Cancer Research UK’s Drug Discovery Committee is handing over an extra £5 million to Newcastle University’s Northern Institute of Cancer Research to help push more cancer drugs into clinical trials.

The funds, which will be given over a five-year period, are to fuel a programme of six to eight research projects looking at new strategies to develop medicines for cancer treatment.

"This funding will allow us to investigate new approaches to target types of cancer that are difficult to treat, such as liver cancer and some cancers of the blood,” said Steve Wedge, professor of stratified cancer medicine discovery at the University.

The Institute’s drug discovery unit specialises in identifying targeted therapies, which are highly selective in their ability to kill cancer cells, and has “the expertise to develop innovative drugs that could help save thousands of lives” according to David Scott, CR UK’s director of science funding.