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Corporate alliances

The Belfer Center has formed a number of powerful alliances with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies seeking to bring basic and preclinical scientific breakthroughs to market in the form of new therapeutic products (small molecule drugs, biologics, immunotherapies, etc.).

Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Boston and
Janssen Biotech, Inc.

A collaboration to determine which lung cancer patients are most likely to benefit from a new generation of immunotherapies and to determine which combinations of such therapies promise to be the most effective

This collaboration includes Belfer and Janssen researchers and leverages Belfer’s lung cancer research platform and unique models to assess new immunotherapy agents in conditions that simulate the physical environment of human lung tumors. The collaboration will identify and evaluate the most effective ways of combining immunotherapy drugs, identify biomarkers, and explore the biological mechanisms behind drug resistance. The partnership will also identify molecular weaknesses in lung cancer cells that can be targets for new immunotherapy drugs.

Evotec

A collaboration to discover new oncology therapies targeting epigenetics mechanisms

The goal of this collaboration is to validate emerging epigenetic targets for oncology indications and to demonstrate the drugability of the selected target families. Evotec and the Belfer Center will invest in enabling technologies, experimental target validation, and the generation of chemical matter by leveraging existing expertise and platforms. The collaboration will be fuelled by substantial scientific contributions from each organization aligned with the objective to develop therapies that address unmet medical needs of cancer patients.

AstraZeneca

A collaboration to address drug-resistant lung cancer via clinical trials to better target treatments, as well as create models to help develop the next generation of drugs

In this collaboration, Belfer Center Co-Director Pasi A. Jänne, MD, PhD, is directing clinical trials sponsored by AstraZeneca of a promising new therapeutic agent, AZD9291, which has been shown to be effective in the treatment of patients with advanced EGFR mutation positive lung cancer with the T790M resistance mutation. As part of this trial, AstraZeneca and Belfer scientists have developed noninvasive means of identifying mutations, allowing for real-time tracking of patient tumors. This technology has led to greater understanding of mechanisms of resistance and has allowed doctors to better target treatments. Belfer scientists are also making models from patient tumor cells to aid in the development of next-generation drugs.