Research Institutes

The Parker Institute aims to speed up cancer R&D, carving out duplicate IRBs at top centers

The Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy has brought its 6 top centers together to support a simple initiative designed to shave months off the clinical trial process. Instead of each fielding their own IRB — institutional review board — they’ve agreed to designate one that will work for the entire network for multi-center studies.

IRBs are tasked with keeping a sharp eye on trials to preserve patient safety, oversee overall conduct and maintain data integrity. But they can also slow down the work, particularly when each of these groups field their own review boards for each study. A collective agreement to designate one IRB as the review board of record could save a considerable amount of time, these scientists agreed.

The big 6 have played a big role in cancer research, and they can be extraordinarily influential in academic circles. They are: Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Stanford Medicine, the University of California, Los Angeles, the University of California, San Francisco, the University of Pennsylvania and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Forbes' Matt Herper with Sean Parker and Dr. Carl June

Forbes’ Matt Herper with Sean Parker and Dr. Carl June

The Parker Institute, bankrolled by online tech mogul Sean Parker, flagged the effort as the first of many aimed at simplifying research work, with an eye to eliminating barriers to progress. Their scientists include UCSF’s Jeffrey Bluestone, Jim Allison at MD Anderson and Antoni Ribas at UCLA.

“This type of collaborative partnership is an important first step that we are taking to accelerate immunotherapy research,” said Ramy Ibrahim, M.D., vice president of clinical development at the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy. “By minimizing obstacles that scientists routinely face in clinical trials, we save time. And every day we save initiating a clinical trial brings us a day closer to delivering promising treatments to cancer patients.”


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RAPS Regulatory Convergence 2017