Quark Venture, a Vancouver, Canada-based venture capital firm focused on innovative biotechnology and health sciences companies with breakthrough technology platforms and projects, has signed a US$4.5m research sponsorship agreement with Harvard University’s Office of Technology Development (OTD).
The deal supports the joint research of principal investigators Arlene Sharpe, MD, PhD, and Dennis Kasper, MD, in fields of cancer immunology and microbiome science, respectively.
The premise of the research is that the missing ingredients for cancer immunotherapy may be found in the gut. Combining insights from gut microbiology, immunology, and oncology, the scientists will deploy a new “immune-oncology-microbiome” (IOME) platform to identify new bacterial strains, molecules, or drug targets that address the problem of resistance to immunotherapy and create new treatment strategies in immune-oncology.
Under the terms of the agreement, Quark Venture – which is led by CEO Karimah Es Sabar – will have the option to negotiate a license for the intellectual property (IP) that arises from the project, and to enable a startup to develop that IP toward commercial applications and therapies that ultimately benefit patients.
For more information about Dr. Arlene Sharpe and Dr. Dennis Kasper and their research see http://otd.harvard.edu/news/missing-ingredients-for-cancer-immunotherapy-may-be-found-in-the-gut/