NI universities chosen to work with Cancer Research UK on next-generation cancer treatments

  • Both Queen's University Belfast and Ulster University have been selected to work with Cancer Research UK on promising future treatments for cancer.

    Cancer is currently the leading cause of death in Northern Ireland, and almost one in two people are expected to develop some form of cancer in their lifetimes. New treatments are continually being developed to target different cancers, and survival rates have never been higher than they are today as a result.

    Queen's University Belfast and Ulster University have now been selected to take part in a new programme from Cancer Research UK and Innovate UK to develop the next generation of cancer treatments. Rather than a pure research programme, however, this initiative aims to commercialise its results.

    The Innovation-to-Commercialisation of University Research initiative (ICURe for short) consists of four cancer-related projects that will take research discoveries and ideas through a four month programme to validate the ideas with consumers and prove that they address a commercialisable need.

    It's hoped that the initiative will foster an entrepreneurial culture amongst cancer researchers across the UK, and accelerate the translation of recent discoveries into high-value MedTech ventures able to offer the next generation of cancer treatments. Four spots in the programme were available to researchers from across the UK, with Northern Ireland's universities snagging two of them.

    Brian McCaul, Director of Innovation at Queen’s University Belfast, commented: "ICURe is a proven channel for accelerating the commercialisation of academic research, strengthening links with industry and enhancing the entrepreneurial skills of early career researchers. Both Queen’s and Ulster University have enjoyed exceptional success in commercialising academic research though this lean methodology, particularly in terms of contributing to Northern Ireland’s thriving life sciences sector, so this partnership with Cancer Research UK is a logical development."

    Source: Written based on press release

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