publication date: Oct. 4, 2019

In Brief

Barry Kramer receives Friendship Award from the People’s Republic of China

Barry Kramer, former director of the NCI Division of Cancer Prevention, has received the People’s Republic of China Friendship Award, the highest honor given to non-citizens.

Kramer received the award on Sept. 30 for his work with the National Cancer Center of China, part of the Cancer Institute of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences. This year, he was one of 14 Americans to receive the award, and one of two health care professionals out of 100 awardees from 31 countries. The award has been given annually since 1991.

Kramer was nominated by the National Cancer Center for designing cancer screening studies and his leadership in translating NCI’s Physician Data Query into Chinese. The PDQ has been translated into Spanish, Japanese and Arabic.

From NCI, Margaret Beckwith, acting branch chief for the PDQ Cancer Information Branch; Martina Vogel Taylor; Ping Hu; Philip Prorok; Richard Fagerstrom; and Paul Pinsky, all in the Division of Cancer Prevention, were central to the collaboration with the People’s Republic of China. From China, He Jie, director of National Cancer Center of China, and Dai Min, also of NCC, worked with the NCI team.

Kramer retired from NCI in 2019 (The Cancer Letter, Nov. 2, 2018). He is a consultant in the NCI Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences and an honorary professor at the National Cancer Center.


Moffitt forms immunotherapy CRO

Moffitt Cancer Center has formed a contract research organization  to accelerate the institution’s immunotherapy research. 

The subsidiary, which was announced Oct. 3, is intended to provide a one-stop-shop for pharmaceutical and biotech companies to accelerate their immuno-oncology and cell therapy research through collaborative clinical trial support and administration.

“There are currently no other immunotherapy clinical research organizations in the United States. We can provide a much needed service that will bring new immunotherapies to patients more quickly,” Moffit’s Center Director and Executive Vice President at Moffitt, Thomas Sellers, said in a statement.

Moffitt is seeking investment and partnerships to support the wholly-owned, for-profit subsidiary. The cancer center will appoint a board of directors to oversee operations. The CRO is expected to be fully operational in nine to 12 months.

The cancer center has enrolled more than 3,000 patients in immuno-oncology studies over the past five years. The center was involved in clinical trials that led to the approval of CAR T-cell therapy.

The new CRO will offer services that include preclinical study, manufacturing, clinical trial design and oversight, data management and regulatory assistance. The goal is to take a company’s drug or medical device from initial discovery to clinical testing and FDA approval. 

“We have a facility certified in Good Manufacturing Practice, a system for ensuring that products are consistently produced and controlled according to quality standards, that is producing these therapies and will establish a network of partners to facilitate multi-center clinical trials,” Brian Springer, Moffit’s vice president and associate center director of research administration, said in a statement.

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