Cancer Research UK has announced the signing of a five-year drug-discovery collaboration between its subsidiary, Cancer Research Technology (CRT), and Celgene Corporation, to discover, develop and commercialise new anti-cancer treatments.
This arrangement represents an expansion of Cancer Research Technology’s theme-based translational model that now encompasses six industry partnerships, including this new collaboration with Celgene.
The collaboration is centred on mRNA translation, the cellular process of assembling proteins, which is a promising area of research with the potential to produce treatments that can target a fundamental characteristic of cancer cells.
Dr Iain Foulkes, Cancer Research Technology’s CEO, said: “This bold and exciting collaboration between one of industry’s leading innovators, Celgene, and CRT is part of our theme-based drug discovery approach and helps leverage our understanding of cancer biology and the needs of patients to drive the most promising discoveries into the clinic.
“This is our largest drug discovery collaboration to date and represents a major endorsement of the reputation and scale of our capacity and expertise in both drug discovery and clinical development by a leading industry partner.”
Cancer Research Technology will lead drug discovery R&D activity and can progress clinical candidates through Phase I trials.
Under the terms of the agreement, Celgene will pay an upfront fee to Cancer Research Technology, and have the option to secure US rights to projects resulting from the collaboration, subject to the payment of additional option fees. Celgene will also have the option to secure Global rights to such projects at the end of phase one clinical trials, subject to the payment of additional option fees.
Cancer Research Technology can receive downstream royalties and development milestones from licensed programs.