Date: 2018-11-29

Type of information: Collaboration agreement

Compound: RUBICON, a rule book and immune atlas for combination therapy

Company: BMS (USA - NY) the Francis Crick Institute (UK) Cancer Research UK (UK)

Therapeutic area: Cancer - Oncology

Type agreement: collaboration

Action mechanism:

Disease: lung cancer


  • • On November 29, 2018, Cancer Research UK, the Francis Crick Institute and BMS announced that a 'rule book' to guide precision combination immunotherapies and to speed up the development of new lung cancer treatments will be created as part of their new collaboration. The new £2.4 million research project called RUBICON - a rule book and immune atlas for combination therapy - will map out the immunology of lung cancer in detail. The study will be led by Cancer Research UK's chief clinician and Francis Crick Institute group leader, Professor Charles Swanton.  The project builds on Cancer Research UK's strategic investment in lung cancer and data prospectively gathered and analysed as part of the TRACERx* and PEACE** studies, led by Professor Swanton and his team at the Cancer Research UK-Lung Cancer Centre of Excellence at UCL.
  • Multidisciplinary researchers at the Francis Crick Institute will use state of the art technologies, including deep learning and artificial intelligence tools, to analyse tumour samples and data from TRACERx and PEACE. This will allow them to map an atlas of immune cell activity across distinct tumour regions, and to understand how the incredibly complex tumour immune microenvironment evolves and develops over time.
  • - TRACERx (Tracking Cancer Evolution through therapy (Rx)) is the single biggest investment in lung cancer research by Cancer Research UK. Taking place over nine years, the translational research programme is the first study to look at the evolution of cancer in real time and immense detail. Researchers follow patients with lung cancer all the way from diagnosis through to either disease relapse or cure after surgery, tracking and analysing how their cancer develops. TRACERx is led by UCL (University College London) via the Cancer Research UK Lung Cancer Centre of Excellence and also supported by the National Institute for Health Research, University College London Hospitals Biomedical Research Centre, Francis Crick Institute and the Rosetrees Trust.
  • -The Cancer Research UK funded PEACE (Posthumous Evaluation of Advanced Cancer Environment) study, led by UCL via the Cancer Research UK Lung Cancer Centre of Excellence, is the UK's first ever national study collecting blood and tissue samples from patients who have died from cancer, to enable research to shed light on what happens during the final stages of the disease.

Financial terms:

  • BMS will provide £2.4 million in funding for the RUBICON project.

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