European Investment Fund and Cancer Research Technology (CRT), Cancer Research UK’s commercial arm, have partnered to create a £50m investment fund to bridge the funding gap in the UK between cancer drug discovery and early development.
CRT and the EIF will make equal contributions to the CRT Pioneer Fund, which aims to take potential cancer drugs from discovery through to entry to Phase II clinical trials. In order to create and implement the vehiche, they have worked with a specialist fund management firm, Sixth Element Capital LLP (6EC).
The fund has launched with a first close of £25M which may be doubled by the founders to reach the total £50M. At least two thirds of its resources will be used to develop scientific discoveries made by Cancer Research UK scientists. This may include projects within CRT’s Discovery Laboratories, the Institute of Cancer Research’s Cancer Therapeutics Unit, Cancer Research UK’s Paterson and Beatson Institutes, and Newcastle University. The remaining projects may come from other academic groups or industry in the UK.
CRT will re-invest its share of any profits derived from the fund in Cancer Research UK’s life-saving research.
6EC will establish committees of independent experts to provide guidance on the investment and commercialisation of individual projects.