Sanofi-Aventis has signed an agreement with Oxford University in the UK to conduct multi-phase clinical and translational research in oncology with INDOX, a network of cancer research centres established across India in partnership with the university's Institute of Cancer Medicine five years ago.

Under the agreement, Sanofi-Aventis will give financial support to Oxford University in managing the INDOX network of eight leading cancer research centres across India. 

For its part, the university will provide training and support to investigators and research co-ordinators to help ensure each centre has the capacity, expertise and infrastructure to conduct early- through to late-stage and post-marketing trials according to ICH/GCP (International Conference on Harmonisation/Good Clinical Practice) standards, the partners noted.

According to Dr Debasish Roychowdhury, the company’s senior vice president, head of oncology, the arrangement “not only helps to train the next generation of cancer researchers in India, but also allows Sanofi-Aventis to efficiently develop drugs in the premier cancer centres in India, which also provides access to anticancer drugs to help patients fight their cancer”. 

David Kerr, Professor of Cancer Medicine at the University of Oxford and co-chair of the INDOX scientific review board, said the partnership was “an opportunity to work with Sanofi-Aventis to advance cancer research and validate targets more quickly and efficiently to shorten the time it takes to move a molecule from laboratory to clinic”.