Oxford, GSK to partner in cancer research at leading clinical centres In India

Mumbai: The University of Oxford and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) today announced a new collaboration in cancer research to be conducted through leading clinical centres in India.

With coordination from the university''s ''department of clinical pharmacology'' and initial three-year funding from GSK, the collaboration will establish the first Indian cancer-trials network comprising a number of leading Indian oncologists of major cancer centres. The collaboration will enable the evaluation of new cancer treatments for various cancer types including gall bladder, liver and cervical cancers which are more prevalent in India than in the west.

"India currently has one million cases of cancer and this collaboration is further proof of progressive policies being followed in India," says Dr Vinod Raina, from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi. "It is hoped that the network, through these public funded regional cancer centres, will provide a platform for cancer research with priority to carry out research in cancers common in India. Indian patients will now have the benefit of access to new anticancer agents at a much earlier stage than in the past. The initial emphasis will be on up gradation of already existing research infrastructures and in setting up standard operating procedures as per international standards."

The network''s management team will be led by Professor David Kerr, Rhodes professor of cancer therapeutics and clinical pharmacology at Oxford and director of the UK''s National Translational Cancer Research Network (NTRAC).

"We at Oxford are delighted to lead this unique opportunity between Indian centres of clinical excellence and a research-based company such as GSK," Professor Kerr commented. "Much like NTRAC, the aim of Indian network is to build a research infrastructure and workforce capacity that will support the advancement of novel anti-cancer therapeutics from the laboratory into the clinic and to test their promise in each stage of clinical trials, putting the network on a par with the best in the world for conducting cancer trials."

"This collaboration offers benefit to cancer patients in India who will now gain wider access to clinical trials of potential new medicines," said Allen Oliff, senior vice president and head of the GSK Centre of Excellence for Drug Discovery responsible for cancer therapy.

The senior specialist oncologists are based at the following Indian centres:

  • Institute Rotary Cancer Hospital, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi
  • Nizams Institute of Medical Sciences, Panjagutta, Hyderabad
  • Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology, Bangalore
  • Tata Memorial Hospital, Parel, Mumbai
  • Regional Cancer Center, Trivandrum, Kerala
  • Gujarat Cancer Center, Asarwa, Ahmedabad
GlaxoSmithKline is a leading global research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare company.