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OHSU cancer research center joins drug development group

The center, housed in OHSU’s Knight Cancer Institute, will work with researchers across the country to produce new cancer treatments.
The Knight Cancer Research Building at Oregon Health & Science University. | COURTESY OHSU
December 20, 2022

The Oregon Health and Science University Knight Cancer Institute’s Center for Experimental Therapeutics will join a national network dedicated to developing new cancer treatments. 

OHSU announced Tuesday that the center would join the Chemical Biology Consortium of the National Cancer Institute, which seeks to facilitate collaboration on new cancer treatments among researchers working in government, industry and academia. The Knight Cancer Institute’s Center for Experimental Therapeutics will be the only cancer center in the Pacific Northwest to take part in a national consortium geared toward developing new cancer therapies. 

“Our goal in creating the Center for Experimental Therapeutics nearly two years ago was to create an innovative and flexible infrastructure — we wanted the center to be a hub for collaboration with pharma, biotech, foundations, investors and more,” Sanjay Malhotra, the center’s co-director said in a statement. “We want to attract scientists at OHSU and beyond who have clever ideas for new and improved cancer therapies, and provide them the expertise and infrastructure for translating discoveries from the lab to the clinic.”

The Chemical Biology Consortium has 19 members that also include the California Institute of Technology, Georgetown University Medical Center, Curia Global, Inc. and others. The consortium is managed by the Frederick National Laboratory to move scientific proposals into cancer treatment projects. 

Malhotra said in the statement that by joining the Chemical Biology Consortium, the Knight Cancer Institute’s Center for Experimental Therapeutics will help drug development projects become clinical candidates.

Dr. Shivaani Kummar, the center’s other co-director, said in a statement that OHSU researchers will work with the consortium’s chemical biologists and molecular oncologists to build the pipeline of oncology drugs. 

Previously, the National Cancer Institute in 2017 awarded the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute $9.2 million to serve in the national Cancer Systems Biology Consortium. The OHSU Knight Cancer Institute was given money for research on treatment-resistant triple negative breast cancer. 

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