The collaboration will combine the strengths and resources of both organizations to help advance development of novel therapies for cancer.
With more than 800 scientists working across cancer research, The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) brings its expertise in cancer biology and drug discovery and clinical trial experience (together with its hospital partner The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, including through their joint Drug Development Unit which is the leading oncology-focused Phase I trial unit in the UK).
Researchers at ICR’s Centre for Cancer Drug Discovery have discovered 21 drug candidates since 2005, 13 of which have progressed into clinical trials with industry partners; while blockbuster drug abiraterone (Zytiga) was discovered and initially developed at the ICR.
Meanwhile, biotech Apollo’s translational scientists and drug development specialists, who are already developing a portfolio of over 20 therapeutic programs, will work with the ICR on research programs: identifying and processing those with the greatest promise through preclinical and clinical development.
Dr Richard Mason, Chief Executive Officer of Apollo said: “I am delighted to be entering into this collaboration with the ICR, an elite global cancer research organization. The ICR has a hugely impressive track-record of scientific break-throughs and the discovery of important new medicines which have been approved and are in use globally.
"I am pleased that Apollo’s strength and experience in drug discovery and development together with our unique collaboration model has attracted an institution with ICR’s credibility and capabilities, allowing us to further deliver on our strategy of capital efficient portfolio drug development, at scale. We look forward to working with the ICR and jointly developing new medicines for cancer patients.”
Dr Kristian Helin, Chief Executive Officer of the ICR said: “It’s a great opportunity for the ICR to be entering this strategic partnership with Apollo. By working together, I hope we can accelerate our ability to translate our scientific discoveries for the benefit for cancer patients. We are looking forward to working with Apollo”.
Apollo Therapeutics – has operations in Cambridge, UK and Boston, US – already has research partnerships with the University of Cambridge, Imperial College London, UCL and King’s College London.