October 19, 2018 | News
Intract Founder and CSO Professor Abdul Basit was recently part of a group that was awarded an Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration (IRC) grant by EPSRC worth over £10m. The collaboration, led by Cambridge University and involving UCL, Imperial, Birmingham and Glasgow Universities aims to develop an array of new technologies to improve survival rates for hard-to-treat cancers. Professor George Malliaras, who leads the IRC, said “Some cancers are difficult to remove by surgery and highly invasive, and they are also hard to treat because drugs often cannot reach them at high enough concentration”. In particular, he said, “Pancreatic tumour cells are protected by dense stromal tissue, and tumours of the central nervous system by the blood-brain barrier”. The team hopes to assess and develop a range of new technologies to deliver drugs in high enough concentrations to kill cancer cells. Cancer scientists and clinicians from the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Centre and partner sites will carry out clinical trials. The UCL team will focus on manufacturing technologies to ensure the novel devices are able to be manufactured and robust enough to withstand surgical manipulation. Prof Simon Gaisford said “Our expertise and world-leading experience in designing and manufacturing pharmaceutical products with 3D printing means we are ideally equipped to scale-up and manufacture the exciting drug delivery technologies that will be developed by our project partners”. Prof Basit added “We are very excited to be able to work on such an innovative and exciting project and we look forward to taking 3D printed medicines into the clinic to improve patient outcomes”.
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