Cancer Research UK has formed a strategic alliance with a research institute in the Netherlands as part of a joint effort to boost understanding into cancer and to translate research in patient benefits.
Cancer Research UK will work with the Stichting Oncode Institute in the Netherlands on a five-year partnership to foster innovation and collaboration between cancer researchers. The agreement will see both institutions developed joint training programmes and workshops for researchers helping to facilitate the translation of novel discovery science. The organisations will also seek to co-fund research projects and share drug discovery capabilities.
The partnership will focus on early-stage oncology and aims to help de-risk ideas and biology to enable the pursuit of tougher and relatively unexplored areas of oncology. The groups hope that by encouraging researchers to focus on translational research.
Cancer Research UK and Oncode expect to see at least two projects advance into clinical trials as well as an increase in international research projects. One collaboration focusing on finding novel drugs to target DNA Damage Repair mechanisms in cancer has already been initiated. The project could enable drugs to selectively target and kill cancer cells whilst leaving healthy cells alone.
Dr Iain Foulkes, chief executive officer of Cancer Research Horizons, said: “We know that cancer is too difficult to tackle alone, and the pandemic exemplified why international collaboration within the scientific community is so vital for making fast progress in bringing about new treatments for a disease.
“I am incredibly proud to see that Cancer Research Horizons is already making strides in the international research community so soon after its launch, and it is exciting to have Oncode join us in our efforts to beat cancer. The world class science within Oncode coupled with our drug discovery capabilities in Horizons could really accelerate patient impact.”
Chris De Jonghe, Valorisation Director at the Oncode Institute, added: “We are thrilled about entering this alliance with a very like-minded organisation such as Cancer Research UK. The combination of excellent science and proactive valorisation makes Oncode’s approach unique and will certainly add value to our collaboration. I’m convinced that by joining forces across borders we will be able to substantially accelerate the translation of research innovations into tangible benefit for cancer patients.”