PhRMA, NIH Form Immuno-Oncology Initiative
The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), an industry trade group of innovator-research-based pharmaceutical companies, and nine of its member companies and the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) have partnered to create the Partnership for Accelerating Cancer Therapies (PACT), a five-year research collaboration totaling $215 million.
The public–private partnership is part of the Cancer Moonshot initiative, a federal initiative to accelerate cancer cures. Congress passed the 21st Century Cures Act in December 2016 authorizing $1.8 billion in funding for the Cancer Moonshot over seven years. An initial $300 million was appropriated in fiscal year 2017 to fund Moonshot initiatives.
PACT’s initial focus will be to identify, develop, and validate biomarkers – a measure of a biological function – to better understand how immuno-oncology therapies work and predict patients’ responses to this treatment.
PhRMA released a report in June 2017 that was developed with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network that reported that there are more than 240 immuno-oncology medicines and vaccines in development to treat cancer.