Cancer Research UK and The Institute of Cancer Research announce partnership with Merck

The three parties will focus on three independent research projects spanning target hit discovery, to preclinical candidate nomination. The work aims to progress discovery and development of potential cancer drugs, as well as identify biomarkers.

The deal allows Merck to take any molecules discovered through the partnership into clinical development. Cancer Research UK and the ICR will receive payments based on achievement of research and development, regulatory and sales goals and royalty payments on net sales of future products discovered because of the collaboration. Any payments that Cancer Research UK and the ICR received will be invested into further cancer research.

Professor Raj Chopra, Director, Cancer Research UK Cancer Therapeutics Unit, The Institute of Cancer Research, said:

“We are delighted to be joining forces with Merck to accelerate the ICR’s world-leading research in understanding cancer pathways, identifying drug targets and discovering cancer drugs. We hope that through the diverse projects in this collaboration, we can identify molecules that are effective against a number of different tumour types. Together we can create innovative new treatments for the benefit of patients.”

Dr Iain Foulkes, Executive Director of Research and Innovation, Cancer Research UK, said:

“This collaboration with Merck and one of Cancer Research UK’s major drug discovery units will help accelerate the development of potential new therapies for cancer patients. It is an exciting example of how successful academic networks and the scale of industry can combine to advance scientific and clinical discoveries.”

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