Pfizer and National Cancer Institute become collaborators

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Pfizer Inc. has announced that it has entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with the National Cancer Institute (NCI). As a part of the agreement, Pfizer will collaborate with the NCI’s Center for Cancer Research (CCR) to study three immunotherapy agents that target multiple cancers. Together they will arrange and conduct preclinical trials to evaluate three immunotherapy agents which have been developed in an alliance between Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany and Pfizer. The agreement assesses OX40 agonist, utomilumab and avelumab immune-oncology assets alone and in various combinations, focused on combatting a multitude of cancers.

“We are looking forward to combining our expertise with those at the NCI to explore agents targeting the immune system in doublet and triplet combinations. Clinical studies focused on translational endpoints will allow us to optimally develop potential rational combinations.” – Dr. Chris Boshoff, Senior Vice President and Head of Immuno-oncology, Translational Oncology and Early Development, Pfizer Global Product Development.”

The collaborative preclinical and clinical studies will be co-led by Dr. Jeffrey Schlom, chief of the Laboratory of Tumor Immunology and Biology at the Center for Cancer Research and Dr. James Gulley, chief of the Genitourinary Malignancies Branch at CCR. The agents will be tested in various combinations with each other, but will also be tested alongside current standard therapies such as chemotherapy, radiation and targeted therapies across a range of cancers.


Pfizer Oncology boasts its commitment to constantly pursuing treatments that have a meaningful impact on those living with cancer, and are happy to be doing so within successful partnerships and collaborations. Pfizer Oncology strives to cure or control cancer with its breakthrough medicines and focus on groundbreaking research and investigation. More can be read about their oncology research at http://www.pfizer.com/research/therapeutic_areas/oncology.