By Megan Martin, Communications Manager
The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) has been awarded two individual $2 million grants from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to support clinical studies of ofatumumab (Arzerra®, GlaxoSmithKline) in the treatment of hematologic malignancies and pazopanib (Votrient®, GlaxoSmithKline) in the treatment of solid tumors.
In October 2009, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted approval to ofatumumab for the treatment of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) refractory to fludarabine and alemtuzumab. It is anticipated that the clinical trials at NCCN Member Institutions supported by the grant from GlaxoSmithKline will further evaluate the therapy’s effect in various lymphomas, including follicular, mantle cell, diffuse large B cell, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas (NHL), in addition to CLL.
“NCCN continues to demonstrate our ongoing commitment to advancing promising clinical research by supporting important scientific exploration through these grants,” said William T. McGivney, PhD, Chief Executive Officer, NCCN. “Being awarded this research funding underscores NCCN’s achievements in developing and implementing distinctive programs that strive to improve survival and the quality of life for patients with cancer.”
Pazopanib is currently approved by the FDA to treat patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma. The research grant to NCCN will evaluate the effectiveness of pazopanib in solid tumors including renal, sarcoma, thyroid, neuroendocrine, and ovarian cancers.
“Collaboration for the advancement of science and patient care is a key component to the spirit of GSK Oncology,” said Jeffrey D. Bloss, MD, Vice President and Medicine Development Leader at GSK Oncology. “This research funding to NCCN will help expand the research and knowledge base of GSK Oncology’s newer cancer therapies, pazopanib and ofatumumab, as we strive to learn if there are other patient groups that we one day might be able to help with these agents.”The NCCN Oncology Research Program (ORP) facilitates all phases of clinical research by identifying clinical investigators and initiating trials at NCCN Member Institutions. The ORP draws on the expertise of investigators at 21 of the world’s leading cancer centers and establishes collaborations with pharmaceutical and biotech companies in order to advance therapeutic options for patients with cancer. The ORP will use the grants from GSK to support investigator-initiated clinical and correlative studies for both drugs at NCCN Member Institutions. As evidenced by the many scientific articles published on ORP-supported research, this research grant model has been very successful in moving science forward.