Cancer Research Technology, the commercial arm of Cancer Research UK, is to collaborate with private biotech HitGen to develop a new class of lung cancer drugs. 

The licensing agreement will be fulfilled by CRUK’s Drug Discovery Unit at the University of Manchester which will look to develop a range of new compounds identified by HitGen’s technology platform.

The software screens huge DNA-encoded libraries to identify targets suitable for further investigation and drug development.

Dr Donald Ogilvie, head of drug discovery at the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute at The University of Manchester, said: “We’re very pleased to work with HitGen to find promising leads against these more difficult targets that may otherwise not be developed. As part of the Cancer Research UK Lung Cancer Centre of Excellence, we’re determined to get new lung cancer treatments to patients quicker. Identifying this promising candidate drug offers the potential to help boost survival from this devastating disease.”

The project is the first licencing agreement as part of the ongoing collaboration between CRT, CRUK’s Manchester Institute Drug Discovery Group and HitGen. The latter will receive milestone payments as part of the partnership.

The agreement follows on from CRT’s deal formed last month with the University College London and Tusk Therapeutics to develop new immunotherapies.