Several of Amgen Inc.’s early-stage therapies for lung and blood cancers will be available to patients through trials at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston as part of a five-year collaboration between the Thousand Oaks company and the cancer hospital.
Amgen announced Thursday that its bispecific T cell engager; chimeric antigen receptor T cell, or CAR T cell; and small molecule programs would be included in the initiative, which involves two separate deals with MD Anderson. The first is for a Phase 1 clinical trial on the effectiveness of the firm’s therapies in patients with multiple myeloma and small cell lung cancer, while the second is a four-year agreement that will include other institutions in pre-clinical and clinical trials involving leukemia patients as well as those who have syndromes that disrupt blood cell production, Amgen said.
All of the drugs studied under the agreement fall under the designation of immuno-oncology, which includes therapies that harness the body’s own immune system to fight cancer.
“We are pleased to work with MD Anderson to accelerate the translation of several of our early-stage oncology programs from the laboratory to the clinic,” Amgen Translational Sciences and Oncology Senior Vice President Dr. David Reese said in a statement.
Shares of Amgen (AMGN) fell 62 cents, or less than a percent, on Thursday to close at $179.62 on the Nasdaq.