Cancer Research UK Team with MedImmune on Biotherapeutics Research Centre
News Sep 14, 2015
The state-of-the-art CRUK-MEDI Alliance Laboratory, located on Granta Park, is an innovative collaboration between Cancer Research UK, its commercial arm Cancer Research Technology, and MedImmune, the global biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca.
In this important partnership, both 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.
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.”
Life Sciences Minister George Freeman said: “This pioneering new laboratory in Cambridge highlights the vital role that Cancer Research UK and other charities play in funding exciting medical research which has the potential to help many patients. This ambitious project unites academia and industry to translate world-leading research from the laboratory into crucial new treatments for patients. The UK is already leading the way in cancer research, and collaborations such as this help to ensure that we convert that science into new medicines.”
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.”
H7N9 Influenza Vaccine Clinical Trials CommenceNews
Two new clinical trials testing an experimental vaccine to prevent influenza caused by an H7N9 influenza virus are now enrolling volunteers at sites across the United States. The Phase 2 studies will test different dosages of the inactivated influenza vaccine candidate as well as different vaccination schedules. The studies also will evaluate whether an adjuvant boosts the immune responses of people receiving the vaccine.
Antigen Study Shows Promise for a Respiratory Syncytial Virus VaccineNews
Medical researchers have been trying to develop a vaccine for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) for more than 50 years, without success. New findings however, point to a promising route for designing an effective vaccine. Researchers determined the atomic structure of RSV G (major viral surface protein) and identified two sites on it that are targeted by protective antibodies effective against a broad range of RSV strains.READ MORE
The Enemy Within: Gut Bacteria Drive Autoimmune DiseaseNews
Bacteria found in the small intestines of mice and humans can travel to other organs and trigger an autoimmune response, according to a new study. The researchers also found that the autoimmune reaction can be suppressed with an antibiotic or vaccine designed to target the bacteria.READ MORE