The charity Cancer Research UK is to fund the Phase I development of a cancer therapy discovered by GlaxoSmithKline.
The drug, 1070916A, an aurora kinase inhibitor, is the third drug to enter Cancer Research UK's Clinical Development Partnerships programme, which offers companies an alternative model to traditional out-licensing, allowing them to retain rights to a compound throughout its development.
The programme was launched in 2006 to increase the number of treatments by taking deprioritised anti-cancer agents from industry and putting them into clinical trials.
Under the terms of the deal with GSK, Cancer Research UK will fund the study through early clinical development. GSK will have an option to further develop and commercialise the molecule in exchange for future payments to Cancer Research UK. Financial terms were not been disclosed.
If GSK decides not to take the programme forward, CRT will assume the rights and will be able to look for an alternative partner.
Keith Blundy, chief executive of CRT, said pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies have always had to prioritise which agents they take into clinical development, but even more so in the current economic climate. “This deal with GSK demonstrates how Cancer Research UK can work with industry to speed up the development of anti-cancer drugs that might otherwise remain on companies’ shelves.”