MD Anderson and Taiho Pharmaceutical announce collaboration to accelerate development of novel therapies for brain metastasis and other unmet medical needs

Three-year collaboration to focus on therapies for brain metastases, refractory cancers

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and Taiho Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., today announced a three-year strategic collaboration to accelerate the development of treatments for significant unmet medical needs in oncology, including patients with brain metastases and those with cancers refractory to available therapies.

This collaboration will bring Taiho’s unique portfolio of preclinical and clinical brain-penetrant therapies together with both the translational research capabilities of MD Anderson’s Translational Research to Advance Therapeutics and Innovation in Oncology (TRACTION) platform as well as insights and clinical development infrastructure from MD Anderson’s Brain Metastasis Clinic.

“Our collaboration with MD Anderson exemplifies a direct line of sight from target development to therapies for patients with limited treatment options,” said Teruhiro Utsugi, Ph.D., managing director at Taiho. “Investigating our novel portfolio of drug candidates in this innovative research structure will enable us to more rapidly identify and develop effective treatment strategies.”

According to the American Brain Tumor Association, metastases to the brain and spine are diagnosed in more than 200,000 patients annually in the US. However, the development of effective treatment approaches for these patients has been hampered because they often are excluded from clinical trials. However, recent studies in melanoma, lung and breast cancers have demonstrated that patients with brain metastases can gain significant clinical benefit from immunotherapy and targeted therapies, leading to improvements in quality of life and survival.

MD Anderson’s Brain Metastasis Clinic is a patient-focused, multidisciplinary center designed to reduce the time from a diagnosis to treatment for patients with brain metastases while improving access to clinical trials. The TRACTION platform, an industry-scale translational research unit within MD Anderson’s Therapeutics Discovery division, has established a robust integrated research framework with the Brain Metastasis Clinic to identify innovative treatment approaches and execute novel clinical trials.

“MD Anderson’s commitment to delivering novel therapeutic strategies to patients with unmet clinical needs is exemplified in the development of the Brain Metastasis Clinic and its close collaboration with the TRACTION platform,” said Timothy Heffernan, Ph.D., executive director of TRACTION at MD Anderson. “Our alliance with Taiho combines outstanding drug discovery with expertise in translational research and clinical development to advance new treatment options for patients diagnosed with brain metastases.”