Cancer Research UK has revealed Cancer Research Horizons, its new approach to driving innovation in the development of new treatments for patients.
As the world’s largest independent funder of cancer research, it aims to combine the power of academia and industry in its ambitious initiative.
Horizons will unite Cancer Research UK’s established drug discovery laboratories, its network of biology, its technology platforms and its clinical expertise, offering a comprehensive R&D portfolio to potential industry partners.
Additionally, Horizons will provide intellectual property advice, research commercialisation support and an entrepreneurial programme and £30m of seed funding to help tackle the translational gap.
The £30m will be invested in a select number of projects on a rolling basis over a five-year term with £15m of this fund contributed by Cancer Research UK, while the remaining target of £15m will be sourced from charitable investment.
With Cancer Research Horizons, industry partners will be granted access to Cancer Research UK’s network of 4,000 world-leading cancer researchers, alongside a discovery research portfolio investment of over £400m annually.
Included in this is an end-to-end drug discovery offering from initial concept through to patient benefit, including CRISPR technologies, hit discovery methods and access to relevant disease models.
Horizons will receive a £220m investment in drug discovery from Cancer Research UK over the next ten years, and a further £350m in third-party investment over the same period.
The initiative will also enable 200 independent drug discovery experts to collaborate as one in-house team, creating a reinforced approach towards research objectives.
Dr Iain Foulkes, the new CEO of Cancer Research Horizons, said: “I am delighted to take the helm of Horizons where we can build on our strong track record of drug discovery and development, which includes abiraterone and rucaparib. As the second largest out-licensor of cancer research globally we have an important role to play in the life sciences sector.
“Our ambitions for this new organisation are higher than ever, through Cancer Research UK we fund some of the best research in the world – we want our innovation outputs to match this both in terms of volume, diversity and quality. Horizons will work hand in hand with our biopharma partners to expand our drug discovery efforts and accelerate the pace at which new medicines reach patients.”