After more than 20 years battling cancer, medical researchers haveyet to discover cures for many of the most common malignancies.
The war still is being waged aggressively under the leadership of theNational Cancer Institute (NCI) through internal research programsand support for academic and industrial efforts. Technology transferagreements, grants and cooperative research and developmentagreements (CRADAs) are among the federal programs aimed atboosting drug discovery.
Although sometimes controversial, CRADAs _ which allow privatecompanies to benefit from research and clinical development servicesat government laboratories _ have been the source of many stunningmedical achievements.
Over the past three years, more than half of the CRADAs issued havebeen awarded to biotechnology companies, which not only gainintellectual property rights to discoveries made during thecollaborations, but also reduce drug development expenses.
Past CRADAs have led to the formulation of the anti-cancer drug,Taxol, and to use of ex vivo gene therapy.
Research into regulating cell signaling pathways, screening microbesfor therapeutic biochemicals and creating gene therapy vaccines areexamples of science making progress under CRADAs for thetreatment of cancer.
In today's issue of BioWorld Financial Watch, Editor Jennifer VanBrunt explores some of this groundbreaking work with a look at howCRADAs are helping specific companies.
For a copy of the full issue, call (800) 879-8790. n
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