German biomedical research institute BioMed X has signed a new joint research project with Japan-based Ono Pharmaceutical for next-generation cancer therapy development.

The project entitled, New Strategies to Engage Neutrophils in Solid Tumors, is intended to develop immunotherapies by using the antitumor effects of neutrophils.

The joint research venture will be hosted by the BioMed X Institute in Heidelberg, Germany.

BioMed X said the new research team will work alongside nine existing research groups at its institute in Heidelberg, Germany.

The German biomedical research institute has also invited researchers who seek to be part of this group.

BioMed X Institute founder and managing director Christian Tidona said: “Oncology and immunology, including tumour immunology, are key areas of expertise at BioMed X.

“We are proud and honoured that Ono has chosen our institute to develop new strategies for engaging neutrophils in cancer therapy.”

According to BioMed X, targeting T cells with immunotherapies has proven to be effective, and its research field is developing quickly.

The new immunological strategies target the people who still don’t respond to existing treatments.

This project intends to use new insights into neutrophil biology to develop innovative immunotherapies by utilising neutrophil functions.

Ono Pharmaceutical discovery & research senior executive officer/executive director Toichi Takino said: “We are very pleased to form a partnership with BioMed X in our mission dedicated to overcoming cancer.

“This innovative research collaboration will engage us with highly talented scientists around the world who possess unique ideas for immunotherapy utilising neutrophils.

“We believe that the research team established through this collaboration will lead to the discovery of the next generation of immunotherapy with us.”

In January this year, the German institute extended its research partnership with American biopharmaceutical firm AbbVie to establish the first BioMed X Institute in the US.

Situated near the Yale University campus in New Haven, Connecticut, the institute will focus on immunology and tissue engineering.