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Moffitt Cancer Center wants to accelerate the research and development of innovative cancer treatments by launching a first-of-its-kind contract research organization. The subsidiary will focus on immunotherapy, which uses a patient’s own immune system to fight cancer. Moffitt is a leader in this area, specifically CAR T cell therapy, which was named the 2017 American Society of Clinical Oncology advance of the year. The cancer center was involved in clinical trials that led to FDA approval of CAR T therapy.

The contract research organization will provide a one-stop-shop for pharmaceutical and biotech companies to accelerate their immuno-oncology and cell therapy research.

“Moffitt saw a unique opportunity; one that furthers our mission to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer. There are currently no other immunotherapy contract research organizations in the United States. We can provide a much needed service that will bring new immunotherapies to patients more quickly,” said Dr. Thomas Sellers, center director and executive vice president at Moffitt.

The contract research organization will offer pharmaceutical and biotech companies’ preclinical study, manufacturing, clinical trial design and oversight, as well as data management and regulatory assistance. The goal is to take a company’s drug or medical device from initial discovery to clinical testing and Food and Drug Administration approval.  

Moffitt is seeking investment and partnerships to support the wholly owned, for-profit subsidiary. The cancer center also will appoint a Board of Directors to oversee operations. The contract research organization will be operational in nine to 12 months.