Cambridge, UK-based Astex Therapeutics has entered into a partnership with Cancer Research UK to further develop its compound AT9283 in children and adolescents with cancer.

Under the terms of the deal, the charity’s Drug Development Office will, in collaboration with the Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group, test the drug in a Phase I trial in patients with relapsed or refractory solid tumours.

Furthermore, Astex, which retains all commercial rights to AT9283, says an additional study in children and adolescent patients with haematological malignancies is also planned.

According to Harren Jhoti, Chief Executive Officer of drug firm, AT9283 is “the most potent dual Aurora/JAK inhibitor currently in development,” and he says the drug has shown promise in patients with both epithelial cancers and leukaemias.

“We have received a lot of interest in the potential of this compound as a novel treatment for a range of cancers, and we welcome the opportunity of working with Cancer Research UK on these important clinical studies in young people with very serious diseases,” he said.