Cancer Research UK, with its commercial arm Cancer Research Technology, and Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research today (Monday) announce they have signed a deal to jointly fund early phase clinical trials of experimental drugs for patients with blood cancers.
This collaboration will increase support for trials of promising new treatments for blood cancers – leukaemias, lymphomas and myeloma – which affect around 30,000 people every year in the UK.
Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research will provide access to promising new treatments that are being researched by its scientists, as well as financial support for Cancer Research UK to develop these therapies through preclinical, and early Phase I and Phase II clinical development.
The trials will be managed and run by Cancer Research UK’s Centre for Drug Development through the Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC) network, an initiative funded by Cancer Research UK and the UK’s four Health Departments, at hospitals across the country.
Cancer Research Technology will be responsible for the further clinical and commercial development of joint projects, ensuring that both charities receive a proportion of revenues from any drugs that ultimately reach the market. The agreement will initially last five years, with up to five trials anticipated to be funded in that time.
Professor Chris Bunce, research director at Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, said: “We are at an exciting period in blood cancer research, with our scientists identifying more treatment targets and developing more drugs than ever before. The infrastructure and know-how exchanged by working together with Cancer Research UK will enable this initiative to give patients access to potentially life-saving breakthroughs sooner.
“There is an urgent need for new blood cancer drugs, as many patients cannot tolerate or do not respond to traditional treatment options like chemotherapy.”
Dr Nigel Blackburn, director of Cancer Research UK’s Centre for Drug Development, said: “Bringing together Cancer Research UK’s cutting-edge facilities and expertise, with Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research’s high quality research is an exciting prospect that we hope will bring promising new treatments to patients with blood cancer sooner.
“As the world’s largest charity dedicated to cancer research, we hope this will pave the way for further strategic partnerships with other charities who are interested in working together to speed up the translation of today’s scientific discoveries into future cancer treatments.”