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Jefferson Health & Sarah Cannon Research Institute Announce Cancer Drug Development Collaboration

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Jefferson Health (SKCC) and Sarah Cannon Research Institute (Sarah Cannon) announced a unique collaboration to advance clinical research through an expanded early phase drug development program and investigator initiated trials, leveraging the strengths of each. The organizations will combine expertise in drug development and research support services, which will expand the menu of clinical trials to patients across the Delaware Valley and beyond. Additionally, Sarah Cannon will provide SKCC-designed clinical trials in sites within their national network.

“By combining the strengths of SKCC and Sarah Cannon’s robust cancer programs, we are bringing together experts who share a mission to advance cancer research so that patients will have greater access to the latest treatment options that focus on personalized care,” said Karen E. Knudsen, PhD, Director of the NCI-designated Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center – Jefferson Health. “We are excited to form a strategic partnership that will accelerate drug development both nationally and globally, with the goal of impacting a larger population of patients seeking new therapies.”

Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center – Jefferson Health is one of only 70 NCI-Designated Centers in the United States. Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, the academic medical center for the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, recently ranked as a top 20 hospital by U.S. News & World Report in 2017-2018 for cancer care. Led by Dr. Knudsen, SKCC has distinguished itself nationally through practice-changing discoveries which are rapidly implemented into clinical trials. At present, approximately 20% of Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center patients take advantage of advanced care options through clinical trials.

Sarah Cannon pioneered the first community-based drug development program in the United States and has grown to become a global leader in early phase research as well as in community-based cancer care. The organization has conducted more than 300 first-in-human studies and has been a clinical trial leader in the majority of approved cancer therapies over the last decade. Through its network of research sites, Sarah Cannon serves thousands of patients annually in clinical trials, including through its drug development units in Nashville, Tenn., Sarasota, Fla., Denver, Colo., and London, England.

“At Sarah Cannon, we are focused on offering patients cutting-edge cancer therapies closer to home – a commitment shared by our esteemed colleagues at SKCC,” said Howard A. "Skip" Burris, III, MD, President and Chief Medical Officer at Sarah Cannon. “Together, this collaboration will make a greater impact on the field of cancer research through the synergy of our scientific and operational expertise.”

In addition to the collaboration in clinical research, SKCC and Sarah Cannon will work together to advance blood cancer care through Sarah Cannon’s Blood Cancer Network (BCN). The BCN is comprised of individual programs that have long been recognized as leaders in blood cancer patient care and outcomes. By joining Sarah Cannon’s network, programs such as SKCC are committed to delivering the highest level of quality standards, infrastructure, training and research to provide an unparalleled experience for patients seeking blood cancer treatment. Sarah Cannon is also one of the world’s largest providers of hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT), performing more than 1,000 transplants per year.