The Institute of Cancer Research has secured a £30 million grant from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) towards the costs of building a new, state-of-the-art drug discovery facility.
The award was made as part of the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund scheme (UKRPIF), led by HEFCE, which provides investment for a range of innovative and exciting projects at universities across the UK.
The grant is a major step forward for our plans to build the £70 million Centre for Cancer Drug Discovery.
Once constructed, the centre will form a key part of The London Cancer Hub, a new global hub for cancer research and treatment.
The centre will offer more than 7,000 square metres of multidisciplinary research space, housing cancer biologists, medicinal chemists, pharmacologists, clinicians, data scientists and evolutionary scientists.
It will be built on the ICR's site in Sutton, London, and will enable us to increase our capacity, introduce new scientific approaches, attract more world-class scientists and train the researchers of the future.
World-leading cancer centre
The new centre will also bring together our award-wining drug discovery scientists in our Cancer Therapeutics Unit with our pioneering Centre for Evolution and Cancer.
This closer interaction will enable us to build on our unrivalled track record in creating innovative cancer medicines, and to accelerate the discovery of treatments that tackle cancer's ability to evolve to become resistant to treatment.
Professor Paul Workman, Chief Executive of the ICR, said:
"We're delighted and extremely grateful to have received a £30 million funding award from HEFCE towards creation of a new Centre for Cancer Drug Discovery.
"Getting this award is a major step forward for our ambitious plans to discover a new generation of innovative cancer treatments that tackle the major clinical challenges of cancer evolution and drug resistance.
"With the new investment, and the generous support of our donors and partners, we aspire to create a truly world-leading, £70 million new centre that can deliver major benefits for cancer patients."
Discovering new drugs to defeat cancer
Luke Johnson, Chairman of the ICR said:
"This is a defining moment in the ICR’s 108-year history. Thanks to this £30 million grant, we shall shortly embark on the construction of a world-beating new facility in Sutton. It will house more than 275 multidisciplinary scientists discovering new drugs to defeat cancer.
"We're tremendously grateful to HEFCE and also to the other parties that are critical to the success of this project, including all our partners, funders and our network of donors, who continue to make such valuable contributions."
Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson said:
"The UK's world-renowned leadership in science, research and innovation is helping to solve a range of national and global challenges, and the breadth of the projects funded today means this will continue.
"Through our Industrial Strategy and £4.7 billion investment for research and development, we're ensuring we capitalise on the great work taking place in universities across the UK and remain at the forefront of innovation."