Andy Jassi, CEO of Amazon.Com Inc., during the GeekWire Summit in Seattle, Washington, US, on Tuesday, October 5, 2021.
David Ryder | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Amazon is developing cancer vaccines in collaboration with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and recently launched an FDA-approved clinical trial.
Amazon and Fred Hutchinson are seeking to recruit 20 participants over the age of 18 for the early-stage, or phase 1, trial, according to a filing on clinicaltrials.gov, a clinical trials database managed by the National Library of Medicine. The goal is to develop “personalized vaccines” that can treat breast cancer and melanoma, a form of skin cancer, the filing states.
Fred Hutchinson is listed as a sponsor of the study, while Amazon is listed as a collaborator, according to the filing. News of the partnership was first reported by Business Insider. The survey was first published last October and began on June 9. It is expected to be completed by November 1, 2023.
Fred Hutch and Amazon confirmed the partnership. An Amazon spokesman said it was led by Fred Hutch.
“Amazon is contributing scientific expertise and machine learning expertise in partnership with Fred Hutch to explore the development of personalized treatment for certain forms of cancer,” a CNBC spokesperson said in a statement. “It’s very early days, but Fred Hutch recently received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration to proceed with a phase I clinical trial, and it’s unclear whether it will be successful. This will be a long, multi-year process – if it moves forward, we would be open to working with other organizations in healthcare and life sciences who might also be interested in similar efforts.”
Amazon has deepened its presence in the healthcare industry in recent years. In 2020, the company launched an online pharmacy, expanded its telehealth service called Amazon Care, and sought to develop medical diagnostics at home.
A secret research and development group at Amazon known as the Grand Challenge initially led the cancer vaccine effort, according to Business Insider, which cited people familiar with the matter. It’s now under the purview of a cancer research team that reports to Amazon’s vice president of devices, Robert Williams, Business Insider reported.
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