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$2m to fast-track drugs into clinical trials for childhood leukaemiam

14 September, 2015

New drugs to treat children with aggressive cancers will be fast-tracked into clinical trials thanks to $2 million awarded to the Children's Cancer Institute.

New drugs to treat children with aggressive cancers will be fast-tracked into clinical trials thanks to $2 million in funding awarded to the Children's Cancer Institute, based at UNSW's Lowy Cancer Research Centre.

The funding from the US National Cancer Institute (NCI) will see the Children's Cancer Institute (CCI) become the only site outside the United States to be included in the NCI's Pediatric Preclinical Testing Consortium (PPTC).

The PPTC also includes four testing sites within the United States.

Using their respective models of childhood cancer, the sites will test drugs that are considered to have the potential to improve the treatment of childhood cancer, facilitating acceleration of the most effective drugs into clinical trials.

UNSW Associate Professor Richard Lock, Head of CCI's Leukaemia Biology Program, will use the funding to test drugs in preclinical models of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), the most common childhood cancer.

Professor Lock said he was extremely gratified that the CCI is seen as a world-leader in preclinical drug testing for ALL.

"Our research proposal underwent a rigorous competitive review process, and our inclusion in PPTC is substantial recognition for our work," Professor Lock said.

"I feel honoured to have been involved with NCI for ten years, and am delighted to be able to continue this work with their support."

Professor Lock previously received funding from NCI for 10 years as part of the Pediatric Preclinical Testing Program (PPTP), and was the only PPTP Principal Investigator located outside the USA. His invitation to become a member of the newly-formed PPTC attests to the value NCI places on his contributions to-date.

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