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Entering into an agreement

When entering into agreements with commercial partners The Institute of Cancer Research has certain principles we aim to work to – these are set out below.

However, these will not necessarily be considered non-negotiable and the exact details of any agreement will be discussed with each potential licensee or collaborator individually.


In order to meet our mission of worldwide patient benefit, exclusive licenses will only be granted when they are essential to enable a licensee to commit the investment required to enable a product – for example a new drug – to reach the market.

Licences to ‘know how’ or background intellectual property (IP) necessary for the application of an invention may be granted but this may be on a non-exclusive basis.

In order to ensure that any technology originating from ICR is developed for the benefit of cancer patients, we will usually require the right to continue to develop the results of a collaboration if the original collaborative partner decides not to continue with the work.


Whilst our primary aim is to ensure that our research is exploited for the benefit of cancer patients, the ICR’s policy is to achieve a fair financial return recognising the contribution that both the ICR and the industrial partner will have to make to develop a product. Agreements may therefore contain provisions for royalties or other payments, depending on the ICR's contribution to the development of products.

Delivering the technology

The ICR may provide consultancy for a defined time in order to aid in transferring a licensed invention. Alternatively, and more commonly, a collaboration will be initiated to develop an invention further.


As an academic institution it is important that the ICR is able to publish its work and we will require the right to publish to be included in almost all agreements with industry. However, the ICR will provide industrial partners with advance copies of any intended publications to allow time for review, for new inventions to be protected and to ensure that no confidential information has been included in the proposed publication.

Academic rights

As an academic institution, it is usual for ICR scientists to retain the right to do further non-commercial, academic research on technology they have developed.

Decision making

For collaborative projects we prefer that decisions are made jointly and that our academic colleagues are represented on collaboration steering committees.

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