Some good news was reported recently in a Biospace article. Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harbour BioMed have agreed to combine resources and co-develop novel biotherapies for oncology and immunological diseases. Their goal is to fill areas of patients’ needs that have yet to be addressed.
Bispecific antibodies (BsAbs) can bind two individual antigens simultaneously. To date, they have been used to redirect effector cells that demolish tumor cells or cells that are virus-infected.
Researchers believe that BsAbs, which use the immune system to fight cancer, may be of value in expanding monoclonal antibody potential. Monoclonal antibodies, a form of protein developed in a laboratory, bind to one substance. They are used in the treatment of certain cancers.
CAR-T cell therapies are a fairly new form of immunotherapy. Car-T utilizes T cells that target cancerous cells. Both Dana-Farber and Harbour will collaborate in the development of oncologic drugs.
Harbour Mice® Technology
In accordance with the terms of their collaboration agreement, Harbour BioMed will be using its Harbour Mice technology supported by Dana Farber’s research expertise. These transgenic mice have been involved in studies on obesity, diabetes, heart disorders, arthritis, anxiety, and substance abuse as well as Parkinson’s disease and other disorders. The transgenic mice and knockout mice (lacking tumor-suppressing genes) are considered to be excellent models for the study of human cancers.
Follow The Money
Only one month earlier Dana Farber participated in another collaboration effort. This agreement involved a $2 billion multi-year fundraising campaign to propel Dana Farber into cancer research. In this instance, Deerfield Management agreed to invest as much as $130 million within a ten-year period towards their project.
Dana Farber’s CEO says that when the success of a product is not guaranteed, researchers rely on this type of funding to move forward with new and improved therapies. She adds that her focus is on Deerfield and Dana Farber’s joint investment hoping it will improve the quality of life for cancer patients.