The one day event, which is billed as Accelerating Cancer Drug Development - From Target to Patients has been organised by Bionow, the North of England life science industry group, and takes place at the Alderley Park Conference Centre on February 27th. It will highlight industry, academic and clinical contributions made by the region whilst showcasing key activities, infrastructure and the joined up translational environment which exists in the North.
The programme features a broad range of renowned businesses and organisations working to improve patient outcomes, including The Christie Hospital, Manchester - the largest single site cancer centre in Europe, which treats more than 44,000 patients a year.
One of the two keynote addresses will be given by Professor Rob Bristow, a world authority on prostate cancer who took over as Director of the University of Manchester’s Manchester Cancer Research Centre (MCRC) last year.
Dr Susan Galbraith, Vice President of Oncology at AstraZeneca, which developed a breakthrough lung cancer drug Tagrisso with one of the fastest development programmes in pharmaceutical history, will also address the conference.
It also features experts from ApconiX, Concept Life Sciences, Redx Pharma, Quay Pharma, NewGene, The Medicines Discovery Catapult, the University of Sheffield and The Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute (CRUKMI). The latter, a leading cancer research institute within The University of Manchester, is core funded by Cancer Research UK, the biggest independent cancer research organisation in the world. Its research spans the whole spectrum of cancer research, from programmes investigating the molecular and cellular basis of cancer, to those focused on translational research and the development of therapeutics.
Dr Chris Doherty, managing director of Alderley Park, commented: “There’s a vast amount of effort being devoted the world over to winning the battle against cancer – and we are making progress. Survival rates in the UK have doubled over the past 40 years and for a number of cancers, including breast and skin cancer, more than eight out of 10 people will beat the disease. Research has led to better treatments, new drugs, more accurate tests, earlier diagnosis and screening programmes. The North of England is very much involved in this global effort and we believe this new conference will showcase the contributions being made by scientists here. A number of life-saving cancer drugs have been developed at Alderley Park over the years and now there’s a new generation of companies and organisations focused on beating the disease.”
Geoff Davison, CEO of Bionow, commented: “Over the last decade or more Manchester has become an important global centre of cancer research, with valuable breakthroughs also being made in Newcastle, Sheffield, Liverpool and elsewhere across the North. The cancer research and development community works well together here and we welcome the opportunity to draw together the important strands of work in areas such as drug development, clinical trials, personalised medicine new target identification and chemistry and link this thought manufacturing to patients.”