Australians benefit from first-ever cancer trial

Australians benefit from first-ever cancer trial

Accelagen team collaborating around a table

Leading AU-based Contract Research Organisation (CRO) Accelagen collaborates with US-based ImaginAb to sponsor and conduct trials, highlighting Australia’s growing attractiveness for ground-breaking trials and research

Last month, in collaboration with ImaginAb, we dosed the first patient at Macquarie University Hospital in Sydney as part of its clinical development to support marketing approval for CD8 ImmunoPET – an imaging technique that will directly detect CD8+ cells in tumours or lymph nodes in patients with solid tumours, including Melanoma, Merkel Call, Renal Cell Carcinoma, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, and other selected solid tumours.

In what has the potential to transform cancer care for patients by removing the need for invasive and risky biopsy of tissues to test treatment efficacy, the ability to measure CD8+ TIL (Tumour Infiltrating Lymphocytes) infiltration and trafficking could lead to a better understanding of both their influence on cancer growth and regression, particularly for the newer classes of immunotherapy agents that are being developed to treat solid tumours. 

We believe this partnership and Phase IIb trials with ImaginAb showcases the benefits to Australians of the growth and attractiveness of the local industry – with the study intending to include up to 80 immunotherapy patients across Australia, United States and Europe who will be given access to this potentially ground-breaking trial over the coming months.

“At Accelagen, we are proud to partner with innovative international clients like ImaginAb who are equally dedicated to accelerating the landscape of human health. Accelagen brings a bespoke and personal approach to seeing our client’s ambition come to life, and we are thrilled to have this important trial now underway on Australian shores,” says Greg Plunkett, Accelagen founder and CEO.

The Phase IIb iPREDICT trial is a continuation of earlier studies intended to test the efficacy of immunotherapy treatment via non-invasive imaging of solid tumours.

Ian Wilson, CEO at ImaginAb, is delighted to introduce this milestone trial in Australia, “The roll out of this clinical development moves us one step closer to our goal of helping to transform cancer care for patients. Partnering with Accelagen as our local sponsor and CRO in the Australian market has been integral to achieving this milestone by facilitating smooth communication with our investigators and the roll-out across the two time zones. 

“We have long viewed Australia as an ideal location for trials with some of the world’s top research and development facilities, including the Olivia Newton John Cancer Research Institute, a requirement to meet all international standards and a reputation for robust regulatory pathways to clinical trials. Our partners at Accelagen align with our own values and philosophy of healthcare and, with a patient-centric approach at every step of the journey, have supported us in aligning the right partners on the ground to get the results we need.”

Clinical trials contribute around $2.7 billion to the Australian economy annually through direct expenditure and investment, industry-sponsored trials, and non-industry organisations, including around $650 million of foreign investment and growing. Australia attracts trials from around the world with a desire for the country’s population diversity, strategic location, world-class research and development facilities and healthcare plus very attractive tax rebates provided by the Federal Government.

“In our years in business, we have seen international interest in Australian trials increase exponentially. Trials like this are critical to ensuring the advancement of our local healthcare system, patient care and innovation and it is a win for both our clients and the Australian economy and general public to have ground-breaking trials such as this take place on our soil,” Greg adds.

The Olivia Newton John Cancer Research Institute in Melbourne is manufacturing doses for the iPREDICT trials in Australia and delivered the first clinical dose for use by Dr. Alison Zhang at Macquarie University Hospital on October 25th, 2022.

Details of the study can be found on under the identifier NCT05013099.


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