Cancer Research UK's technology development arm Cancer Research Technology (CRT) has signed a multi-project alliance agreement with Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (TEVA) to research and develop new cancer drugs.
The newly developed drugs will help in modulating DNA damage and repair response (DDR) processes in cancer cells.
DDR creates an in-built antidote to the toxic effects of the anti-tumour drug in order to protect cancer cells from the damaging effect of chemotherapy.
Cancer Research UK and CRT have established a new hub of expertise in DDR-related basic, translational, and clinical research, which would help in the development of new treatment options.
The new hub will provide the foundations for both CRT's and Teva's work towards developing novel therapies based on DDR-related targets for the treatment of cancer.
The new hub is based on Cancer Research UK's network of UK universities, as well as its five cancer research institutes Gray Institute, Oxford; Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute; London Research Institute; Paterson Institute, Manchester; and the Beatson Institute, Glasgow.
Teva Global R&D president and chief scientific officer Michael Hayden said for cancer patients, it is important that the company maintains the momentum of progress that has been made in oncology in recent years.
"Cancer Research UK, CRT, and their outstanding academic partners, are a driving force in the improved understanding of cancer and its treatment," Hayden said.
"This research collaboration will build on our understanding of how cells repair DNA damage, help us identify possible points of therapeutic intervention, and lead us onto a pathway to improve clinical outcomes for cancer patients."
Under the deal, Teva will have the opportunity to research and develop selected and differentiated novel treatments targeting DDR processes.
The deal will also focus on mechanisms and molecular targets related to the emergence of therapeutic resistance in cancer cells, as well as open up the potential to expand the clinical utility and therapeutic effectiveness of Teva's current portfolio of oncology chemotherapeutic agents.
As part of the deal, CRT will receive research funding and be eligible to receive milestone payments, and royalties on projects advancing through Teva's drug pipeline.
Image: Teva Capsules. Photo: courtesy of Teva Pharmaceuticals.