Cancer Research UK has announced the signing of a five-year drug-discovery collaboration between its subsidiary, Cancer Research Technology (CRT), and Celgene Corporation.
Together the organisations will discover, develop and commercialise new anti-cancer treatments. The partnership represents an expansion of Cancer Research Technology’s theme-based translational model that now encompasses six industry partnerships.
The collaboration is centred on mRNA translation, the cellular process of assembling proteins. This is described as a promising area of research with the potential to produce treatments that can target a fundamental characteristic of cancer cells.
Cancer Research Technology will lead drug discovery R&D activity and can progress clinical candidates through phase one 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.
Dr Iain Foulkes, Cancer Research Technology’s CEO, said: “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.”