Almac receives £2m grant from UK agency to fight cancer

Craigavon-headquartered pharmaceutical group is teaming with a Scottish university spin out to find new ways to fight cancer

Alan Armstrong, chairman and chief executive of the Almac Group, pictured alongside DUP leader Arlene Foster in 2014 at the announcement of a major investment in new jobs.

Alan Armstrong, chairman and chief executive of the Almac Group, pictured alongside DUP leader Arlene Foster in 2014 at the announcement of a major investment in new jobs.

 

Almac Discovery, part of the Craigavon-headquartered pharmaceutical group, is teaming with a Scottish university spin out to find new ways to fight cancer as part of a pioneering £2 million (€2.24 million) project that is being backed by the UK’s innovation agency.

The Northern Ireland research-driven oncology company will partner with Elasmogen, which specialises in the development of next generation biologics to work on a new collaborative project - ‘A Technology Platform for Next Generation VNAR (variable new antigen receptor) based Oncology Medicines’.

Almac Discovery had previously worked with Elasmogen on the treatment of solid tumours.

This new joint research programme will broaden the their collaborative work by combining Almac Discovery’s expertise in protein engineering and oncology drug discovery with Elasmogen’s expertise in the generation, screening and formatting of VNAR proteins.

New funding

Stephen Barr, Almac Discovery’s president and managing director, said: “We are delighted to have secured this highly sought after funding from Innovate UK to support this novel field of research which is testament to the novelty of the proposed approach and the quality of the underlying technologies involved.

“It is heartening to be able to continue and also broaden our successful collaboration with Elasmogen so that we may remain at the forefront of oncology discovery and ultimately benefit patients.”