GSK drug is the first Clinical Development Partnership drug to reach the clinical-development stage.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) signed a Clinical Development Partnership (CDP) for its aurora kinase inhibitor anticancer candidate, 1070916A, with Cancer Research UK. The drug, which is expected to start in a U.K. Phase I trial over the next 12 months, is the third to be developed through the cancer charity’s CDP program, and the first CDP drug to reach the clinical development stage.

Under terms of the CDP, Cancer Research UK will sponsor and manage the U.K. Phase I trial, which will involve 30–40 patients with solid tumors who have already undergone all currently available treatments. Cancer Research UK may also carry out a further Phase II trial if initial clinical results are positive. GSK will have the option to further develop and commercialize the molecule, in exchange for future payments, or pass the molecule to Cancer Research UK’s technology transfer and commercialization arm, Cancer Research Technology (CRT), to find an alternative partner.

The CDP program was launched in 2006, to help boost the development of anticancer drugs by taking deprioritized candidates from industry into clinical development.

In contrast to traditional outlicensing deals, the CDP route allows companies to retain rights to their compounds throughout development. “Pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies have always had to prioritize which agents they take into clinical development, but even more so in the current economic climate,” commented Keith Blundy, M.D., CRT’s chief executive. “This deal with GSK demonstrates how Cancer Research UK and CRT can work with industry to speed up the development of anticancer drugs that might otherwise remain on companies’ shelves.”

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