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Commercialisation

In order to realise the full potential of promising drug discoveries, we tailor our services and recommendations to suit the individual needs of each project. This flexible approach to commercialisation enables us to work with a diverse range of commercial and academic organisations.

We've established major partnerships with research institutions, pharmaceutical companies and biotechnology companies of all sizes so we have a unique understanding of both the academic and industry perspective and the ability to facilitate productive, mutually beneficial alliances.

Such partnerships are crucial in progressing drugs through the latter stages of clinical development and regulatory approval - bringing breakthrough therapeutics to cancer patients sooner.

  • LICENSING AND SPIN-OUTS

    One of the most common commercialisation routes is the grant of a licence to a commercial partner. CRT has a broad portfolio of cancer-focused projects available for licensing or co-development; we complete around 50 licensing or collaboration agreements each year.

    Where technologies with a broad application can be most effectively advanced via a focused and innovative environment, CRT will stimulate the creation of a start-up company. We've been involved in the formation of 31 start-ups - some of which have achieved significant exits through acquisition by leading pharmaceutical companies.

  • COLLABORATION

    We’re uniquely placed to capitalise on the research and connections of our parent organisation Cancer Research UK, the world’s largest charitable funder of cancer research, and the strong links we’ve established with leading clinical and academic institutions, pharmaceutical companies and biotechs worldwide. Recent collaborations established by CRT include:

    • The CRUK Drug Discovery Unit at the Northern Institute for Cancer Research at the University of Newcastle agreed a major five-year strategic drug discovery alliance with Astex Pharmaceuticals. Read more.
    • The CRUK Drug Discovery Unit at the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute signed two deals with AstraZeneca to develop new drugs which target a key protein involved in the DNA damage response, and to test a potential drug target against AstraZeneca’s extensive compound collection. Read more.
    • The CRUK Cancer Therapeutics Unit at The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR CTU) set up a collaboration with Janssen Biotech to discover a potential new multiple myeloma drug. Read more.

    "We bring together partners from industry and academia with specialist expertise and experience to accelerate the development of exciting new treatments – which, we hope, will one day increase cancer survival.” Dr Phil L'Huillier, Director, Business Developement

     

  • ALLIANCES

    Rather than investing in high-risk, early drug discovery themselves, pharmaceutical companies are increasingly looking to external organisations to provide multiple promising projects to take forward over a themed area of biology.

    This approach facilitates the low-risk exploration of novel broad areas of science with the potential to yield multiple commercially attractive projects. Such alliances combine the individual strengths of academic research and drug discovery and pharma clinical development and have the potential to deliver patient benefit.

    CRT-DL has established major multi-project alliances with AstraZeneca, Teva and FORMA based around themed areas of cancer biology.

    “We are particularly looking forward to working closely in this initiative with CRT’s Discovery Laboratories and a group of preeminent investigators, who bring critical insights in this area of important biology and have proven track records in basic and translational research.” Steven Tregay, Ph.D., President and CEO, FORMA Therapeutics.

    Related links

  • CONSORTIA

    CRT has formed several academic consortia to investigate areas of 'hot' cancer science. These small groups have a specific area of focus and the research programme is defined around the expertise of the participants involved.

    Our aim is to continue to identify areas where the ground-breaking research being undertaken by Cancer Research UK scientists can lead to novel drug discovery efforts in industry. We are currently seeking industrial collaborators and partners.

    Senectus Therapeutics Ltd.
    Set up and managed by CRT, the Senectus consortium comprises a group of Cancer Research UK experts in cellular senescence, led by Prof. Nicol Keith at the University of Glasgow. Senectus has secured funding of £1m from Cancer Research UK’s Discovery Committee and has recently announced a collaboration with AstraZeneca to screen a selection of their chemical compound library to identify those which trigger a key element of cancer cell ageing – senescence. Read more.

    Cancer Stem Cell Consortium
    Set up in January 2011 by CRT, the consortium consists of a team of scientists from 4 research groups across the UK. Led by Prof. Fiona Watt from the Cancer Research UK funded Cambridge Research Institute, the team are using their expertise in cancer stem cell research to identify new targets to detect, monitor and treat cancer. Discussions are ongoing for industry collaborations. Read more.

    Lipid Metabolism Consortium
    The consortium was awarded significant Discovery Committee funding in February 2011. The consortium consists of a team of scientists from 5 research groups across the UK and is led by Prof. Eyal Gottlieb; based at the Cancer Research UK funded Beatson Institute. Read more.

    Epigenetics
    Cancer Research UK funds a substantial amount of research in the area of epigenetics, from basic understanding of how the process of histone and DNA modification affects cancer cells, through to a number of hit-to-lead programmes on inhibitors of epigenetic targets. This work is helping us to understand how this promising group of targets can better be exploited in the clinic through improved understanding of the disease linkages as well as defining which combinations of agents would work to improve outcome. As well as this, a number of more novel targets are being identified and validated by some of the world’s leading scientists in this field in order to support drug discovery efforts around Cancer Research UK.

    Tumour Microenvironment
    The tumour microenvironment is attracting renewed interest with groups around the world attempting to understand how the tumour subverts the stromal and immune cells of the host to aid in its survival and growth. Cytokines are a key modulator in this and Cancer Research UK's Fran Balkwill is a world leader in this field. Cancer Research UK invests heavily in this area of research and have, together with Professor Balkwill, defined a smaller group who would be ideal to study the interaction between the tumour and stromal cells, the role of cytokines in this and the therapeutic targets and key interactions with approved drugs. CRT has also identified a group to study the other key area of interest within the tumour microenvironment; namely the possibility of converting the adaptive immune system infiltrate within the tumour from a permissive to a suppressive state.

    Early Diagnosis
    The purpose of this consortium is to focus on the identification of global screening tests for early cancer diagnosis; in particular to establish links across cancer indications to progress screening test exemplification. CRT is currently looking to define a group of leading researchers in this area.

LICENSING AND SPIN-OUTS Open

One of the most common commercialisation routes is the grant of a licence to a commercial partner. CRT has a broad portfolio of cancer-focused projects available for licensing or co-development; we complete around 50 licensing or collaboration agreements each year.

Where technologies with a broad application can be most effectively advanced via a focused and innovative environment, CRT will stimulate the creation of a start-up company. We've been involved in the formation of 31 start-ups - some of which have achieved significant exits through acquisition by leading pharmaceutical companies.

Related links

COLLABORATION Open

We’re uniquely placed to capitalise on the research and connections of our parent organisation Cancer Research UK, the world’s largest charitable funder of cancer research, and the strong links we’ve established with leading clinical and academic institutions, pharmaceutical companies and biotechs worldwide. Recent collaborations established by CRT include:

  • The CRUK Drug Discovery Unit at the Northern Institute for Cancer Research at the University of Newcastle agreed a major five-year strategic drug discovery alliance with Astex Pharmaceuticals. Read more.
  • The CRUK Drug Discovery Unit at the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute signed two deals with AstraZeneca to develop new drugs which target a key protein involved in the DNA damage response, and to test a potential drug target against AstraZeneca’s extensive compound collection. Read more.
  • The CRUK Cancer Therapeutics Unit at The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR CTU) set up a collaboration with Janssen Biotech to discover a potential new multiple myeloma drug. Read more.

"We bring together partners from industry and academia with specialist expertise and experience to accelerate the development of exciting new treatments – which, we hope, will one day increase cancer survival.” Dr Phil L'Huillier, Director, Business Developement

 

Related links

ALLIANCES Open

Rather than investing in high-risk, early drug discovery themselves, pharmaceutical companies are increasingly looking to external organisations to provide multiple promising projects to take forward over a themed area of biology.

This approach facilitates the low-risk exploration of novel broad areas of science with the potential to yield multiple commercially attractive projects. Such alliances combine the individual strengths of academic research and drug discovery and pharma clinical development and have the potential to deliver patient benefit.

CRT-DL has established major multi-project alliances with AstraZeneca, Teva and FORMA based around themed areas of cancer biology.

“We are particularly looking forward to working closely in this initiative with CRT’s Discovery Laboratories and a group of preeminent investigators, who bring critical insights in this area of important biology and have proven track records in basic and translational research.” Steven Tregay, Ph.D., President and CEO, FORMA Therapeutics.

Related links

CONSORTIA Open

CRT has formed several academic consortia to investigate areas of 'hot' cancer science. These small groups have a specific area of focus and the research programme is defined around the expertise of the participants involved.

Our aim is to continue to identify areas where the ground-breaking research being undertaken by Cancer Research UK scientists can lead to novel drug discovery efforts in industry. We are currently seeking industrial collaborators and partners.

Senectus Therapeutics Ltd.
Set up and managed by CRT, the Senectus consortium comprises a group of Cancer Research UK experts in cellular senescence, led by Prof. Nicol Keith at the University of Glasgow. Senectus has secured funding of £1m from Cancer Research UK’s Discovery Committee and has recently announced a collaboration with AstraZeneca to screen a selection of their chemical compound library to identify those which trigger a key element of cancer cell ageing – senescence. Read more.

Cancer Stem Cell Consortium
Set up in January 2011 by CRT, the consortium consists of a team of scientists from 4 research groups across the UK. Led by Prof. Fiona Watt from the Cancer Research UK funded Cambridge Research Institute, the team are using their expertise in cancer stem cell research to identify new targets to detect, monitor and treat cancer. Discussions are ongoing for industry collaborations. Read more.

Lipid Metabolism Consortium
The consortium was awarded significant Discovery Committee funding in February 2011. The consortium consists of a team of scientists from 5 research groups across the UK and is led by Prof. Eyal Gottlieb; based at the Cancer Research UK funded Beatson Institute. Read more.

Epigenetics
Cancer Research UK funds a substantial amount of research in the area of epigenetics, from basic understanding of how the process of histone and DNA modification affects cancer cells, through to a number of hit-to-lead programmes on inhibitors of epigenetic targets. This work is helping us to understand how this promising group of targets can better be exploited in the clinic through improved understanding of the disease linkages as well as defining which combinations of agents would work to improve outcome. As well as this, a number of more novel targets are being identified and validated by some of the world’s leading scientists in this field in order to support drug discovery efforts around Cancer Research UK.

Tumour Microenvironment
The tumour microenvironment is attracting renewed interest with groups around the world attempting to understand how the tumour subverts the stromal and immune cells of the host to aid in its survival and growth. Cytokines are a key modulator in this and Cancer Research UK's Fran Balkwill is a world leader in this field. Cancer Research UK invests heavily in this area of research and have, together with Professor Balkwill, defined a smaller group who would be ideal to study the interaction between the tumour and stromal cells, the role of cytokines in this and the therapeutic targets and key interactions with approved drugs. CRT has also identified a group to study the other key area of interest within the tumour microenvironment; namely the possibility of converting the adaptive immune system infiltrate within the tumour from a permissive to a suppressive state.

Early Diagnosis
The purpose of this consortium is to focus on the identification of global screening tests for early cancer diagnosis; in particular to establish links across cancer indications to progress screening test exemplification. CRT is currently looking to define a group of leading researchers in this area.