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Cancer Research UK and Lilly collaborate to trial combinations of potential new cancer treatments

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by Cancer Research UK | News

17 December 2013

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Cancer Research UK’s Drug Development Office (DDO) today announced that Eli Lilly and Company will join its Combinations Alliance to help discover new medicines for cancer therapy trials.

The Combinations Alliance aims to bring targeted experimental molecules, owned by pharmaceutical companies, to clinical trials so patients can get potential new cancer treatments sooner. The trials will test these new therapies alongside other treatment combinations, such as conventional chemotherapy or radiotherapy.

A combination of multiple therapies may lessen the chance of patients developing resistance to any individual treatment. This is because different types of therapies attack the faults in cancer cells at different points.

The trials will be managed and run through the Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC) Network, an initiative funded by Cancer Research UK and the UK Health Departments, at hospitals across the UK with support from Cancer Research UK’s DDO. Lilly will provide access to selected molecules to be trialled through the Combinations Alliance as well as additional financial support.

Dr Ian Walker, Cancer Research UK’s director of strategic partnerships, said: “We’re delighted to be collaborating with Lilly. This latest addition to the initiative will provide a huge boost to the UK research community in identifying exciting new combination therapies and will mean that more UK patients will be able to take part in important clinical trials of potential new treatments.

“We’re continuing to look for additional parties who are interested in collaborating with us to enable us to offer a wider range of potential treatment options to patients in the future and to help us beat cancer sooner.”

Richard Gaynor, M.D., Vice President, Oncology Product Development and Medical Affairs at Lilly, said: “Our priority is to speed innovation that will improve outcomes for individual patients facing cancer and we are committed to developing novel treatment approaches. We are delighted to join the Combinations Alliance to help improve patient access to cancer combination treatment trials here in the UK.”

Jo Reynolds, Cancer Research UK’s director of centres, said: “It’s incredibly exciting to have the opportunity to run trials of these new therapies, which could potentially be used to treat a range of different cancers.

“The ECMC network brings together cancer doctors, nurses and scientists to make it easier to run clinical trials of new tailored treatments – and it is thanks to the generosity and time of patients that it is possible to develop these new approaches which could benefit thousands of people in the future.”


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