A consortium of investigators designed to facilitate early-phase clinical trials for myeloma and related cancers has been set up in the US by Aptium Oncology, a Los Angeles-based provider of cancer care services.

The Aptium Oncology Myeloma Consortium (AMyC) builds on the success of the Aptium Oncology Gastrointestinal Cancer Consortium (AGICC), a similar research model for complex GI cancer trials launched by Aptium Oncology in September 2008.

The new consortium brings together investigators with strong institutional track records in the field to help pharmaceutical industry sponsors design, initiate and complete Phase Ib and Phase II clinical trials of potential new targeted therapies for myeloma that incorporate translational endpoints.

According to Dr Brian Durie, an internationally recognised expert in multiple myeloma who is co-founder of the International Myeloma Foundation and director of the AMyC, this “fills a critical need for pharmaceutical sponsors as there is a current lack of organisations that have the capability of providing this level of strategic, scientific and operational expertise in a timely manner”.

The institutions involved in the new initiative include the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Institute, the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute and the MD Anderson Cancer Center. The investigator consortium will offer a full spectrum of trial management resources and services, delivering studies to pharmaceutical companies in line with agreed metrics.

“Sponsors who have a robust drug development pipeline and want faster go-no go decision-making capabilities will benefit from the brain trust, expertise and patient access AMyC can provide,” commented Marti McKinley, vice president of clinical research programmes for both the AGICC and the AMyC consortia.