GlaxoSmithKline has issued an undisclosed 'success payment' to Cancer Research Technology relating to a collaboration developing molecules targeting cancer epigenetics - the way cells control how and when genes are turned on or off.

Under the alliance, scientists at the Drug Discovery Unit at the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute at the University of Manchester have now created potential new drug development candidates that target a key protein involved in epigenetic regulation from promising early molecules provided by GSK.

The Unit will support GSK scientists developing these drugs and will continue to develop other compounds as part of the collaboration. In return, CRT stands to receive development milestones and royalties on sales of products from the collaboration, and has the right to develop the molecules further if not taken up by GSK.

"The Drug Discovery Unit aims to develop new treatments ready for the clinic as efficiently as possible. By working alongside GlaxoSmithKline scientists we've been able to reduce the risk in the development of these drugs and make them more likely to progress through to clinic to achieve our goal of getting new treatments to cancer patients sooner," said Dr Donald Ogilvie, head of the Unit.

"Drugs targeting epigenetics are a growing area of research and we're pleased to be making an impact in this area. Being at the forefront of this research alongside one of the world's biggest pharmaceutical companies means we have a real opportunity to develop new drugs for cancer patients," added Dr Phil L'Huillier, Cancer Research Technology's director of business development.