CRI commits $29.3 million in new funds to accelerate development of cancer immunotherapies

The Cancer Research Institute (CRI), a nonprofit organization dedicated to fueling the discovery and development of immunotherapies for all forms of cancer, announced that it has committed more than $29.3 million in new funds to accelerate cancer immunology research and cancer immunotherapy clinical development in the United States, Australia, Canada, France, Sweden, Switzerland, and The Netherlands. The grants will provide critical support for clinical and translational studies by leading investigators aimed at testing and improving cancer immunotherapies for patients, as well as for research and training of promising postdoctoral fellows seeking to understand the basic biology of the immune system and cancer.

The awards include:

  • 26 postdoctoral fellowships for young scientists who are bringing creative new insights and perspectives to the fields of immunology and tumor immunology

  • 13 Clinic and Laboratory Integration Program (CLIP) grants, which provide two years of support for translational laboratory investigation

  • 7 Clinical Strategy Team grants that will fund preclinical research necessary to generate innovative new combination immunotherapy clinical trial concepts

  • 4 Clinical Accelerator trial grants, including:

    • A phase I/II trial of intratumoral immunotherapy and checkpoint blockade in a variety of cancers

    • A phase I/II trial of a small molecule inhibitor or a vaccine, in combination with checkpoint blockade, in lung cancer

    • A clinical trial of immunotherapy following autologous stem cell therapy in multiple myeloma

    • An addendum to the phase I/II trial of an anti-PD-L1 antibody and a novel TLR8 agonist in ovarian cance

With this support, CRI scientists are shedding light on some of the most important questions in cancer immunology, including the targeting of new immune checkpoints, imaging of the tumor immune microenvironment, immunosuppression and its part in the cancer immunity cycle, macrophages and their role in cancer immunotherapy, and the role of the microbiome in cancer development and progression.

"The Cancer Research Institute funds cutting-edge cancer immunology and immunotherapy research from basic laboratory investigation to translational science to clinical trials, and these grant review sessions were no different," says James P. Allison, Ph.D., director of the CRI Scientific Advisory Council. "The work, which spans almost every type of cancer, will play a critical role in bringing cancer immunotherapies to patients faster, and the Cancer Research Institute is excited and proud to support such promising scientists and their research."

  • $29.3 million

  • 14 states

  • 7 countries

  • 41 institutions

  • Cancers include bladder, brain, breast, cervical, colorectal, cutaneous T cell lymphoma, head and neck, kidney, leukemia, lung, lymphoma, Merkel cell carcinoma, melanoma, multiple myeloma, ovarian, pancreatic, prostate, skin, sarcoma, and uterine

Source: Cancer Research Institute

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