10 May 2022

Cancer Research UK forms strategic alliance with Oncode Institute

Bianca-Olivia Nita

Bianca-Olivia Nita

Cancer Research UK, the world’s largest private funder of cancer research, today announces a strategic alliance with Oncode Institute an independent fundamental research institute in the Netherlands, dedicated to understanding cancer and translating research into tangible benefits for patients.

The five-year partnership is the first under Cancer Research UK’s new innovation organisation, Cancer Research Horizons*, as well as being Oncode’s first UK partner. The alliance aims to foster innovation and collaboration between world-leading cancer researchers.

Under the agreement, Cancer Research Horizons and Oncode will develop joint training programmes and workshops for researchers, facilitate translation of novel discovery science through partnering with industry or new venture creation, co-fund research projects and share drug discovery capabilities.

The partnership will enable a focus on early-stage oncology to help de-risk novel ideas and biology, allowing the pursuit of the tougher and relatively unexplored areas of cancer research that hold promise for true innovation in patient treatment. Focusing resources and expertise in these areas will help accelerate the number of much-needed treatments to cancer patients.

Not enough promising treatments are reaching cancer patients fast enough. Encouraging researchers to focus on translating their research and develop it beyond the early stages of discovery, is vital for bringing much-needed new treatments to patients quicker.

Both partners expect to see at least two projects advance into clinical trials during the five-year term and an increase in international collaboration on research projects, as well as encouraging more researchers to become entrepreneurs.

One such collaboration has already been initiated and will focus on finding novel drugs to target DNA Damage Repair mechanisms in cancer, allowing the drug to selectively target and kill cancer cells whilst leaving healthy cells alone.

Dr Iain Foulkes, chief executive officer of Cancer Research Horizons, said: “We know that cancer is too difficult to tackle alone, and the pandemic exemplified why international collaboration within the scientific community is so vital for making fast progress in bringing about new treatments for a disease.

“I am incredibly proud to see that Cancer Research Horizons is already making strides in the international research community so soon after its launch, and it is exciting to have Oncode join us in our efforts to beat cancer. The world class science within Oncode coupled with our drug discovery capabilities in Horizons could really accelerate patient impact.”

Chris De Jonghe, Valorization Director at Oncode Institute, adds: “We are thrilled about entering this alliance with a very like-minded organization such as Cancer Research Horizons. The combination of excellent science and proactive valorization makes Oncode’s approach unique and will certainly add value to our collaboration. I’m convinced that by joining forces across borders we will be able to substantially accelerate the translation of research innovations into tangible benefit for cancer patients.”

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