TESARO and MD Anderson Cancer Center Announce Immuno-Oncology Collaboration and Exclusive License Agreement

  • Goal to identify novel small molecule therapeutics against undisclosed immuno-oncology targets
  • Partnership complements TESARO’s existing immuno-oncology pipeline
  • Goal to identify first clinical candidate in early 2017

WALTHAM, Mass. and HOUSTON, March 29, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — TESARO, Inc. (NASDAQ:TSRO), an oncology-focused biopharmaceutical company, and the Institute for Applied Cancer Science at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center today announced an exclusive collaboration to discover and develop small molecule product candidates against undisclosed immuno-oncology targets. This collaboration leverages MD Anderson’s expertise in drug discovery and translational medicine and TESARO’s oncology drug development and commercialization capabilities.

MD Anderson’s Institute for Applied Cancer Science (IACS) is a fully integrated drug discovery and development group that aims to transform cancer care through the discovery and deployment of impactful new drugs to eliminate cancer.  The TESARO collaboration is IACS’s first to specifically focus on small molecule drug discovery.

“We are excited to be partnering with the exceptional group of drug hunters at MD Anderson’s IACS to identify drug candidates against targets we collectively believe will build upon the recognized promise of immuno-oncology for patients living with cancer,” said Mary Lynne Hedley, Ph.D., President and COO of TESARO. “We intend for this partnership to expand and complement TESARO’s existing portfolio of immuno-oncology programs and we continue to believe that immuno-oncology will transform our approach to cancer therapy.”

Under terms of the agreement, TESARO will receive exclusive worldwide rights to develop and commercialize any small molecule product candidates that result from this collaboration. MD Anderson will be responsible for conducting research activities aimed at identifying clinical candidates with defined characteristics targeting certain immuno-oncology targets. TESARO will fund research, development, and commercialization expenses for this collaboration. Additional terms of this agreement were not disclosed.

“This synergistic partnership provides an opportunity to fast-track novel immune-modulating therapies towards our cancer patients,” said Phil Jones, Ph.D., Executive Director and Head of the IACS platform. “This alliance is optimally aligned with IACS’ mission to rapidly advance impactful therapies into clinical practice.”

About MD Anderson
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston ranks as one of the world’s most respected centers focused on cancer patient care, research, education and prevention. The institution’s sole mission is to end cancer for patients and their families around the world. MD Anderson is one of only 45 comprehensive cancer centers designated by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). MD Anderson is ranked No. 1 for cancer care in U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Hospitals” survey. It has ranked as one of the nation’s top two hospitals since the survey began in 1990, and has ranked first for 11 of the past 14 years. MD Anderson receives a cancer center support grant from the NCI of the National Institutes of Health (P30 CA016672). 

In 2012, MD Anderson announced its Moon Shots Program, an ambitious and comprehensive action plan to make a giant leap forward in cancer patient care, which was inspired by America’s drive a generation ago to put a man on the moon. IACS is one of 10 platforms supporting the Moon Shots Program. Like a biotech company embedded in a comprehensive cancer center, the drug discovery experts at IACS connect with basic scientists, clinical researchers, and strategic partners to develop novel drugs for cancer patients, employing a Bench at BedsideTM approach to shorten the drug development timeline.

TESARO is an oncology-focused biopharmaceutical company devoted to providing transformative therapies to people bravely facing cancer. For more information, visit www.tesarobio.com.

To the extent that statements contained in this press release are not descriptions of historical facts regarding TESARO, they are forward-looking statements reflecting the current beliefs and expectations of management made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as “may,” “will,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “intend,” and similar expressions (as well as other words or expressions referencing future events, conditions, or circumstances) are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Examples of forward-looking statements contained in this press release include, among others, statements regarding our expectation to identify clinical candidates as part of this collaboration, the goal to identify the first clinical candidate in early 2017, our belief that immuno-oncology could transform the way numerous cancers are treated, and our expectation that immunotherapy-based approaches may become the foundation of cancer therapies in the future. Forward-looking statements in this release involve substantial risks and uncertainties that could cause our research and pre-clinical development programs, clinical development programs, future results, performance, or achievements to differ significantly from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, among others, competition from other pharmaceutical companies, the uncertainties inherent in the execution and completion of pre-clinical research and clinical trials, uncertainties regarding regulatory approvals, uncertainties regarding certain expenditures, and other matters that could affect the success of the research programs described in this press release. TESARO undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements. For a further description of the risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ from those expressed in these forward-looking statements, as well as risks relating to the business of the Company in general, see TESARO’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2015.


CONTACT: TESARO Investor/Media Contact:
Jennifer Davis
+1.781.325.1116 or jdavis@tesarobio.com

MD Anderson Cancer Center Contact:
Ron Gilmore
+1.713.745.1898 or rlgilmore1@mdanderson.org