PRESS RELEASE


Cancer Research UK and Newcastle University extend successful multi-project drug discovery alliance with Astex Pharmaceuticals

2017-08-17 00:00:00

Cancer Research UK* and Newcastle University today (Thursday) announce a three year extension to  their major strategic drug discovery alliance with Astex Pharmaceuticals, a pharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery and development of novel small molecule therapeutics.

The alliance, which was formed five years ago, brings together world-leading researchers in structural and cellular biology, and medicinal chemistry with the innovative fragment-based small molecule drug discovery and development capabilities of Astex.

The researchers at the Cancer Research UK Drug Discovery Programme at the Northern Institute for Cancer Research (NICR), Newcastle University, will work to identify and develop new cancer drugs and associated biomarkers.

The existing portfolio of research consists of multiple projects spanning target validation and early stage medicinal chemistry, with projects progressing towards the more advanced stages of preclinical development.

The new agreement also includes provisions for further extension of the alliance towards the end of the new three year term.

Astex retains the right to an exclusive worldwide licence to take the most promising projects forward into pre-clinical and clinical drug development. In return, Cancer Research UK and Newcastle University are eligible to receive milestone and royalty payments on any compounds that Astex takes into clinical development and successfully commercialises.

Dr Iain Foulkes, Cancer Research UK’s executive director of research and innovation, said: “We’re delighted to extend this major collaboration which accelerates the development of Cancer Research UK’s world class work into new treatments for patients.

“Promising new compounds resulting from this partnership are now progressing towards the next stage of development. Multi-project alliances like this are powerful engines for innovation and drug discovery and this announcement underlines Cancer Research UK’s exceptional track record of bringing these together successfully.”

Steve Wedge, Professor of Stratified Cancer Medicine Discovery at Newcastle University, said: “The innovative academic-industry collaborative model pioneered with Astex has been a genuine success and we are thrilled to be able to continue working in partnership on our drug discovery research.

“The alliance benefits significantly from complementary expertise and provides a route to progress promising novel therapies towards clinical use.”

Dr Harren Jhoti, President and Chief Executive Officer of Astex, said: “The extension of our agreement with Newcastle and Cancer Research UK underlines the success of our existing alliance and the importance we place on collaboration with world leading academic research groups to strengthen our efforts to discover new treatments for patients. 

“We look forward to continuing our important work and to continued success in bringing new compounds into development.”

ENDS

For media enquiries contact Simon Shears in the Cancer Research UK press office on 020 3469 8054 or, out of hours, on 07050 264 059.

Notes to editors

Notes to editor:

*Cancer Research UK’s commercial activity operates through Cancer Research Technology Ltd. (CRT), a wholly owned subsidiary of Cancer Research UK. It is the legal entity which pursues drug discovery research in themed alliance partnerships and delivers varied commercial partnering arrangements. CRT is the party to the strategic drug discovery alliance and to the extension referred to in this press release.

About Cancer Research UK’s Commercial Partnerships Team

Cancer Research UK is the world’s leading cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research. Our specialist Commercial Partnerships Team work closely with leading international cancer scientists and their institutes to protect intellectual property arising from their research and to establish links with commercial partners. The team develop promising ideas into successful cancer therapeutics, software, devices, diagnostics and enabling technologies. This helps to accelerate progress in exciting new discoveries in cancer research and bring new treatments to patients sooner. http://commercial.cancerresearchuk.org/

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 vital donations from the public.
  • Cancer Research UK has been at the heart of the progress that has already seen survival in the UK double in the last forty years.
  • Today, 2 in 4 people survive their cancer for at least 10 years. Cancer Research UK’s ambition is to accelerate progress so that by 2034, 3 in 4 people will survive their cancer for at least 10 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 www.cancerresearchuk.org. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

About Newcastle University

http://www.ncl.ac.uk/press/about/keyfacts/

About Astex Pharmaceuticals

Astex is a leader in innovative drug discovery and development, committed to the fight against cancer and diseases of the central nervous system.  Astex is developing a proprietary pipeline of novel therapies and has a number of partnered products being developed under collaborations with leading pharmaceutical companies.  Astex is a member of the Otsuka Group, based in Japan.  Otsuka is a global healthcare company with the corporate philosophy: “Otsuka–people creating new products for better health worldwide.”  Otsuka researches, develops, manufactures and markets innovative and original products, with a focus on pharmaceutical products for the treatment of diseases and nutraceutical products for the maintenance of everyday health.