NEW YORK, August 29, 2016—The Cancer Research Institute (CRI), a nonprofit organization dedicated to fueling the discovery and development of immunotherapies for all forms of cancer, announced today that it will honor biotechnology company Amgen with the 2016 Oliver R. Grace Award for Distinguished Service in Advancing Cancer Research at its September gala in New York City. This annual award recognizes the contributions of individuals, corporations, and foundations that have made a significant impact on medical research, patient care, or public education in the fields of cancer immunology and immunotherapy.
CRI will present the award to Robert A. Bradway, chairman and CEO of Amgen, in recognition of the company’s leadership role in bringing innovative immunotherapeutic treatments such as a bispecific T cell engager (BiTE®) and an oncolytic virus into the clinic for patients. In 2014, the FDA approved Amgen’s BLINCYTO® (blinatumumab), the first BiTE® therapy to receive FDA approval, for the treatment of Philadelphia chromosome-negative relapsed or refractory B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a rare and rapidly progressing cancer of the blood and bone marrow. The following year, the FDA approved Amgen’s IMLYGIC™ (talimogene laherparepvec), a genetically modified oncolytic viral therapy indicated for the local treatment of unresectable cutaneous, subcutaneous, and nodal lesions in patients with melanoma that recurs after initial surgery. The approval signaled the first clinical and regulatory validation of an oncolytic virus as a cancer therapy.
In addition to Amgen’s work to improve cancer patient treatment through science-based innovation, CRI will also recognize the company’s commitment to the broader scientific and patient communities, both through its support of CRI’s Cancer Immunotherapy Month education and awareness initiative, and for its support of the CRI-CIMT-EATI-AACR International Cancer Immunotherapy Conference, a joint program of four cancer research organizations that convenes world-leading scientists to discuss the latest in cancer immunology and immunotherapy research. Bradway will accept the award on behalf of Amgen at CRI’s 30th annual awards dinner on September 27, 2016, at The Plaza in New York City.
At the gala, CRI will also present the William B. Coley Award for Distinguished Research in Tumor Immunology to Ton N. Schumacher, Ph.D., of The Netherlands Cancer Institute; the William B. Coley Award for Distinguished Research in Basic Immunology to Dan R. Littman, M.D., Ph.D., of the Skirball Institute for Biomedical Research at the New York University School of Medicine; and the Frederick W. Alt Award for New Discoveries in Immunology to E. John Wherry, Ph.D., of the Perelman School of Medicine and Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy at the University of Pennsylvania. CRI presents these awards annually to scientists whose outstanding contributions to cancer immunology have made tremendous impact on the lives of cancer patients.
About the Cancer Research Institute
The Cancer Research Institute (CRI), established in 1953, is the world’s leading nonprofit organization dedicated exclusively to transforming cancer patient care by advancing scientific efforts to develop new and effective immune system-based strategies to prevent, diagnose, treat, and eventually cure all cancers. Guided by a world-renowned Scientific Advisory Council that includes three Nobel laureates and 26 members of the National Academy of Sciences, CRI has invested $336 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 www.cancerresearch.org.