Cancer Research UK and Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research team up to boost blood cancer trials

2014-10-27 00:00:00

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.”


For media enquiries contact Ailsa Stevens in the Cancer Research UK press office on 020 3469 8300 or, out of hours, on 07050 264 059.

Notes to editors

About Cancer Research UK's Centre for Drug Development
Cancer Research UK has an impressive record of developing novel treatments for cancer. It currently has a portfolio of around 30 new anti-cancer agents in preclinical development, phase I or early phase II clinical trials. Since 1982, the Cancer Research UK Centre for Drug Development, formerly the Drug Development Office, has taken over 120 potential new anti-cancer agents into clinical trials in patients, five of which have made it to market and many others are still in development. These include temozolomide, a drug discovered by Cancer Research UK scientists, that is an effective treatment for brain cancer. Six other drugs are in late development phase III trials. This rate of success is comparable to that of any pharmaceutical company.
About the ECMC network
Conducting the majority of early-phase cancer clinical trials in the UK, experimental cancer medicine centres (ECMCs) provide infrastructure funding to enhance the quantity and quality of research in developing new medicines to help beat cancer. Each ECMC brings together lab-based experts in cancer biology with cancer doctors to speed up the flow of ideas from the lab bench to the patient’s bedside. Launched in 2007, the network of 18 ECMCs is jointly supported by Cancer Research UK, the National Institute for Health Research in England, and the Departments of Health of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland who, together, have provided £35m from 2007-2012 and a further £35m from 2012 to 2017.  Find out more at
About Cancer Research Technology
Cancer Research Technology Limited (CRT) is a specialist commercialisation and development company, which aims to develop new discoveries in cancer research for the benefit of cancer patients. CRT works closely with leading international cancer scientists and their institutes to protect intellectual property arising from their research and to establish links with commercial partners. CRT facilitates the discovery, development and marketing of new cancer therapeutics, vaccines, diagnostics and enabling technologies. CRT is wholly owned by Cancer Research UK, the world’s leading cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research. Find out more at
About Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research
Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research is a leading UK charity dedicated to improving the lives of patients with all types of blood cancer, including leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma. Its life-saving work is focused on finding causes, improving diagnosis and treatments, and running groundbreaking clinical trials for all blood cancer patients.
The charity champions patients’ needs by influencing relevant policy and decision makers. Its communities give blood cancer patients and their families a place where they can find support and information and share their journey with other people who can relate to what they are going through.
Around 38,000 people of all ages, from children to adults, are diagnosed with blood cancers and related disorders every year in the UK. For more information visit
About Cancer Research UK
  • Cancer Research UK is the world’s leading cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research.
  • Cancer Research UK’s pioneering work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer has helped save millions of lives.
  • Cancer Research UK receives no government funding for its life-saving research. Every step it makes towards beating cancer relies on every pound donated.
  • Cancer Research UK has been at the heart of the progress that has already seen survival rates in the UK double in the last forty years.
  • Today, 2 in 4 people survive cancer. Cancer Research UK’s ambition is to accelerate progress so that 3 in 4 people will survive cancer within the next 20 years.
  • Cancer Research UK supports research into all aspects of cancer through the work of over 4,000 scientists, doctors and nurses.
  • Together with its partners and supporters, Cancer Research UK's vision is to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.
For further information about Cancer Research UK's work or to find out how to support the charity, please call 0300 123 1022 or visit Follow us on Twitter and Facebook