Cancer therapy research originated at Imperial and developed by Carrick Therapeutics enters phase 1 clinical trial

30 Nov 2017

Imperial Innovations, the technology commercialisation partner of Imperial College London, notes the announcement today that a cancer therapy initially developed at Imperial College London has entered first-in-man trials.

Carrick Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company focusing on the innovative research and development of transformative oncology medicines, today announced that the first patient has been dosed in the phase 1 clinical programme of CT7001. This orally bio-available Cyclin-dependent Kinase 7 (CDK7) selective inhibitor has shown promise in multiple pre-clinical cancer models.

CT7001 originated at Imperial College London and was developed, with collaboration from Emory University, by a large, multidisciplinary research team headed by Professors Charles Coombes (Department of Surgery and Cancer), Tony Barrett (Department of Chemistry), and Simak Ali (Department of Surgery and Cancer). Funding for the research and development was provided by Cancer Research UK and the EPSRC. The technology package was then jointly licensed to Carrick Therapeutics by Imperial Innovations and its partner Cancer Research UK’s Commercial Partnerships Team. Carrick Therapeutics further explored the biology and safety profile of the molecule as well as developed the chemical synthesis and formulation to enable clinical studies.

CDK7 acts as a master regulator of transcription as well as a regulator of the cell cycle through phosphorylation of members of the CDK family, and it has therefore emerged as a promising strategy in a range of cancer indications. CT7001 was found to be effective in pre-clinical models of cancers which represent major unmet clinical needs, including hormone receptor positive and triple-negative breast cancer.

Carrick Therapeutics’ experienced research and development team has undertaken extensive and rapid clinical development of CT7001 and this work has led to approval for the first-in-human phase I study.

Elaine Sullivan, Chief Executive Officer of Carrick Therapeutics, said:

“We are excited by the potential of CT7001 to make a major difference in cancer treatment and intend to rapidly progress CT7001 through clinical development and bring this promising new medicine to patients as quickly as possible. This is a significant achievement for Carrick to take a pre-clinical candidate to first patient dosed in less than two years.”


Carrick Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company focusing on the innovative research and development of transformative oncology medicines. Carrick’s aim is to become Europe’s leading oncology biotech. The name Carrick means ‘rock’ in Gaelic to emphasise the strong foundation of like-minded scientists, collaborators and investors, and the vision to build a durable world-class company. Carrick has an ambitious patient-focused vision to serve cancer patients around the world by the introduction of ground breaking cancer therapies that will transform the way cancer is treated.

Carrick Therapeutics has the backing of a syndicate of high profile investors, with its initial funding round being co-led by ARCH Venture Partners and Woodford Investment Management, with participation from Cambridge Enterprise, Cambridge Innovation Capital, Evotec, Google Ventures and Lightstone Ventures.

About Cancer Research UK’s Commercial Partnerships Team

Cancer Research UK is the world’s leading cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research. Our specialist Commercial Partnerships Team work closely with leading international cancer scientists and their institutes to protect intellectual property arising from their research and to establish links with commercial partners. The team develop promising ideas into successful cancer therapeutics, software, devices, diagnostics and enabling technologies. This helps to accelerate progress in exciting new discoveries in cancer research and bring new treatments to patients sooner.

Cancer Research UK’s commercial activity operates through Cancer Research Technology Ltd. (CRT), a wholly owned subsidiary of Cancer Research UK. It is the legal entity which pursues drug discovery research in themed alliance partnerships and delivers varied commercial partnering arrangements.