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Specialist Business Unit of the University of Nottingham Spins-Out to Form R&D Oncology Company

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Preclinical Oncology Services Limited (PRECOS), a pre-clinical research and development service with a specific focus on oncology, announces its official launch following its spin-out from the University of Nottingham.

The newly formed company combines the innovation of one of the Country's leading universities with the scientific background and expertise of multi-disciplinary scientists. This places the company in an optimal position to deliver specialist services, backed by significant industry expertise and cutting-edge technology, to help both pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies develop new anti-cancer drugs.

PRECOS was officially launched as a specialist business unit of the University of Nottingham, UK in 2004, having evolved from the research expertise of the Division of Pre-clinical Oncology (formerly Academic Unit of Cancer Studies). This unit has had successful collaborations with pharmaceutical and biotech companies in Europe, US and Japan for over a decade. The newly launched company offers the advantages of both academic and industrial scientific approaches to deliver a unique skill set to the global healthcare industry, providing high quality, solutions-driven, tailored services.

Headed by Professor Sue Watson, who will act as Chief Scientific Officer and Dr Rajendra Kumari, Chief Operations Officer, PRECOS will continue to advance its world leading work in the evaluation of potential therapeutic agents, regimens and basic research into tumour initiation and development.

Professor Watson comments: "The spin-out of the new company is an exciting time for us. Our extensive experience as a specialized research and development service has made PRECOS a trusted and preferred partner for some of the world's leading oncology research companies. PRECOS occupies a niche in global pre-clinical R&D and is ideally positioned to exploit the growing cancer therapy market and we are looking forward to translating our laboratory expertise in cancer drug development into medicines with real patient benefits."

The need for specialist service providers, such as PRECOS, is driven by increasing regulatory and scientific rigour and the pressure to reduce ever-increasing cancer drug attrition rates and R&D costs though outsourcing to identify potential lead candidates as early as possible. PRECOS aims to provide a tailored approach to all research objectives, whether a one-off service or a complete research programme. The company has patient-relevant models, closely reflecting the patient situation for each aspect of cancer progression encompassing pre-cancerous lesions, primary tumours and metastasis. Due to the high attrition rate within the pharmaceutical and biotech industry, there is a need for more patient-relevant and predictive cancer modelling and PRECOS is well-placed to fast-track these new agents, from concept into the clinic, through innovative approaches.