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Sarah Cannon development innovations collaborates with Pivotal on immuno-oncology trials

New collaboration aims to further accelerate the delivery of novel treatments for multiple difficult-to-treat cancers in Europe


Sarah Cannon Development Innovations announced today a new strategic collaboration with Pivotal to expand access to novel immunotherapies in early phase clinical trials in Europe. In late 2016, Sarah Cannon and Boehringer Ingelheim announced a strategic collaboration for a joint clinical development program in the U.S. for immune checkpoint inhibitors for the treatment of multiple difficult-to-treat cancers. Through Sarah Cannon´s collaboration with Pivotal, a European Contract Research Organization (CRO), patients in Europe will have greater access to innovative cancer therapies.

“The combined expertise in drug development and clinical research excellence of Pivotal and Sarah Cannon will enable us to accelerate research and provide access to novel investigational agents,” said Lourdes Huarte, PharmD, MBA, VP Regulatory and Clinical Operations, Pivotal. “We look forward to collaborating with these experts to impact the lives of people facing cancer throughout Europe.”

Through Sarah Cannon Development Innovations, a full-service, oncology-focused CRO, Sarah Cannon provides comprehensive clinical development services and operational delivery of Boehringer Ingelheim’s early stage development programs. With Pivotal’s expertise as a European CRO, the organization will facilitate rapid patient enrollment into clinical trials across selected sites in Europe.

“The collaboration with Pivotal to expand clinical research access in Europe further advances Sarah Cannon’s mission to bring the latest therapies to patients close to home,” said Dawn Sauro, President of Sarah Cannon Development Innovations. “Working together with Boehringer Ingelheim over the last 2 years has further accelerated drug development in immunotherapies that will continue to impact patients around the world.”

The expansion of Boehringer Ingelheim and Sarah Cannon’s joint clinical development program with the incorporation of Pivotal’s deep knowledge of the European populations in the clinical trials field will address a critical need for many cancer patients. Immunotherapy is showing very promising results for patients with unmet medical needs such as melanoma and metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer among others. Immunotherapy has shown impressive response rates compared to standard chemotherapy, improving progression-free survival in this population with some patients experiencing long-lasting responses. This therapeutic approach is becoming available for more cancer populations, but despite these advances, there are still many cancer patients with unmet needs. The current trial program by Boehringer Ingelheim supported by Sarah Cannon as CRO, and to which Sarah Cannon expands the reach by collaborating with Pivotal, is focused on the clinical development of BI 754091 (anti- PD-1) and BI 754111 (anti-LAG- 3) monoclonal antibodies, immune checkpoint inhibitors that mobilize the patient’s immune system to defeat cancer.

“As part of our dedication to transforming the lives of cancer patients, we are pleased to see that Sarah Cannon expands its reach by collaborating with Pivotal to help speed development of novel immunotherapies,” said Mehdi Shahidi, Global Medical Head Oncology, Boehringer Ingelheim.  “The power of partnerships, such as the one Sarah Cannon and Pivotal are embarking on, brings together the best minds and capabilities to accelerate this dynamic area of research. This is in line with our goal to transform the lives of patients and help win the fight against cancer.”



Ms. Natalia Farr

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