Global biopharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb has announced the formation of the International Immuno-Oncology Network (II-ON), a global collaboration between industry and academia that aims to further the scientific understanding of immuno-oncology (harnassing the body’s own immune system to fight cancer).
In addition to BMS, the II-ON is currently comprised of 10 leading cancer-research institutions, including:
An objective of this collaborative forum is to facilitate the translation of scientific research findings into clinical trials and, eventually, clinical practice. It will also work to further advance innovation in drug discovery and development.
"The International Immuno-Oncology Network facilitates a public-private partnership that will leverage intellectual capabilities across a global network," said Elliott Sigal, M.D., Ph.D., executive vice president, chief scientific officer and president, R&D, Bristol-Myers Squibb. "The shared commitment of all those participating in this collaboration is to evolve our understanding of immuno-oncology towards our ultimate goal of improving patient outcomes."
The role of immuno-oncology in cancer research is growing and in 2011 the concept of "evading immune destruction" was added to the "Hallmarks of Cancer," a widely-referenced peer-reviewed article outlining traits that are believed to be the underlying principles of cancer.