UK cancer clinical trial centres have entered into a new agreement to streamline cancer multi-centre clinical trials and help deliver potential life-saving drugs to cancer patients sooner.
Known as Experimental Cancer Medicines Centre (ECMC) collaboration agreement, the deal will help better the ability of the ECMC network to carry out early phase clinical cancer trials, thereby facilitating research and development across the country.
The ECMC Network is a collaboration between Cancer Research UK and the four health departments of the UK, who together help the pharmaceutical industry and academic funders develop cancer drugs in the early phase of clinical trials.
Cancer Research UK chief executive Sir Harpal Kumar said: "We’re delighted that our ECMC Network is continuing to help cancer patients around the country benefit from world-leading research taking place here in the UK.
"This initiative will ultimately help potentially life-saving drugs reach cancer patients sooner by accelerating the first step of clinical research."
This deal will also help launch new and latest treatments to patients sooner.
In the UK, clinical trials are often delayed due to the variation in how they are established in each centre.
The new collaboration will enable all 18 ECMC locations to conduct the clinical trials in the same way, as well as to make them work to the same standards, thereby speeding up approvals of early phase clinical trials.
ECMC network head Aoife Regan said: "It’s essential for the UK to deliver clinical trials more efficiently if it is to build its reputation as a world-leader in early phase clinical research.
"We already have some of the best early phase clinical trial researchers in the world and this agreement builds on that by setting new standards for the set-up and delivery of clinical trials.
"By getting innovative treatments to cancer patients more quickly, we hope to build our international reputation and increase our ability to attract more companies to the UK."
Image: The new agreement will help life-saving drugs reach cancer patients sooner. Photo: courtesy of Cancer Research UK.