Cancer Research UK and MedImmune launch biotherapeutics research centre

Posted: 14 September 2015 | Victoria White

The new laboratory, opened in Cambridge, will focus on the discovery and development of novel biologic cancer treatments and diagnostics…

A new laboratory that will focus on the discovery and development of novel biologic cancer treatments and diagnostics has opened in Cambridge.

The state-of-the-art CRUK-MEDI Alliance Laboratory  is an innovative collaboration between Cancer Research UK, its commercial arm Cancer Research Technology, and MedImmune.

Cancer Research UK and MedImmune scientists will work together in the laboratory and collaborate closely to share knowledge and expertise to discover and develop novel biologics to treat and diagnose cancer. The alliance will bring together MedImmune’s world-class human antibody phage display libraries and protein-engineering expertise with Cancer Research UK’s cancer biology expertise.  

Cancer Research UK has provided the equipment and operational funding for the laboratory and will contribute a portfolio of novel drug targets through its extensive network of principal investigators. MedImmune will manage the drug discovery process for accepted projects. 

Increasing investment in biotherapeutics is a key part of Cancer Research UK’s research strategy

Dr Maria Groves, head of the CRUK-MEDI Alliance Laboratory and associate director at MedImmune, said, “This laboratory is truly a collaborative approach and its success will depend on three key factors: the application of our high-quality and diverse phage display libraries; designing a drug discovery process that will enable us to find specific potent antibodies with the right mechanism against the disease target and, finally, building a network of principal investigators who will have the opportunity to generate novel ideas for oncology therapeutics. We are driven to engineer the best antibodies and identify which components of cancer make the best targets for treatment. There’s a lot of ground to cover and we’re delighted to be working in partnership to advance this exciting field.”

Dr Nigel Blackburn, Cancer Research UK’s director of drug development, said, “Increasing investment in biotherapeutic treatment forms a key part of Cancer Research UK’s research strategy.

“We’re delighted to embark on this exciting new initiative, which will give leading Cancer Research UK scientists access to the latest antibody-engineering technologies and expertise. This will create opportunities to translate breakthroughs in our understanding of cancer biology into urgently needed new cancer treatments.”

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