Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 31 n° 301

Collaboration Aims to Discover New Immuno-oncology Targets

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 14 agosto 2019

Harvard University and Merck are launching a collaboration that will provide significant research funding for up to four years to support immuno-oncology research led by Arlene Sharpe, MD, PhD, at Harvard Medical School (HMS). Sharpe, the George Fabyan Professor of Comparative Pathology and chair of the HMS Department of Immunology, will collaborate with researchers at Merck on a major project aiming to discover novel aspects of the immune system that may be targeted in future treatments for cancer.“This collaborative project aims to discover and validate novel regulators of immune responses,” said Dr. Sharpe. “Immunotherapies such as checkpoint inhibitors have revolutionized the treatment of cancer, but my lab is deeply interested in understanding why some patients do not respond or develop resistance to those interventions. My hope is that by defining mechanisms that inhibit immune responses to tumors, we will identify very important druggable targets and new approaches to improve cancer immunotherapy.”The funding will support the work of scientists in the lab of Dr. Sharpe, who is a renowned leader in the field of tumor immunology. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine, and the recipient of numerous awards including the Warren Alpert Foundation Prize in 2017 for her contributions to the discovery of the PD-1 pathway.Under the agreement spearheaded by Harvard’s Office of Technology Development, Merck will have the option to negotiate an exclusive license to innovations arising from the research collaboration to develop these discoveries toward potential treatments for patients.“Collaboration with leading scientific groups is an integral part of Merck’s discovery strategy,” said Dr. Nick Haining, vice president for oncology discovery at Merck Research Laboratories. “We look forward to working with Dr. Sharpe’s team to investigate new ways to harness the immune system for therapeutic advances.”

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