Cancer Research Institute Media Room



Cancer Research Institute Announces Publication of Comprehensive Immuno-Oncology Landscape Analysis in Annals of Oncology

  • First-of-its-kind analysis of the global immuno-oncology clinical landscape from pre-clinical development to regulatory approval
  • Unprecedented opportunity to advance the field of immuno-oncology to improve patient care —
  • Currently 940 clinical stage immuno-oncology agents being developed

The Cancer Research Institute (CRI) announced today the publication of a report that provides a first-of-its-kind independent analysis of the global immuno-oncology (IO) landscape, from agents in pre-clinical development to regulatory approval. The report quantifies a significant number of IO agents in development and this level of activity will likely result in an unparalleled number of advances in the field—but it also creates some challenges. Highlights from the report will be presented during a session dedicated to the critical role of philanthropy in IO research and development on Saturday, December 9, 2017, at the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) Immuno-Oncology Congress in Geneva, Switzerland.

The report, titled, “Comprehensive Analysis of the Immuno-Oncology Landscape,” published online today in the Annals of Oncology, ESMO’s official journal, highlights findings from an analysis of CRI’s robust, scientifically-curated database that actively tracks 2,004 IO agents, of which 940 are already in clinical development.

“This is the first independent analysis that quantifies and confirms the level of excitement and potential of immuno-oncology,” said Aiman Shalabi, CRI’s chief medical officer and director of the Anna-Maria Kellen Clinical Accelerator, a nonprofit, philanthropic venture capital fund. “Today, we are incredibly fortunate to see so much progress for patients, and the science will continue to rapidly evolve. By using these landscape data, we aim to better inform the field and find solutions to several meaningful and actionable trends in the current IO landscape.”

CRI will make this analysis available online in an interactive format to help inform the broader IO community, allowing it to further accelerate and avoid duplicative research initiatives within the industry. One area CRI is closely monitoring is that of the anti-PD-1/L1 agents. There are now 164 agents targeting PD-1/L1, of which 50 are currently in clinical stages with five having already received FDA approval. These 50 agents are being evaluated in 1,502 studies, of which 1,105 are combination trials. Importantly, the analysis found that most of these trials are small, single-center, investigator-initiated trials. The authors propose more multi-center collaboration and the use of innovative study designs such as basket and umbrella platforms to evaluate new combinations and enhance efficiencies across the landscape.

The authors also provide a framework that allows for more third-party facilitation across both industry and academia to help enhance efficiencies with the hope of expediting scientific and clinical progress in IO treatments for patients. Nonprofit and philanthropy groups such as the Cancer Research Institute, which has been cultivating the IO field for 65 years, can play an important role in facilitating and implementing these innovative study designs across industry and academic trials.

“CRI’s Anna-Maria Kellen Clinical Accelerator creates a neutral ‘sandbox’ where philanthropic funding and study delivery resources can be provided to support testing agents from multiple companies by global IO academic experts, and carried out across multiple treatment centers,” said Shalabi.

To access an interactive set of graphs from the report, visit the CRI website at

About the Cancer Research Institute
The Cancer Research Institute (CRI), established in 1953, is the world’s leading nonprofit organization dedicated exclusively to immuno-oncology, also called cancer immunotherapy. CRI has invested over $357 million to support research conducted by a global network of immunologists and clinical experts at the world’s leading medical centers and universities. CRI’s clinical program, The Anna-Maria Kellen Clinical Accelerator, is a unique academia-nonprofit-industry collaboration model that serves as an “incubator” that delivers multi-center clinical trials for promising new immunotherapy combinations. CRI’s venture philanthropy fund supports clinical trials within this program, which fosters a collaborative environment that enables scientists to advance their most ambitious clinical and translational research ideas, and accelerates studies that one group or company could not do alone. To learn more about CRI, go to To learn more about the Anna-Maria Kellen Clinical Accelerator, go to

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