Cancer Research UK and Cancer Research Technology – the charity’s development and commercialisation arm – have reached an agreement withAstraZeneca to take compound AZD-3965 – a first-of-its-kind experimental drug to potentially treat a range of cancers- into clinical trial.
AZD-3965 targets the monocarboxylate transporter 1 (MCT1)* which is essential in cell metabolism. Blocking this transporter limits cancer cells’ ability to generate energy, and decreases their ability to survive. The drug is ready to be taken into early phase clinical trials.
It is the sixth treatment to enter Cancer Research UK’s Clinical Development Partnerships (CDP) scheme**.
CDP is a joint initiative between Cancer Research UK’s Drug Development Office and Cancer Research Technology, to progress promising anti-cancer agents which pharmaceutical companies do not have the resources to progress through early phase clinical trials.
The deal with AstraZeneca will enable the charity’s Drug Development Office to carry out early clinical trials of the compound to see if it can benefit cancer patients.
Cancer Research UK will fund the Phase I/IIa clinical trial of up to 60 patients to start in 2011. The trial will be managed by its Drug Development Office. The lead clinical trial centre will be Newcastle’s Cancer Research UK Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre Network,*** led by Professor Ruth Plummer.
Under the terms of the agreement, AstraZeneca can decide if they wish to develop the drug further based on the clinical trial data results at the end of the Phase I/IIa trial. If it chooses not to, the rights will be given to Cancer Research Technology to secure an alternative partner and ensure the drug has every possible chance of reaching patients. In either case, the charity will receive a share of any future revenues generated by the drug.
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