Cancer Research, Astex Pharma and Newcastle University sign drug discovery alliance

Hannah Blake


A major five-year strategic drug discovery alliance, to discover and develop new cancer drugs, has been formed by Astex Pharmaceuticals, Cancer Research Technology Limited and Newcastle University. This alliance will be in collaboration with researchers at the Cancer Research UK Drug Discovery Program at the Northern Institute for Cancer Research (NICR, Newcastle University).

Over the course of five years, Astex – global leader in oncology drug discovery and development – will provide £1 million funding annually to Newcastle University. These payments will support research across biology, chemistry, pharmacology and imaging at the NICR to identify and develop new cancer drugs and associated biomarkers to develop tests to determine which patients to treat and if new drugs are working.

“We are delighted to enter into this broad strategic drug discovery alliance with one of Cancer Research UK’s leading drug discovery centers as it allows Astex to access world-leading translational research in oncology.

“This new alliance builds on a previous collaboration between Astex, Newcastle and CRT on FGFr, a key cancer target, which led to the development of a clinical candidate that our partners at Janssen have recently taken into a Phase I clinical trial, and we look forward to discovering more new potential therapies for cancer patients.”

Harren Jhoti, PhD, director and president of Astex Pharmaceuticals.

Astex will retain an option to an exclusive worldwide license to develop and commercialize pharmaceutical products from each alliance project. Cancer Research Technologies and Newcastle University are eligible to receive development and regulatory milestone payments, and on products that Astex takes into development, as well as royalties on sales of products – the exact financial figures have not been released.


Related news:

Astex Pharmaceuticals gives £5m boost to Newcastle University (nebusiness)

Reference links:

Cancer Research UK press release

NB. Image downloaded from Cancer Research UK – Spotting signs of cancer for women leaflet. Also see Spotting signs of cancer for men leaflet.

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