Science Market Update

UChicago and Evelo Biosciences to Develop New Cancer Immunotherapy

Posted by Laura Braden on Wed, Jun 08, 2016

The University of ChicagoResearchers around the world are constantly studying ways to create new treatment methods to fight cancer. With so many different forms of cancer, using one treatment method is not always effective for everyone battling this disease. Recently, a team of scientists in Chicago teamed up to create a new treatment method. Researchers from the University of Chicago and the biotechnology company Evelo Biosciences have partnered to develop a new microbiome-based immunotherapy treatment method for fighting cancer. 

Evelo Biosciences has been researching the potential of using the microbiome to battle cancer, and the newly signed license agreement will allow the Chicago and Evelo researchers to develop and commercialize the new microbiome immunotherapy method, which a team of Chicago researchers have already been working on. (Image of the University of Chicago courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

Alan Thomas, the associate vice president and director for the University’s Center for Technology Development and Ventures explained that: “This is the first license for the University in the area of microbiome immune-oncology, and one of the first of its kind nationwide. Immunotherapy is a rapidly growing field with huge potential, and the University is at the forefront of oncobiome research.”

The University of Chicago research team, led by Thomas Gajewski, a professor of medicine and pathology, has developed a new therapy to treat cancer that uses certain microbes from the gut. These gut microbes help increase the attack that the immune system uses to fight off cancer cells. The Chicago researchers tested the therapy on mice suffering from melanoma. After introducing a bacteria strain into their digestive tracts, the researchers found that the potential of the immune systems in these mice increased their ability to attack the tumor. The researchers then combined the therapy with the anti-cancer antibody anti-PD-L1 and found that it nearly eradicated the tumors.

Dr. Gajewski said: “This is a super exciting time in the field of cancer immunotherapy. Our recent work revealed a surprisingly potent role for the commensal microbiota in boosting the therapeutic efficacy of checkpoint blockade immunotherapy in mouse models. This relationship with Evelo will rapidly bring microbiota-based immunotherapy forward into clinical testing in cancer patients.”

University of Chicago.
(The University of Chicago picture by Richie Diesterheft via Wikimedia Commons)

The University of Chicago is a highly ranked research institution in terms of amount of funding received and research published and produced. In the 2015 fiscal year, the university received more than $170.9 million in funding from the NIH. Research projects at the university benefiting from this funding include:

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  • The March of Dimes awarded $10 million to support research
    into the mysteries surrounding what leads women to go into premature labor at the genetic level as well as establish a Prematurity Research Center headed by the University of
    Chicago School of Medicine.
  • A five year, $6.25 million NIH grant will be shared among Chicago researchers, including those at the University of Chicago, to establish a new HIV research center.
  • University of Chicago oncology researchers received a $5
    million donation to boost cancer research.

Researchers in these departments are eager to obtain the latest innovations in lab equipment. This presents a prime opportunity for lab suppliers looking to market their products to Chicago science professionals. 

Biotechnology Calendar, Inc. has been producing life science trade shows at top research institutions for more than 22 years, and is pleased to be offering the 2nd Annual BioResearch Product Faire™ Event in Chicago on September 21, 2016. 

At this event, lab suppliers are able to: 

  • Meet one-on-one with over 150 life science researchers in a professional and intimate environment. 
  • Demonstrate new lab products and technologies to end-users and purchasers.  
  • Answer researchers' questions and schedule follow-up appointments.    
  • Gain market visibility and increase brand awareness. 

To learn more about participating in the BioResearch Product Faire™ Event in Chicago, and to read more funding stats for the university, visit the link below: 

Learn More About UChicago Event

 

Tags: Midwest, microbiome, immunotherapy, University of Chicago, cancer research, Chicago, Front Line event, IL, UChicago, 2016, BioResearch Product Faire, cancer therapy, Evelo Biosciences, microbiome immunotherapy

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