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CRT and ValiRx sign prostate cancer treatment deal

Cancer Research Technology has signed a deal to provide biotech company ValiRx PLC with the global rights to develop a promising compound to treat hormone-resistant prostate cancer.

The compound, now called VAL 201, has been shown in preclinical tests in mice to stop the growth of tumours that have been unresponsive to hormone treatments. VAL 201 blocks genes that can cause prostate cancer to develop.

Hormone therapy will work for between eight and nine of every ten men with advanced-stage prostate cancer, but many men will become resistant to the treatment at some stage. This does not seem to be related to the length of time a man is receiving treatment.

VAL 201 has been shown to be effective in treating mice with breast and prostate cancer and is now rapidly progressing towards the first clinical trials in patients.

Under the terms of the deal, ValiRx has exclusive rights to use the compound to treat, prevent and diagnose cancer and other diseases. Cancer Research Technology – Cancer Research UK's development and commercialization arm – will receive milestone payments throughout the development and commercialization of the compound and royalty payments for potential licensed treatments.

Dr Phil L’Huillier, Cancer Research Technology’s director of business management, said: ‘This partnership demonstrates CRT’s ability to maximize its broad network, having identified and licensed this project from Naples, and then in turn partnered it for further preclinical and clinical development with ValiRx.

‘We will follow further trials to test its suitability as a new treatment to potentially increase survival from this disease with great interest.’

Under the terms of the licence with Cancer Research Technology, ValiRx will be responsible for performing the preclinical regulatory development of VAL 201 to prepare the compound for early clinical trials in patients. ValiRx will manage the commercialization of potential treatments after clinical trials.

Currently, prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men: each year in the UK, 36,000 men are diagnosed with the disease and it causes approximately 10,150 deaths.

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