Center for Co‑Clinical Trials
RESEARCH PLATFORM FOR
THE MOON SHOTS PROGRAM
Tim Heffernan, Ph.D.
Executive Director and Head, Oncology Research
Joseph Marzalek, Ph.D.
Co-leader, Center for Co-Clinical Trials
Translating discoveries to drugs
Creating a cancer drug typically takes years of research and testing. Cancer patients deserve better.
The CCCT helps with:
- Improving the speed of drug development; translating cancer discoveries into drugs at a faster rate
- Identifying specific patient populations most likely to respond to drugs in safe, effective clinical trials
The CCCT integrates world-class drug discovery and translational
research teams with a ground-breaking computational biology
infrastructure. Having unparalleled access to patient samples and an
industry-trained in vivo pharmacology unit helps us
expedite the testing of novel therapeutic hypotheses for treatment of
cancer in defined patient populations.
Selecting the right patient populations
Working closely with the small-molecule drug development team at the Institute for Applied Cancer Science (IACS), the CCCT aims to deliver new agents and therapies to the clinic. Cross-functional, multi-disciplinary teams work together to identify patient populations that will be most responsive to these novel agents by developing a deep understanding of the biology driving specific tumor-dependencies and using this knowledge to turn those dependencies into vulnerabilities.
Besides identifying new precision medicines, scientists from CCCT work with MD Anderson’s Moon Shots™ to develop therapeutic regimens to be positioned in Phase I clinical trials. This means better treatments for patients and more successful clinical trials to get these therapies into the marketplace faster than traditional pharmaceutical efforts.
Since its inception, the CCCT has partnered with IACS to develop a strong pipeline of new cancer therapeutics targeting specific patient populations with unmet medical needs. CCCT and IACS have positioned a lead molecule for acute myeloid leukemia to enter first-in-human trials by Fall 2016, and a second novel therapeutic is projected for IND-filing in mid-2017.
In 2015, the CCCT launched a partnership with Boehringer-Ingelheim to leverage its state-of-the art functional genomics capabilities to identify novel therapeutic targets in pancreatic cancer and co-develop drugs to these targets. This collaboration marries the CCCT’s unique capabilities and clinical development pipelines with Boehringer-Ingelheim’s large-pharma drug discovery infrastructure to deliver therapies to one of the most underserved groups of patients. Additionally, the CCCT is enabling the Moon Shots Program by providing unparalleled access to our translational scientists, computational biologists and our in vivo pharmacology unit to test clinically-relevant hypotheses in the most advanced preclinical models, thus providing for the rationale for novel therapeutic regimens.