PRESS RELEASE


Cancer Research UK drug launched in its first clinical trial

2014-03-27 00:00:00

A new cancer drug, based on further development of a discovery originally made by Cancer Research UK, has entered a clinical trial to target a wide range of cancers.

The drug, RG7813, delivers a cytokine (engineered IL2) to a specific part of the carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) protein which is exposed only on the surface of cancer cells, resulting in a narrowly-targeted treatment.

Cancer Research Technology, the commercial arm of Cancer Research UK, licensed the monoclonal antibody called PR1A3 to Roche. PR1A3 was discovered in Sir Walter Bodmer’s laboratory when he was director of the Imperial Cancer Research Fund*. Roche has subsequently engineered the antibody and incorporated it into its proprietary immunocytokine drug platform to generate the final drug candidate. Clinical trials have then been initiated.

Sir Walter Bodmer, head of the Cancer and Immunogenetics Laboratory at the University of Oxford, said: “It’s very exciting to see that a drug based on our monoclonal PR1A3 antibody is now going into the clinic. By combining these discoveries we make in the lab with the latest developments in immunotherapy, we’re expanding our arsenal of cancer drugs at a greater pace – which will ultimately benefit more patients, sooner.”

Dr Phil L’Huillier, Cancer Research Technology’s director of business management, said: “We’re delighted to see the trial launch of this promising new drug, which harnesses the power of the immune system, and that potentially could treat a range of cancers.

“This drug is particularly exciting because it homes in on a new target only accessible on the surface of cancer cells, increasing its potency while sparing healthy cells. We hope that the early clinical trials prove this is a safe and effective new treatment for cancer patients – ultimately saving more lives from the disease.”

ENDS

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Notes to editors

*Cancer Research UK formed on 4 February 2002 by the merger of The Cancer Research Campaign and the Imperial Cancer Research Fund.

About Cancer Research Technology

Cancer Research Technology (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 a wholly owned subsidiary of Cancer Research UK, the world's leading cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research. Further information about CRT can be found at commercial.cancerresearchuk.org

About Cancer Research UK
 

  • Cancer Research UK is the world’s leading cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research.
  • The charity’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.
  • 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.