Consensus reached on implementation of the Three Pillars of Cancer MoonShot 2020 Program: panomic, whole genomic and proteomic analysis; big data, predictive analytics, and interoperability; and a single platform to guide novel combination immunotherapeutic interventions of more than 20 immunotherapy combination protocols

Culver City, CA– January 25, 2016 —The Cancer MoonShot 2020 Program, NantWorks and Patrick Soon-Shiong, M.D., Chief Executive Officer of NantWorks and Chairman of the Chan Soon-Shiong Institute of Molecular Medicine, today announced the completion of the first of many milestone events for the Cancer MoonShot 2020 Program. During the weekend of January 15 to 17, 2016, Dr. Soon-Shiong brought together a coalition of more than 120 leaders from a diverse community across pharma, biotech, technology, academic and community oncology, National Cancer Institute (NCI) investigators, and not-for-profit thought leaders for a three-day retreat in Santa Cruz entitled the first annual “Cancer MoonShot 2020 Summit.” 

The coalition’s goals—through the Cancer MoonShot 2020 Program—are to accelerate novel combination immunotherapies as the next-generation standard of care for cancer patients. The coalition seeks to achieve that goal through the initiation of randomized Phase 2 trials at all stages of the disease for up to 20,000 patient participants—guided by comprehensive, panomic sequencing based on whole genomic and proteomic molecular diagnostic analysis of the patient’s cancer. Analyses of these results will then inform Phase 3 trials with the aspiration to develop novel, and significantly more effective vaccine-based combination immunotherapies to combat cancer by the year 2020—all with the aim of dramatically improved outcomes and quality of life for these cancer patients. 

This Summit followed the ground-breaking announcement on the National Immunotherapy Coalition (NIC), a historic alliance bringing together large pharma, biotech, payers, academic and community oncologists united in the war against cancer through the Cancer MoonShot 2020 program. This announcement was widely discussed at a press conference and panel discussion hosted by JP Morgan at their 34th Annual Healthcare Conference earlier that week during which NIC leadership described their commitment and roles in solving interoperability, insurance coverage for whole genome and proteome diagnostics and accelerating clinical trials and drug access for combination immunotherapy. Panelists included Dr. Soon-Shiong, Dan Hilferty, CEO of Independence Blue Cross and Chairman of the Board of Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and Paul M. Black, CEO of Allscripts.

“After our announcement at the JP Morgan conference in San Francisco, we convened a summit in Santa Cruz, which we had pre-planned over a year ago, to establish what I call a 'do-tank' as opposed to a 'think tank’ to fight the war on cancer. This inaugural meeting is the culmination of more than two decades of persistent effort by our teams at NantWorks and the Chan Soon-Shiong Institute of Molecular Medicine to support and integrate genomics, proteomics, real-world big data analytics, low-dose metronomic chemotherapy and combination immunotherapy into the practice of medicine. Only through collaboration, a shared vision and a common goal could we accelerate the path to a cure. Cancer MoonShot 2020 has now accomplished that commitment to collaboration and information sharing between pharma, biotech, academia, community oncologists and payers. The methodical plan to accelerate immunotherapy development in cancer is now ready for ‘lift-off’, as I described in some detail in my interview this month with The Cancer Letter (Jan 15, 2016 issue)‎. We now have protocol designs to submit to the FDA,” said Dr. Soon-Shiong. “The leaders who attended this first annual Cancer MoonShot 2020 Summit were all invited because they are action-orientated clinicians, scientists and big data technologists who cope with the struggles of treating cancer patients in the real world, and who have developed breakthroughs in immunotherapy and genomic and proteomic analyses.”

Soon-Shiong added, “It was the first time that this coalition of multi-disciplinary scientists and technologists had gathered together in this format, and the results exceeded my wildest expectations. Together, we drafted the Three Pillars of the Cancer MoonShot 2020 to guide ongoing collaboration across industry stakeholders while engaging patients, academic and community oncologists, payers, and pharma toward this mission: 1) leveraging the power of next-generation comprehensive, panomic molecular diagnostics, 2) developing novel combination immunotherapies, and 3) building an interoperable, big data and predictive analytics platform.”

Coalition members across the entire cancer care community voiced a passion and commitment to the mission of the Cancer MoonShot 2020 Program at the Summit:

"In the United States, the incidence of cancer is predicted to double over the next ten years. Double. The grim toll to be exacted upon millions of Americans and their families and the financial threat posed to the nation’s health care system means we cannot simply keep doing what we have done in the past.  We have made big strides in our understanding of cancer as a disease, and innovations in information technology and drug therapeutics can be converged in a way to revolutionize the way we treat cancer now," said Timothy Brauns, Associate Director, Vaccine and Immunotherapy Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard University who attended the summit meeting. "The Cancer MoonShot 2020 coalition is just the kind of audacious endeavor we need to galvanize a quantum leap of progress in treating this disease. I am impressed by the assets that have been put in place to make this goal achievable; believe that the quality, motivation and organization of the participants make it possible; and support the work of the coalition on behalf of cancer patients and their families," he added.

 “The Cancer MoonShot 2020 Program and the National Immunotherapy Coalition is the right approach at the right time to facilitate major progress in the war against cancer. As an immunologist and oncologist, I am honored to be part of this extraordinary effort,” said Andreas Niethammer, M.D., PhD, Executive Director, NantKwest and former Senior Director of Development at Pfizer focusing on cancer immunotherapy and early drug development.

“As an advocate of my patients and a clinician fighting in the front end, the Cancer MoonShot 2020 coalition inspired me and gave me hope that we will finally find the cure for cancer. It’s a true privilege to be in the middle of this amazing movement,” said Sibel Blau, M.D., Oncologist, Northwest Medical Specialties.

“Demonstrating the historic nature of this Summit, I was humbled by the collaborative support from academic centers that often can be fierce competitors such as Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard University, and Tufts, coming together with the community oncologists,” said Dr. Soon-Shiong. “This affirms the spirit and commitment of the Cancer MoonShot 2020 Program and ambitiously encourages patient participation to accelerate the development of novel combination immunotherapies and achieve dramatically improved outcomes for patients with cancer,“ he added.

For more information and the latest breaking news on Cancer MoonShot 2020, visit Follow the program on Twitter @CancerMoonShot2020 and follow Dr. Soon-Shiong @DrPatSoonShiong.


About Cancer MoonShot 2020
The Cancer MoonShot 2020 Program is the nation's most comprehensive cancer collaborative initiative seeking to accelerate the potential of combination immunotherapy as the next generation standard of care in cancer patients. This initiative aims to explore a new paradigm in cancer care by initiating randomized Phase II trials in patients at all stages of disease in 20 tumor types in 20,000 patients within the next 36 months. These findings will inform Phase III trials and the aspirational moonshot to develop an effective vaccine-based immunotherapy to combat cancer by 2020. For more information, visit


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