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Latest Global Immuno-Oncology Landscape Report from the Cancer Research Institute Published in Nature Reviews Drug Discovery

  • 3,876 immuno-oncology therapies are in the global drug development pipeline worldwide, representing a 91% increase since 2017
  • 205 new therapeutic targets have been added to the current landscape of 468 active targets since 2017, representing a 78% increase
  • United States and China lead all countries worldwide with the largest immuno-oncology pipelines

The Cancer Research Institute (CRI), a nonprofit organization dedicated to the discovery and development of powerful immunotherapies for all cancers, announced today the publication of an updated report that provides a comprehensive, independent analysis of the global landscape of cancer immunotherapy, including all agents from preclinical to marketed stages.

Titled “Immuno-Oncology Drug Development Goes Global,” the report was published online today by Nature Reviews Drug Discovery. The 2019 report, which follows the first report published in the Annals of Oncology in December 2017, continues to provide an unbiased look at the major trends impacting the immuno-oncology landscape.

“Since our first report in 2017, the immuno-oncology field has grown substantially, exemplified by a 91% increase in the number of active agents in development, a 78% increase in active targets, and a 60% increase in companies and other organizations with an immuno-oncology pipeline,” said Jia Xin “Annie” Yu, PhD, research analyst for the CRI Venture Fund and Anna-Maria Kellen Clinical Accelerator (CRI Clinical Accelerator) and the first author of the report. “While the United States is still leading in immuno-oncology drug development, other countries now account for more than 50% of the pipeline, which could bring more innovation to the field and benefit more patients with cancer worldwide.”

“With the immuno-oncology landscape growing so rapidly, it is more important than ever for the scientific community to partner and prioritize efforts to fund research that holds the most promise,” added Vanessa Hubbard-Lucey, PhD, director of the CRI Clinical Accelerator. “CRI, through our Clinical Accelerator, is the ideal nonprofit to lead this type of collaboration between academia and industry partners to bring potential new treatment options to patients living with cancer.”

In addition to providing a quantitative look at the global immuno-oncology drug development pipeline, the analysis demonstrates that cancer immunotherapy has become an essential pillar for the modern-day treatment of cancer and continues to attract the attention of both industry and academia. In the last two years, the investment and commitment in immuno-oncology from different sectors laid the foundation for 31 approvals of immuno-oncology drugs by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“We continue to be impressed by the growth rate of new immuno-oncology agents entering the clinic, particularly with cell therapy, which has added nearly 800 active agents to the drug development pipeline worldwide in just two years,” said Jill O’Donnell-Tormey, PhD, chief executive officer and director of scientific affairs at the Cancer Research Institute. “The excitement for immunotherapy is undeniable, and CRI remains committed to funding the type of early research that makes this level of growth possible.”

To access an interactive dashboard of the 2019 report, visit the CRI website at

Reference: Yu, J. X., Hubbard-Lucey, V. M. & Tang, J. Immuno-oncology drug development goes global. Nat Rev. Drug. Discov. (

About the Cancer Research Institute
The Cancer Research Institute (CRI), established in 1953, is the world’s leading nonprofit organization dedicated exclusively to saving more lives by fueling the discovery and development of powerful immunotherapies for all types of cancer. Guided by a world-renowned Scientific Advisory Council that includes four Nobel laureates and 24 members of the National Academy of Sciences, CRI has invested $420 million in support of research conducted by immunologists and tumor immunologists at the world’s leading medical centers and universities, and has contributed to many of the key scientific advances that demonstrate the potential for immunotherapy to change the face of cancer treatment. To learn more, go to

About the Anna-Maria Kellen Clinical Accelerator
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 research ideas and accelerates studies that one group or company could not do alone. To learn more about the Anna-Maria Kellen Clinical Accelerator, go to

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