GlaxoSmithKline has announced the formation of a consortium comprised of "six internationally-renowned comprehensive cancer centres", three in North Americva and three in Europe.

In forming the Oncology Clinical and Translational Consortium (OCTC), GSK says it will benefit from the partners' expertise in preclinical, translational and clinical development of novel anticancer therapeutics including kinase inhibitors, epigenome modulating compounds and immunotherapies. In return, the centres will have access to studies with GSK's early-stage cancer pipeline "and opportunities to advance the next generation of novel oncology therapeutics".

The centres include two in the USA - MD Anderson in Houston and New York's Memorial Sloan-Kettering - and the Toronto-based Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. The other OCTC partners are Gustave Roussy in Villejuif, Vall d'Hebron Institute of Oncology in Barcelona and the Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam.

GSK said the consortium members were selected for their "international leadership and expertise in oncology research".  They will work on "operational alignment, collaborating on processes to ensure the highest quality standards for collection of biological samples, as well as conduct of biomarker and clinical research".

Rafael Amado, head of oncology R&D at GSK, said the centres and the company  will "design and execute research programmes in a focused and expeditious way, allowing us to develop new diagnostic tools and medicines". The projects will include Phase I/II single agent and novel combination trials with GSK's targeted and immune therapies as well as translational and preclinical studies.