Stanford University’s Innovative Medicines Accelerator & Intonation Research Laboratories (Intonation) Form a Collaboration to Fight Cancerous Neuroendocrine Tumors

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STANFORD, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Stanford University’s Innovative Medicines Accelerator (IMA) and Intonation Research Laboratories (Intonation) have formed a collaboration to develop treatments that target cancerous neuroendocrine tumors, or tumors that form from hormone-releasing cells.

The goal of the collaboration is to reduce the time and resources it takes to translate a biomedical breakthrough into a clinically and commercially viable medicine.

“I’m excited about this collaboration with Intonation Research Laboratories, which has the potential to speed the translation of promising research into urgently needed new treatments and therapies,” said Marc Tessier-Lavigne, president of Stanford University. “This type of partnership goes to the heart of why we created the Innovative Medicines Accelerator — to connect biomedical researchers with partners so that we can more efficiently translate Stanford discoveries into real impact for society.”

Lloyd Minor, MD, dean of the Stanford School of Medicine, said that the goal of the collaboration, IMA’s second in recent months, is to rapidly improve patient care. “We hope to greatly accelerate our drug development program and deliver transformative treatments to patients burdened with neuroendocrine tumors,” he said.

Over the next two years, Intonation, led by founder and chairman Suresh K. Jain, PhD, will collaborate on a project that originated in the laboratory of Justin Annes, MD, PhD, associate professor of endocrinology, and advanced in partnership with Mark Smith, PhD, head of medicinal chemistry at Sarafan ChEM-H.

“We have found a unique aspect of neuroendocrine tumor biology that can be leveraged to develop targeted and effective medications,” Annes said.

The agreement calls for a close collaboration where the Annes laboratory and Intonation, with the IMA’s help, contribute expertise and resources to strengthen foundational intellectual property created at Stanford University. “We want to find partners where we don’t just hand it over and be done,” said Chaitan Khosla, PhD, the Innovative Medicines Accelerator director and a professor of chemistry and of chemical engineering at Stanford University. “We want to assist the partner so they can run the next leg of the journey.”

“Joining forces with Stanford University’s IMA is a prime opportunity to collaboratively create innovative treatments for neuroendocrine tumors in an efficient and cost-effective way,” Jain said. “Our partnership with a renowned academic institution such as Stanford will reinvigorate and enhance the ecosystem of drug discovery in India.”

Khosla said this additional relationship will allow the university to explore new external collaboration models as it attempts to fulfill its stated mission concerning accelerators: to be a more purposeful university. The IMA is evaluating and fine-tuning several additional home-grown projects from Stanford University’s principal investigator labs with potential for prototyping highly differentiated new medicines, Khosla said.

“The IMA continues to seek high-quality partners in our mission as an accelerator,” said Khosla, the Marc and Jennifer Lipschultz Director of the Stanford Innovative Medicines Accelerator. “And we are excited about engaging diverse partners in helping us scale Stanford-grown solutions.”

The collaboration with Intonation follows on the heels of January’s announcement that the IMA is initiating a similar agreement with investment firm The Invus Group around another form of cancer, glioblastoma.

About Stanford University

Stanford University is a place of discovery, creativity, innovation and world-class medical care. Dedicated to its founding mission of benefiting society through research and education, Stanford strives to create a sustainable future for all, catalyze discoveries about ourselves and our world, accelerate the societal impact of its research, and educate students as global citizens. The university is located in the San Francisco Bay Area on the ancestral land of the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe and first welcomed students in 1891. Its main campus holds seven schools along with interdisciplinary research and policy institutes, athletics, and the arts. More than 7,000 undergraduate and 9,000 graduate students pursue studies at Stanford each year. Learn more at

About Stanford Medicine

Stanford Medicine is an integrated academic health system comprising the Stanford School of Medicine and adult and pediatric health care delivery systems. Together, they harness the full potential of biomedicine through collaborative research, education and clinical care for patients. For more information, please visit

About Intonation Research Laboratories

Intonation Research Laboratory is a Hyderabad-based auxiliary research organization, established in 2005 in Boston to provide contract research services to the global pharmaceutical industry. Besides offering highly skilled contract research services, Intonation collaborates with academic institutions across the globe to develop innovative product candidate opportunities with “proof” that these technologies will likely succeed in the marketplace. Intonation will soon be moving to its newly built state-of-the-art research center in Cherlapalli, Hyderabad, India.

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