Combinations Alliance News
29th October 2010
The Combinations Alliance was set up as a joint initiative between the ECMC Network and Cancer Research UK to collaborate with pharmaceutical companies to deliver investigator led combination studies of novel agents.
AstraZeneca are the first company to be involved in discussions and the alliance is now successfully underway with the first set of studies having been submitted to the CR-UK New Agents Committee (NAC). If approved, these studies will open in Q2/Q3 2011 and will be locally or Cancer Research UK Drug Development Office (DDO) sponsored. The protocols are also being developed through collaborations across multiple ECMC centres.
The Combinations Alliance is governed by a Joint Steering Committee. Current members include representatives from the ECMC community, AstraZeneca (AZ) and CR-UK. Current membership is for a one-year term. The ECMC clinicians representing the network are: Christian Ottensmeier (Southampton), Chris Twelves (Leeds), Mark Middleton (Oxford), Mark Saunders (Manchester), Michael Seckl (Imperial) and Udai Banerji (ICR).
The Alliance is now in the process of generating the next round of potential combination studies. ECMC clinicians have submitted their trial proposals and the first combination workshop will be held at the ECMC Leads meeting on the 24th November in London. An overwhelming number of expressions of interest have been received from the ECMC community and the decision has been taken to run a second workshop in Q1 2011. These workshops will be interactive sessions in a similar format to the NCRN workshops. ECMC clinicians will have the opportunity to present & discuss their ideas at the workshop. The studies proposed will be locally sponsored Phase Ib/IIa studies. The expressions of interest for the first two workshops are for combinations of specific AZ drugs with other agents in development, marketed agents or radiotherapy. Brokering cross company collaborations is where the Combinations Alliance can also add value and this will be the first steps towards wider industry engagement.
After the workshops, the alliance Joint Steering Committee will review and confirm which proposals should progress to formal NAC applications. Study outlines will be developed by small groups of interested clinicians supported by the relevant industry partners and DDO.
If you would like more information about the forthcoming workshop or the ECMC/AZ Combinations Alliance please contact Kate Miller or Lyndall McLellan at the DDO.