Centre for Drug Development: Strategy and portfolio

Our strategic priorities

Our ambition is to accelerate the delivery of the next generation of medicines to the patients who need them.

As the world's only charity-funded drug development facility, our strategy is uniquely focused by the drive for patient benefit. We are particularly interested in innovative projects, and our strengths are in:

  • First in class therapies
  • First in human clinical trials
  • Projects where we can use pharmacodynamic and stratification biomarker technologies to identify and progress new treatments which have the greatest potential for patient benefit

We maintain a broad portfolio across therapeutic modalities including antibodies, imaging agents, cell therapies, vaccines and targeted small molecules.

Our pipeline

Our development portfolio contains 9 small molecule agents and 10 biologicals (August 2020). Download the full pipeline or browse the agents below.

Agent

Target or technology

Partnerships

Indications

Status

CB213 Humabody
PD1, LAG3
Crescendo Biologics Solid tumours,  
PD1 lapsed/refractory
Exploratory
         
HMBD001

Antibody
Her3

Hummingbird Bioscience Solid tumours, breast, 
others tbc
Exploratory

SCIB2

DNA vaccine
NY-ESO-1

Scancell

Solid tumours

Exploratory
TGL100

DNA vaccine
 

Touchlight Genetics HNSCC Exploratory
MAGE

Vaccine
MAGE3, NY-ESO-1

Vaccitech Oncology &
Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research
Solid tumours, lung
gastro-oesophageal     
Preclinical

AST-VAC2      

Vaccine
LAMP, hTERT

Lineage Cell Therapeutics

Lung

Phase 1

BI-1206

Antibody
CD32b, FcγRIIB

BioInvent, Bloodwise

Lymphoma, B cell, chronic        
lymphocytic leukaemia 

Phase 1

MOv18

Antibody
α-folate R

King's College London

Solid tumours

Phase 1

1RG CART

Cell therapy
GD2

Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children       

Neuroblastoma

Phase 1

There is 1 other undisclosed biological therapeutic programme currently in exploratory development: a vaccine

Agent

Target or technology

Partnerships

Indications

Status

BT7401

CD137

Bicycle Therapeutics

Solid tumours

Exploratory

BT1718

MT1-MMP

Bicycle Therapeutics

Solid tumours, lung

Phase 1

LY3143921

Cdc7

Lilly

Solid tumours, colorectal, ovarian, lung

Phase 1

AZD3965

MCT1

AstraZeneca

Solid tumours, lymphoma, 
B cell

Phase 1

Vandetanib/Selumetinib        

EGFR, VEGFR, 
MEK

AstraZeneca

Solid tumours, lung

Phase 1

AT9283

Aurora Kinase

Astex Pharmaceuticals

Paediatric solid tumours Phase 1
Camostat

Serine protease, 
Spike protein

Edinburgh University & Latus Therapeutics COVID-19 positive Phase 2

mIBG

NAT nor-adrenalin transporter

The Royal Marsden Hospital

Neuroblastoma

Phase 2

AMG319

P110delta PI3K

Amgen

Head and neck, 
oropharyngeal

Phase 2

Portfolio news

CR UK NHS image

Partnership with University of Southampton & Touchlight Genetics to develop therapeutic DNA vaccine

July 2020
Cancer Research UK announced a Clinical Development Partnership with Southampton and Touchlight Genetics to progress TGL-100, Touchlight’s novel therapeutic DNA vaccine, into clinical trials targeting head and neck cancer (HNSCC). TGL-100 combines potent cancer antigens overexpressed in HNSCC with Touchlight’s novel DNA vector – Doggybone DNA™ to induce an antigen-specific anti-tumour immune response in the body. Our Centre for Drug Development will sponsor and manage the Phase I/II clinical trial which will combine TGL-100 vaccination with a PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor. 

Lineage Cell Therapeutics exercises its option early to CDD immuno-oncology programme

May 2020
Lineage announced it is exercising its option to acquire data early from our Centre for Drug Development's ongoing first in class phase 1 trial of ASTVAC2 (also called VAC2) in patients with non-small cell lung cancer. Immunogenicity data from the clinical trial supports the Mechanism of Action. Cancer Research UK will provide input on the potential use of the VAC platform in the infectious disease space to develop a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19. 

crescendo logo

Partnership with Crescendo Biologics to develop novel bispecific humabody

May 2020
Cancer Research UK announced a Clinical Development Partnership to progress CB213, Crescendo’s novel bispecific Humabody® immunotherapy, into clinical trials targeting cancers of high unmet medical need. CB213 is a novel bispecific PD-1 x LAG-3 antagonist, a next-generation checkpoint inhibitor, designed to deliver safer, more effective therapy in patients with cancers resistant or refractory to PD-1 blockade alone. Our Centre for Drug Development will sponsor and fund the Phase I clinical trial. 

Our track record of marketed drugs

Abiraterone

Discovered at the CRUK Cancer Therapeutics Unit at The Institute of Cancer Research, and developed by the Centre for Drug Development before licensing to Janssen Biotech, Abiraterone acetate (Zytiga®) is a hormonal therapy for prostate cancer.

Pemetrexed

Pemetrexed (Alimta®) is indicated for pleural mesothelioma and non-small cell lung cancer.
 
 

Temozolomide

One of our earliest successes, discovered by CRUK-funded scientists and developed by the CDD in the 1980s and 90s, Temozolomide (Temodal ®) is used worldwide as the frontline drug for glioblastoma and astrocytoma.

Etoposide phosphate

Etoposide phosphate (Etopophos®) is a drug used in small cell lung cancer and testicular tumours that no longer respond to other treatments.
 

Rucaparib

Discovered by CRUK scientists at the Northern Institute for Cancer Research in a programme built on breakthroughs from CRUK's basic science, we progressed the early development of the PARP inhibitor Rucaparib (Rubraca®).

Formestane

Formestane (Lentaron®) is a selective aromatase inhibitor that was indicated for the use in breast cancer, but was subsequently superseded by third-generation inhibitors such as letrozole.

Contact us

We're looking to partner with leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies and academic scientists who require resource, capabilities or expertise to develop new agents for the treatment of cancer.

Get in touch