Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE: BMY) today announced that Columbia University Medical Center and Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre (Peter Mac) have joined the International Immuno-Oncology Network (II-ON), a global peer-to-peer collaboration between Bristol-Myers Squibb and academia that aims to advance Immuno-Oncology (I-O) science and translational medicine to improve patient outcomes. Launched in 2012 by Bristol-Myers Squibb, the II-ON was one of the first networks to bring academia and industry together to further the scientific understanding of I-O, and has expanded from 10 to 15 sites including more than 250 investigators working on over 150 projects across 20 tumor types. The II-ON has generated cutting-edge I-O data that have informed the development of new I-O agents, yielded publications and produced some of the earliest findings on a variety of biomarkers and target identification and validation.
“Bristol-Myers Squibb has long believed the future of cancer research is dependent on investments in science and partnerships. We formed the II-ON to facilitate innovation in I-O science and drug discovery by providing a streamlined framework for peer-to-peer collaboration among global cancer research leaders,” said Nils Lonberg, Head of Oncology Biology Discovery at Bristol-Myers Squibb. “The significant discoveries generated by the II-ON over the past five years have not only informed our robust early I-O pipeline, but also serve to advance the entire field. We are proud to collaborate with Columbia University Medical Center and Peter Mac, and together with the entire II-ON will continue to lead pioneering research and heighten our collective understanding of the science behind I-O.”
Through the II-ON, Bristol-Myers Squibb is collaborating with leading cancer research institutions around the world to generate innovative I-O science, launch biology-driven trials and seek out cutting-edge technologies with the goal of translating research findings into clinical trials and, ultimately, clinical practice.
“I-O research may be transforming the way we treat cancer,” said Charles G. Drake, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center and Director of Genitourinary Oncology and Associate Director for Clinical Research at the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia. “The II-ON offers a tremendous opportunity to work smarter and faster along with our colleagues to address fundamental scientific questions in I-O.”
“We believe the collective knowledge and research power of the II-ON will generate groundbreaking findings in I-O with the potential to improve outcomes for people affected by cancer,” said Professor Joe Trapani, Executive Director Cancer Research and Head of the Cancer Immunology Program at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne, Australia.
Building on the success of the II-ON, Bristol-Myers Squibb has invested in several other models of scientific collaboration with academic partners across the globe, including the Global Expert Centers Initiative (GECI) and the Immuno-Oncology Integrated Community Oncology Network (IO-ICON). “We believe a one-size-fits-all research approach does not facilitate innovation,” said Lonberg. “Our tailored collaborations with academic centers expand our research capabilities and accelerate our collective ability to deliver potentially life-changing results for patients.”