb and academia that aims to advance translational Immuno-Oncology (I-O) science. Formed in 2012 by Bristol-Myers Squibb, the II-ON was one of the first networks to bring academia and industry together to further the scientific understanding of I-O, and has since expanded from 10 to 16 sites across North America, Europe, Japan and Australia. Today, the partners collaborate to generate innovative I-O science, launch biology-driven trials and apply cutting-edge technologies with the goal of translating research findings into clinical trials and, ultimately, supporting efforts to improve survival outcomes across tumor types.
“The II-ON gives us the chance to work more efficiently and collaboratively with Bristol-Myers Squibb and the other II-ON academic centers to address scientific questions in I-O,” said Roy Herbst, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Center of Immuno-Oncology at Yale Cancer Center and Yale’s principal investigator of the II-ON team. “The hope is this early research can someday inform clinical trials and ultimately help us to achieve our goal of transforming the way we treat people affected by cancer.”
The II-ON was formed on the foundation of three fundamental scientific pillars aimed at addressing key research priorities in I-O: understanding the mechanisms of resistance to immunotherapy; identifying patient populations likely to benefit from immunotherapy; and exploring novel combination therapies that may enhance anti-tumor response through complementary mechanisms of action. By providing a streamlined framework for peer-to-peer collaboration among global cancer research leaders, the network is able to more rapidly facilitate I-O innovation and drug discovery.
“Translational medicine and the understanding of cancer biology are foundational to our oncology R&D program, which is why we’re invested in furthering our understanding of early I-O science through the II-ON,” said Nils Lonberg, head of Oncology Biology Discovery at Bristol-Myers Squibb. “By adding Yale Cancer Center to the network, we are strengthening our collective ability to address essential scientific questions and advance clinical discovery, which we hope will eventually translate to meaningful outcomes for patients.”
Bristol-Myers Squibb believes the future of cancer research is dependent on investments in science and partnerships. In addition to the II-ON, the company has invested in several other models of scientific collaboration with academic partners across the globe, including the Global Expert Centers Initiative (GECI), the Immuno-Oncology Integrated Community Oncology Network (IO-ICON) and the Oncology Academic Research (OAR) Group.
Filed Under: Drug Discovery