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ICR among top-ranked universities for invention income for ninth consecutive year

Close up of the ICR logo on the a research building

The Institute of Cancer Research, London, has again ranked among the top academic institutions in the UK at generating income from its intellectual property.

The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) received the fifth highest amount of invention income overall – and the most income per member of academic staff – compared with all other UK higher education institutions in the 2020/21 academic year.

The newly released figures from the Higher Education and Statistics Authority (HESA) show that the ICR was behind only the relatively much larger University of Oxford and University of Sheffield in raw invention income, with £23.5 million.

A higher education institution’s invention income is a marker of success in commercialising its research for public benefit, as well as a useful source of funding to invest back into its research programmes.

Translating discoveries into patient benefits

Effective industry collaboration is at the heart of the ICR’s approach to drive benefits for patients. It works in collaboration with companies to translate research findings into new cancer treatments with any commercial income invested back into research to find new treatments for people with cancer.

Much of the ICR’s invention income comes from royalties on the sales of the cancer drugs abiraterone and olaparib – although it also receives income from a range of other cancer treatments and technologies.

In addition to the ICR’s invention income, it also receives several million pounds per year from research collaborations with industrial partners and other sources such as consultancy.

Significant announcements arising from our work with industry in the year included the launch of a new clinical trial of a drug discovered at the ICR, and results from clinical trials showing promise for an immunotherapy drug in brain cancer and a drug targeting the notorious KRAS gene.

Did you know we have several open opportunities for industry partners to collaborate with us?

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Innovation Gateway

We also announced the completion of the Innovation Gateway, a new incubator space on the site of The London Cancer Hub – a partnership led by the ICR and the London Borough of Sutton, which aims to create the world’s leading centre for cancer research, treatment and enterprise in Sutton, south London.

Dr Angela Kukula, the ICR’s Director of Business and Innovation, said:

“The ICR’s invention income provides a barometer that our work is being translated into new tests and treatments for patients around the world. Our success in generating invention income is testament to our success at translating lab discoveries into patient benefit through effective collaboration with industry.

“We have consistently been one of the most successful higher education institutions in the UK at generating invention income for the past nine years, reflecting the ICR’s status as one of the leading academic institutions in the UK both in terms of our excellent research, and our success at collaborating with industry to ensure patient benefit.”


abiraterone Angela Kukula olaparib collaboration innovation invention
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