• Press Release

Human Immune Monitoring Center at Mount Sinai to Analyze the Effectiveness of a Novel Cancer Therapy Drug

  • New York, NY
  • (November 05, 2019)

The Human Immune Monitoring Center (HIMC) at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai will apply cutting-edge high-throughput technologies to evaluate the therapeutic effects of Libtayo® (cemiplimab-rwlc), a PD-1 antibody blockade developed by biotechnology company Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc and Sanofi.

While immunotherapy has revolutionized the field of oncology, there are still key questions that remain—such as learning more about how these drugs work in human cancer—and many patients still fail to respond to these therapies, leaving a need to better understand how FDA-approved immunotherapies work and how we can use emerging therapies to further improve response rates to treatment. In a phase I clinical trial led by Thomas Marron, MD, PhD, Assistant Director of Early Phase and Immunotherapy Trials at The Tisch Cancer Institute at Mount Sinai, the HIMC will assess the clinical efficacy and response of patients to cemiplimab therapy in early-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), and head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). The HIMC will utilize optimized techniques to deeply interrogate the changes induced by these novel therapies within the tumor. These techniques include single cell mapping of cancer lesions and circulating immune cells, spatial mapping of the tumor tissues, and sequencing of the patient’s microbiome before and after treatment.

Led by Miriam Merad, MD, PhD, Director of the Precision Immunology Institute and Co-Director of Cancer Immunology Program, The Tisch Cancer Institute of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, the HIMC leverages new proprietary technologies and platforms to characterize immune profiles and responses across a diverse range of disease settings.

“We are a team of highly integrated scientists with distinct expertise in medicine, immunology, technology, mathematics and physics, whose goals are to dissect the contribution of the immune system to human diseases and use this knowledge to design novel immune-based therapies,” said Merad.

The HIMC currently supports over 45 federal and foundation-funded research programs across a diverse range of diseases including cancer, autoimmune disease, inflammatory bowel disease, allergy and neurodegenerative disease. It also serves as a central resource for several multi-institutional consortia including the NIH Human Immunology Project Consortium (HIPC), the Children’s Health Exposure Analysis Resource (CHEAR) and the Consortium of Food Allergy Research (CoFAR). The HIMC is also one of four NCI-designated Cancer Immune Monitoring and Analysis Center and is actively supporting 13 industry-sponsored research programs.

“The large body of expertise in immuno-oncology, as well as the foundational and innovative approach found within the HIMC and Dr. Merad’s team, strongly influenced our decision to work with Mount Sinai on this study,” said Gavin Thurston, Vice President of Oncology and Angiogenesis at Regeneron.

“The breadth and number of partnerships between the HIMC and leading academic and industry partners reflects the quality of cutting-edge, proprietary techniques and technologies developed by Dr. Merad and her team,” said Erik Lium, PhD, Executive Vice President of Mount Sinai Innovation Partners, the commercialization engine of the Mount Sinai Health System. “We look forward to expanding the HIMC and to broadly engaging with additional academic life science, biotech and pharma partners on transformative, groundbreaking research.”

About Mount Sinai Innovation Partners (MSIP)
Mount Sinai Innovation Partners (MSIP) is responsible for driving the real-world application and commercialization of Mount Sinai discoveries and inventions, and the development of research partnerships with industry. Our aim is to translate discoveries and inventions into health care products and services that benefit patients and society. MSIP is accountable for the full spectrum of commercialization activities required to bring Mount Sinai inventions to life. These activities include evaluating, patenting, marketing and licensing new technologies building research, collaborations and partnerships with commercial and nonprofit entities, material transfer and confidentiality, coaching innovators to advance commercially-relevant translational discoveries, and actively fostering an ecosystem of entrepreneurship within the Mount Sinai research and health system communities. For more information, please visit www.ip.mountsinai.org.


About the Mount Sinai Health System

Mount Sinai Health System is one of the largest academic medical systems in the New York metro area, with more than 43,000 employees working across eight hospitals, over 400 outpatient practices, nearly 300 labs, a school of nursing, and a leading school of medicine and graduate education. Mount Sinai advances health for all people, everywhere, by taking on the most complex health care challenges of our time — discovering and applying new scientific learning and knowledge; developing safer, more effective treatments; educating the next generation of medical leaders and innovators; and supporting local communities by delivering high-quality care to all who need it.

Through the integration of its hospitals, labs, and schools, Mount Sinai offers comprehensive health care solutions from birth through geriatrics, leveraging innovative approaches such as artificial intelligence and informatics while keeping patients’ medical and emotional needs at the center of all treatment. The Health System includes approximately 7,300 primary and specialty care physicians; 13 joint-venture outpatient surgery centers throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, Long Island, and Florida; and more than 30 affiliated community health centers. We are consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report's Best Hospitals, receiving high "Honor Roll" status, and are highly ranked: No. 1 in Geriatrics and top 20 in Cardiology/Heart Surgery, Diabetes/Endocrinology, Gastroenterology/GI Surgery, Neurology/Neurosurgery, Orthopedics, Pulmonology/Lung Surgery, Rehabilitation, and Urology. New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai is ranked No. 12 in Ophthalmology. U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Children’s Hospitals” ranks Mount Sinai Kravis Children's Hospital among the country’s best in several pediatric specialties. The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is one of three medical schools that have earned distinction by multiple indicators: It is consistently ranked in the top 20 by U.S. News & World Report's "Best Medical Schools," aligned with a U.S. News & World Report "Honor Roll" Hospital, and top 20 in the nation for National Institutes of Health funding and top 5 in the nation for numerous basic and clinical research areas. Newsweek’s “The World’s Best Smart Hospitals” ranks The Mount Sinai Hospital as No. 1 in New York and in the top five globally, and Mount Sinai Morningside in the top 20 globally.

For more information, visit https://www.mountsinai.org or find Mount Sinai on FacebookTwitter and YouTube.