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Cancer Research Technology, (CRT) – the commercial arm of Cancer Research UK – the University of Birmingham and its commercial arm, Alta Innovations (Alta), have signed an agreement to work together to develop and commercialise the university’s cancer research.

The two-year agreement draws on the strengths of each organisation to accelerate commercialisation of the University’s world-leading research in cancer into diagnostics, treatments and technologies that could one day benefit patients.

Alta will use its expertise in working closely with world-leading scientists at the University to identify the most promising cancer research opportunities and CRT will use its expertise in commercialising cancer research and its vast network across the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry to identify and translate promising research at the university.

CRT will work together with Alta and the University of Birmingham’s academics to identify promising cancer opportunities, including the significant clinical expertise available and the university’s leading research in areas such as immunology and genomics.

Financial benefits that come from the work will be shared between CRT and the University of Birmingham. All financial returns for CRT are invested into Cancer Research UK’s life-saving research and all returns to the University are for the benefit of the educational charity.

Professor David Adams, Head of the College of Medical and Dental Sciences at the University of Birmingham, said: “Bringing Alta and CRT together in this way means we are giving our world-class cancer researchers access to a team of people with the right skills to give their ideas the fastest route to having an impact on patients’ lives.”

Dr James Wilkie, CEO of Alta Innovations, said: “This agreement is built on a long standing working relationship. Our job is to ensure that the world-leading cancer research done here gets translated into better patient outcomes as fast as possible.

“Combining the skills that Alta and CRT have built up over many years will allow our researchers to accelerate the development of their world-leading ideas and patients will benefit from these being brought to market more quickly.”

Dr Phil L’Huillier, CRT’s director of business management, said: “We’ve already seen some great successes from our work with Alta Innovations, such as the formation of Revitope Oncology in 2014, an exciting new immunotherapy company. So we’re delighted to be working with the University of Birmingham and Alta Innovations to help develop and commercialise pioneering research that could lead to new treatments to patients faster.

“Developing relationships of this kind draws on the strengths and expertise of both organisations. We hope to develop more relationships like this with other top UK universities in the future to accelerate research and bring new hope to patients.”


Notes to editors

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