Cancer Research UK and AstraZeneca’s MedImmune have linked hands to launch a new lab in Cambridge that will focus on the discovery and development of novel biologic cancer therapies and diagnostics.

Under a collaborative approach the lab will house scientists from both groups, who aim to marry MedImmune’s human antibody phage display libraries and protein-engineering expertise with the charity’s knowledge of cancer biology to fuel new discoveries and push them into clinical practice.

CR UK has provided the equipment and operational funding for the lab and will contribute a portfolio of novel drug targets, while MedImmune will manage the drug discovery process for accepted projects. 

Launching the lab, life Sciences Minister George Freeman said the ambitious project “unites academia and industry to translate world-leading research from the laboratory into crucial new treatments for patients”.

“The UK is already leading the way in cancer research, and collaborations such as this help to ensure that we convert that science into new medicines”.

AstraZeneca is currently establishing its new Global R&D Centre and Corporate Headquarters in Cambridge, which will also become its largest centre for oncology research worldwide. 

According to the drugs giant, the city offers “invaluable access to world-leading scientific expertise” and “excellent opportunities” for collaboration with academia, hospitals and cutting-edge biotechs.

CR UK also has a 'major' centre in the area, which is working on novel practical applications that will improve the detection and treatment of cancer.