- Celgene will partner with a newly-created research group consisting of four major U.S. cancer centers, signing $12.5 million collaboration agreements with each, the company said Wednesday.
- The agreements give Celgene an option to sign future research and commercialization deals for any new cancer drugs developed by the group over the next ten years.
- Each of the four centers—at the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University, Johns Hopkins, and Mount Sinai—are among the 69 institutions designated as part of the National Cancer Institute network.
The four members involved are longstanding powerhouses in cancer research and clinical treatment, and collectively care for more than 30,000 new cancer patients each year.
"Our shared vision and unified approach to biomedical research, discovery and development, combined with Celgene's vast research, development and global commercial expertise, will enable us to accelerate the development and delivery of next-generation cancer therapies to patients worldwide," the directors of the four centers said in a joint statement.
For Celgene, the $50 million in upfront money will give it access to research programs developed by the group, potentially boosting the companies efforts in the cancer space.
Celgene has been aggressive in pursuing immuno-oncology treatments, striking a $1 billion collaboration deal with Juno Therapeutics to develop CAR-T and T-cell receptor technologies. The company also recently expanded a drug development partnership with Agios Pharma.
"We remain firmly committed to driving critical advances in cancer and believe the tremendous expertise of our collaboration partner institutions will be invaluable in identifying new therapies for cancer patients," said Bob Hugin, executive chairman of Celgene.
The four centers are The Abramson Center at UPenn, The Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at Columbia, the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, and The Tisch Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.