The Cancer Research Technology Pioneer Fund (CPF) has entered into a pact with investment company BACIT and drug discovery group Sareum to co-fund the further development of CHK1 inhibitors, in the hope of findings new drugs to treat cancers including pancreatic, bowel and lung.

The experimental candidate originates from research in the Cancer Research UK Cancer Therapeutics Unit at The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), London, by scientists funded by the charity working alongside Sareum’s researchers and in collaboration with Cancer Research Technology (CRT).

Researchers believe that, as well as "exciting potential" as a cancer treatment, CHK1 inhibitors could also play a role in boosting the effectiveness of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. 

Rights to the preclinical programme have been licensed into the Fund from CRT and the ICR. Under the terms of the deal, CPF has gained worldwide rights to the preclinical CHK1 inhibitor programme and is responsible for future development and commercialisation, which will be co-funded by CPF, BACIT and Sareum. 

Specific financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, expect that CRT, Sareum and the ICR are entitled to an up-front fee plus success milestone and royalty payments.

Ian Miscampbell, managing partner of Sixth Element Capital, the Manager of the CPF, noted that this is the third investment made by the £50M CPF, which CRT and the European Investment Fund launched in 2012 to help bridge the funding gap between cancer drug discovery and early treatment development in the UK.

"This kind of funding collaboration will ensure that we can maximise the amount of money which can be committed through the CPF to develop new cancer therapies,” he noted.