Bugworks Research, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, and Cytecare Cancer Hospitals on Monday announced the launch of a dedicated immuno-oncology research centre within the cancer hospital.

The dedicated Immuno-oncology ex vivo research lab is aimed at bridging the translation from discovery to development, addressing several hard-to-treat cancers such as gastric, colorectal, renal cell, breast, head, and neck, and non-small cell lung cancers.

“We are discovering highly differentiated, novel small-molecule immunotherapeutic agents that target the immunosuppressive and tumor-promoting microenvironment. The ex vivo laboratories at Cytecare Cancer Hospitals, as part of our collaboration, will greatly aid the translation of our research to the high percentage of successful clinical outcomes,” said V. Balasubramanian, co-founder and COO, Bugworks.

Bugworks’ current research in immuno-oncology centres around modulating the tumour microenvironment that includes adenosine antagonism—an area of research with applications across many solid tumours. The drug candidates from this research will undergo translational testing on patient-derived tumours in the ex vivo laboratories at Cytecare, prior to progressing to first-in-human clinical studies.

Suresh Ramu, co-founder and CEO, Cytecare Cancer Hospitals, said, “We are excited to partner with Bugworks Research, in this inspiring endeavor to discover novel treatments for different types of cancers. At Cytecare, we are committed to providing the best possible treatment to patients and supporting advanced research. We believe that affordable and accessible immuno-oncology therapies can come from India and be made accessible to all patients. This collaboration heralds a brave new beginning to a healthier future.”