Roche forms 21-site I/O R&D network, commits $100M

roche building

Roche has put together a cancer immunotherapy research network and committed up to $100 million to support collaborations between the 21 academic centers. Members of the network will share data, expertise and technology with a view to accelerating the progress of programs out of the lab and into the clinic.

The network, dubbed the global cancer immunotherapy Centers of Research Excellence (imCORE), formalizes the links between Roche, Genentech and the academic centers. Roche is hoping linking and supporting the research sites will lead to new ideas about how to increase the proportion of patients who respond to cancer immunotherapies. So far, the effects of immunotherapies on tumors have ranged from very powerful to non-existent.

Roche is looking outside its walls for help solving the problem.

FREE DAILY NEWSLETTER

Like this story? Subscribe to FierceBiotech!

Biopharma is a fast-growing world where big ideas come along every day. Our subscribers rely on FierceBiotech as their must-read source for the latest news, analysis and data in the world of biotech and pharma R&D. Sign up today to get biotech news and updates delivered to your inbox and read on the go.

“We believe the fastest way to advance progress against cancer is through collaboration, and consistent with our values, the goal of imCORE is to facilitate access to new technologies and emerging data among the top researchers around the world,” Roche CMO Dr Sandra Horning said in a statement.

The Swiss Big Pharma is putting up $100 million to support collaborations within the network. That sum, while tiny in the context of Roche’s $8 billion biopharma R&D budget, is meaningful for the type of projects being pursued within imCORE. The sweet spot for the network spans from basic research, through preclinical and into human studies. Roche plans to maximize the bang for its buck by pooling and sharing data generated by imCORE projects.

That approach is in keeping with the prevailing culture in oncology research since the White House’s Cancer Moonshot 2020 program shunted data sharing up the agenda. On paper, the model opens the door to advances downstream of the completion of a study by allowing a network of researchers to bring their own expertise and experience to the data.

Read more on

Suggested Articles

By employing heart rate signals, physical activity and sleep quality, common Fitbit trackers may be able to predict the spread of the flu.

Nanox has raised $26 million to help fuel the development and commercialization of its Star Trek-inspired digital X-ray bed.

Oncology is clearly a major medical and societal issue, but one that sees too much focus from biopharmas at the expense of other killers.