UK-Dutch alliance to strengthen early clinical oncology research

Scientist in laboratory

Cancer Research UK and the KWF Dutch Cancer Society (KWF) have announced a new multi-project strategic partnership to advance promising therapeutic agents for cancer.

Under the partnership, KWF intends to provide funding to enable the development of select early phase clinical programmes through Cancer Research UK’s Centre for Drug Development (CDD). The CDD will sponsor and manage KWF-supported trials.

Dr Stephen Nabarro, Interim Director of Cancer Research UK’s Centre for Drug Development, said: “We are delighted to join forces with KWF, who will be invaluable in helping us bring more of the most promising early phase clinical agents into first in human trials. Collaboration with like-minded organisations is essential to what we do. We look forward to seeing where this partnership goes, and which projects will be realised with the collaboration of KWF.”

Both parties will have the opportunity to identify and nominate potential projects for clinical development. In particular, the alliance will focus on projects featuring a novel, promising, academic-derived agent which has the potential to address a high unmet clinical need.

Fast track academic findings

Projects will be assessed through the CDD’s review process, comprising both an internal review and an external assessment through its New Agents Committee. Approved projects will then be brought into the CDD for its experienced team to plan, sponsor and run an early phase clinical trial.

Cancer Research Horizons will lead on any subsequent later-stage development which may include out-licensing to a suitable third party.

Prof Dr Carla van Gils, Director of KWF, said: “Many of academia’s most innovative agents can be difficult to bring into clinical development. But in collaboration with the Centre for Drug Development, we are delighted to embark on a journey where these promising early discoveries find a way into clinical testing with the aim of bringing new therapeutics to patients.”

“Partnering with the Centre for Drug Development enables us to jump into the bench-to-bedside gap and fast track academic findings into clinical trials. We look forward to strengthening early clinical oncology research on an international level and are thrilled to see what the future holds for improving therapeutic strategies for patients.”

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