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Video: First-in-human phase I trials in collaboration with industry

The Institute of Cancer Research, London runs one of the most successful academic drug development programmes in the world, in close partnership with our partner hospital The Royal Marsden.

The Drug Development Unit (DDU) is one of the flagship joint initiatives between the two organisations. One of the world’s leading phase I trial centres in oncology, the DDU leads around 50 first-in-human trials at any one time, largely with industry sponsors.

Professor Udai Banerji is Deputy Director of the Drug Development Unit (DDU) at The Institute of Cancer Research and the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust. With two decades of experience working in cancer research and clinical oncology, he plays a key role bridging pre-clinical and clinical drug development, designing and conducting first-in-human phase I trials of new cancer drugs.

He has been principal or sub-investigator in over 135 academic and industry-sponsored phase I trials, including of inhibitors of HDAC, AKT, the alpha-folate receptor, Hsp90 and Chk1. At any one time, researchers in the DDU are leading around 50 first-in-human clinical studies, including many sponsored by pharmaceutical companies.

Professor Banerji also leads the Clinical Pharmacodynamics Biomarker Group and the Clinical Pharmacology-Adaptive Therapy Group within the Centre for Cancer Drug Discovery (formerly called Cancer Research UK Cancer Therapeutics Unit) at the ICR, providing early insights into clinical relevance during target prioritisation.

As well as working to optimise doses, schedules and predictive biomarkers for new cancer therapies, his research interests include translational proteomic approaches to study and overcome drug resistance using combination therapies.

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