Cancer Research Technology (CRT), Cancer Research UK's commercial arm, and the European Investment Fund (EIF) have joined together to create an $80 million investment fund to bridge the funding gap in the U.K. between cancer drug discovery and early development.
The CRT Pioneer Fund will take potential cancer drugs from discovery through to the beginning of phase II clinical trials. CRT and the EIF will make equal contributions to the CRT Pioneer Fund.
Dr. Keith Blundy, CEO of Cancer Research Technology, said, "The creation of this landmark fund addresses the problem of funding the development gap which is restraining cancer drug development in the U.K. Investment from industry has moved away from early stage discovery and there's less funding for small biotechnology firms who previously helped bridge the gap between academia and pharmaceutical companies.”
"This important investment means we can take forward the most innovative approaches using our in-house drug discovery and development capabilities, to progress promising treatments from the lab all the way to clinical trials, translating our world-class scientific research into new treatments more quickly."
At least two thirds of the fund will be used to develop the most exciting scientific discoveries made by Cancer Research U.K. scientists. The remaining projects may come from other academic groups or industry in the U.K. CRT will re-invest its share of any profits derived from the fund in Cancer Research U.K.'s research.