AbbVie re-ups University of Chicago cancer pact, extending alliance out to 2025 after drug delivery progress

AbbVie has re-upped its collaboration with the University of Chicago, extending the relationship out to 2025 after spending the past five years working on activities including the development of novel drug delivery approaches.

The partners disclosed a cancer collaboration covering areas including tumors of the breast, lung, prostate, colorectal region and blood back in 2016. Little information about the activities covered by the collaboration leaked out after that, although AbbVie continued to forge ties to the university through new initiatives including a $10 million grant to its cancer center. 

AbbVie shared a snapshot of the activities in a statement to disclose the extension of the alliance, revealing it has been working with Chicago researchers on the “development of novel drug delivery approaches to enhance anti-tumor immune response.”

The progress made to date has persuaded AbbVie to keep working with the university. AbbVie said the extended alliance will continue “the intent of the initial research collaboration” with the goal of accelerating oncology research at both organizations. 

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"Our ambition is that the clinical and translational collaboration between AbbVie and the University of Chicago continues to impact public health positively,” Kunle Odunsi, M.D., Ph.D., AbbVie Foundation director at the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center, said in a statement. “The collaboration has created valuable opportunities for scientific exchange and the development of clinical trials for cancer research.”

Odunsi, who took up the AbbVie Foundation position earlier this year, has a track record of working to improve cancer immunotherapies from the years before he joined the University of Chicago, writing papers on topics including the in situ delivery of dendritic cells to overcome resistance to PD-L1 checkpoint inhibitors.