UCL News


Next generation of cancer drugs focus of new Japanese partnership

25 November 2019

Researchers at UCL will lead groundbreaking cancer research which aims to identify vulnerabilities resulting from mutated DNA in cancers, as part of a new international drug target discovery alliance.

cancer cells dividing

The multi-year partnership brings together world-leading scientists at UCL Cancer Institute, the Francis Crick Institute, CRUK Lung Cancer Centre of Excellence and Ono Pharmaceutical Company of Japan.

The collaboration will identify targets for the development of novel cancer therapies that act on the combinations of genetic changes that occur in cancers. Most cancer cells undergo changes in the structural organisation of their DNA and chromosome, causing large groups of genes to be collectively altered. 

Boosted by an investment from Ono, drug discovery experts will build on the work of the TRACERx clinical studies, which tracks the evolution and genetic changes of tumour cells through the course of cancer progression. 

Dr Su Kit Chew (UCL Cancer Institute and Francis Crick Institute) said: “This is an incredible opportunity to understand the structural chromosome changes that occur in cancers. It is the timely convergence of multiple advances in the fields of cancer genomics and genetic engineering that has made this research possible.”

Professor Charles Swanton (CRUK Lung Cancer Centre of Excellence at UCL Cancer Institute and Francis Crick Institute) said: “I am thrilled that our partnership with Ono will allow us to address a critical process of cancer evolution. The outcomes from this collaboration will impact our other areas of work at the Lung Cancer Centre.”



Lung cancer cell dividing. Credit: Anne Weston, Francis Crick Institute, CC BY-NC.

Media contact

Mark Greaves

Tel: +44 (0)20 3108 9485

Email: m.greaves [at] ucl.ac.uk