Almac Discovery has announced a $20.2million partnership with the Center for Cancer Research and Cell Biology (CCRCB) at Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) to accelerate cancer-focused drug discovery in Northern Ireland.
Professor Tim Harrison, Almac’s vice president of Discovery Chemistry, has been appointed inaugural McClay chair of Medicinal Chemistry and will head up the collaborative program.
Almac also has scheduled a phase I clinical trial in ovarian cancer, involving the first novel cancer drug fully developed in Northern Ireland.
Alan Armstrong, CEO of the Almac Group, said, “By integrating academic and clinical researchers with experienced industrial scientists, we have the means to accelerate cancer focused drug discovery towards the ultimate goal of improving patient care. A team of 17 Almac scientists will be seconded to Queen’s for three years and the combined unit will create a coordinated drug discovery and development pipeline. Resultant products will then continue their development journey with other appropriate partners towards patient-enriched trials and ultimately commercial production. This single-location integrated approach puts the initiative at a distinct advantage and reflects Northern Ireland’s aim to compete more effectively as a modern knowledge-based economy.”