CRT and University of Manchester receive success payment from GlaxoSmithKline for cancer epigenetics research collaboration

2016-10-06 00:00:00

CANCER RESEARCH TECHNOLOGY (CRT) – the development and commercialisation arm of Cancer Research UK – has today (Thursday) received a success payment from GlaxoSmithKline resulting from its collaboration developing molecules targeting cancer epigenetics.

Under the agreement, scientists at the Drug Discovery Unit at the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute at the University of Manchester received promising early molecules for the project from GlaxoSmithKline and created potential new drug development candidates that target a key protein involved in epigenetic regulation.

CRT will receive development milestones and royalties on sales of products from the collaboration, and has the right to develop the molecules further if GlaxoSmithKline declines to do so.  

The Drug Discovery Unit at Cancer Research UK’s Manchester Institute will support GSK scientists developing these drugs and will continue to develop other compounds as part of the collaboration.

Epigenetics – the way cells control how and when genes are turned on or off – can be disrupted in many cancers meaning these drugs could be used to treat many cancers.

Dr Donald Ogilvie, head of the Drug Discovery Unit at Cancer Research UK’s Manchester Institute, said: “We’re extremely pleased with the success of this project, which has allowed us to research a challenging area and ensure that it’s an effective way of targeting cancer.

“The Drug Discovery Unit aims to develop new treatments ready for the clinic as efficiently as possible. By working alongside GlaxoSmithKline scientists we’ve been able to reduce the risk in the development of these drugs and make them more likely to progress through to clinic to achieve our goal of getting new treatments to cancer patients sooner.”

Dr Phil L’Huillier, Cancer Research Technology's director of business development, said: “We’re delighted that our Manchester Drug Development Unit’s work has been so successful, triggering an early success payment from GlaxoSmithKline. This showcases our world class drug development capabilities.

“Drugs targeting epigenetics are a growing area of research and we’re pleased to be making an impact in this area. Being at the forefront of this research alongside one of the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies means we have a real opportunity to develop new drugs for cancer patients.”


For media enquiries contact Emily Head in the Cancer Research Technology press office on 020 3469 6189 or, out of hours, on 07050 264 059.

Notes to editors

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 and about Cancer Research UK at