How We Partner with Industry
Strategic alliances aim to provide space for innovative collaborations to accelerate breathrough discoveries in cancer research. Our goal at the Office of Strategic Industry Ventures is to develop deeper and more robust relationships with companies that share a similar vision and goal.
Technology transfer aims to transition institutional intellectual property to third parties for further development and commercialization. We cultivate relationships with reputable entities and entrepreneurs with a proven record of advancing technologies to the market.
The Office of Strategic Industry Ventures and Office of Technology Commercialization teams collaborate routinely to align interests and goals with stakeholders to deliver innovative pathways and contractual frameworks to partner with industry.
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced a multi-year strategic development collaboration to expand the evaluation of olutasidenib in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and other hematologic cancers.
The alliance brings together MD Anderson’s clinical research expertise with Rigel’s differentiated targeted molecule. Under the strategic collaboration, Rigel and MD Anderson will evaluate the potential of olutasidenib to treat newly diagnosed and relapsed or refractory (R/R) patients with AML, higher-risk myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and advanced myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN), in combination with other agents. The collaboration also will support the evaluation of olutasidenib as monotherapy in lower-risk MDS and as maintenance therapy in post-hematopoietic stem cell transplant patients.
“We are excited to enter into this strategic alliance with the exceptional team at MD Anderson to evaluate olutasidenib as a potential therapy for a broad range of IDH1-mutant cancers,” said Raul Rodriguez, president and chief executive officer at Rigel. “We believe olutasidenib has the potential to become a standard of care for patients in urgent need of new hematology-oncology therapies. We look forward to a close collaboration with MD Anderson to advance this as a new therapeutic option for more patients.”
Olutasidenib is a potent, selective, oral, small-molecule inhibitor of mutated IDH1 (mIDH1) designed to bind to and inhibit mIDH1 to reduce 2-hydroxyglutarate levels and restore normal cellular differentiation of myeloid cells. Olutasidenib is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of adult patients with R/R AML with a susceptible isocitrate dehydrogenase-1 (IDH1) mutation as detected by an FDA-approved test.
“Based on its differentiated profile and compelling clinical data to date, olutasidenib has the potential, beyond its currently approved indication, to benefit patients with various cancers where mutant IDH1 is thought to play a role,” said Courtney DiNardo, M.D., professor of Leukemia. “We look forward to collaborating with Rigel to conduct in-depth studies that will determine the broader potential of olutasidenib in these patient populations.”
Rigel and MD Anderson will jointly lead all clinical development efforts, which will be overseen by a joint steering committee. Rigel will provide $15 million in time-based milestone payments and study material over the five-year collaboration. Rigel will retain all rights to its programs under the collaboration.
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc today announced a five-year strategic research collaboration agreement to evaluate zanidatamab, Jazz’s investigational HER2-targeted bispecific antibody, in multiple HER2-expressing cancers.
The collaboration will combine MD Anderson’s translational medicine and clinical research expertise with Jazz’s expanding oncology drug development capabilities to investigate the potential of zanidatamab as monotherapy and in combination with other treatments for patients with different tumor types and stages. This includes its possible applicability in early-stage breast cancer, treatment areas where other HER2-directed therapies have failed, cancers with varying degrees of HER2-expression, and potentially rare, tissue-agnostic cancers.
"Current data indicates that zanidatamab has anti-tumor activity in multiple HER2-positive solid tumors, including positive results from a pivotal clinical trial for patients with HER2-amplified biliary tract cancers,” said Funda Meric-Bernstam, M.D., chair of Investigational Cancer Therapeutics at MD Anderson. “We are pleased to extend our research efforts with Jazz through this new collaboration, which aims to address significant unmet needs in HER2-expressing solid tumors and to look for safe and effective alternatives to chemotherapy in diseases like early-stage breast cancer."
MD Anderson has been instrumental in researching breakthrough cancer therapies and was a key contributor to early investigations exploring the use of zanidatamab against an actionable target in the treatment of multiple tumor types and the subsequent Phase II HERIZON-BTC-01 trial, which evaluated zanidatamab for patients with treatment-refractory HER2-amplified biliary tract cancers. Results presented at the 2023 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting demonstrated durable responses and a confirmed objective response rate of 41%. The presentation was selected for the 2023 Best of ASCO® program.
Jazz and MD Anderson will establish a joint steering committee to oversee the collaboration, which will fund multiple studies over its five-year term. Research under the collaboration is expected to begin in late 2023 or early 2024. This effort builds upon a previous strategic collaboration between Jazz and MD Anderson focused on hematologic malignancies.
"We think zanidatamab has best-in-class potential as a bispecific antibody utilizing biparatopic binding, which results in HER2 signal blockade, as well as immune-mediated cytotoxicity of HER2-expressing cancer cells. Zanidatamab has compelling anti-tumor activity across a broad range of HER2-positive cancers," said Rob Iannone, M.D., executive vice president, global head of research and development at Jazz Pharmaceuticals. "We look forward to continuing to collaborate with MD Anderson to further evaluate zanidatamab’s potential to be transformative to the current standard of care in multiple HER2-expressing cancers. We are dedicated to advancing new treatment options for patients and we believe in the power of collaboration to accelerate the pace of research in difficult-to-treat cancers where persistent treatment gaps remain.”
Email our teams to learn more.
Please use the link below for any inquiries on collaborations and partnerships with MD Anderson Cancer Center.
Please use the link below for any inquiries on commercialization and licensing opportunities with MD Anderson Cancer Center.
Office of Sponsored Programs
Please use the link below for any inquires on grant reviews and submissions at MD Anderson Cancer Center.