Cancer Research UK has partnered with Guardant Health to advance the development of cancer therapies and diagnostics.
The collaboration also includes data and sample-sharing agreements between both parties. Guardant plans to leverage the Cancer Research UK-funded research network to develop and validate its technologies, including the company’s Infinity platform, as per a 4 December press release.
The partnership will also support the UK-based cancer charity’s clinical development activities. This includes the first UK national precision medicine trial in rare cancers known as the Determine trial. The study evaluates approved and new cancer therapies which specifically target key genetic changes in cancer cells.
The Determine trial is sponsored and managed by Cancer Research UK’s Centre for Drug Development. The trial is led by the University of Manchester and in partnership with the University of Birmingham, the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust and the Christie NHS Foundation Trust.
The study is expected to recruit adult and paediatric patients for five years with a two-year follow-up. Roche provided funding, drugs, and genomic tests for the initial five treatment arms of the study in 2021.
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The number of oncology trials in the UK has steadily increased in the last decade, as per GlobalData’s clinical trials database. Cancer trials in the UK have consistently contributed to a quarter of all clinical trial activity in the country in the past decade.
GlobalData is the parent company of Pharmaceutical Technology.
Cancer Research UK has funded multiple trials across the UK. In August, the first patient was dosed in a Cancer Research UK-funded Phase I/IIa trial (NCT05944237) evaluating Sosei Heprates’ oral small-molecule cancer immunotherapy drug HTL0039732. The drug is a prostaglandin E receptor 4 (EP4) agonist that blocks prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and increases the ability of the immune system to detect and control cancer cells.
The charity has also invested in the development of a Trialmap app, in partnership with tech company Stitch. The app allows trial participants to view data on the trial and receive reminders for appointments.
Trialmap is currently being evaluated as part of Hummingbird Bioscience’s drug, HMBD-001, Phase I/IIa trial (NCT05057013). The study was sponsored and managed by the Cancer Research UK’s Centre for Drug Development. Cancer Research UK plans to conduct early phase trials in Europe. The charity has initiated conversations with other European cancer charities about potential early-phase trial collaborations.