Date: 2012-10-29

Type of information: R&D agreement

Compound: new cancer drugs

Company: Astex Pharmaceuticals (USA) Cancer Research Technology (UK) Newcastle University (UK)

Therapeutic area: Cancer - Oncology

Type agreement:


Action mechanism:

Disease: cancer


Astex Pharmaceuticals, a pharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery and development of novel small molecule therapeutics, Cancer Research Technology Limited (CRT) and Newcastle University have signed a major five-year strategic drug discovery alliance. The partners will discover and develop new cancer drugs in collaboration with researchers at the Cancer Research UK Drug Discovery Program at the Northern Institute for Cancer Research (NICR, Newcastle University ). The new alliance builds on the success of an earlier collaboration between the parties to develop small molecule inhibitors of the Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptor (FGFr) tyrosine kinase - potential medicines to block a key protein involved in cancer development. This partnership led to the discovery and development of a clinical candidate — potential drug molecule — which was recently taken into a Phase I clinical trial by Astex\'s partner Janssen Pharmaceutica. 

Financial terms:

During the five-year alliance, Astex will provide £1M funding annually to Newcastle University to support research across biology, chemistry, pharmacology and imaging at the NICR to identify and develop new cancer drugs and associated biomarkers to develop tests to determine which patients to treat and if new drugs are working. Astex will retain an option to an exclusive worldwide license to develop and commercialize pharmaceutical products from each alliance project. CRT and Newcastle are eligible to receive development and regulatory milestone payments on exercise of the options, and on products that Astex takes into development (and royalties on sales of products). Financial terms of the milestone payments and royalties were not disclosed.

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