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An immunotherapy initiative
03-30-2016
by Kelsey Kaustinen  |  Email the author
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BERKELEY, Calif.—A new initiative is underway between the University of California Berkeley and Aduro Biotech Inc. This program, the Immunotherapeutics and Vaccine Research Initiative (IVRI), is Berkeley’s first immunotherapy-focused initiative. UC Berkeley will apply its extensive research capabilities with Aduro's experience in immunotherapy discovery and development for the identification and advancement of new treatment options and preventive modalities for cancer, infectious disease and autoimmune disease. The intent for IVRI is to explore the synergy between cancer and infectious disease research and speed discoveries in both therapeutic fields. IVRI researchers will work with collaborators and sponsors to discover and advance immunotherapeutics and vaccine strategies.
 
“Through this unique collaboration, there is tremendous opportunity to improve our understanding of the immune system’s potential to serve as an important weapon in treating cancer and infectious disease,” Stephen T. Isaacs, chairman, president and CEO of Aduro, remarked in a statement. “By combining UC Berkeley’s leading research and academic resources with innovative technology platforms, such as those developed by Aduro, we are confident that this initiative will lead to an improved understanding of, and potential treatments for, some of the most devastating diseases.”
 
Aduro is the founding partner of IVRI. Under this work with UC Berkeley, Aduro will provide $7.5 million in research funding over the next three years, with an option for Aduro to increase and extend that funding for up to an additional three years. UC Berkeley researchers will also have the opportunity to access Aduro's novel technology platforms, including LADD, STING Pathway Activators and B-select monoclonal antibodies, which are designed to harness the body's natural immune system. IVRI officially launched on March 24 with a reception at the UC Berkeley campus.
 
“In the last several years, we have learned so much about the role of the immune system in treating disease, and we look forward to harnessing that information across both research and industry to develop innovative new treatment options to improve patient care,” David Raulet, faculty director of the IVRI and a professor of immunology and pathogenesis at UC Berkeley, said in a press release. “Through this initiative, we will leverage our powerful research networks to understand how we can better engage the immune system in treating cancer, infectious disease and autoimmune disease. By doing this, we hope to develop new methods for targeting and effectively controlling many different cancers, autoimmune and infectious diseases. Our goal is for these findings to pave the way for the development of innovative new treatment options.”
 
Aduro also recently announced that it had dosed its first patient in SEASCAPE, a Phase 1/2 clinical study to assess the safety, tolerability and preliminary efficacy of CRS-207, Aduro’s lead listeria-based immunotherapy construct, in combination with epacadostat (INCB24360), Incyte Corporation’s selective IDO1 inhibitor, in patients with ovarian cancer.
 
SEASCAPE (Study of Epacadostat and CRS-207 in Adults with Platinum Resistant Ovarian Cancer) is co-funded by Incyte and Aduro, and seeks to establish a recommended dose based on safety and tumor biomarkers for CRS-207 and epacadostat in Phase 1 followed by expansion into Phase 2, which will evaluate the combination at the recommended (or identified) dose level compared to CRS-207 alone.
 
 
SOURCE: Aduro press release
 
Code: E03291601

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