Historic National Coalition formed to accelerate next generation immunotherapy in cancer care
- Nation’s first insurance coverage of next generation whole genome sequencing and proteomic diagnostic platform in cancer patients.
- Next generation sequencing and precision medicine evolving from research to the clinical trial and cancer care setting
- Coalition to design, initiate and complete randomized clinical trials at all stages of cancer in up to 20 tumor types in as many as 20,000 patients in multiple phase 1 to 3 trials by year 2020
- Beneficiaries and patients will undergo next-generation molecular sequencing and gain access to over 60 novel and approved molecules to be tested as immunotherapy combinations in 20,000 cancer patients with cancer across all tumor types: The QUILT Program
Leaders from large pharma including Celgene and Amgen, biotech including NantWorks, NantKwest, Etubics, Altor Bioscience, and Precision Biologics, major academic cancer centers and community oncologists announced the launch of The National Immunotherapy Coalition (NIC), a historic alliance–in collaboration with Independence Blue Cross, one of the nation’s largest payers and Bank of America, one of the largest self-insured companies in the U.S.–with a singular focus: accelerating the potential of combination immunotherapies as the next generation standard of care in patients with cancer.
This unprecedented collaboration of multinational pharmaceutical, biotechnology companies, academic centers and community oncologists will make possible access to over 60 novel and approved agents under exploration in the war against cancer and will enable rapid testing of novel immunotherapy combination protocols, forming the basis of The Cancer MoonShot 2020 (http://www.CancerMoonShot2020.org). The NIC will design, initiate and complete randomized clinical trials in cancer patients with cancer at all stages of disease in up to 20 tumor types in as many as 20,000 patients by the year 2020.
The QUILT Program
The QUILT (QUantitative Integrative Lifelong Trial) program is designed to harness and orchestrate all the elements of the immune system (including dendritic cell, T cell and NK cell therapies) by testing novel combinations of vaccines, cell-based immunotherapy, metronomic chemotherapy, low dose radiotherapy and immunomodulators — including check point inhibitors– in patients who have undergone next generation whole genome, transcriptome and quantitative proteomic analysis, with the goal of achieving durable, long-lasting remission for patients with cancer.
The multiple Phase 1 and 2 protocol designs will be a collaboration between academia, pharma, and clinical scientific experts in immunotherapy in accordance with the recent published U.S. Food and Drug Administration guidance of “Co-development of Two or More New Investigational Drugs for Use in Combination.” Multiple companies are currently exploring first-in-human clinical trials as part of agreements between government agencies, including Immunology Branches of NCI, academia and community oncologists. Multiple randomized Phase 2 trials testing genomically and proteomically informed novel combinations of immunotherapy agents, will pave the way to identifying cancer therapy combinations with the lowest toxicity and the highest quality of life.
Both academic cancer centers and community oncologists will participate in the QUILT Program to enroll 20,000 patients by 2020. The QUILT Program will be stratified across multiple Phase 1 and Phase 2 trials, addressing up to 20 tumor types including breast, lung, prostate, ovarian, brain, head and neck, multiple myeloma, sarcoma, pancreatic cancer, among others. Pharmaceutical and biotechnology partners have made an unprecedented commitment to make more than 60 novel immunotherapy, targeted therapy and chemotherapeutic agents available to be combined across multiple tumor types.
“There are unique times in history when events and advancements in technology converge to elicit a quantum leap in medical care. This is not only a unique time, but also a unique inflection point in the history of cancer,” said Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, M.D., Founder and Chief Executive Officer of NantWorks and the Chan Soon-Shiong Institute of Molecular Medicine. “The era of immunotherapy has taken the oncology world by storm. For the first time in 40 years there is a glimmer that we may be able to win this war against cancer. Large pharma and biotech companies are developing dozens of agents to activate the immune system. The problem is that while these drugs are being developed individually in silos by each entity, they need to act together when it comes to activating the immune system. If we follow the current path of drug development, it may take 40 or 50 years before we have worked out the right cocktail combination and countless lives will be lost as a result of this inefficiency.”
Dr. Soon-Shiong continued, “Our knowledge in the science of genomics, proteomics, immunology and immunotherapy has advanced and converged at an unprecedented speed, making now the time for the rapid deployment and orchestration of immunotherapy for the benefit of millions of cancer patients. The Cancer MoonShot 2020 Program, the National Immunotherapy Coalition and the QUILT Program are designed to do just that, bring together a diverse group of visionary leaders and stakeholders to pool resources and bring to patients a dramatic improvement in cancer care.”
Payers, Providers and Technology Solutions
Beneficiaries and patients will undergo next-generation molecular sequencing and gain access to over 60 novel and approved molecules to be tested as immunotherapy combinations in 20,000 cancer patients across all tumor types in a master protocol: The QUILT Program.
Daniel J. Hilferty, President and Chief Executive Officer of Independence of Health Group said, “Independence Blue Cross is committed to bringing state-of-the-art advances in oncology care. Although the science is still evolving, experts agree that immunotherapy is a game-changing approach that is expected to revolutionize the way we treat cancer in the future. We are proud to participate in the National Immunotherapy Coalition. We look forward to continued collaboration among this incredible team to develop the most innovative cancer fighting strategy in our lifetime.”
Jim Huffman, Senior Vice President, Head of US Health and Wellness Benefits, Bank of America: “Bank of America provides coverage for about 500,000 employees and their families and for the past five years has worked closely with NantHealth to explore innovative methods for improving health & wellness for their associates. We are doing our part to address an issue that affects the lives of our employees, our customers and clients, and the people in the communities we serve around the world. We are committed to providing the most advanced cancer care to our employees and the National Immunotherapy Coalition with its national footprint of oncologists practicing cutting edge medicine is a valuable resource we will now be able to offer to our 500,000 beneficiaries. Bank of America has partnered with Dr. Soon-Shiong and his team over the past five years to bring advanced health and wellness to our associates and their families, and we are proud to be a part of this Cancer MoonShot 2020.”
Paul M. Black, Allscripts, Chief Executive Officer & Director: “The National Immunotherapy Coalition is an exciting step towards a more efficient future in cancer treatment, partnering research and health information technology in an entirely new way. As a leader in healthcare information technology solutions, the EHR solution for the NIH and the NCI, we will play the critical role of connecting this newfound medical insight to the communities of healthcare professionals at the frontlines of care delivery. Combining the cutting edge research being done by NantWorks with the power of their Allscripts clinical information solutions will better harness the enormous volume of newly available data, allowing the dissemination of new discoveries much more rapidly to connected communities than has been possible in the past. We have seen already that when new research is presented in the clinicians’ workflow efficiently and in a way that feels natural to them, it allows them to focus first and foremost on the well-being of all those dealing with cancer.”
John Chen, Blackberry CEO: “At Blackberry, we understand the value that lies at the intersection of healthcare and technology, which is why we are constantly making advancements to reflect the ever-changing healthcare landscape. As we already power many of the tools that clinicians rely on heavily, we are confident that our involvement in the National Immunotherapy Coalition will be an asset to the future of Cancer treatment. This unique collaboration is pioneering extraordinary solutions to cancer care and we are truly honored to be a part of it.”
The ambitious goals of the Cancer MoonShot 2020 Program were presented at a meeting hosted by Vice President Joseph Biden at his Naval Observatory residence in Washington DC on December 1, 2015, where members of the coalition presented their shared vision for translating the promise of precision medicine through the delivery of combination immunotherapy to routine clinical cancer care, as well as their shared commitment to accelerate the development of immunotherapy and vaccine therapy as the next generation evolution of cancer care.
The concept of Cancer Moonshot 2020 also shared with Congress and the world by President Obama during the 2016 State of the Union Address.
About The National Immunotherapy Coalition
The National Immunotherapy Coalition (NIC) is an historic alliance formed through the efforts of top leaders from large pharmaceutical, biotechnology, health insurance and technology companies. The coalition’s singular focus is to accelerate the potential of combination immunotherapies as the next generation standard of care in patients with cancer. For more information, please visit http://www.CancerMoonShot2020.org
About The Cancer MoonShot 2020 Program
The Cancer MoonShot 2020 Program is the nation’s most comprehensive cancer collaborative initiative seeking to accelerate the potential of combination immunotherapy as the next generation standard of care in cancer patients. This initiative aims to explore a new paradigm in cancer care by initiating randomized Phase II trials in patients at all stages of disease in 20 tumor types in 20,000 patients within the next 36 months. These findings will inform Phase III trials and the aspirational moonshot to develop an effective vaccine-based immunotherapy to combat cancer by 2020. For more information, please visit http://www.CancerMoonShot2020.org