MILLIONS of pounds are being given to a North East university for research into the development of new cancer drug treatments.
Newcastle University has cemented its reputation as a world leader in the fight against the illness as it has signed a £5m partnership with an international pharmaceutical company to develop new cancer drugs.
Astex Pharmaceuticals – a global leader in oncology drug discovery and development – will annually provide £1m funding for five years to Newcastle University to develop treatments to help increase survival rates.
The funding boost is aimed at developing new drugs, known as targeted cancer therapies, and to develop tests to determine which patients to treat and if new treatments are working effectively.
Astex, Cancer Research Technology Limited and Newcastle University have signed the multi-million pound drug discovery alliance and will work with researchers at the Cancer Research UK Drug Discovery Programme at the Northern Institute for Cancer Research at Newcastle University.
Prof Herbie Newell, co-director of the Cancer Research UK Drug Discovery Programme at the Northern Institute for Cancer Research, is leading the scheme.
He said: “It is an extremely important day for cancer research and for cancer patients in the North East.
“We are delighted to be able to form this exciting alliance as it represents an innovative route to the development of more effective cancer drugs by combining the partners’ expertise and experience. The research will bring together pre-clinical drug and biomarker discovery approaches.
“It will use molecular, genetic and clinical data to identify new targets in cancer cells that can be treated with drugs, and ultimately medicines to take into clinical trials that will provide new ways to treat the disease and increase survival.”