Cancer Research UK, Cancer Research Technology (CRT) and MRC Technology are set to collaborate in a bid to focus on cancer immunotherapies.
As part of the partnership, novel drug discovery targets would be identified and validated that could lead to new immunotherapy treatments.
As part of the collaboration, Cancer Research UK’s network of scientists will be combined with CRT’s cancer-focused target selection, and MRCT’s antibody screening and development capability.
The collaboration will also identify possible targets for the development of antibody and small molecule therapeutics.
Cancer Research Technology director of discovery Dr Hamish Ryder said: “Immunotherapy is a hugely promising approach to cancer treatment and we’re delighted to extend our research in this area by partnering with MRC Technology.
“The aim of this alliance is to work together to identify highly novel immunotherapy targets and develop treatments that will complement the checkpoint inhibitors that are already having such an impact on patients.”
During the next stage, a clinical partner will be sought to accelerate the progress of promising compounds into the clinic.
Cancer Research UK’s funded research will be used to identify new targets that increase cancer’s susceptibility to the immune system.
MRC Technology’s focus would be on developing antibodies for suitable targets through its antibody screening platform, while CRT will concentrate on small molecule approaches.
MRC Technology drug discovery director Dr Justin Bryans said: “Bringing together MRC Technology's antibody drug discovery and CRT's cancer biology expertise and applying them to cutting-edge discoveries from the Cancer Research UK network represents a very exciting prospect and will help us identify and develop new immune-oncology therapies, which already have a significant impact on cancer patients' lives.”
CRT and MRC will serve as joint commercialisation partners for the partnership and any resulting immunotherapy treatments.
Image: Types of monoclonal antibodies with other structures than naturally occurring antibodies. Photo: courtesy of Anypodetos.