Johns Hopkins joins partnership to discover, develop new cancer treatments

Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center part of research consortium supported by biopharmaceutical company Celgene

A group of cancer centers from four leading academic institutions today announced the establishment of a research consortium to accelerate the discovery and development of cancer therapeutics and diagnostics, with the goal of creating high-impact research programs to discover new cancer treatments.

The consortium will bring together researchers from the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania, The Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at Columbia University Medical Center, and The Tisch Cancer Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Over the next 10 years, the institutions intend to present multiple high-impact research programs to Celgene Corporation with the goal of developing new life-saving therapeutics.

Over the next 10 years, the institutions intend to present multiple high-impact research programs to Celgene Corporation—a New Jersey-based global biopharmaceutical company engaged primarily in the discovery, development, and commercialization of innovative therapies for the treatment of cancer and inflammatory diseases—with the goal of developing new life-saving therapeutics.

Celgene will pay a total of $50 million—$12.5 million to each institution—for the option to enter into future agreements to develop and commercialize novel cancer therapeutics arising from the consortium's efforts. Subject to Celgene's decision to opt-in and license the resulting technologies, each program has the potential to be valued at hundreds of millions of dollars.

"The active and coordinated engagement, creative thinking, and unique perspectives and expertise of each institution have made this collaboration a reality," the four cancer center directors—Steven Burakoff of the Icahn School of Medicine, Stephen G. Emerson of Columbia University, William Nelson of JHU's Kimmel Cancer Center, and Chi Van Dang of the University of Pennsylvania—said in a joint statement. "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."

In addition to the benefits of long-standing professional relationships among the four cancer center directors, the depth and breadth of the institutions' combined research and clinical infrastructures provide a foundation upon which to build this collaboration. The four institutions collectively care for more than 30,000 new cancer patients each year and have nearly 800 faculty members who are active in basic and clinical research, and clinical care.

The four consortium members are among the 69 institutions designated as cancer centers by the National Cancer Institute. These 69 institutions serve as the backbone of NCI's research efforts.

The Cancer Trust, a non-profit organization, brought together the four institutions, thereby establishing the multi-institutional research consortium. The commercialization offices of the four institutions—Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures, Columbia Technology Ventures, Mount Sinai Innovation Partners, and the Penn Center for Innovation—subsequently collaborated with Celgene.