Cancer Research UK has brought its commercialisation arm, Cancer Research Technology (CRT), together with its research funding teams to form a new in-house division called Research and Innovation.

The move, it says, will facilitate the progression of funded research toward the development of new therapeutics, diagnostics and other innovations aiming to deliver benefits to cancer patients.

Under the new structure, commercialisation activity will be carried out by Cancer Research UK’s Commercial Partnerships team and the CRT Discovery Laboratories will become the CRUK Therapeutic Discovery Laboratories. CRT will remain as the legal entity through which the charity enters its various partnerships.

With exclusive rights to over £350 million of world-class cancer research annually, the charity says it is able to offer “unique opportunities” to commercial partners looking for early involvement in new discoveries.

The move will also enable researchers to advance their projects through cross-disciplinary or industry interactions, while allowing industry partners to tap into academia’s “high-risk research and innovative thinking”.

“It’s become clear that the more integrated we are as an organisation, the more we can ensure that our incredible network of discovery science, translational research and clinical development activities are brought to bear in the development of new advances that benefit patients,” noted Dr Iain Foulkes, the charity’s executive director of research and innovation.

“Partnership plays an incredibly important role in this – we can’t advance the discoveries our researchers make in isolation – and with this move we can engage partners sooner and bring our network of capability together with their expertise to accelerate progress.”