JP Morgan Healthcare Conference : Cancer Moonshot 2020

by Gregg A. Masters, MPH

At the 34th Annual JP Morgan Healthcare Conference (see: ‘If it’s January it’s the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference‘ (including free registration to available presenting company webcasts and slide decks) a panel on the Cancer Moonshot 2020 was convened by Moderator: Tycho Peterson, Managing Director, Equity Research Analyst, Life Science Tools & Diagnostics, J.P. Morgan with the following participants:Cancer Moon shot 2020

  • Dan Hilferty, President and CEO, Independence Health Group
  • Paul Black (@PaulMBlack), Chief Executive Officer, Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, Inc.
  • Patrick Soon-Shiong (@DrPatSoonShiong), Founder, NantWorks, CEO, NantKwest

The Cancer Moonshot 2020 is described by its founder sponsors as:

…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.

The audio only portion of the above session is available via the JP Morgan session graphic above. Click here (and select webcast) or on the icon above and choose the appropriate media player (HTML5, Flash or Windows Media) for your device or browser.

The session drills into the just launched ambitious project spawned by ‎The National Immunotherapy Coalition (NIC) and was announced on January 12, 2016. For the press conference detailing the effort see below:


The press release is pasted in part below, and details the scope and nature of the program:

San Francisco – January 11, 2016 – Today, leaders from large pharma including Celgene and Amgen, biotech including NantWorks, NantKwest, Etubics, Altor Bioscience, and Precision Biologics, major academic cancer centers and community oncologists announced the launch of ‎The National Immunotherapy Coalition (NIC), a historic alliance–in collaboration with Independence Blue Cross, one of the nation’s largest payers and Bank of America, one of the largest self-insured companies in the U.S.–with a singular focus: accelerating the potential of combination immunotherapies as the next generation standard of care in patients with cancer.


This unprecedented collaboration of multinational pharmaceutical, biotechnology companies, academic centers and community oncologists will make possible access to over 60 novel and approved agents under exploration in the war against cancer and will enable rapid testing of novel immunotherapy combination protocols, forming the basis of ‎ The Cancer MoonShot 2020. The NIC will design, initiate and complete randomized clinical trials in cancer patients with cancer at all stages of disease in up to 20 tumor types in as many as 20,000 patients by the year 2020.

One key question remains, will ‘payors’ (health plans, insurers et al) other than Independence Blue Cross step up to the plate and support the effort? According to Dan Hilferty, since the PR:

I would not venture to predict when other insurers’ will get involved, but I will tell you they will because this is the future….. I will tell you that I haven’t heard from one of my colleagues since we made this announcement’


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