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Stand Up To Cancer And Jazz Pharmaceuticals Collaborate To Fund Catalyst Research On Hard-To-Treat Cancers

$4 Million Research Collaboration to Explore New Treatment Options for Pediatric Solid Tumors or RAF, RAS Mutated Tumors

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 10, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Stand Up To Cancer® (SU2C) and Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc (Nasdaq: JAZZ) today announce a three-year, $4 million research collaboration to explore new opportunities, including lurbinectedin in pediatric solid tumors and pan-RAF molecules in RAF- and RAS-mutated solid cancers. The collaboration also includes digital ethnography research to identify barriers to treatment and to gain insights and perspectives about small cell lung cancer (SCLC) from patients and caregivers in underserved communities.

The collaboration supports Stand Up To Cancer's efforts to accelerate the development of new treatments, and where appropriate, combination therapies for cancer patients through the Stand Up To Cancer Catalyst® program, which brings together industry and academic scientists in the cancer community. With an estimated 1.9 million new cancer cases diagnosed in the U.S. in 2021, innovative approaches that deliver new treatments to patients faster remain a key component of SU2C's mission. The SU2C Catalyst program was created specifically to encourage innovative and collaborative clinical translational research between academics and companies with an emphasis on speed and collaboration.

The collaboration between SU2C and Jazz will provide SU2C-funded researchers access to two Jazz molecules as well as funds to support one or more research projects over a three-year period. One of the potential projects would help SU2C scientists explore for the first time the possible clinical use of lurbinectedin in rare and hard to treat pediatric solid tumors. Lurbinectedin, commercialized by Jazz in the U.S. as Zepzelca®, received accelerated approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in June 2020 for the treatment of adult patients with metastatic SCLC with disease progression on or after platinum-based chemotherapy. Early studies have demonstrated that the therapy, which works by inhibiting tumor growth and promoting eventual tumor cell death, may be useful in treating several advanced adult and pediatric cancers.

"While incredible progress has been made in advancing pediatric cancer research, critical unmet needs still exist; we cannot make children wait for treatments to be tested in adults first," said Sung Poblete, PhD, RN, CEO of Stand Up To Cancer. "SU2C started its Catalyst program to speed research of clinical compounds in both adults and children so that we can bring better treatments to patients quickly and save lives. Through this program, the Jazz-funded research offers exciting possibilities for childhood tumors as well as adult solid cancers that desperately need new treatment options."

The collaboration may also support non-clinical studies of an investigational pan-RAF inhibitor compound called JZP815 in RAF- and RAS-mutated solid cancers, which make up about one-third of all cancers. Pan-RAF inhibitors work by inhibiting a common pathway for many cancers; the Jazz Pharmaceuticals research could enable studies of the compound in cancers where other drugs, called B-RAF inhibitors, have become ineffective.

"Our company's purpose is to innovate to transform the lives of patients and their families, and we are committed to advancing our pipeline of innovative oncology therapies, including lurbinectedin and early-stage molecules, to identify new options for patients," said Robert Iannone, MD, MSCE, executive vice president, research and development and chief medical officer of Jazz Pharmaceuticals. "As part of this commitment, Jazz is proud to collaborate with Stand Up To Cancer and support the SU2C Catalyst program, whose goal is to expedite the development of novel treatments for patients diagnosed with difficult-to-treat cancers. Our collaboration with Stand Up To Cancer will support, among other projects, a digital ethnography study in small cell lung cancer that we believe will generate insights into better care and health outcomes for diverse patient populations."

The digital ethnography study will focus on better understanding the attitudes and perspectives of healthcare providers, patients and their families, in particular in underserved communities, on their experiences participating in and understanding sources of information on SCLC clinical trials.

"The SU2C Catalyst model brings the best and brightest minds to the table to find novel uses for drugs or drug compounds, so we have more opportunities to find new and innovative treatments for cancers that are particularly difficult to treat," said Nobel laureate Phillip A. Sharp, PhD, chair of Stand Up To Cancer's Scientific Advisory Committee and an institute professor at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "With their growing solid tumor research and development pipeline, Jazz Pharmaceuticals will be an ideal collaborator in the program."

SU2C's Catalyst program began in 2016, with contributions from other leading industry supporters. Through the program, companies provide funds for collaborative research studies, in which use of the companies' products and materials is strongly encouraged. Those materials might include new pharmaceutical compounds that companies are developing or approved agents that can be investigated for other uses. Two primary goals of SU2C Catalyst is to encourage collaborative research between academics and companies and shorten the time it takes to get new treatments to patients. 

About Stand Up To CancerStand Up To Cancer® (SU2C) raises funds to accelerate the pace of research to get new therapies to patients quickly and save lives now. SU2C, a division of the Entertainment Industry Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, was established in 2008 by media and entertainment leaders who utilize these communities' resources to engage the public in supporting a new, collaborative model of cancer research, to increase awareness about cancer prevention, and to highlight progress being made in the fight against the disease. As of January 2021, more than 1,950 scientists representing more than 210 institutions are involved in SU2C-funded research projects.

Under the direction of our Scientific Advisory Committee, led by Nobel laureate Phillip A. Sharp, Ph.D., SU2C implements rigorous competitive review processes to identify the best research proposals to recommend for funding, oversee grants administration, and ensure collaboration across research programs.

Current members of the SU2C Founders and Advisors Committee (FAC) include Katie Couric, Sherry Lansing, Kathleen Lobb, Lisa Paulsen, Rusty Robertson, Sue Schwartz, Pamela Oas Williams, and Ellen Ziffren. The late Laura Ziskin and the late Noreen Fraser are also co-founders. Sung Poblete, Ph.D., R.N., serves as SU2C's CEO, and Russell Chew as SU2C's President.

About Jazz Pharmaceuticals plcJazz Pharmaceuticals plc (JAZZ) - Get Jazz Pharmaceuticals Plc Report is a global biopharmaceutical company whose purpose is to innovate to transform the lives of patients and their families. We are dedicated to developing life-changing medicines for people with serious diseases - often with limited or no therapeutic options. We have a diverse portfolio of marketed medicines and novel product candidates, from early- to late-stage development, in neuroscience and oncology. Within these therapeutic areas, we are identifying new options for patients by actively exploring small molecules and biologics, and through innovative delivery technologies and cannabinoid science. Jazz is headquartered in Dublin, Ireland and has employees around the globe, serving patients in nearly 75 countries. For more information, please visit www.jazzpharmaceuticals.com and follow @JazzPharma on Twitter.

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SOURCE Stand Up To Cancer