• News
POSTED ON: 07 January 2021
Centre for Cancer Drug Discovery

A world-first new centre aiming to overcome cancer’s ability to evolve and become drug-resistant has opened its doors to researchers at The London Cancer Hub.

The pioneering Centre for Cancer Drug Discovery will be one of the flagship buildings at The London Cancer Hub – a collaboration between the London Borough of Sutton and The Institute of Cancer Research, London. It will enhance the ICR’s ability to discover innovative new cancer treatments and to partner with industry to take them to market.

The £75m state-of-the-art new facility will house the world’s first ‘Darwinian’ drug discovery programme centred on discovering new strategies to overcome cancer’s ability to adapt and evolve.

The Centre will bring together around 300 leading scientists in a single collaborative space – combining multi-disciplinary drug discovery teams with experts in evolutionary science to create new resistance-busting treatments and therapeutic approaches.

Scientists at the ICR have started moving into the new building and will shortly be beginning their research – with hopes that it will lead to a new generation of ‘anti-evolution’ treatments.

A gateway to innovation

The Centre is just one of a series of exciting new developments planned at The London Cancer Hub, which is set to become the world’s leading campus for cancer research, treatment and commercial enterprise.

We are also currently renovating around 6,300 square feet of incubator space to develop an Innovation Gateway, which will be located right next door to the new Centre. Its close proximity to this state-of-the-art facility will allow companies to access advanced technologies and work directly with researchers there.

We are seeking the first wave of life-science companies – from start-ups to more established biotechs and Big Pharma – to take up space in the new Innovation Gateway. They will work directly alongside world-class cancer scientists and clinicians at the ICR and its hospital partner, The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust.

Helping patients live longer and better

Professor Paul Workman, Chief Executive of the ICR, said:

“This new building is the embodiment of our research strategy, which centres on overcoming cancer evolution and drug resistance – the major challenge we face today in cancer research and treatment. The Centre will bring together our cancer evolution scientists with our drug discovery researchers all under one roof, so they can more easily share ideas and spark new discoveries.

“We have highly ambitious plans. The Centre will help us find new ways to overcome drug resistance so that we can manage patients for much longer with a good quality of life, just as is done with diseases like HIV and diabetes, while also increasing their chances of cure.”

Cllr Ruth Dombey, Leader of Sutton Council, said:

"I am delighted that Sutton is now home to this world-leading cancer research centre, cementing our borough's position at the heart of the global pursuit for cancer cures and treatments. 

"The work that will be done at the Centre for Drug Discovery is truly inspiring to learn about, and I'm pleased that the links we have fostered between Sutton schools and the ICR mean that some of the next generation of cancer-beating scientists could come from The London Cancer Hub's own doorstep. 

"Sutton Council's partnership with the ICR and commitment to the ongoing development of The London Cancer Hub will also bring wide-ranging opportunities and benefits to the wider community. 

"I congratulate our partners on the opening of the Centre and wish our scientists the very best with their vital research."

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