Our research programme focuses on translating our discovery research into biomarker-guided, biologically-informed clinical trials predominantly in our disease specialty areas of gastrointestinal, prostate, blood, ovarian and breast cancers. Through our internationally-recognised scientific programmes we are advancing our understanding of tumour and host biology and the mechanisms of treatment resistance. This has resulted in the development of a number of experimental cancer medicine clinical trials exploring novel agents (singly or in combination) and in combination with standard of care treatments. Examples of this include the CRUK LY3143921 first-in-human CDC7 inhibitor clinical trial, the European multicentre MErCuRIC clinical trial (targeting MET/MEK in colorectal cancer) and our current programme investigating IAP antagonists in combination with standard of care chemotherapy and radiotherapy in colorectal and prostate cancer.
Through established industry collaborations we have experience in novel cancer therapeutic development from identification through to clinical evaluation (for example, the anti-angiogenic agent ALM201 with Almac Discovery). Other candidates progressing through development have arisen from our scientific programmes targeting cell death pathway mediators and ubiquitination. These programmes are progressing through partnerships with both small-medium and large scale companies and through university spin-in organisations, for example, CV6 Therapeutics.
We have a strong focus on precision medicine and our academic-industry collaboration with Almac Diagnostics has progressed candidate biomarkers to application in clinical practice such as the DNA damage immune response (DDIR) signature which predicts response to adjuvant and neoadjuvant systemic therapy in breast and oesophagogastric cancers, and the ColDx signature which identifies patients with Stage II colorectal cancer at high risk of recurrence. In line with this, we have a well-established pre-surgical trial platform in breast cancer for the delivery of neoadjuvant and window of opportunity studies, for prospective biomarker assessment and for the evaluation of therapeutic agents.
Our Precision Medicine Centre of Excellence brings together international expertise in cancer genomics, tissue hybridization and digital molecular pathology to deliver biomarker research, linking closely with our on-site pan-cancer Biobank and multiple industry partners, and extending our track record in commercialisation in digital pathology.
Our rapidly growing programme in digital health is enabling our precision medicine programmes through the design and application of novel software incorporating AI, including genetic algorithms for search optimisation and deep learning methods, to identify novel prognostic signatures and map tumour evolution and heterogeneity in colorectal and other cancers.
Advanced cellular therapies