MD Anderson and Lion Biotechnologies announce strategic alliance to conduct clinical trials of TILs in multiple solid tumors

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and Lion Biotechnologies, Inc., a biotechnology company developing novel cancer immunotherapies based on tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte (TIL) technology, today announced  a multi-year strategic alliance agreement involving multi-arm clinical trials to evaluate the safety and efficacy of TIL therapy in ovarian, various sarcomas, and pancreatic cancers.

In addition, pre-clinical research will explore the expansion of TIL in other rare tumor types. In the clinical trials, TIL therapy will be evaluated in multiple solid tumor cancers using two different TIL manufacturing processes. The trials will be designed by a Lion and MD Anderson joint steering committee and conducted at MD Anderson. A related preclinical research collaboration will focus on the expansion of TIL from additional tumor types in order to identify new indications for future clinical research. Lion and MD Anderson will have manufacturing responsibilities for production of TILs used in the planned cellular therapy trials.

“We are excited to form this strategic alliance with MD Anderson. Together, we expect to generate data that will support the pursuit of additional pipeline indications to complement our ongoing Lion-sponsored TIL clinical programs in metastatic melanoma, head and neck and cervical cancers,” said Maria Fardis, Ph.D., Lion Biotechnologies’ president and chief officer. “This collaboration leverages Lion's strong expertise in TIL therapy and our expanding TIL manufacturing capacity, with MD Anderson's deep experience in developing novel methods for generating TIL and innovative clinical care in treating oncology patients with unmet needs.”

“This TIL-based technology is yet another tool in MD Anderson’s ongoing efforts to provide new therapies for our patients,” said Amir Jazaeri, M.D., associate professor of Gynecologic Oncology and Reproductive Medicine at MD Anderson. “It is our hope that this area of study will further treatment options for multiple types of cancer.”