Aduro Biotech and UC Berkeley Launch Industry-Leading Immunotherapeutics and Vaccine Research Initiative
Collaboration to Accelerate Breakthroughs in the
Treatment and Prevention of Cancer, Infectious and Autoimmune Diseases
BERKELEY, Calif., March 28, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The University of California (UC) Berkeley, in collaboration with Aduro Biotech, Inc. (Nasdaq:ADRO), today launched an innovative Immunotherapeutics and Vaccine Research Initiative (IVRI). IVRI is UC Berkeley's first-ever immunotherapy-focused initiative and, in partnership with Aduro, will combine UC Berkeley's extensive research capabilities with the company's expertise in immunotherapy discovery and development to identify and advance new treatment options and preventive modalities for cancer, infectious disease and autoimmune disease.
IVRI is designed to explore the unique synergy between cancer and infectious disease research and to accelerate breakthrough discoveries in both areas. IVRI researchers are working closely with collaborators and sponsors with the shared goal of discovering and advancing immunotherapeutics and vaccine strategies.
"In the last several years, we have learned so much about the role of the immune system in treating disease, and we look forward to harnessing that information across both research and industry to develop innovative new treatment options to improve patient care," said David Raulet, Faculty Director of the IVRI and a Professor of Immunology and Pathogenesis at University of California, Berkeley. "Through this initiative, we will leverage our powerful research networks to understand how we can better engage the immune system in treating cancer, infectious disease and autoimmune disease. By doing this, we hope to develop new methods for targeting and effectively controlling many different cancers, autoimmune and infectious diseases. Our goal is for these findings to pave the way for the development of innovative new treatment options."
Aduro Biotech, a leading immunotherapy company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of therapies that transform the treatment of challenging diseases, is IVRI's founding partner. Aduro will provide UC Berkeley with $7.5 million in research funding over the next three years, with an option for Aduro to increase and extend funding for up to an additional three years. As part of research projects, researchers at UC Berkeley will also have the opportunity to access the company's novel technology platforms including LADD, STING Pathway Activators and B-select monoclonal antibodies, which are designed to harness the body's natural immune system.
"Through this unique collaboration, there is tremendous opportunity to improve our understanding of the immune system's potential to serve as an important weapon in treating cancer and infectious disease," said Stephen T. Isaacs, chairman, president and CEO of Aduro Biotech. "By combining UC Berkeley's leading research and academic resources with innovative technology platforms, such as those developed by Aduro, we are confident that this initiative will lead to an improved understanding of, and potential treatments for, some of the most devastating diseases."
The IVRI officially launched with a reception on March 24, 2016 at the UC Berkeley campus, which featured remarks from James P. Allison, Chair of Immunology, MD Anderson Cancer Center, David Raulet, Faculty Director, IVRI, as well as Stephen Isaacs of Aduro. On March 25, 2016, a full day symposium on the topic "Harnessing the Immune System to Fight Cancer and Infectious Diseases" was hosted on the campus. The symposium featured a dynamic list of invited speakers from around the country, including Lasker Award winner James P. Allison, Director of the Emory University Vaccine Center, Rafi Ahmed, and Aduro's Chief Scientific Officer, Thomas J. Dubensky, Jr. The symposium also featured a scientific poster session including presentations of basic and translational science in infectious diseases, immunology or immuno-oncology.
About Immunotherapeutics and Vaccine Research Initiative (IVRI)
The immune system is nature's most powerful weapon against disease. Whether introduced to the host from the environment, arising endogenously or stemming from a dysfunction of the immune system itself, diseases are impacted by immune functions, and the immune response can be targeted for therapy. It is our vision that a fundamental understanding of immune recognition, cellular interactions and other elements of the immune system has high potential to lead to meaningful advancements in the treatment of many diseases.
The IVRI is envisioned as a center for research to develop mechanistic understanding and application of immunology, pathogenesis and vaccinology with the potential to profoundly impact the treatment of human disease. The initiative is founded on the principle that research that uncovers how the immune system controls infectious disease yields new approaches for treating cancer, and conversely, that studies of cancer immunology yield approaches for vaccines and therapies targeting infectious disease. UC Berkeley has an impressive record in this endeavor including advances that have led to cancer immunotherapeutics and novel vaccines. The IVRI will expand on and accelerate these advances by coordinating and directing the efforts of UC Berkeley researchers, their collaborators and sponsors towards ground-breaking discoveries, and the development of creative new applications in disease prophylaxis and treatment. The IVRI will facilitate communication and collaboration among researchers, streamline access to scientific and financial resources and promote not only the vision, ideas and accomplishments of its scientists, but also the translation of these ideas and findings for the development of new therapies for human diseases. By targeting synergies in the expertise and capabilities of its scientists and unifying their ingenuity with the objectives of its sponsors, the IVRI seeks to maximize the potential of its UC Berkeley researchers and accelerate the pace of discovery and translation.
Aduro Biotech, Inc. is an immunotherapy company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of therapies that transform the treatment of challenging diseases. Aduro's technology platforms, which are designed to harness the body's natural immune system, are being investigated in cancer indications and have the potential to expand into autoimmune and infectious diseases. Aduro's LADD technology platform is based on proprietary attenuated strains of Listeria that have been engineered to express tumor-associated antigens to induce specific and targeted immune responses. Based on compelling clinical data in advanced cancers, this platform is being developed as a treatment for multiple indications, including pancreatic, lung and prostate cancers, mesothelioma and glioblastoma. Aduro's STING Pathway Activator platform is designed to activate the intracellular STING receptor, resulting in a potent tumor-specific immune response. Aduro's B-select monoclonal antibody platform includes a number of immune modulating assets in research and preclinical development. Aduro is collaborating with leading global pharmaceutical companies to expand its products and technology platforms. For more information, please visit www.aduro.com.
Cautionary Note on Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements include statements regarding our intentions or current expectations concerning, among other things, the potential of IVRI to yield new therapies, the potential for our technology, plans and timing of our clinical trials and the potential for eventual regulatory approval of our product candidates. In some cases you can identify these statements by forward-looking words such as "believe," "may," "will," "estimate," "continue," "anticipate," "intend," "could," "would," "project," "plan," "expect" or the negative or plural of these words or similar expressions. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results and events to differ materially from those anticipated, including, but not limited to, our history of net operating losses and uncertainty regarding our ability to achieve profitability, our ability to develop and commercialize our product candidates, our ability to use and expand our technology platforms to build a pipeline of product candidates, our dependence on our lead product candidate, CRS-207, and GVAX Pancreas, our ability to obtain and maintain regulatory approval of our product candidates, our inability to operate in a competitive industry and compete successfully against competitors that have greater resources than we do, our reliance on third parties, and our ability to obtain and adequately protect intellectual property rights for our product candidates. We discuss many of these risks in greater detail under the heading "Risk Factors" contained in our annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2015 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, and our actual results of operations, financial condition and liquidity, and the development of the industry in which we operate, may differ materially from the forward-looking statements contained in this press release. Any forward-looking statements that we make in this press release speak only as of the date of this press release. We assume no obligation to update our forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, after the date of this press release.
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