New Agents Committee

The New Agents Committee (NAC) selects new anti-cancer treatments for early clinical trials.

NAC members are expert in early clinical trials of novel agents and other aspects of drug development. Proposals and meetings are confidential. NAC-approved novel agents in development include: molecularly targeted small molecules, cytotoxic agents, antibodies, vaccines, viral gene therapy, immunotherapy, cell therapy, radioimmunotherapy, diagnostics and imaging agents.

Research areas

The NAC is interested in proposals for scientifically-driven trials of novel unregistered anti-cancer agents. NAC reviews and funds:

  • Exploratory/preclinical development prior to a clinical trial
  • Phase I trials, including first-in-man and first-in-class
  • Combinations trials of unregistered and registered agents
  • Early phase II hypothesis-testing trials

How proposals are judged

Proposals are subject to external, international peer review and are judged on the basis of:

  • Scientific rationale and importance
  • Uniqueness/novelty of the target or agent
  • Significance of the proposed trial and its endpoints
  • Clinical need
  • Quality of data in relevant models


Chair of the New Agents Committee

Professor Ruth Plummer - Northern Institute for Cancer Research, Newcastle

Vice-chair of the New Agents Committee


Professor Fran Balkwill – Queen Mary University of London

​Dr Sarah Blagden – University of Oxford

Professor Neil Carragher Edinburgh Cancer Research Centre, University of Edinburgh

Professor John Chester University of Cardiff School of Medicine

Dr Mark Cobbold – Harvard University

Dr Andrew Davies – School of Medicine, University of Southampton

Professor Michelle Garrett University of Kent

Professor Margaret Harnett – University of Glasgow

Professor Andrew Hughes – University of Manchester

Professor Pam Kearns CCLG & University of Birmingham

Professor Richard Kennedy Queen’s University Belfast

Professor Alan Melcher  The Institute of Cancer Research, London

Dr Paul Mulholland  University College London Hospitals

Dr Klaus Okkenhaug – Babraham Institute

Dr Olivia Rossanese  – The Institute of Cancer Research, London

Professor Ricky Sharma – University College London

Professor James Spicer  King's College London

Professor Will Steward  University of Leicester

Professor Dr Jaap Verweij  Erasmus University Rotterdam

Professor Steve Wedge  Northern Institute for Cancer Research, University of Newcastle

Contact for this committee

Kate Searle

Kate Searle

Research Funding Manager

Tel: +44 (0) 20 3469 6929

Schemes reviewed by this committee

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Drug Discovery Committee

Funds biotherapeutic and small molecule drug discovery.

Clinical Research Committee

Oversees funding and endorsement of investigator-led clinical trials

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