Researchers at 30 prestigious groups are coming together under a collaboration between the legacy Cancer Research Institute and tech billionaire Sean Parker’s new Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy. Their goal? To advance development of personalized cancer vaccines based on neoantigens.
Dubbed the Tumor neoantigEn SeLection Alliance, the collaboration will bring together researchers from a wide range of scientific fields, including immunology, data science, genomics, molecular biology, physics and engineering.
Among the groups participating are the Broad Institute, Caltech, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, National Cancer Centre Singapore, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Roche’s Genentech, AstraZeneca’s MedImmune and Neon Therapeutics.
Researchers will mainly be focused on neoantigens, which can appear on the surface of cancer cells when they divide and multiply.
Parker, founder of file-sharing platform Napster and later founding president of Facebook, established the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy under his Parker Foundation with a $250 million injection in April.
The new team plans to test algorithms that predict tumor markers in DNA, hoping to create new personalized cancer vaccines to “turn all cancers into a curable disease,” as described by Adam Kolom, Parker Institute’s VP of business development and strategic partnerships.
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